09 Dec

Que La Lumiere Soit!

Yes indeed, let there be light! That’s possibly the only example I recall of an obscure tense learned in high school French, but it was sure working for me the other day. Sunshine, a long walk, plus the promise of being able to travel again with the election of someone who believes in science. (And now successful vaccine trials!) All combined to give me a creative burst I haven’t felt in weeks.

I took advantage by jumping into my studio to tackle two paintings of Normandy that had been on my mind for months. One is the harbor at Honfleur. The other is a canal in Bayeux, famous for its tapestry of the Norman invasion and its lacemaking. We were lucky enough to visit both towns a year ago, on our last trip before COVID hit.

Bayeux is beautiful, small, walkable and friendly. We hadn’t quite grasped what a big deal Armistice (Veterans) Day weekend is in France, such that it a) fills the hotels, and b) closes most of the restaurants. Thanks to some kind, helpful hoteliers we didn’t sleep on the street, or starve, and instead created some great memories. Which included spending too much time in patisseries, which were still open – tarte tatin, or pain au chocolat, anyone?! To counteract that, we walked. A lot.

That’s how we encountered this ancient canal fronted by crumbling stone buildings. The sunlight breaking through was a typical Norman weather pattern – drizzle, downpour, sun, rainbow, and repeat. You can enjoy more of my France and Spain paintings at Arts Unique in Avon, CT. Maybe bring home a special memory, until we can travel again? For now, que la lumiere soit!

6 comments

  1. Oh, Jonathan, yes, I want to live in a universe where chocolate is a tense – not just a cure for tenseness, and pandemics! Cards are available; website a bit of a story, so I’ll email you.

  2. As always I love your posts and your remembrances of your travels and your paintings!!! Thanks for sharing this latest one with us! Someday we will get to travel to Europe again!

  3. “Soit: – is that the conditional or pain au chocolate tense? If the latter, I think pain au chocolate is a scientific pandemic (depression) cure. Can you send me an online link to purchase another batch of cards please? And if there isn’t one, can I please set one up for you!

    Happy Chanukah.

  4. Thanks for the memories! Two of my fave spots–and there is a charming museum in Honfleur with hometown guy Eugène Boudin, who has been one of my favorite painters since high school–always said I wanted to own a little Boudin (out of my budget!!) Lots of use of the subjunctive in the verb être, including a most famous motto: honi soit qui mal y pense —shamed be (the person) who thinks evil of it —motto of the Order of the Garter. Yes, one day we shall travel again–but it will be a while. Glad we have your paintings to keep us occupied until then.

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Beth Pite | 42 Bayberry Lane | Groton, CT 06340 | Phone: (860) 983-5265 | Email: beth@bethpite.com

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