Artnotes: A Walk to the Seine


This morning was crisp and bright, so after a coffee at Omar’s, we headed towards the Seine.   Omar, the Tunisian who owns the Tourne Bouchon, makes terrific coffee – “it begins with high quality beans” he tells us.  He didn’t have any crossaints this morning, so we settled for a tartine (half of a baguette) with jam.

Harika had a couple of her homemade biscuits that I carry in my pocket, and we were off. Near the Lutetia, we passed a crowd of boys emerging from a night in the sewer.   You can always tell where they’ve come from, smeared with a sandy mud and pale as a submarine crew.   There are big parties in the Paris sewers  on weekends, although I rarely see girls coming out from below.  Some people wear big rubber boots.  It’s a little fascinating but likewise off-putting – a thing I can certainly live without.  Harika gives them bearth, which makes me think they don’t smell so good, either.

I love the walk to the Seine, by all the windows of art galleries and antiquaires.   Shop windows in this neighborhood, where no one checks the price, are exceptional.   We cross the Pont Royal, and make a brief stop on the grass at the Louvre.   It’s pretty but we haven’t got easels today, and it will be hard to find a roost.   Harika looks around but we all decide to go to the banks of the river.  Down the stairs, and we set up our “tent” on a slightly elevated sandy area.

We are inundated with miserable looking joggers, who I kind of feel sorry for – alone and mean.  In years past there were no joggers, which I think was indicative of a happier population.   One man, who’s obviously twisted an ankle on the cobblestones, snarls at Harika, who thought she would sidle up and comfort him.  Later she’s rewarded by a Scandinavian couple who pet her and talk to her.

The weather changes every few minutes these days, sun and clouds, always damp and thus cold.   We did manage to paint outside several times, anyway.  I painted at the Palais Royal, and in the Luxembourg Gardens.  We’re planning a show on 6 December:   Winter Light.  We’ll feature Blair’s new abstract work in the studio downstairs.

We both like to paint a lot, and I was encouraged by a recent article by Robert Genn (the Painter’s Keys).  The posting  was about a teacher who set up half his class to do one perfect painting for the semester and the other half of the class to do the maximum number of paintings.   Funny thing was the BEST paintings came from those people who painted a lot.

Recent paintings

Here are some recent paintings:
See all of my recent paintings.

Painting In Paris

Hi, everyone. Chuck and I are here in Paris enjoying life and art and music. Today, I had a wonderful experience in the Luxemburg Gardens painting with Laurie Pessimer. She and her husband, Blair have an atelier close by on 14, Rue Servandani. I am learning some wonderful new things from them about pleine aire and also using acrylics for my work. I am traditionally an oil painter, but I think I have found a new vehicle as the color palette is simple and dries quickly which is a total advantage for traveling. The colors are Pthalo turquoise, dioxyzine purple, Lemon yellow (cadmium light), titanium white and primary magenta. The… …Continue Reading

Rosie is a 2012 Forest Landowner of the Year!

Rose Lane Leavell sits in the family room of her farmhouse in Bullard, Georgia, surrounded by pine. Much of the 2,500 acres she owns with her husband, rock keyboardist Chuck Leavell, is planted in pine. The house, built around 1870 and expanded several times, is built mostly of pine from their forest, right down to the floors, ceilings, walls, and even the kitchen counter tops.

It’s such as integrated tribute to Rose Lane’s roots in Georgia forestry, which date back to the 1700s, that it’s easy to miss her 2012 Forest Landowner of the Year Award, also made partially of pine, which blends into the room from its perch on the mantel.

“The landowner thing is in my DNA,” she says late one June afternoon as the sun begins to cast shadows through the trees of Charlane Plantation. “I don’t know it any other way. You’re born to manage this land. Land owning, hunting, horses, dogs, and especially trees are part of me. They make me who I am.”

Chuck Leavell has used his platform as one of the most accomplished keyboardists in rock music history, most notably for the Rolling Stones for the last three decades, to serve as a tireless advocate for environmental and conservation causes.

He’s perhaps the most visible advocate for the forest industry, though he’s quick to point out he’s not even the foremost tree expert in his immediate family.

“I’ve learned a lot over the last 30 years,” he says. “But Rose Lane has lived this her entire life. It’s in her blood.”

When Chuck Leavell is not on the road with The Stones, playing on tours and albums for a who’s who of other musical groups, or producing his own critically acclaimed work, he and his wife of 39 years run one of the most diverse tree farms in the industry.

Charlane Plantation (, which is a combination of the first half of Chuck’s given name and the second half of hers, hosts quail hunts, weddings, corporate outings, school groups, artists retreats, college student researchers, and the occasional group of international visitors the Leavells meet while on tour.

Visitors stay in the Bullard House, an 1835 farmhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in an adjacent lodge built on the site of an original barn. The buildings’ decor includes items from Chuck’s 40-year rock career and heirlooms from Rose Lane’s family.

Charlane includes a 10-acre pond with canoes and a dock, a one-mile nature trail (soon to be expanded to three…

Members of the Forest Landowners Association can read the rest of the article here.

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