Friday, June 4, 2010

Blisters and Black Water

I awoke on my second day at the Liquoristerie to my computer alarm playing one of my favorite new songs by Broken Social Scene, All to All.  I jumped out of bed, showered, and headed downstairs to start the day.  Pascal wants me to keep up the garden during the summer, but that won't be too difficult with the––albeit limited––knowledge that my mom has imparted to me.  I know I'll be referring to her blog for tips on how to improve their plot, but for now the task consists of making sure the plants have enough water to make it through the increasingly hot summer days.  After that, I finished the vacuuming that I started yesterday, sucking up the last few cobwebs hanging in the ceiling corners in the stock rooms.

Afterward I helped Claire restock some of the products in the boutique––basically just making sure that all the products were in their proper place, and making everything look pretty and lined up in straight rows.

There are some really cool paintings in the showroom that Pascal has on exhibit.  They're all done by Jean-François Savornin, and he calls his style L'Héliquadrisme.  The name comes from the fact that he paints two canvases together and they form different pictures when they are each rotated opposite directions––one clockwise, the other counter-clockwise.  It's sort of hard to explain, but here's a good video that explains it with visuals better than I can with text.  Here are some higher quality photos that I took of two of my favorites.

As you might be able to tell, his style is inspired by absinthe, and he references it in many titles of his paintings.  He also greatly respects the work of cubism, which he finds to be an integral ancestral form of art to his own style.  There is also a canvas with a proclamation for his admiration of cubism:
My translation skills aren't perfect, but here's what it basically says in English: "Thank you cubism!  For having liberated color, geometry, movement, the imprints of reality.  For having given a different sense to the liberty of expression.  Let us go further, in giving the individual the power to reinterpret the work thanks to Heliquadrism."

After I admired the canvases, Claire showed me to the cleaning supplies for mopping the floor.  I mixed some soap and hot water in a bucket to begin the process of cleaning the warehouse.  After fixing a broken push-broom head to its handle, I swept sections of the floor individually.  Then I mopped the tile which was cleaning-overdue.  I tend to get really into whatever task I'm doing, so I spend a lot of time making everything perfect––I'm a little OCD like that.  So I ended up only finishing about half of one of the three rooms, but I feel like I did a thorough job.  In my opinion, a job well-done and slowly is better than a shoddy one done quickly.  Not to say that I didn't work hard; I can feel some blisters forming on my palms.

Even though I'm doing mostly grunt work right now, I feel like it's somewhat of a process of proving myself.  Once I can show Pascal that I'm serious and a hard worker, he will be more inclined to give me responsibility and show me some of the secrets of the distilling process, about which I'm eager to learn.  At least I have the weekend to let my hands callous over before finishing the job next week in preparation for the party on Thursday.


  1. "As you might be able to tell, his style is inspired by absinthe." Yes, I can see that... Take care of those blisters! Grammaspeak.

  2. Hahaha ;)

    I have a weekend to take it easy, so I should be alright.

  3. Hope we hear more about the artwork. It's fascinating. More pics about how each one fits together! Sounds like you're doing well!

  4. (Il y a 15 ans que j'ai parle le francais, mais, allons-y.... )
    Bonjour Zach! Ca va? J'espere que tu t'amuse bien a la grande aventure en France. Je veux voir plus des photos de la ville, si tu les prens. - Annette

  5. My favorite- "thank you cubism" - so goofy and profound. Makes me want to talk to my fruits and veggies that way! A funny one would surely be "thank you absynthe"... Keep the art coming ZB- lovin your photos too!