By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Talk about a life change. L. Paul Bremer, the early U.S. administrator in Iraq, has gone artist. He just E-mailed his pals about his new venture—selling oil paintings of his fave Vermont scenes for $250 to $400. "I launched my website for my paintings this week, www.bremerenterprises.com. Most of the works on it now are scheduled to be in my next exhibition in Vermont at the end of the summer. Hope you enjoy them," he E-mailed. His paintings are classic Americana country scenes. "I only started two years ago. In terms of artistic description, you would call them landscape oils, mostly Vermont, and I'm sort of a realist school, I guess you would say," Bremer tells us. "I studied art history at college and have always been interested in art and particularly in the landscape painting in France at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century, and in California—the Impressionists, the American and French Impressionists. I've always loved their paintings. And it was just a question of finally finding the time available to do something I've always wanted to do, which was to learn to paint."
The former diplomat, who studies at Maryland's Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery in Glen Echo, says he paints a couple of hours a day and had his first exhibition last September in Vermont, where he likes to vacation. A second is planned at the end of summer in Grafton, Vt., where he hopes to display 25 to 30 works. "If you look at my paintings, you will see I am particularly attracted to the old barns and the beauty of the old wood in the barns up there. And I like the contrast, particularly in the winter, of the really bright snow and the really bright colors of the barns, particularly the reds. Vermont just appeals to me very much as a New Englander," Bremer says. "I get a combination of pleasure and frustration. It's difficult, because I have to develop the skills that are not necessarily there, as far as I can tell. And it's relaxing also, at the same time frustrating. It's a real intellectual challenge is what it comes down to. I enjoy that. When it is finished, it obviously gives me a great deal of satisfaction."
All art proceeds will go to charity. "I will donate the proceeds from my Vermont exhibits to the local historical societies of the towns in which they take place, Chester and Grafton, respectively. These not-for-profit organizations encourage preservation and knowledge about the towns' history. Both were chartered in 1754," Bremer says.
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