Paris, France, The World…

‘Notre Dame de Paris’
© The Artist, W. A. Grondhart.

Paris – what can you say? Amazing visit. Amazing town. ‘La Cité Phare’This is an etching from my personal art collection. It was given to me by a good friend, who collects my paintings & with whom I always feel happy. Apparently, it was made by a young, talented Dutch man who went to Paris, like so many artists before him, each with a heart full of hope & aspirations & dreams. The Quais around St.Michel, with their little green bookstalls, overlooking the Sienne, still have that feel of …. artistic & intellectual hope, for want of a better description. OK maybe today you won’t see any ladies dressed in Bel Epoque elegance. Rather the ‘Genghis Khan’ hoards of rather shabby, present day mass tourism. La Vie Moderne.

Still , it remains an amazing experience. I’ve been to Paris quiet a few times before, not least on an extended study trip when I was at University studying art. I now look at Paris with a different look, as it is the capital of my adoptive country. I’ve not yet chosen ‘naturalisation’ but France remains my country of adoption. Citoyen Étranger. Been visiting for over forty years, lived here for over a third of my life, have a French aunt, was/am married in France to French woman, my children were born here &, well, I like it here (OK lots of things I dislike too but hey, c’est la vie). I’m very lucky to belong to two countries.

Oh la la ! ….. Paris …. France……

‘La Stryge’

This is the inspiration for Victor Hugo’s ‘Hunch Back of Notre Dame’ (aka Walt Disney’s film)


An invitation to exhibit  in Paris

I achieved my goals in Paris :1. Had a lot of fun (it was a family reunion for my Dad’s 70th).

2. Worked as a copyist in Le Louvre for three days, studying for my book which I wish to push to publication stage (ho ho ho – maybe another ten years…lol).

3. Visited Orsay & Pomidou to spend time with certain paintings that have been on my mind. The necessity of taking lessons from the great masters. Too much mediocrity dims one’s vision. The need to see great, big & far.

4. Filled up half a sketchbook with drawings, soaked some of it up. Paris, Paris ….

5. Meet up with Gallerist near the Pompidou whose been wanting exhibit my stuff ever since she saw ‘mes oeuvres’ when I was L’Invitee de Honneur in a Salon des Arts Plastiques in Bordeaux in 2001 I think, I forget the exact date (& don’t really care about this type of stuff anymore). The below was the type of stuff I was doing back then.

’42 Degrees Centigrade’
© Adam Cope


(My son says there’s ‘la bossu de notre dame’ in this picture – look at the two towers on the horizon to the left … not much is abstract to a young mind !?)

She offered me a show in her swanky gallery in 2009 (prestige etc) but frankly, I don’t like the terms & conditions. Bad business is bad business & I really don’t feel like undergoing all that again, anymore. Bôf – haven’t made my mind up, but think I can do better. Difficulties of showing in big towns…driving , parking,  finding somewhere to stay, paying to eat in restaurants.. a lot of overheads, before even the gallery adds some on…and teh buyers try to shave some off. Bof.

Life is nice here in my rural isolation. Cézanne & Corot told me that.

post script 2013

Does anyone know where paris is? isnt it where artists in france pay 18 percent tax so that the politicians can whoop it up in chic palaises? vanity, vanity, all is vanity… i now realise that ‘going up to paris’ is like a french finishing school, where the capital inspects the new arrivals from the provinces,  mostly with disinterest & occassionally a little bit of politeness, but only if you’re lucky … very glad i escaped that!


what choices do we have as artists, other than stay polite & try to stay out of suicidal debt.