|Watercolor box from Sennelier!|
Ah every time I see this little watercolor box I crack up, certainly not because of Sennelier...mais non! Instead I laugh at my self. Here's the story....
First you must understand that my whole trip to Paris some years ago centered around Art, especially a trip to the magnificent Sennelier Art Store! It's a lovely store on the Left Bank, has been there over 100 years ALL the great artists have shopped there...Cezanne, Picasso (who loved their grey chalks) and so many more, it made me swoon just thinking about it. This isn't just an art store it's the history of Art, it IS Art! Much more special than a museum with all the finished works because it's where all the finished works in the museums began! So of course, this little art schmuck from Boston just had to go there, be in the presence of history, beg the Art Gods to shine on me (I'm still waiting) and absolutely had to get something!
I readily confess to being deeply smitten with all things France, French, Paris, all their towns and cities...food, culture, wine...the whole thing and I don't have a poker face. So of course when I went into the store "they must have seen me coming for miles" as the saying goes. BUT I tried to play it cool, like I'd been there a hundred times. This is never a good tactic for me, I can't do cool especially when I'm working hard at it. In the store I look at everything. I touch everything. I swoon. The clerk comes over a couple times "Puis-je vous aider madame? With my best blank face (and I don't have one) I toss off "non, monsieur, merci" and I keep looking. Upstairs I fondle all the brushes then pick a few handmade but cheap ones, after all I am an artist & a poor one at that! Finally I decide to get a watercolor box, small, for travel. At first he brings out a plastic box like one you could find in any U.S. art store...sacre bleu what an insult! However I say no, blandly with a soupçon of boredom, do you have anything else. Out comes a parade of little watercolor boxes and I fall in love with the one in the picture above. The little brass knob is a stopper for the small built in water container. I'm swooning, again. Plus it comes in a little pretty box with Sennelier written all over. Now the other thing I was not used to was $ to euro conversion. He told me the price, I acted non-chalant and said ok then as he turned to ring up the sale I nearly fainted....HOW much did he say it was???? Mon Dieu! Then I had an Ally McBeal moment of mad dialogue where I played out what would happen if I said "uh how much is it?" then he would look disgusted, then I would bust out into tears run out of the store, a bit of a Les Mis moment after being put to shame in Sennelier! NO it can't happen! So I suck it up, stick out my credit card and promise myself I will only use them for very very special paintings.
The whole memory of this totally cracks me up to this day and every time I see the little box. I'm too embarrassed to say how much it cost me but suffice it to say I think I got seriously hosed and that they are still rolling on the floor at Sennelier laughing - I would be! I am just remembering this! Such a little box, such a funny memory. Priceless...merci.