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Paris, a month would fly by!

This time it was to be the train to Paris then major on the Metro. I attended a  UKTI / British Marine Federation Showcase at The Ambassador’s Residence,  research at Musee Maritime, Paris,  the main focus of this all to brief visit to a magnificent city.   Paris_from_Montmatre_IMG_6509_d.jpg

My friend who was also my guide and able assistant and I  stayed in a disappointing hotel in the Montmatre artist’s quarter.

I would not recommend the Hotel Residence Albert to any one and how it got and has kept 2 stars is quite beyond me.  B__room_IMG_6525_wp.jpg

Montmatre was delightful though, splendid views of the city and artists still at work in the streets at 23.00 hrs.  Montmatre artist IMG_6514 wp_1.jpg

Thus onto British Excellence at the Ambassadors Residence, Paris.

Over 100 representatives from UK and French marine companies were hosted on 7 December by Sir Peter Westmacott KCMG, LVO at his British Embassy Residence in Paris.

I shared a display area with Azure  Wear UK.

I liked the word “azure” reminding me as it now does of the Corte d’azure and my 2 spectacular visits earlier this year (see blogs June and September).

In this case though, Mr Raza of Azure Wear UK, based at Walthamstow, London (www.azurewear.co.uk) was offering what are the best gloves for racing sailors that I have seen in over 30 years of sail boat racing.

With space and access limited, I chose to show a copy of the marine print numbered limited edition “Ice Maiden”, signed by skipper Tracy Edwards and myself, an edition now almost sold out, but showing a vivid scene from an earlier transglobal race, the print a convenient size to carry.  IMG_6556_wp.JPG

You can obtain one of the last copies of “Ice Maiden” by ordering securely, by scrolling down page

http://www.frickers.co.uk/prints.html, ordering your Ice Maiden only takes a few minutes.

The theme of British Excellence was further heightened by the famous sailors Ben Ainslie CBE, together with the vibrant Sam Davies.

Sam Davies presented an excellent short video of her experience of the previous Vendee Globe where she finished as first lady and first British competitor.
Sam was nominated for the ISAF Rolex Yachts Woman of the Year Award 2009 and plans to compete in the 2012 Vendee Globe.

Ben Ainslie, four times Olympic Medallist (see http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/ben_ainslie_sydney_olympics.html ) and Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2008, then gave an update on his recent sailing activities including the America’s Cup and a view on what the future holds for British sailing and in particular the 2012 London Olympics.

A variety of buyers attended the event including boat builders Groupe Jeanneau and Groupe Beneteau and renowned names like Plastimo and French magazine Voile.

The event was supported by SEEDA, UKTI South West through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Henri Lloyd, Peters and May and organised by the British Marine Federation (BMF).

For more information or photos from the event please contact Amanda Simpson on 01784 223628 or email asimpson@nullbritishmarine.co.uk

Earlier this day I had visited the National Musee Maritime, Paris.

A modest affair compared with The National Maritime Museum Greenwich London, as you might expect things are done rather differently in France.

My principal interests were to see what they have that could help me with the opposite view to my acclaimed “Trafalgar Dawn“,

Available as a Prestige signed numbered time limited edition form page


Also to research the voyage of the French explorer Laperouse.

You may recall, all Europe had a huge admiration for the achievements Captain James Cook ?

The French even ordered their ships to grant James Cook safe passage ~ Not to attack him ~ (the Spanish and Americans soon followed this example).

Laperouse was sent on a similar mission and my new painting will show one of the most remarkable events during the cruise of Laperouse.

You may care to follow this blog for further developments inn the near future on this tale?

The Musee contains many splendid models however they have chosen to make far more use of marine painting than do most British museums.

I am in awe of French marine painting.

The general standard is in my view much higher than British marine painting or American for that matter.

The French do have a significant advantage over their Anglo Saxon friends.

Besides a long history of very fine painting, there is official encouragement by the French government via the French navy.

You can judge for yourself (great excuse to visit Paris)  the cultural benefits of the official sponsorship by visiting the wonderfully varied exhibition currently on show and see the subsequent teasures French marine painters have and are producing.

Also unlike British Museums, there was a serious effort to promote marine art in the musee bookshop.

I came away barely resisting the 480 Euro magnificent copy of the work of the brilliant Marine Marie but did fall for 2 books including one about Roget Chaplet…

Lunch, by total co incedence was in an excellent Jewish resteraunt.

The last day I gave over to my so helpful friend and aide who generously chose to show me some of her Paris (between “shopping”)   Paris__Blvd_Haussman_IMG_6570_d.jpg

We included a very nice wine bar which served us venison.

Where is a better sight than a lovely lady with mature wines…

and so finally back to Toulouse by TGV.   Good_night_TVG_Toulouse_IMG_6572_wp.jpg

This visit was only possible thanks to the British Marine Federation and because it was organised for me while I was focused on Forum films and Portsmouth, by my excellent friend Francoise Boitel.