Letter From Paris: An Appalachian Artist

He grew up near Hazard, Kentucky, not far from where my grandmother, Anna Wells, dug coal out of the mountain as a child to heat her home. Where she walked across the holler to go to school when there were no roads. His family's blood is also like part of mine -- Scotch-Irish and Cherokee. It is obvious on meeting him that he has Appalachian Mountain bones. Mountain people everywhere are proud and independent. The man even knows how to clog, which I can't wait to witness on a fall night in Paris.

My husband and I met Theo Edmonds about a week ago at our new maison. Mr. Edmonds has been in Normandy painting for the last several months and recently opened a one-man show in Deauville at Le Galerie de Tourgeville. This is a show I'll definitely rent a car to see in person. I love what I've seen online, and I mean this as in serious talent. Edmonds sees his work as in the tradition of American Abstract Expressionism (Pollock, deKooning, Rauschenberg), and informed by COBRA movement artists (Jorn, Appel) and certain aspects of Surrealism and Pop Art.

I have to tell you, too, that the energy around him is like Juliette Binoche in Chocolat -- the wind that blew him into Paris was full of magic dust. Yeehaw, Parisians!

My prediction: Theo Edmonds is going to stir up the Paris art world. Better get a painting while you can.

Theo Edmonds' Prodigal Manifesto

Beth Arnold lives and writes in Paris. To see more of her work, go to www.betharnold.com.