Wednesday, August 29, 2012


We went to Giverny yesterday and have another foray planned for the 11 September.  The sunflowers, dahlias and water lilies were in bloom, and the sun was at just the right angle as we painted from 6 to 8 PM...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Where does the time go?  This month we had 19 high school students painting in the Luxembourg Gardens -- fortunately no more than 13 at a time -- several sessions.   This was a stellar group of young people -- most non-painters who rose to the occasion with pictures that inspired ME!

Meanwhile, Micheal House made a short movie of us painting, take a look --

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Typical day in the Luxembourg Gardens

A typical session might be one we had the other day -- an American woman, in Paris for a while, hadn't painted in several years.  We met her at the Luxembourg Gardens -- after walking around a bit, she choose a place which she liked.  We each painted a 12 x 12 inch canvas there in about an hour.   Then, I suggested the Medici fountain --  we took a 14 x 18 linen canvas (general size) and we painted for 90 minutes.   We lunched together at the cafe Rostand across the way  -- if we are at the Seine, we usually make a tour of the Orangerie, but the show at the Luxembourg Gardens isn't so interesting at the moment.  Then we walked to the other side of the park and she and Blair painted the bee house, and I painted trees and people.

Blair's bee house

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In the steps of the Impressionists

There was a small crowd at the Marmottan as we waited for the doors to open.  We were going to the Berthe Morisot show with another painter, before making our foray into the Bois de Boulogne to paint.  I hadn’t really spent much time with Morisot’s work before this, and the depth of her production was amazing.   She was the wife of Manet’s brother, and a mother, and in an age where women didn’t paint,  somehow  found time to paint not only rich portraits, but many beautiful landscapes.     In many of the painting of her daughter, I could see how much Morisot loved her.  

The Marmottan, if you haven’t been there, is the “Monet” museum.  Lots of smaller (48 x 54” or thereabouts) waterlilies hang, and other impressions of Giverney.  In fact, the painting that gave “Impressionism” its title hangs at the Marmottan.  

There is also a fabulous collection of manuscript illuminations in the museum.  We spent a bit of time examining these, as well as several walls of small portraits (12 x 12 inches) from the late 1700s.  I figure these were the last vestiges of some of the French aristocracy, as depicted by Bouilly, from just before the Revolution.

We’ve have a week of back-to-back workshops.  On Tuesday we went to Giverney with three painters.   Even though we’ve been there before there are moments I sit in Monet’s gardens and get goosebumps.    I was nearly overcome with emotion on Tuesday as I was walking by the lily pond, checking on a watercolorist, and another painter.  I can almost feel Monet walking among us, or at least on the collective minds of we five painters.

We had only one painter with us at Auvers-sur-Oise on Wednesday.  We picked her up on Montmartre, and followed the route by the flea markets at Clignancourt out to the country.  It was a shorter foray than Giverney, only about 40 minutes.  We went to the graves of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo – I feel different about him now that it is known he did not commit suicide, but was killed accidentally by a local boy.  He had a great respect for life and it always set oddly with me that he would have ended it all during this, the most productive time in his career.  This new knowledge lends a more positive feeling to the trip, and I saw the church, the fields, the river Oise with new eyes.

We painted a couple of pictures that day – and finished up with a visit to the home of Dr. Gachet, the building now a museum.  Gachet was a doctor caring for Vincent in Auvers-sur-Oise.  Gachet  gave up his regular practice, grew a homeopathic garden on the small estate willed him by his parents.  He was a printmaker, and opened his home to other artists as well as Van Gogh, including Pissarro, Renoir , Manet and Cezanne.  

We got home to find a lodger in our flat :  a writer friend from Seattle has found his way back to Paris.  I slept happily that night, with the sense that , like doctor Gachet, we were encouraging artists on their artistic course.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In April 2012

Three charming daughters gave their mother a morning of painting for a birthday present.  Many happy returns!

Blair was photographed by Simon Collins (

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mothers and Daughters with Laurie and Blair March 2012

We've painted two sessions -- one full day, one half day with "Mother and Daughter"  from the USA.  What a great way to spend some time in Paris -- and with a unique souvenir to take home!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Painted 15 March near Pont des arts

We've been painting for the last month -- here, at Auvers sur Oise and the Luxembourg Gardens -- a few sessions on the Seine, as well.
 Setting up at Auvers sur Oise -- we made a trial trip to Van Gogh's final region

In the Luxembourg Gardens, hoping for no rain, but under cover just in case....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Paint with us in 2012!

It’s almost time to paint outside again and we want to invite you to paint with Laurie and Blair Pessemier. This year we’ve added new and interesting spots to our workshop.
We had a lot of painters in 2011, some for a week, many for just a day, and several 3-4 day stints. For this reason, this year’s sessions are shown as day events. We paint Monday through Friday; if you need further details or assistance with accommodations, we are happy to help.
We’re still visiting the Luxembourg Gardens and painting along the Seine – we’ve seen some marvelous results from there! Beginning 1 April, we’ll make a Tuesday trip to Giverny, Monet’s gardens, and on Wednesday set up at Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh painted his wheat fields and church, (and where he is buried beside his brother, Theo).
Fridays we are painting and picnicking at the Bois de Boulogne with an optional visit to the nearby Marmottan museum. The Bois de Boulogne has boats, and a rose garden, and lovely fields. We recently spent the afternoon at the greenhouses there (Auteuil), which will be a perfect alternate in case of rain.
We’ve spent some time and energy finding alternate painting sites for poor weather. Of course, there are “passages”, covered walkways between buildings – the galerie Vivienne is quite lovely. We’ve painted beneath the loggia of the Palais Royale, and from the coffee shop on top of Printemps department store. We’re ready, whatever the weather.
You can paint as much or as little as you like with us, while visiting Paris! We hope to see you soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Two paintings by Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER  -- contact us to design your own personal painting tour


We are just back from our 4 week painting foray in Southwestern France. We are unpacking and taking photos of our 50 or so paintings – forty are on the website with a few more to come. Many are painted side-by-side; this week’s paintings are the most recognizably similar. We painted at our very-fresh-fish stand – where we bought rascasse (scorpion fish), octopus, mullet and lotte (monkfish).
Speaking of painting side-by-side, the Paris Painting Workshops are starting to fill up – it’s time to think about coming to paint with Blair and me. We are focusing on day tours this year, but longer term arrangements can be made...