Something I learned from painting is to look at things with a new ...
... read the story behind the painting ...

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?

Title: A Duck's Collection
Year: 2015
Size: 16x20
Media: Collage and Oil paint on Masonite
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