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Paint Fox, The Beach (Read 4376 times)
Jul 30th, 2006 at 8:25pm

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Color is Everything!
Makawao,  Maui, USA, HI

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As the mercury approached 100, I sat at this computer, sweat dripping down my legs.  "I'm renting an air-conditioned car", I announced.

Tuesday morning Blair picked up the car.  I loaded my paints, three days of clothes, and a sweater (for good measure).  Something was wrong.   "This car is NOT air-conditioned", we told Hertz.  After verification by two polyester-clad clerks, they awarded us a new, bigger vehicle.

New friends had invited us to visit them at their house on the beach.   I am careful not to impose, but this year the temptation was too great -- armed with apricot jam, six bottles of wine, six bottles of water, we showed up.

We drove North, past Rouen (34 degrees, Celsius), by Caen (37 degrees), and as we saw the sign for Mont St. Michel it started to cloud up.  The temperature plunged fifteen degrees beneath a sky of thunder and lightening.  I was never so happy to see rain.

Our room looked out over the beach.  The water came up to the walkway beneath our window, at high tide.  At low tide, the water was a good 1/4 mile away.  Nearby St. Malo has nearly the biggest tide differential in the world.  While we were there, high tide was nearly 18 feet.  There are times it is closer to 40.


At 70-something degrees, shorts seemed skimpy.  This wasn't Nice, after all.  Clouds came and went, in that Brittany way.  I translated the adage into French:  red sky at night, sailors delight.  The night before we left the sky turned pink.

We visited Dinard, and took the ferry to St. Malo.  A big old wooden boat traversed the mouth of the Rance river in just twenty minutes.

St. Malo was badly damaged by WWII, and then reconstructed back to its 14th century (and earlier) roots.  There is a big concrete swimming pool which fills at high tide, and then is left brimming, on dry land, at low tide.  It is full of children.

St. Malo is surrounded by ramparts.  It is possible to walk around the entire city, looking out a forts with names like "little be" and "big be".  Vauban, the great fortress architect, had a hand here.  Corsaires and pirates launched from St. Malo's docks.  Jacques Cartier, of St. Lawrence seaway fame, was born in St. Malo.

Every year I write about what difficulty I have with vacation.  My puritan origins rear their head as I consider my trip.  This year was a little better.  I painted four pictures on the first day, and made a dinner for everyone on the second.  We left on day three, keeping in mind Benjamin Franklin's quote about guests and fish.  And I made it.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
"The Beach"  acrylic on canvas  16 x 23.5 inches
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