Matters of the heart

Just watched Charlie Brown agonizing over the girl with red hair in a peanuts valentine specialSnoopy of course gets all the girls as usual.

valentine 2008 micheleroohani women

I would like to share the work of an artist that I admire greatly. Having been in the greeting card industry for years, I seldom get impressed by new art in this business. Gaelle Boissonnard is an artist living in the Loire Valley region of France. Her work is exquisite and I have been collecting it since that fateful day I fell in love with her images in a small shop in Mont St. Michel.

boissonnard1 micheleroohani

There is something otherworldly about her work – it’s fresh, whimsical, happy yet somehow profound (let’s not forget that these are commercial works being sold in small shops). They don’t scream at you, they share their beauty quietly.

boissonnard2 micheleroohani

I did get in touch with her and am still waiting for her distributors to start doing something in the U.S. It’s easy to find her in the card shops in France now but she’s difficult to catch in the internet.

boissonnard 6 micheleroohani

Just found out that she has a book out too.

boissonnard micheleroohani

I wished somebody would start putting words/poetry to these gorgeous paintings of hers – something like Prévert‘s Immense et Rouge:

“Immense et rouge
Au-dessus du Grand Palais
Le soleil d’hiver apparaît
Et disparaît
Comme lui mon coeur va disparaître
Et tout mon sang va s’en aller
S’en aller à ta recherche
Mon amour
Ma beauté
Et te trouver
Là où tu es.”

boissonnard micheleroohani home

or Tagore‘s great piece:

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.”

or better yet, Rumi who keeps bewitching people after 800 years…

rumi micheleroohani

I believe Rumi should not be translated (I’ve read soooo many bad/mediocre translations) – his work loses its magic – Happy Valentine’s Day people.

10 thoughts on “Matters of the heart

  1. A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
    Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways

    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
    From our dark spirits

    -Lines from Endymion by John Keates.

  2. You are uniquely qualified to be an intellectual leader. Using the advantage of reading Farsi you could discover RUMI, the main philosopher of Sufism, the poet from whom Goethe was taking the form Ghazal. Do you actually read mid/Farsi? Next discovery: Rabindranath Tagore, the worldly India guru, Nobel-prize warded poet and pacifist. You should give small snippets of information on your site. I was truly impressed by the width of information there.

  3. The Boissonnard cards are soooo romantic.

    I’ll make sure to stock up on them next time I go to France. I’m sure they will be big hits with my partner. One of the many ingredients of a great Valentine’s…

  4. Boissonnard’s work feels incredibly fresh. I love the background colors, textures, and the elongated subjects lost in a sea of simplicity. It’s brightly dreamy. Is it chalk, crayon, or digitally created? It’s simply Excellent!
    I also agree with the comment about Rumi’s work; much like Omar Khayyam, Hafiz, Sa’di, or others it simply doesn’t translate right. The same is true in reverse. I often wonder how much more amazing Neruda must read in Spanish. It’s sad that language and culture are the two sides of a coin that creates challenging obstacles for different folks to feel each other’s human experience. It’s as though various cultures live in parallel universes, universes separated by a thin wall of ignorance and misunderstanding.
    Of course, languages are going extinct at alarming rates; so, once we all speak Esperanto we’ve solved this problem!! Until then, let’s keep on cracking this thin wall. And yes, I do wonder how Rumi would read in Esperanto!!! 🙂

  5. In essence, I utterly agree with Tamas Ungvari’s comments & views, you are truly exceptionally gifted.. have always marveled at your capacity to establish deeper connections..

  6. Now it’s time for me to think more seriously about to open an art gallery in LA or OC. While I have all these good connections through my close friends with great international artist, would it be wrong?
    I believe that Michele would be the great asset for a huge art trade.

  7. this is probably not the most appropriate response to your post, but I could not help think of Leonard Cohen’s Villanelle for our Time:

    From bitter searching of the heart,
    Quickened with passion and with pain
    We rise to play a greater part.
    This is the faith from which we start:
    Men shall know commonwealth again
    From bitter searching of the heart.
    We loved the easy and the smart,
    But now, with keener hand and brain,
    We rise to play a greater part.
    The lesser loyalties depart,
    And neither race nor creed remain
    From bitter searching of the heart.
    Not steering by the venal chart
    That tricked the mass for private gain,
    We rise to play a greater part.
    Reshaping narrow law and art
    Whose symbols are the millions slain,
    From bitter searching of the heart
    We rise to play a greater part.

  8. Dear Michele,

    That was profound. Jaques Prévert is one of my favourite poets. HIs words so simple and the brevity of his words so passionate.

    HIs poems starts in a stark mundane fashion and convolutedly the last two lines of the poem gives the entire poem a depth which can take the ground beneath your feet.

    PLease allow me to quote Neruda at this juncture. A wordy passionate poet.


    Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring.
    I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands;
    how did your lips feel on mine?
    Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks,
    the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.
    I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten your eyes.

    Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of you.
    I live with pain that is like a wound;
    if you touch me,
    you will do me irreparable harm.

    Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls.
    I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every
    Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me;
    because of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires:
    shooting stars, falling objects.

    Pablo Neruda.

  9. o this is wonderful, michele..

    i live in scotland and found my first gaelle boissonnard card in ludwigsburg in germany in december of 2006 – precious additions to my collection have been discovered with delight in france, switzerland, austria, germany..

    i have searched online from time to time but until very recently have found little regarding the elusive and mysterious gaelle..

    now there has appeared a gaelle boissonnard page on facebook too !

    thank you also for leading me to explore the poems of prevert, michele

    love mairi x x

  10. We sell Gaelle’s cards in our store in San Francisco (FINN- 364 Hayes ST), I LOVE them. In fact they are the only cards we now carry, I have decided to let go of other artist and feature her prominently.

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