Wandering the halls of great museums I often wonder what it must have been like to visit the studio of an Old Master and talk to them about their work. Maybe even buy a piece to bequeath to my descendants.
Well, old masters may be off the table, but new masters are well within the realm of possibility. And what better place than Paris to track down great and inspiring artists. Today I am heading to the 15th Arrondissement to meet artist Corine Perier at her studio and home. I came across Corine’s work online and loved seeing her regular updates. So I contacted her and arranged a studio visit.
She suggested we meet at a small corner cafe close to her house. The 15th is the largest Arrondissement and not traditionally on the tourist route. But there is some great stuff here. We arrived early so we could check out is the Parc Andre Citroen, built on the site of the former Citroen Automobile manufacturing plant. It encompasses about 35 acres and is built around a large rectangular lawn with a modern Greenhouse on either side. Definitely a fun side trip if you are looking for something new to do in Paris
Corine arrives and we set off to her studio through the small winding streets of the 15th. We learn that she was born in the 15th and has lived here her whole life. Her most recent residence is a modern flat in a building run by the Parisian municipality where she lives with her husband and two kids. A few years ago when she started painting full time she converted part of the flat into her studio.
Corine studied Art History and after graduation began a career as an art restorer where she had an opportunity to learn close up the painting techniques of the old masters. I guess Corine has done me one better in my fantasy of visiting old masters in their studios. At least in terms of technique, Corine has really gotten to know some of the greatest painters close up.
Painting on wood panels and applying the oil paint in many thin layers in the style of the Flemish old masters, Corine’s fanciful creatures have a dimensionality that makes them stand apart from their environments. As with the Flemish masters, Corine finishes each work with a glossy smooth layer which brightens the colors and brings her curious subjects to life.
We make ourselves at home in the studio and have a coffee as we look around. Corine’s fantastical little creatures keep a watchful eye on us from their perches. Their expressions are so animated, you feel like they want to be part of the conversation. My favorite piece was a portrait of strong-willed, serious-looking ram who travels in the clouds with a cheeky bird catching a ride on his head, an hourglass in his beak. A menagerie of birds, wildcats, and goat are just a few of Corine’s conjured friends that share the studio and home with the Perier family.
Corine’s imaginative work is truly unique and she is one of my favorite Parisian artists. On your next trip to Paris plan on bringing home one of Corine’s masterpieces for your collection.
< More fascinating vacation destinations await. Let’s go.
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