Saturday, May 23, 2009

Parisian Watercolors

While in Paris, I bought several watercolors to remember my trip. When I got home, I brought them to a framing shop to have them framed nicely. I picked them up today. The largest is an antique watercolor/sketch of blue asters. I bought it at an antique market, and the seller told me that it was painted in the 1930s or 40s. The price was pretty steep, but I stuck around looking ambivalent long enough that she lowered the price, and then I offered an even lower number, which she reluctantly agreed to. This is fairly atypical of me (see below). I think the matting really goes well with the colors. The frame itself is more ornate than I usually prefer, but I thought it went well with an antique work.

I bought the medium watercolor from an artist set up on the street near Notre Dame. The piece is a great depiction of Notre Dame. I asked him how much he wanted for the painting, and he gave me a "sale" price, given that they had to close up and leave in about 5 minutes. I agreed to the price, and rifled through my purse to find the right number of euros. I gave it to him, and he gave me too much change back. I said no, that's not the right amount. He was pretty sure he had given an even better price. I managed to talk him back up to the amount we agreed to. I mentioned that I didn't want to cheat him - he said he really didn't mind, but that he hoped that I would like the painting. I told him I would cherish it, and hang it in my home. He was very, very appreciative of that. I think he would approve of the framing job, the way the black frame and matte highlight the inked sketch, and the way the beige matte is in the same colorway as the main color in the painting.

Finally, I bought two very small watercolors from another street artist in a little artist market near Sacre Couer. I envisioned framing them together, since they were so small, and because I thought they shared some colors. The framing shop had just the right blue matte to bring the two together. I also thought the carving on the frame brought out the texture of the painting. The top image is Champs-Elysees, which was very near one of our hotels, and the bottom image is Notre Dame, an area we spent a lot of time in.

It was important to me to bring home a few things that I could use to decorate my home. I wanted some unique items that would remind me of the trip, and I think these watercolors fit the bill perfectly. I will probably also print some of the photographs I took, and frame them as well.

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