George H.W. Bush
41st President of the USA
His Royal Highness
The Aga Khan
Duke & Duchess
of Westminister


Paris Home of Art

Lyle Sopel -

Dear Collector Friend,

Imagine this – nearly a life time of hearing about this magical place. So beautiful and captivating  through centuries many of history’s most notable artists and writers would call this place home. In fact, Benjamin Franklin one of the fore fathers of the United States spent more of his life in this city than in ( what was known as the brand new United States ). In my late teens I traveled to Paris and while there I was  walking in one of the many districts of the city.  When a riot broke out in front of me and I was swept away with a huge crowd of people. My only escape was to run in the opposite direction as fast as I could. Quite over whelmed with the whole experience I quickly ventured on to Spain. Where I discovered the most tender chickens – which turned out to be pigeons – but thats another story.

Back to Paris. I supposed I was traumatized by this experience of being involuntarily apart of a riot. I never returned to Paris till decades later. Visiting this city again reminded me a little of the first time Colette and I and our then 7 year old son took a journey to India. This was the first time we set foot in Asia. And the whole venture offered a paradigm shift similar to our experience visiting France for the first time. This second time however, was as different as night and day. Though as a youth I was enamoured with the Galleries and the Master’s. I didn’t have the maturity as an Artist to really appreciate the complexities that these great creators were able to over come. Now visiting these mentors whom have stayed in my psyche and influenced my artistic direction for so many years I found myself – the best way I could describe it is completely at home. Being surrounded by art in its most exquisite form is a sublime way to spend an afternoon. There is no question in my mind why the Artists through the centuries have found this city so enchanting.

Louvre, Paris

Louvre, Paris

While strolling and luxuriating in the rare ambiance of the Lourve I became mesmerized by the elegance of lines, shapes many rounded and full. I found Renoir’s comment fascinating. ” If it wasn’t for the human breast I would never have taken up painting “.  The rhythm and harmony of aesthetically pleasing forms seemed contagious. Everywhere I looked beauty reigned. We carried 4 camera’s if you count the phones. As we kept shooting and shooting. Sometimes with difficult angles, as the room with the Mona Lisa. Where there were crowds of people trying to get as up close and personal with the diva as possible. I felt I could never get enough images of even one of these masterpieces. My appetite for the culture of the Master’s had been building up for so many years that when I finally reached this mecca of creativity. It was as if I had spent nearly a life time in the desert and was now being led to water.

Not only super fine water, but the best bread, butter, and lovely pricey morsels that could be found at random Cafe’s strewn along busy and semi-quiet street. I read recently that it is just not a Visitor’s opinion that France’s vegetables and bread tastes so superior to many other countries in the world. The fact is because Bordeaux is located in a micro climate off the Mediterranean makes for a growing area that is unique in the world. Apparently, due to these currents photosynthesis occurs differently here than anywhere else. Giving the vegetables and wheat a different molecular structure that equates to simply more tasty epicurean delights. As our appetite for fine art sharpened our intuition for perfection , it was vis versa for our palate. You know when you travel you have a preconceived idea about how the culture and cuisine will be in certain countries. Well, Paris was a complete surprise, it seemed almost impossible to order a – soup de jour. Its one of our staples when we travel and how was I to know that I would have to wait to get to Russia to try out this simple faire. And before we knew it, very easeful entry into Russia and voila all of the soup de jour we could imagine. Though St. Petersburg was sunny it was also crispy and cool and we could feel the cold snap at our faces as we entered the grounds of the Hermitage.  It was early in the morning and the Museum was about to open, as we entered the grand hallway we …


Til Morrow,





Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,


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