Sunday, October 9, 2011

Montmarte and the Artists

You just have to visit Montmarte when in Paris.  The community is built on the highest hill in Paris.  About 400 feet of elevation.  The famous Sacre Coeur church dominates the skyline in its beauty.  The streets leading from the church are narrow and winding.  They all lead to the square where all the artists paint or seek portrait commissions.  There must have been 50+ wandering looking for someone to sketch on their pads.  Ensconced around the perimeter of the square are the painters, more than 100 of them.  They are in the same spot where we saw them last visit.  Tourists mingle everywhere.  (Just put up with it and enjoy)

The Square

The French easel dominates.  Many are half easels.  They multi task as easel, store front, storage, restaurant outer wall, and protection from the crowds.

Back to the Crowd 

"Watch me paint".  Look at this palette!  Whatever works.  And the colours are clean.  A preponderance of palette knives.

Back to the Restaurant

Monsieur Walles faces the crowd as if to say "look at my work, I'm back here painting."  This is classic knife painting.  He was shown around the world but now prefers to do his thing at home in Montmarte.  We bought one of his paintings.  He uses a half easel, morphed as you can see.  Another beautiful palette.  Arm motion.  His brush work is also exquisite.

Restaurant Wall

It would be like eating in an artist's atelier.  I saw nothing resembling a new easel.  It was a study in repairs, patina, and modifications.  Lots of paint indicating the miles of canvas covered.

Store Front

It is buyer beware.  A few pretty good, many not so much.   Seems to be room for all.  After lunch at the square watching the show, we wandered down hill on a self conducted walking tour.  You can see where the likes of Renior, Monet, Van Gough, "Too Loose" Lautrec and the the rest once did their trip.  Its changed but somehow that energy remains.

Half Way Down

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