Where I’m Calling From…

Doodling on a page from an obsolete Saint Germain-en-Laye phone book (I keep wanting to say Facebook). It’s obsolete for two reasons. First it was last year’s phone book. Second, who uses phone books nowadays anyway? I wonder about the connection between these particular people on this particular page. They all live in the same town. Their names all begin with the same letter – M.  I myself am somewhere in this book but … Read more

L’Heure Bleue (The Blue Hour)

I thought the Blue Hour only occurred in France, perhaps because it was here in Paris that I first appreciated it.  But in fact, the Blue Hour can occur anywhere on earth, either in the city or in the countryside.  In Spain it’s called La Hora Azul. During twilight, when the sun descends between 4 and 6 degrees below the horizon, the Blue Hour can happen.  A lot depends on temperature, the amount of … Read more

How do you find a missing train…?

This is the time of year when people really start traveling in France. The two week school vacation for Parisian children has just ended, and the May holidays are still to come.  Train stations and airports have been busy with families going to the north and west coasts, and the south of France, or to other parts of Europe.  In a month or two the school trips for springtime will begin.  College students will … Read more

Please don’t paint the Monuments…

I never paint the Monuments.  There is something about a place, especially Paris, that I prefer to capture by painting the stones, the streets, the waterways, and the light.  I’ve painted many pictures of Paris, which you can see here, but this is one exception.  This is La Madeleine (Church of Saint Mary Magdalene). La Madeleine was completed in 1828, as a temple to glorify Napoleon’s Army.  It doesn’t look like a church to … Read more

Night Lights…

This painting is of the early morning light looking west from my bedroom window. Before the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, I would often be awakened at night to the sounds of people making their way uphill from Place Saint George to Sacré-Cœur.  My bedroom window opens onto the street which seems to be their direct route.  What I miss, (or maybe don’t miss) most is the sound of revelers and the clackety-clack of … Read more

The Top 6 Posts from the Last 3 Years…

  We normally spend New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia with our good friends.  On a recent trip to “The City of Brotherly Love,” I found Meglio Furs, on South Broad Street.  The store is closed, but the sign remains.  A couple of websites talk about the store.  Here is a good one, a real estate blog called Naked Philly.  I love this sign, a remembrance of the style and taste of the 40’s and … Read more

Thankful…

Dear Friends and Family, This is the Canal Saint Martin, in Paris.  About a 30 minute walk from my house.  It’s an even shorter walk from the Canal to the Bataclan Music Hall, where some of the horrible events of Friday, November 13, 2015 took place in Paris.  In the evenings, especially on weekends, this area is filled with young people enjoying picnics by the water, sitting in cafes, and riding bikes. This is … Read more

Back to the Bois…

“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” – Henry David Thoreau, 1817 – 1862 I painted these trees several years ago in the Bois de Boulogne, and sold the painting to a woman in the park walking her dog. The picture wasn’t finished but when it was I brought it to her … Read more

Painting Safari 2015, Part I

  Our Painting Safari began in France this year because we will not arrive in the US until almost August.  But Plein Air painting has begun, with this painting done at Île de Puteaux, west of Paris, where Sam and I play tennis every Sunday morning.  Île de Puteaux is an island in the Seine where houseboats are moored, as they are all along the Seine both within and outside the city limits of … Read more

Flowers for (French) Mother’s Day*…

When I was a kid, my mother would watch me paint stone walls, building facades and cliff-lined river banks.  Lovely grays, browns and ochres.  She once said to me, with a bit of impatience in her voice: “Why don’t you paint some nice pretty colorful flowers?” At which point I found flowers very difficult to paint, pretty or otherwise.  I don’t know why this occurred.  Later, when I tried painting them, they looked like … Read more