A Gaulois Rooster

 

This is the 1st project that I created and taught in 2013. When my students asked to paint a rooster, I thought the idea was quite strange. Even though the rooster is a well-known symbol of France, it is also associated with nationalism. After World War II, nationalism is not well viewed among the French people, including me. But since my students were enthusiastic about the idea, I decided to go with it.

So first, I thought… how would I make an interesting, textured background? Searching for inspiration, I came across the idea of painting the rooster on French newspapers. Since my family would soon be arriving from France, they could bring plenty of newspapers for my project! The students loved it, and it was a great experience of creating, challenging, and teaching.

Obviously, I thought it a bit unfair that when I proposed to paint an eagle, the symbol of the U.S., my students were not enthusiastic at all! But the truth is that I found a new calling with this rooster. Having a rooster as the center subject of my art piece, with a “collage” background, makes for a very compelling image, and I continue to develop this subject.

 

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The Quintessential Symbol of New England

 

After the Gaulois Rooster, my students and I were brainstorming our next painting project, when JoAnn came up with the idea of a Narragansett turkey. I was especially thrilled, since the Narragansett turkey is pretty magnificent, and for me, it was an original idea. But it was a complicated project, and I wondered, "how in the world was I going to manage to paint and then teach this?"

The turkey motif was a natural companion to the rooster, and since Thanksgiving originated in Massachusetts, the background had to be from the Boston Globe. Searching for headlines, I found one about a French company favored for a commuter rail deal (our infamously outdated and inefficient, but somehow beloved "T"!), another about the excesses of thanksgiving, turkeys, and black Friday, and a third about the unpredictability of weather in New England. These headlines made a perfect backdrop for the turkey, since they are representative of the way the New Englanders talk about themselves. My students loved it, and it was a great project to create, paint and teach!

 

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Your Daily Dose of Fiber

 

This piece was influenced by my son Thomas, who was having a lot of fun stacking fruits into a pyramid! This everyday scene happening right in front of me brought some sudden inspiration… And that’s when I called Jen, who is an amazing photographer with a great eye for staging. When I asked her to help to create a fruit still life, I imagined painting something from my daily life, something natural, and not so formally staged that it belonged in a museum. She knew just how to create the arrangement, and voila! I really enjoyed the artistic collaboration between photographer and painter.

The Figaro magazine’s blue banner was a perfect companion to the blue tones of the pineapple leaves. I love linking my French and American worlds, and so the Figaro headlines about the White House – la Maison Blanche – was a nice fit. The stamps in the background evoke the idea of travel, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, as I did with my family 13 years ago. These particular stamps are from the care packages that my mother sent from France; it was a wonderful way of staying connected to family and remembering our favorite things from France.

 

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Even More Fiber!

 

Here my work portrays some important characteristics of French people: their revolutionary past & irreverent character, and love for simple food! A basket of fruit in the kitchen, (commonplace in many homes), is set off by a background that explores the impertinent side of the French. "Liberation" a daily French newspaper, is representative of the irreverent French character - so important in the French psyche. "Liberation" was founded in Paris by Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge July following the May 1968 protest movements. And, the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo reminds us of how revolutionary and derisive ideas are very much a part of French culture.

In this still life, we feel the two strong, but contradictory, impulses in a typical French life. The first: following the traditional rituals dealing with food, meals and hospitality. The second: enthusiastically encouraging irreverent and politically incorrect ideas.

 

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French Roosters Go Green?

 

This art piece just happened by itself: color, derision, and humor naturally collaborated to create quite the heated discussion about... politics, of course! No matter where you are in the world, politics is the one subject guaranteed to engage any sort of conversation. In this work, a proud and free-spirited rooster cockily surveys an energetic conversation between 2 divided camps. Yet harmony still manages to hold on, thanks to the persevering presence of blues and ocher.

In the background, an excited debate springs up between the revolutionary newspaper "Liberation" and the royalists "fleur de lis". Similarly, any typical French dinner between friends livens up when conflicts that happened 200 years ago still animate discussions -- "Oh and while I'm talking, can someone please pour me another glass of that good Anjou wine?" Luckily, the colorful rooster reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously -- after all, this great nationalist symbol does seem to make a fool of himself quite often! And without forgetting the also-very-politically-active US, I thought it would be a nice wink to subtily start the conversation "Let's talk about global warming!" with my headline "EcoFutur"!!!

 

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Rainy Days & a Rooster

 

In the Loire Valley where I grew up, the skies of the countryside in November are gray and the colors are soft. This is the feeling I wanted to capture in this painting: a muted rooster with a comfortable sense of ennui. Fall is here and we are taking refuge in our homes, lingering by the fireplace. Whether it be in France or New England, the feeling is the same. To connect the background and rooster to this story, I played with texture. The wrinkled tissue paper sealed on the canvas perfectly renders the rainy November skies, and the warmth of the muted rooster's feathers evokes comfort. The colorful stamps also relate to the rooster, and remind of the link between dreary but comfortable autumn days in France and the US.

What does your November feel like?

 

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The Rural Rooster

 

Once I started painting roosters, I couldn't seem to stop! When I saw a picture of this rooster, it brought me back to the farmhouses of the French countryside where I grew up. The colors are warm and comfortable and the shape, round. To capture all these memories and emotions, I painted the rooster as the central motif, and used the background to evoke tradition. First, I painted on wood, then I used milk paint. This soft, velvety paint is biodegradable; it was used by people in ancient times, and more recently by American colonists. Then, I tried finding the easiest way to represent tradition in France. So what did I chose? Royalty, obviously! I represented that through the fleurs de lys in the piece. The stamps, a common thread in my paintings, also remind the viewer that this is a conversation between my two worlds: France and the US.

 

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A Mini Gaulois


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The Banker Amid Roosters


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A Rooster on the Rocks


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The Soft Colors of Royan's Sea

 

I was just back from France, after spending time on the Atlantic coast in Royan, and my mind was still full of the soft light of this beautiful region called "Charente" and the historical town of Royan, which is connected to the US in a sad kind of way. I was on the look out for inspiration to create an art piece that would depict these two ideas. The opportunity was given to me by Debbie, one of my painting students, who wanted to paint a beach scene. After brainstorming, I settled on a central motif with shells and a collage background of the sea. The whole piece would accurately render the softness of the Charente light. The postcard theme and the stamps make the connection with the US.

Before World War II, Royan was a famous seaside resort of "La Belle Epoque". But in 1945, Royan was destroyed by US allied bombers, who had been told by mistake that nobody was left in Royan but Germans. They bombed the town out of existence, killing 2,700 civilians with napalm.

After the war, the town of Royan took the opportunity to rebuild the town with a contemporary, futuristic style called the "rationalist" style, inspired by the architects Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Reconstruction of Royan was completed in 1968, and this modern and unique architectural style became well known in France and in the world. A real "research laboratory about urbanism", properly called "The school of Royan". What a story! And this is where I go every summer!

 

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Le Coq Enchaine

 

I painted "The Gaulois Rooster" on everything possible: a handmade clutch, a pillow, even tea towels! I also used this motif in class. Since it was so popular, I decided to also paint it in black and white. The French newspaper "Le Canard Enchaine" was the perfect background for this new adventure. Then, this great idea came to mind: "What about painting some red areas on the black and white rooster to connect with the red titles of the newspaper?"

When I look at this painting, I smile and laugh a little inside. Do you know how we say rooster in French: le coq. And the translation for "Le Canard Enchaine" is "The Duck in Chains." I don't think I need to further explain the innuendos here! Anyway, this newspaper is well known in France for its satirical journalism, many jokes, and humorous cartoons. So, my bawdy humour fits in pretty well with the spirit of the whole piece.

This painting also received the 3rd place at the 2014 Grafton Art Festival in mixed media painting - a happy surprise!

 

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Coffee and a Trip Back in Time to Cafe de Flore

 

This series was inspired by the intersection of several important parts of my life: my niece (a barista in Australia), Dunkin Donuts, and "troquets" in Paris. The story starts with my niece Albane. She went to Australia, the Mecca for coffee, and became a barista. Albane took beautiful pictures of her barista creations, and I was inspired to paint them. They would become the focal motifs.

The conversation between these motifs and the background brought the story to the US through Dunkin Donuts, the local coffee hangout in Shrewsbury. When I go and buy my coffee there, I observe the daily routines of everyone in the community. We cross paths and exchange greetings, from the old men who sit and discuss town politics, to the construction workers, students, stay-at-home moms, and homeless people, to whom something will be given to eat or drink. There is a sense of belonging; everyone is part of the community, including me. This is also the perfect definition of a French "troquet".

The story finishes its trip around the earth in various famous Parisian troquets - the names written at the bottom of each piece - but the conversation still keeps going because that's what you do in cafes. You talk! These paintings attest to the inherent connectedness of humanity starting in Australia at a barrista shop, traveling to Shrewsbury's Dunkin Donuts, and finishing in a Parisian cafe. The stamps witness to the trip!!

 

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Coffee and the Smell of Peace

 

This series was inspired by the intersection of several important parts of my life: my niece (a barista in Australia), Dunkin Donuts, and "troquets" in Paris. The story starts with my niece Albane. She went to Australia, the Mecca for coffee, and became a barista. Albane took beautiful pictures of her barista creations, and I was inspired to paint them. They would become the focal motifs.

The conversation between these motifs and the background brought the story to the US through Dunkin Donuts, the local coffee hangout in Shrewsbury. When I go and buy my coffee there, I observe the daily routines of everyone in the community. We cross paths and exchange greetings, from the old men who sit and discuss town politics, to the construction workers, students, stay-at-home moms, and homeless people, to whom something will be given to eat or drink. There is a sense of belonging; everyone is part of the community, including me. This is also the perfect definition of a French "troquet".

The story finishes its trip around the earth in various famous Parisian troquets - the names written at the bottom of each piece - but the conversation still keeps going because that's what you do in cafes. You talk! These paintings attest to the inherent connectedness of humanity starting in Australia at a barrista shop, traveling to Shrewsbury's Dunkin Donuts, and finishing in a Parisian cafe. The stamps witness to the trip!!

 

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Coffee and a Memory of Paris

 

This series was inspired by the intersection of several important parts of my life: my niece (a barista in Australia), Dunkin Donuts, and "troquets" in Paris. The story starts with my niece Albane. She went to Australia, the Mecca for coffee, and became a barista. Albane took beautiful pictures of her barista creations, and I was inspired to paint them. They would become the focal motifs.

The conversation between these motifs and the background brought the story to the US through Dunkin Donuts, the local coffee hangout in Shrewsbury. When I go and buy my coffee there, I observe the daily routines of everyone in the community. We cross paths and exchange greetings, from the old men who sit and discuss town politics, to the construction workers, students, stay-at-home moms, and homeless people, to whom something will be given to eat or drink. There is a sense of belonging; everyone is part of the community, including me. This is also the perfect definition of a French "troquet".

The story finishes its trip around the earth in various famous Parisian troquets - the names written at the bottom of each piece - but the conversation still keeps going because that's what you do in cafes. You talk! These paintings attest to the inherent connectedness of humanity starting in Australia at a barrista shop, traveling to Shrewsbury's Dunkin Donuts, and finishing in a Parisian cafe. The stamps witness to the trip!!

 

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Croquez la Pomme Francaise!

 

This series includes 3 paintings: "Un Citron Presse Francais," "Croquez la Pomme Francaise," and "Une vraie Poire Francaise."
These three pieces are all painted on gallery wrap canvas. These canvases are stretched on stretcher bars that are 1 1/2" thick. The depth and thickness of these canvases gives a distinctly decorative and contemporary feel to the series.
I also wanted to make these paintings easy to put in a kitchen or home, but original -- different from the typical still-life paintings you find everywhere! I did this by making a collage background out of pictures I took of my hometown in France. These pieces are modern but rustique, simple, and contain a clear connection to the artist, which was my objective.

The Individual Titles Explained:
"Un Citron Presse Francais!": Pretty self-explanatory. Just squeeze the lemon (and then make some lemon juice)! Another possible title could have been "A Frenchly Squeezed Lemon!"

"Croquez la Pomme Francaise!": "Croquez la pomme" is a biblical reference to Adam and Eve, and implies that someone has done something naughty! The direct English translation of the title is "Bite the (French) Apple."

"Une Vraie Poire Francaise!": In France, any expression involving pears is usually not a compliment… but they can be quite funny! For example, to be a "bonne poire" means to be naive or easily gullible, "prendre un coup en pleine poire" means to get hit smack dab in the middle of the face, etc...

 

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Une vraie Poire Francaise!

 

This series includes 3 paintings: "Un Citron Presse Francais," "Croquez la Pomme Francaise," and "Une vraie Poire Francaise."
These three pieces are all painted on gallery wrap canvas. These canvases are stretched on stretcher bars that are 1 1/2" thick. The depth and thickness of these canvases gives a distinctly decorative and contemporary feel to the series.
I also wanted to make these paintings easy to put in a kitchen or home, but original -- different from the typical still-life paintings you find everywhere! I did this by making a collage background out of pictures I took of my hometown in France. These pieces are modern but rustique, simple, and contain a clear connection to the artist, which was my objective.

The Individual Titles Explained:
"Un Citron Presse Francais!": Pretty self-explanatory. Just squeeze the lemon (and then make some lemon juice)! Another possible title could have been "A Frenchly Squeezed Lemon!"

"Croquez la Pomme Francaise!": "Croquez la pomme" is a biblical reference to Adam and Eve, and implies that someone has done something naughty! The direct English translation of the title is "Bite the (French) Apple."

"Une Vraie Poire Francaise!": In France, any expression involving pears is usually not a compliment… but they can be quite funny! For example, to be a "bonne poire" means to be naive or easily gullible, "prendre un coup en pleine poire" means to get hit smack dab in the middle of the face, etc...

 

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Un Citron Pressé Francais!

 

This series includes 3 paintings: "Un Citron Presse Francais," "Croquez la Pomme Francaise," and "Une vraie Poire Francaise."
These three pieces are all painted on gallery wrap canvas. These canvases are stretched on stretcher bars that are 1 1/2" thick. The depth and thickness of these canvases gives a distinctly decorative and contemporary feel to the series.
I also wanted to make these paintings easy to put in a kitchen or home, but original -- different from the typical still-life paintings you find everywhere! I did this by making a collage background out of pictures I took of my hometown in France. These pieces are modern but rustique, simple, and contain a clear connection to the artist, which was my objective.

The Individual Titles Explained:
"Un Citron Presse Francais!": Pretty self-explanatory. Just squeeze the lemon (and then make some lemon juice)! Another possible title could have been "A Frenchly Squeezed Lemon!"

"Croquez la Pomme Francaise!": "Croquez la pomme" is a biblical reference to Adam and Eve, and implies that someone has done something naughty! The direct English translation of the title is "Bite the (French) Apple."

"Une Vraie Poire Francaise!": In France, any expression involving pears is usually not a compliment… but they can be quite funny! For example, to be a "bonne poire" means to be naive or easily gullible, "prendre un coup en pleine poire" means to get hit smack dab in the middle of the face, etc...

 

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Past Meets Present

 

Paintings that are connected to real life really resonate with me. This painting is about my past, my present, and how much they have in common.

I was inspired by pictures I took this summer in my home town in France. The windows of my childhood home, the wood door of an old limestone building in a narrow path, the stone walls in every street and every yard… These all became the background, and really started this painting. The hand-made, torn fragments of brown paper represent the kitchen table (which has seen it all!), and the wrinkles in the paper symbolize the passing of time.

My central motif jumped right at me when I returned to the US that summer. My sunflowers were out, the hydrangeas in my yard were blooming, and the sun was shining brightly. Making this bouquet reminded me that no matter where I am or when, no matter how differently this could be happening, I was still walking around, picking beautiful flowers, putting them in a vase, displaying them on a kitchen table, and enjoying the moment. This overlap between the bouquet and the background starts a conversation about moments of the past and the present, about moments in France or the US or anywhere else in the world: Now and Then, Here and There.

What does your bouquet look like?

 

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A Trip Between Three Continents

 

This painting tells the story of my friend Isabelle, which is similar to mine. Isabelle is French, her husband is from Singapore, and she lives in the US. She creates beautiful flower bouquets capturing her three cultures. I am French, my husband is from Romania, I live in the US, and I create art pieces that capture my three cultures.

The bouquet portrays both France and Singapore: it mixes French sophistication (in how the bouquet is composed) with the delicate style of Asia, represented by the mokara orchids and an elaborate, detailed fan.

To accompany the still-life, the collage background moves into the different chapters of this multicultural story. From the old (the masked-balls of the French aristocracy) to the new (the ever-growing bamboo trees), the conversation is engaged with pictures, stamps, and symbols of each country.

I had a lot of fun assembling the background, painting the bouquet, and participating in this "conversation!"

 

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Forever After

 

When I lived in Paris, I would sew all the time -- I made curtains, pillows, my entire wardrobe, and much more. Now, even if I don’t sew as much anymore, I’ve kept a close eye on fashion: I love reading my Vogue magazine, and it actually really helps me with my paintings too!!!

One day I was happily perusing through my December 2014 edition, when I was struck by this one picture. The busy, luxurious, and warm background was screaming: COLLAGE!

And the voluminous, icy white, and blue clothing of the two models were screaming: PAINT ME AS A BOUQUET! (yes, I promise that’s what they were screaming at me!)

I was so afraid the idea would fly away, I ripped the page out, scanned it, and sent it to my friend and florist-extraordinaire, Isabelle, begging her to represent the two central characters in a bouquet. The only thing I asked her to do? “Keep the colors!”

Now that my painting is finished, the bouquet and collage are happily engaged in conversation. I imagine the cool, bright bouquet talking to the rich background, trying to find the best fabric among thousands to make Cinderella’s dress. In the same manner, I used to spend hours in Parisian fabric stores (conversing with myself!) trying to find the best fabrics for my own designs… although the sleek lines of My Fair Lady inspired me more than Cinderella’s tulle dress!

What is the conversation you hear between the bouquet and background?

 

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Une Lucarne on a Grey French Sky

 

The original painting included these 4 smaller ones: "Une Lucarne on a Grey French Sky," "Roofs and Chimneys in Anjou," "For Each Window, a Different View," and "Ring the Bell," on a 16"x20" canvas.

This project started as a study. I wanted to practice working with values, to get more comfortable playing with lights and darks. So I decided to stay with one color: gray, and to paint the beautiful architectural details of my childhood home in La Fleche.

My parents' home is over 150 years old; it is made of a beautiful cream-colored limestone, and topped with delicate ardoise (slate) roofs. I asked my niece to take pictures for me, and she sent me 300! So I picked out four, and went to work.

Meanwhile, my entire family was preparing for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And what started as a study became the perfect gift! The original now resides in France, right in the home depicted in the painting.

The 4 parts are available as 4 separate prints.

 

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Roofs and Chimneys in Anjou

 

The original painting included these 4 smaller ones: "Une Lucarne on a Grey French Sky," "Roofs and Chimneys in Anjou," "For Each Window, a Different View," and "Ring the Bell," on a 16"x20" canvas.

This project started as a study. I wanted to practice working with values, to get more comfortable playing with lights and darks. So I decided to stay with one color: gray, and to paint the beautiful architectural details of my childhood home in La Fleche.

My parents' home is over 150 years old; it is made of a beautiful cream-colored limestone, and topped with delicate ardoise (slate) roofs. I asked my niece to take pictures for me, and she sent me 300! So I picked out four, and went to work.

Meanwhile, my entire family was preparing for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And what started as a study became the perfect gift! The original now resides in France, right in the home depicted in the painting.

The 4 parts are available as 4 separate prints.

 

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For Each Window, a Different View

 

The original painting included these 4 smaller ones: "Une Lucarne on a Grey French Sky," "Roofs and Chimneys in Anjou," "For Each Window, a Different View," and "Ring the Bell," on a 16"x20" canvas.

This project started as a study. I wanted to practice working with values, to get more comfortable playing with lights and darks. So I decided to stay with one color: gray, and to paint the beautiful architectural details of my childhood home in La Fleche.

My parents' home is over 150 years old; it is made of a beautiful cream-colored limestone, and topped with delicate ardoise (slate) roofs. I asked my niece to take pictures for me, and she sent me 300! So I picked out four, and went to work.

Meanwhile, my entire family was preparing for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And what started as a study became the perfect gift! The original now resides in France, right in the home depicted in the painting.

The 4 parts are available as 4 separate prints.

 

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Ring the Bell

 

The original painting included these 4 smaller ones: "Une Lucarne on a Grey French Sky," "Roofs and Chimneys in Anjou," "For Each Window, a Different View," and "Ring the Bell," on a 16"x20" canvas.

This project started as a study. I wanted to practice working with values, to get more comfortable playing with lights and darks. So I decided to stay with one color: gray, and to paint the beautiful architectural details of my childhood home in La Fleche.

My parents' home is over 150 years old; it is made of a beautiful cream-colored limestone, and topped with delicate ardoise (slate) roofs. I asked my niece to take pictures for me, and she sent me 300! So I picked out four, and went to work.

Meanwhile, my entire family was preparing for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And what started as a study became the perfect gift! The original now resides in France, right in the home depicted in the painting.

The 4 parts are available as 4 separate prints.

 

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Do You Want to Paint a Lemon?

 

At first, I started these 3 paintings to demonstrate painting techniques to my students during class. Since I had already painted a set on neutral (brown and beige) backgrounds, I decided to try something I don't normally work with: the color blue! More specifically, the vibrant phtalo blue.

For a while, I had also been wanting to teach someone who had never held a paintbrush, someone who was convinced they would never be able to really paint. Would I be able to convince them that they could, and then actually make them do it and enjoy the process?

So on one of our long drives to Canada (where my daughter lives), my husband jokingly suggested I try with him... but his joke didn't actually work, because I thought it was a fantastic idea (by the way, my husband is terrible at art!)!
Finally, I did get my husband and his friend Dave to try it. It was fun, they both did a fantastic job, and I learned a lot. My husband was so impressed with himself that he shows his painting every time we have guests. He also keeps saying, "if she can teach me, she can teach a dead man!" My next step: make him work on his marketing skills!

 

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Do You Want to Paint an Apple?

 

At first, I started these 3 paintings to demonstrate painting techniques to my students during class. Since I had already painted a set on neutral (brown and beige) backgrounds, I decided to try something I don't normally work with: the color blue! More specifically, the vibrant phtalo blue.

For a while, I had also been wanting to teach someone who had never held a paintbrush, someone who was convinced they would never be able to really paint. Would I be able to convince them that they could, and then actually make them do it and enjoy the process?

So on one of our long drives to Canada (where my daughter lives), my husband jokingly suggested I try with him... but his joke didn't actually work, because I thought it was a fantastic idea (by the way, my husband is terrible at art!)!
Finally, I did get my husband and his friend Dave to try it. It was fun, they both did a fantastic job, and I learned a lot. My husband was so impressed with himself that he shows his painting every time we have guests. He also keeps saying, "if she can teach me, she can teach a dead man!" My next step: make him work on his marketing skills!

 

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Do You Want to Paint a Pear?

 

At first, I started these 3 paintings to demonstrate painting techniques to my students during class. Since I had already painted a set on neutral (brown and beige) backgrounds, I decided to try something I don't normally work with: the color blue! More specifically, the vibrant phtalo blue.

For a while, I had also been wanting to teach someone who had never held a paintbrush, someone who was convinced they would never be able to really paint. Would I be able to convince them that they could, and then actually make them do it and enjoy the process?

So on one of our long drives to Canada (where my daughter lives), my husband jokingly suggested I try with him... but his joke didn't actually work, because I thought it was a fantastic idea (by the way, my husband is terrible at art!)!
Finally, I did get my husband and his friend Dave to try it. It was fun, they both did a fantastic job, and I learned a lot. My husband was so impressed with himself that he shows his painting every time we have guests. He also keeps saying, "if she can teach me, she can teach a dead man!" My next step: make him work on his marketing skills!

 

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Parisian Boheme

 

It all started with a student who asked for a “shabby chic” painting with blue hydrangeas...

I started by making my collage background in a messy kind of way to go with the shabby chic spirit, and then started painting the central motif. However, after finishing the first coat, I decided I just didn’t like my background, so I went back to it.

I was listening to my electro-swing radio, and I felt transported to the world of Amelie Poulain with the upbeat rhythm and sound of accordions bouncing through my home. Within 15 minutes my background was finished, and my piece transformed: from Shabby Chic to Parisian Bohemian!

 

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Of Trees and American Mailboxes

 

I wanted to paint an autumn tree using my favorite mixed media technique: pictures & oil paint. I ended up taking a picture of the tree right in front of my house, since it was more personal, and I really liked the curve of the sidewalk around the trunk (yes, that was the deciding factor for the picture!).

I then made the entire background as a collage, and scavenged for some cool paper and photographs to start it off. In fact, I used the main photo from one of my other paintings for the grass, since the little stream in the picture was green, and a perfect base! And to make my tree more flamboyant, I used an image editor to boost the colors - a lot!

Finally, I wanted to add a subtle hint about where the picture was taken, so I added a typical suburban American mailbox. When I first moved to the USA, the street mailboxes reminded me of Hollywood movies - in France, mailboxes are just flaps on our doors.

Out of curiosity a few weeks later, I asked my parents (who still live in France) what gave away the location of the tree. They told me it was the tree itself, since it made them think of New England’s Indian summers… not the mailbox!!!

 

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Rooftop Escargots

 

One day, my niece sent me a picture of some snails she had encountered on her walk home after a rainy day. It is rare to find snails - escargots - in Paris, and this photo of a rainy day really brought me back to when I was living there. I love the rain, and it always made Paris more beautiful - the clouds and water bring out a certain luminosity in the streets, and the greyness of the city becomes striking and impressive.

I then started planning my background… The pavement in the picture made me think of some photos I had taken of the grey slate rooftops in France.. So I decided to create the pavement by starting my collage with these rooftops! The challenge was to keep that unrealistic aspect in the painting. I am in such a quest to find the right balance between realism and unrealism when painting but invariably, it ends up looking very similar to the “real thing.” I kind of failed, but I like to think I can still see the rooftops under the pavement!

What picture of a rainy day would bring you back to your past?

 

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An Hirondelle's Carousel

 

It all started with a swallow - an hirondelle - my daughter had drawn in colored pencil. I thought it was a good project, so I painted my own and tried to keep it simple… but invariably, it ends up being super complicated!

I am always looking to do the opposite of what is expected in my paintings. When people see music notes and hirondelles, they expect some sort of… flow. Hirondelles soar with the wind, and music glides with chords, melodies, and harmonies. I really wanted a spirit of contradiction and disconnect - so I decided to make my sky out of blocks, with an intense and vivid blue color separating them. Then I also added some 3D clouds, because why not???

Well, after painting my first coat, I realized there was too much disconnect between my background and hirondelle, and I entered what I like to call “panic mode!” That’s when I started really listening to my painting… which right now was screaming “BALANCE ME!” So I softened the blocs, mellowed the colors, and added detail to the bird to get a Blurred vs. Detailed effect. I finally liked it! SUCCESS!

What always ends up getting so complicated in your life, that you need to stop for a minute and just listen?

 

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The Illusionary River

 

I started this piece by painting the entire canvas orange!

I had a picture of a small path next to my parents’ home in France, which can be described in one word: green. From the foliage of the trees to the water of the stream crossing the path, everything is some variation of it. The overall feeling of the photo was so peaceful, and it reminded me of how much I loved nature - and the color green! - since I grew up in the countryside.

In the color wheel, green is classified as a “cool” color, and so I decided to try out a technique that is supposed to bring warmth to the painting by making the entire canvas orange (or a “warm” color) first. The purpose is not to paint completely over it, but to play with the effects of transparency. In retrospect, I should probably have used red for the complimentary color effects!!

I really enjoyed painting this, because there was no composition work and no background collage to prepare - it was just me and my brushes.

By the way…. do you know what all the complimentary colors are?!?

 

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A Duck's Collection

 

Something I learned from painting is to look at things with a new eye. When I was a child, I would bike in front of this little creek 4 times a day - to school in the morning, home for lunch, back to school, and finally back home again. I would not even look at it! There is a wall, some water, a small ramp, and often there were ducks too. What was so special about that? Then I moved to the US, and my American friends would tell me over and over again how the walls in France were so beautiful… which I did find quite strange at first!

But when I went back to my hometown during the summer, I started to see things differently. I saw this creek with a renewed eye: the soft light of the Loire Valley, the beautiful limestone (called “Pierre des faluns”) so typical of the area. I realized there was a relationship between the water and towns I had never noticed before. In France, villages are built around some sort of moving water - the stones in the streets and the architecture of the houses harmoniously match the reflections of the water and the movement of the reeds.

Now I take pictures of every stone in every wall there! And it took me 15 years to get the right picture of this small creek in particular - you can say I really tried!

During art talks, I also incorporate a challenge for the attendees: I tell them to look at their suburban American homes with the eye of a foreigner, so they will see things they had not seen before. Are you ready to try looking at your everyday surroundings differently?

 

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Blue and Orange Holidays

 

Seeing wreaths on doors during the holiday season just fills me with joy. It’s not something we do in France, and so I love buying mine at the annual holiday fair in my town. One year when I went up to order mine, I told the florist: “by the way... I’m going to paint it.”

The next day, my surprise was delivered. What I had said had sent the florists on a full-on creative spree - they had picked out this special blue pine leaf to add a twist to the traditional NE wreath, and paired it with bright orange berries.

On the spot, I made the executive decision to make that my color scheme, instead of the traditional red & green. When I was finished, I showed it to the florist who told me “Wow… it’s more beautiful than the real one.” My response? “Isn’t that what paintings are supposed to do?”

What holiday decoration item always makes you smile?

 

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A Fortunate Encouter

 

One year, the florist at my town’s annual holiday fair had just designed a new bouquet. Well, I obviously fell in love with it, and then proceeded to take (just) a couple hundred photographs in order to paint it later...

Only for tragedy to strike as soon as I got home - none of my pictures had turned out well! So, with a tearful goodbye, I dropped the idea.

But the story wasn’t finished! A week later, I was delivering a custom order and when I approached the house, what did I see? The bouquet!!! Sitting right there on the doorstep, beautifully backdropped by a typical New England home. So I obviously asked to take pictures, and merrily went home to start the process over again.

Also here’s a little fun fact about the making of this work: for the collage I had decided to use this very thick paper for the stairs. I literally imbibed the paper with glue to make it stay on the canvas, and it took more than 2 weeks to dry. I honestly thought it might never happen!

But back to the original story. Have you ever picked up a forgotten idea from the most unexpected place?

 

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Flying on Water

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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Meeting Giant Lilypads

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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Sinking into Reflections

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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The Mystery Marecage

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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Finding Branches White as Bone

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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Joining le Chemin d'Eau

 

It was the summer of 2015, and there was one week when everything was just not going well. Some family relationships were strained, the car was broken, it was hot as hell… So the weekend was approaching, and all I wanted was to leave - to go somewhere different, to get a change of scenery, and to empty my head.

Friends invited me and my family for the week-end in their cabin in Maine. It is a small cabin with no running or drinkable water, right next to a large lake.

They took us on a tour of the lake in a fishing boat, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the water and the trees were. I started taking pictures and in my viewfinder, I saw the unexpected opposition between the tip of the boat, the rope and the beautiful nature surrounding us. I started shooting and three hundred pictures later, I had my inspiration for this paintings series.

I started with 6 canvases and the photos I took. I printed the photos and tore them apart, then I replaced them on the canvas. I then painted over them to enhance the scenery. All of the boats are hand painted, without the use of pictures. The horizontal and vertical lines in the background are intentional to remind the viewer about the disconnection between the boat and the surrounding nature, the ups and downs of life, and the beauty around us.

Did you ever have a “crappy” experience that turned into an inspiration?

 

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Don't be afraid of the Cardinal

 

One day, one of my students brought me sheets of a wasp nest that he had found in his yard. The material was so beautiful, I immediately decided to incorporate them as a collage in a painting (obviously!).

My students had also recently asked me to paint a bird, and that’s when I realized that the wasp nest material would work quite well as a branch on which the bird would stand. So I got to work… And by that I mean I bought a lot of glue, because by now, I have a minimum of experience with porous textures!

I was very pleased with the result, and it reminded me to always be on the lookout for using materials and textures in a creative way. Sometimes we get disgusted by something that scares us, but there is often a chance to see that “thing” differently. Have you recently started seeing something strange in a new perspective?

 

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An Escargot in Anjou

 

This painting started with just wanting to have fun! I had this cute picture of a snail in the rain, and another of a beautiful wooden gate on a stormy afternoon. The combination of both completely brought me back to my childhood to this one song...

...about a snail struggling to go up a slope! It was one of Haydn’s melodies, and the lyrics describe the tremendous difficulty of this poor snail of going up a hill. It ends with a grandiose finale with lots of violins, conveying the explosion of pride for this little escargot who succeeded despite all the challenges it faced.

In my painting, the gate is the goal, the rain shows how slippery the road is, and the accompanying lyrics in my head are hilarious - they show that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. And in case you’re curious, here are the lyrics! In French:
Un escargot sans peur grimpait la rude pente d'un fraisier
Il va tout doucement, il peine, il va tomber,
Encore un dur effort, victoire il est monté !
Tra la la la la, canons, tonnez,
Sonnez trompettes, le monde est à ses pieds.

 

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Maine = Loon and Dock

 

After years of painting, I finally narrowed down my list of “Things I Love”, and I also decided I wanted them all on one painting, together! (In the hopes of creating something harmonious along the way.)

First, the loon makes me think of my mother - she collects ducks, and they are everywhere in my parents’ home in France. It used to drive me nuts, but now that an ocean separates us, I think of her everytime I see a duck.

The yellow dock make me think of the an “avancée jaune dans l’eau.” I’ve always loved the color yellow, because it’s the color of the countryside in France. And the fact that it ventured out into the water, a mix between earth and water, yellow and blue, represents a perfect harmony.

The collage in the background make me think of my first love before painting: fabric! I love running my hands through cloth and material, the feeling I get when I touch texture. This painting is made with a thicker paper overlaid with a thinner, transparent paper. I loved how the thin one would wrinkle with the glue, and recreate the movement of water.

Finally, the green grass made me think of the french countryside (again!), the color of the fields. So when I had the crazy idea to put all those things together, I didn’t care about the realism and perspective, only the harmony created in the painting by putting these four things together.

 

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Trip in Maine

 

This series is a result of studying the old masters…. One day, I was learning about Claude Monet, the leading public figure of the Impressionist Movement, and made this rough calculation: Monet started painting when he was 15 years old, and did so until his death at 86 years old. That is 70 years of painting(!). He is credited with some 2,500 paintings, pastels, and drawings(!!). So on average, he produced 1.5 paintings a week(!!!). That is crazy - other masters like Manet generally created 3 paintings a year.

Monet’s prolific style resulted in several well-known series, where he would paint the same thing at many different times during the day at different times during the year. I thought it was such a great idea, because it would allow me to go deeper and find the right balance between surprising the viewer’s eye and keeping the painting aesthetically pleasing.

Have you ever sat in one spot for so long, you saw the landscape change in front of you? What did you notice?

 

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Childhood Home in Corsica

 

One of my friends in New England is from Corsica, and she asked me to paint her childhood home. When she showed me the picture, I immediately felt like I was transported there, because it hit so close to my own life. I love the scenery, the feeling that human life is so present even though there are no visible people: a plastic ball left behind by children who ran off on another adventure, the remains of shelled green beans on the table, the old wicker basket on the side.

I feel like time has stopped, that I’ve just come running back into the house after playing a childhood game, feeling the cool weight of the stones pushing away hot summer weather. Or I feel like I’m on vacation with my children, sipping a glass of pastis with my parents on the patio. Or maybe that my mind can finally rest, even with the timeless signs of human activity teeming around me.

What elements in a photo or picture surprise you with the memories they bring back about childhood vacations?

 

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Fall in a New England Suburb

 

Every year, the fall foliage in Massachusetts surprises me. It’s been 17 years, and I still marvel at how beautiful my suburban town becomes. There’s always so much going on to the eye! The wide range of colors, their intensity, the light peeking through, the overlap of old, wooden electrical posts, the layers of black wires cutting across everything...

I really wanted to paint it, but I read in a painting magazine that this was a tough theme to paint. Autumn colors are so intense, artists end up struggling balancing the bright reds and oranges. How could I approach this? So, I got the idea of using real leaves! I had accumulated so many with my daughters when they were younger; I found them, glued them, and painted the electrical posts and wires. And then…. it still wasn’t perfect. It took me a lot of trial and error, but eventually, I found the balance of colors I was looking for.

This is not a “regular” painting for me. I took a lot of risks, and I honestly wasn’t expecting people to like it. But to my surprise, my viewers responded very positively, and the painting even won a prize in a group exhibition! Are you amazed by something beautiful that happens every year?

 

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On the Lake


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Un Nenuphar


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Loon Reflection


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A Walk Along the River

 

I’ve always wanted to do a series on La Fleche, and it’s been happening… slowly. I love the very particular, soft lighting that seems so characteristic of the Loire Valley.

So after painting my ducks and the small cascade, I was looking through my pictures when my painting teacher, Bonnie, stopped me at this photo and said “I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with this one.”

This painting has three “fun” things about it. First, it is painted over a base coat of bright orange like the two others in the series. Second, painting complementary colors over one another (the blue of the water over the orange base) normally results in something very similar to… mud. I had to be very careful! Third, this may not sound fun but I love painting grass and foliage - there’s a technique where you hold the paintbrush at its tip, and just turn it around and around so the brushstrokes are almost touching.

Do you have pictures saved where you always wonder, “what would that look like as a painting?” Or, “how would an artist or painter interpret my vacation picture?” You never know if they’ll start by painting the canvas orange!

 

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The Stump

 

Yes, it is a stump! In water! So why did I paint a stump? Well, merci for asking. And I don’t think I have a clear answer here.

I can try answering the “how” it happened, but not the “why”! During a fantastic trip to Maine, I took a lot of pictures during a boat trip on a small lake. When I was looking at them later on my computer screen, I just fell in love with this one because it felt so peaceful and tranquil, like time was on hold. So I painted it!

To be fair, everyone I talked to was surprised by this choice, and couldn’t see what was so great about it. I was still very excited, although when I started painting, I realized this was going to be a lot harder than expected because of all the greens… and that it is, in fact, just a stump. Getting the reflections right was really hard, plus my American friends kept asking me if it was a stump in a french river, only to be very disappointed when I told them it was from Maine. “Ah…” they said, trailing off. I was indignant! When I saw this image, it transported me immediately to this beautiful lake, and why couldn’t people see that a stump in Maine or in the Loire Valley is still just a stump?!?

And that’s when I had my epiphany. I loved this so much because the stump reminded me of Maine, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find someone who is reminded of Ghana, or China, or anywhere else in the world when they see this. Where does this stump bring you? Or an even better question: what images bring you peace?

 

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A Walk Along the Mill

 

When I look at this painting, the first thing that comes to my mind is blue, yellow, green and red; the four colors that create a natural composition for paintings. The building sits in the middle of the river, “Le Loir”, in my hometown of La Fleche in the Loire Valley.

The beautiful mill constructed in the XVIth century demonstrates unalterable charm. In this typical atmosphere in the Loire Valley, the river brings a natural quietness everywhere it flows. Blue, yellow, green and red share the space in a colorful harmony.

Now that I have lived in the US for 2 decades, I came to the realization that I used to bike by this mill everyday going to school as a kid, and I never glanced at it! I now want to give it the attention it deserves by doing what I do best: painting and telling its story from a French perspective.

Have you ignored the beauty surrounding your childhood?

 

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Welcome Home!

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Joyeuses Fetes!

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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A Cardinal in Paris

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Snowy Blue Jay

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Midnight in Paris

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Magical Holidays

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Holidays at the Beach

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Lampadaires

 

I have been asked numerous times by my loyal customers to create more holiday winter cards of my paintings. As I was looking outside my window in this month of March, the snowy scenes in front of me were an ideal inspiration for me.

And to make things even better for my creative juices, Paris had just been covered a few weeks before by a couple inches of snow. This happens very rarely and the whole city was paralysed. Parisians were unhappy, as always, but Paris under the snow is magnificent.

I asked my good parisian friend to share with me the pictures she took of Paris under the snow. Between the winter view from my window and my friend’s pictures, I had enough material to immerse myself into this project

In 3 weeks, I created 8 paintings and I had the best time of my life!!! I wish I could do that all the time. I painted holiday lights, ornaments, some snow, and I even had an american cardinal in snowy Paris!!!

I felt right at home between my 2 countries: France and the US!

What wintery scenes or holiday scenes do you find magnificent?

 

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Beach in Texas #1

 

This is a 2 part series, of a beautiful beach in Texas. A good friend of mine lives there and commissioned me to paint “her beach” as she calls it - like how I like to say the Worcester Art Museum is “my museum”!

I knew this would present a couple of challenges from the start. First, I had to capture the feeling my friend gets when she walks there every day, of complete calm and how gorgeous just simple horizon lines are.

Second, I loved the very dark color of the sand and the very light colors of the “atmosphere,” but showing the two in harmony equaled problemes en perspectives as we say in french!

So, I decided to go with an old technique called “glazing” used by painters before the 1860’s (when the impressionists came in and started a small painting revolt), where you apply several transparent coats of paint, let them dry, then do it again…. like 15 more times

Well, I didn’t do 15 coats, but not far from 10!!! This allows the colors to really blend together, even if they’re completely different; very unlike the slapdash technique I love, where you see individual brush strokes, like in the waves. In the end, I was very happy to mix several techniques, and how it all worked together.

What is the place that you would call “yours” as a whole? A beach is definitely something I wish I could say too!

 

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Beach in Texas #2

 

This is a 2 part series, of a beautiful beach in Texas. A good friend of mine lives there and commissioned me to paint “her beach” as she calls it - like how I like to say the Worcester Art Museum is “my museum”!

I knew this would present a couple of challenges from the start. First, I had to capture the feeling my friend gets when she walks there every day, of complete calm and how gorgeous just simple horizon lines are.

Second, I loved the very dark color of the sand and the very light colors of the “atmosphere,” but showing the two in harmony equaled problemes en perspectives as we say in french!

So, I decided to go with an old technique called “glazing” used by painters before the 1860’s (when the impressionists came in and started a small painting revolt), where you apply several transparent coats of paint, let them dry, then do it again…. like 15 more times

Well, I didn’t do 15 coats, but not far from 10!!! This allows the colors to really blend together, even if they’re completely different; very unlike the slapdash technique I love, where you see individual brush strokes, like in the waves. In the end, I was very happy to mix several techniques, and how it all worked together.

What is the place that you would call “yours” as a whole? A beach is definitely something I wish I could say too!

 

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Welcome in New England

 

I started a series of paintings of places in the town I live in: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. In many New England small towns, the most important buildings are the white protestant churches in the commons. In Shrewsbury, this church is called “the First Congregational Church”. So it made sense to start my painting collection with this church

My fellow painters told me that New England churches have been painted millions of times, and that it could be a boring subject. However, I was struck by the beauty in these churches.

Coming from the French Loire Valley where winters are grey and rainy, I loved the crisp, blue sky of New England in winter and the way the church and the snow shared the same pearly white color. Compared to where I come from, churches are instead made of yellow ochre stone and snow is very rare.

Overall, I just started to paint what was different for me. Even though my paintings of New England landscape may resemble many others, I am still amazed by the beauty it holds.

 

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A Cape Cod Window

 

This painting of a Cape Cod house is made of 468 little paper squares that I pasted on the canvas. The window, flowers, and bushes were then added with oil paint.

My friends and family say that gluing together hundreds of little squares together is slightly obsessional, but I think it actually demonstrates great patience! I love to lose myself into creating and pasting these repeating patterns.

Then, I disrupt them with a disconnected and more loose painting on top. But as a whole, both parts are in fact united and harmonious, as they belong to the same Cape Cod house. This is how I feel about myself: one person with two very different cultures.

From the outside, they can look quite disconnected, but they actually are not. In fact, I find that I unite both cultures by painting them.

What about you? Do you feel like you are made of disconnecting parts? And what do you do to unite them?

 

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The Art of Conversation

Behind each of my paintings is a story. Think of your own when you read mine! Then, share your experiences with friends & family. Transform my art into something personal, make it become your conversation. Enjoy and have fun!


My Stories: Animals

My Stories: Fruits

My Stories: Water

My Stories: Cafes

My Stories: Flowers

My Stories: Holidays

My Stories: Commissions

The Art of Conversation

Behind each of my paintings is a story. Think of your own when you read mine! Then, share your experiences with friends & family. Transform my art into something personal, make it become your conversation. Enjoy and have fun!


My Stories: Animals

My Stories: Fruits

My Stories: Water

My Stories: Cafes

My Stories: Flowers

My Stories: Holidays

My Stories: Commissions

© 2002-2018 "Marion's Workshop" - All rights reserved - Last Update 2018-11-13
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Marion's Workshop is prohibited.
marion@marionsworkshop.com
© 2002-2018 "Marion's Workshop" - All rights reserved
Last Update 2018-11-13
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without
express written permission of Marion's Workshop is prohibited.
marion@marionsworkshop.com