Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Un Peu Loufoque the artist


This morning I launched myself upon the world as an artist! The children are returned to their educational establishments, after what seems like an inordinately long vacances, Chief Patissier set off to the Biscuiterie and Henri has taken Madame Grognonne into town to attend to the households purchases of comestibles, including I note yet more absinthe for the horse.

Having dispatched all in their various directions I took the makings of coffee with me to the upper realms of the west wing and set my self to work. Madame Grognonne had lit the small stove to warm the room and I very daringly put the pot onto the heat to brew, feeling quite excited by this wanton act of domesticity! I need hardly say that I have never had cause to make my own beverage before but am sure it can not be too difficult. Madame Grognonne having left me written instructions, and providing I am able to interpret her somewhat idiomatic spelling and erratic hand writing , I am certain all will be well!

Finding myself faced with a large virgin canvas on my easel I thought it best not to unleash my creativity too hastily and therefore stood for sometime contemplating its white face in search of a suitable subject. After our camping expedition I had been inspired to paint Fatima in all her glorious finery, sadly she informed me her religion disallows the portrayal of the human form which is most unfortunate. Madame Grognonne has declined to take her place, at least not until the weather improves ,which, in hindsight, is probably quite wise as I can see that it might be a trifle awkward should she be called upon to answer the door mid pose. It would, I suspect, be excruciatingly difficult to get her to return to precisely the same position on her coming back and taking deliveries clad only in a diaphanous veil might well arouse consternation amongst some of the more impressionable tradesmen.

Over a late dinner last night, our whole day having been thrown out of routine by their unexpected return Chez Nous, Chief patissier and Antoine regaled me with tales of the artists salons in Paris, and exhibitions at the Grand Palais. They tell me the quarter of Montparnasse is full to bursting with Bohemians and avant-garde writers and artists of every description from all over Europe and the Americas. I must admit my initial reaction was to find this a trifle galling as, despite my request, I had been denied the chance to visit Paris with them. I am quite convinced that neither of them have any artistic leanings whatsoever and therefore have no doubt the experience has been totally wasted upon them. However on hearing of the influx of Bohemians I felt quite relieved at having been left at home. I really do not think I am up to any more Slavs after the treacherous behaviour of ,Alexi Vlodaflodavodavitch. Although I note Madame Grognonne seems to have recovered herself remarkably quickly, as only the lower orders can.

Amongst the many delights adorning my studio Chief Patissier has kindly endowed it with a small library of books and journals depicting the wok of artists such as myself. I have been therefore perusing these in search of my muse but find myself rather at a loss as a result. I have always been of the school of thought that great art should in some form mimic nature and wherever possible improve upon it. However I discover that “au contraire” in this age of modernism it is no longer so. Apparently, judging by the illustrations in the more recent Art Reviews and journals, one no longer needs to be able to paint to be an artist. Not only that but it would appear to be all the rage for women artists to dress as men and men to dress as artisans and peasants, At this I must draw the line. I am of the opinion that no matter how talented an artist may be there is no reason they should not be respectably dressed! Personally I blame the Bohemians.

I can see from my window that Madame Grognonne has returned from her errands ,and ( since lost as I was in the contemplation of my art I had forgotten the coffee was brewing and therefore as a result boiled the pot dry) I now intend to seek her out in the kitchen and call upon her expertise to furnish me with a grand chocolat chaud to drink whilst I consider further which direction my art should take me. Having seen some of the subjects portrayed in the abstract style presently in vogue it is highly possible I shall find inspiration there, no doubt a still life of a sink plunger some haricot vert and the remains of yesterdays Cassoulet would be considered suitably dispirit to be al la mode!.


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The portrait above is by an artist called Amedeo Modigliani and it is apparently meant to be Mademoiselle Jeanne Huterne ,with her Left Arm Behind her Head. I am not sure who this young lady is but I am certain that were I to portray Eldest in such a manner she would not be at all amused. Flattering it is not ! Added to which the poor creature has obviously dislocated her neck and very possibly her shoulder. I suspect as a result of the artist requiring her to hold the same position for far to long.One can only imagine how disappointed her mother must have been when she saw it.

13 comments:

sally's chateau said...

We await with bated breath, rooted to the spot even, the excitement mounting as the world anticipates Un Peu's first artistic offering for our palates. (No pressure then)

ChrisH said...

Dleighted to see that nothing normal has been happenining whilst I've been away!

Suffolkmum said...

Can't wait to see what further offerings your creativity will unleash ...

bodran... said...

I agree completely about that portrait, and i can't wait to see yours..x

Inthemud said...

You do make me laugh! Will we get to see the Portrait once finished?
Shame on you ! Unable to make a cup of coffeee without letting it boil dry!!

CAMILLA said...

La Portrait please Un Peau, Merci.
Wait with baited breath.
Camilla.xx

Fennie said...

Yes, a portrait - but of what? I think Un Peu you should practise on something easy at first (you could always try the head of John the Baptist as I'm sure someone must have said to Caravaggio). No, I am thinking of something from the animal kingdom, something easy to paint and with a unmistakeable shape and recognisable colour - yes, that's right - no, not Marron - George Stubbs has corned the horse market - but how about ..... a camel? No-one paints camels so it would be an opportunity and you could open (in due course) une grande exposition des peintures des chameaux de Bretagne.

PG said...

I am enjoying this so much, I come back after a few days and what riches await!

@themill said...

Un Peu, do hope you have a publisher for this. You could solve the holiday reading dilema in one easy volume. Just find it all so hysterically funny.
I suspect Mlle Jeanne was in the middle of her Pilates class. Either that or she had a flea!

muddyboots said...

ok, what happens next?

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Or a penguin - I like penguins.

Frances said...

Bon soir,
Perhaps a way to enter into the painting would be to contemplate a color that interests you. I understand that many artists have certain times, or periods as they call them, attributed to a single hue.
This single selection could be difficult for one such as you, who clearly has so much color in her life, but it could just be an entryway.
The white of the canvas can seem, but need not be, fearsome. You have faced greater challenges.
A demain.

Pondside said...

I quite agree, Un Peu, that you should look for an area that is 'you' and create for yourself a reputation for that particular thing. I agree with Frances, that perhaps a colour might be the thing, but wonder if you might not find something close to home in which to specialize.
I wait impatiently for the finished canvas!