Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 3 in France

This morning we went to market. I am proud to say that when a gendarme came up to me and asked me (in French) why I was taking so many photographs, I was able to relpy, "Je suis un artiste. Je suis américain. Je ne parle pas français très bien." She then asked me if I was using my photographs for the papers (which I understood), and I told her no, I pulled out one of my picture post cards and gave it to her. "C'est bon. ?" I asked, and she said "C'est bon.." And she left me to continue my shooting. Kippy was impressed, she later told me, that I was able to communicate like that. I got hundreds of photos, some of which will make beautiful paintings.

Back to La Bonne Etoile, lunch on the patio with friends. What a tough life they lead here.

I'll be glad when Sunday arrives and I can actually work. I'm feeling very guilty being non-productive. Sunday evening we hope to have an audience to watch me demonstrate painting a pastel from a nude model. We're hoping there will be quite a few locals there, filling up space. Then there will also be a reception. Monday, students and I get to work. But until then, there's some serious eating to be done.

We had dinner at Caroline's and Serge's, about a 20 minute drive from here, in a home which has been in the family for generations. It was a family gathering with about 20 people; I definitely felt like a fish out of water, not understanding what anyone was saying, and not knowing anybody. My sister Catherine says you can drink as much French wine as you want and you won't get drunk. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly helps you understand French a whole lot better. By the end of the evening I was laughing and getting along just like family. I suspect it may have been the gracious people who made me feel at home, moreso than the wine. And OK, some of them did speak English.

Some more French things I've learned:
After dinner Caroline came out with what looked like a huge cheesecake. It was cheese, brie. So soft, it almost spilled when you cut it. Mmmmmmm. I was told that cheese has a ripe time. There are people who know how to gauge when it will be ripe for special occasions.
French men are incredibly polite and considerate. The people are soft-spoken and gracious.

It's way too late for me to be up. Kippy and I go to the airport tomorrow to pick up a student, then to PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I hope your whole trip is dessert!

    Good job on the language. I am impressed at your clutch play at the market. We look forward to all of your posts.

  2. well. not to overstate. but this is better than a movie.

  3. Margaret-
    I am so enjoying your trip! Thanks for sharing. :-)
    Can't wait to hear about the rest of the week.

  4. I am looking forward to some still life paintings along with figures and landscape too - buildings flower shops market - all of it in pastels. We of course are living vicariously through you!

  5. Incroyable!!! Am very envious! I love France, wonderfully prepared fresh French meals, and painting. I will live vicariously for several days!