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Message started by Admin on Nov 7th, 2004 at 7:28am

Title: Paint Fox, Luxembourg Gardens
Post by Admin on Nov 7th, 2004 at 7:28am
It’s been a week of incredulity in Paris.  The American GI is dead; he has been replaced with an aggressive, nationalistic, quasi-religious American (according to a TV5 interview this morning).    All over Europe, the same story rings – England’s headlines express  grave disappointment in the outcome of our US elections.

We’ve been taking lots of walks.  “When it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out,” the saying goes.

On Tuesday, we walked to Harry’s American Bar, and cast our vote in their presidential straw poll.  Since 1924 (except one year) they had correctly predicted the outcome of the US election.  We penned our “x” next to our choice and slipped the folded paper into the box.  France TV3  interviewed us, and I responded in my best French, with an American ambassadorial attitude.  We drank a big glass of scotch with multiple ice cubes.  Harry’s was wrong.

The weather has been in the 50s.  I’ve been walking to the Luxembourg Gardens where the trees are a beautiful yellow-orange, beneath a heavy Paris grey sky.  I painted this week’s image there, Tuesday afternoon.

It’s been vacation for the school children and the donkeys are working overtime in the main allee at Luxembourg.  The bell rings at 11, 1 and 3 for puppet shows.  I pass with my sack of paints and painting boards.

People here held out hope for a different outcome, and at the coffee shop Wednesday they tried to rectify things.  “It will all change in four years,” they’d say.  “We’ve had our [French]  share of bad governments – it’s nothing to do with you or individual Americans.”

I painted the trees at Luxembourg again on Wednesday,  beneath a heavy pink-purple sky.  There were less bright yellows on the sumacs.  A man in a wheelchair cheered me on.

Bravely, we set out for dinner, passersby hissing amongst themselves about Bush and Kerry.  A French woman stopped by the restaurant while we were eating to congratulate us on Kerry’s concession speech – “top quality,” she assured us.   A man dining in the next room asked, “haven’t things been difficult these last four years?”   The trouble with speaking a language is you can overhear what others say.

Our friends the dogs, don’t know any different, so we visited Missy in the early morning.  She adores Blair, and chases any other dogs away from him “Leave him alone,” she barks, “he’s mine.”   I take Pamplemousse, the restaurant dog,  for a walk at midnight, as we head home.   “Marketing,” two twenty-somethings exclaim, “it was all about marketing.”

The American GI might be dead, but we ambassadors fight on.   More determined than ever to put our best foot forward, we resolve to paint outside every day and make our image more beautiful.

Art notes comes early this week, as we pack off for a long weekend at Guethary, a beach town near Biarritz.  I will cast my worries to the wind, and yell across the big pond to all my friends in America, “HELLO!!!!”  It’s one big world.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER

Tuesday afternoon, Luxembourg Gardens   7 x 20 inches  acrylic on wood
Lauri110604gardenluxw.jpg (80 KB | )

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