"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Une de Ma Liste de Godet (one from my bucket list)

Cathy Jullian 'Jazmine'
from my private collection

For many Paris is one of the epicenters of art. Where the Impressionist movement was born (Claude Monet, 1872); the first photograph created (Nicephore Niepce, 1826); African American James Reese Europe led the 369th infantry's 'Harlem Hellfighters' Army band, during World War II, he introduced Paris to Jazz. And don't get me started about cuisine and fashion! 

For nearly 20 years, whenever I've returned to Paris I dedicate at least one full day to wandering the city looking for street art to bring home - I've compiled a wonderful collection of French photography and music. But I'm especially partial to paintings (oil, watercolor, charcoal, pencil...)  Several years ago, I decided that one day I'd have my nude portrait painted in Paris. I put it on my 'Bucket List.' Last October I actually did it - I still can't quite believe that I did...

Mr. Gorgeous at a Soiree

A few years ago, while preparing for a trip to Paris, I read an article about a woman - Patricia LaPlante Collins - who opens her Parisian apartment every Sunday for a meet-and-greet, to Parisians, Expats, and people visiting Paris from around the world. I immediately contacted her, got an invite, and Peter and I attended - fabulous! Patricia and I became friends and everytime we return to Paris, we attend a 'Patricia-soiree' (I'll post about her later).

"Daniella" - Cathleen Jullian, 2010
From my private collection

This last time at Patricia's I met an Expat-American artist - Cathleen Jullian. A native of California, Cathleen emigrated to Paris 25+ years ago. For the first half of that time, Cathleen was in the business world. Then, about 15 years ago, Cathleen decided to persue her passion for painting Watercolors full-time. Cathleen had brought some of her work to the soiree - I purchased two of them (the ones pictured here). Cathleen is a fascinating, gentle and kind woman. I liked her immediately; very much so. While we were talking, Cathleen asked if I would sit for her. I'm sure that you've noticed Cathleen's specialty - nudes. Yeah, I noticed that too; but I still said yes!

Cathleen Jullian, during our session

I was understandably very nervous. While I've sat for artists before, I've never sat nude. And I was much younger and firmer than I am now. As Peter and I caught the Metro home after the soiree, one thought ran a litany through my mind: "Temple, what the hell are you thinking"?! But I loved the whole adventure of it. It's romantic, little wild and pretty naughty. It's something that I'll be able to have forever and will be a great memory. A few days later Cathleen came to our apartment for our session. Peter took the kids to the Eiffel Tower but mom stayed behind to chaperone. I sat for Cathleen for a little more than two hours and it was an amazing  experience. I'm so glad I did it. And I'd do it again.

"Temple" the modest version - Cathleen Jullian, 2010

Vivre, rire, aimer!



  1. That's so beautiful Temple! What an amazing experience.

  2. Awesome! This post has encouraged me to create a bucket list and perhaps do such a similar (and daring) portrait.

  3. First Lady,
    Go for it gurl! As Aunti Mame says: "You've got to live, live, live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

  4. Gorgeous Temple. You were brave, but she created an amazing piece. Glad you directed me here.
    Bonne semaine,


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