Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gone With The Wind

One of the things I did last week while painting was listen to my Ultimate French Advanced tapes. After a particularly long day, I was telling Reese and Hilary about my attempts at learning French. Hilary asked me what I could possibly be learning from listening to tapes in which I don't understand a single word.

"What are you learning?" she asked.

Without a second thought I said in my best french accent, " I am learning 'ow to tawk like zeese."

However, the tapes didn't follow me to Hermann Park today. Houston has had an abrupt change in the weather, and from the comfort of home, the day seemed perfect for painting en plein aire. So, I loaded up the french easel (French is everywhere) and headed to the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park. What a pretty day; crisp sky, brisk wind.

It has been a l-o-n-g time since I last painted outside. Undeterred but slightly nervous (Reese calls it nervous excitement,) I methodically set up my work space. The paints were orderly laid out on the palette. The french easel was screwed together extra tight on account of the wind.

The initial start was sketchy, and by that I mean not so good. So I wiped it all off and started over. My second go was much better....but the wind was practically gusting. First, the turpenoid (odorless turpentine) spilled all over the palette. Not a huge deal, but then my paintbrushes started falling one by one in the dirt. OK. I can handle that, too, but as I was packing it all in to come home, the painting fell face down....in the dirt, grass, leaves, and pine needles. All of nature represented in the Japanese Garden is embedded in what's left of the painting.

Reese received a text about my small misery. He texted back...wwmd? What would Monet do? :)

It's only a guess, but I think Monet would have gone inside for un verre de vin rouge. (That's french for a glass of red wine.)

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