Bon Jour

Once upon a time in the Bon Marche on the Left Bank in Paris I bought tickets to a Russian choir concert to be held in the church of SaintGermaindesPres, (built in 11th century). The whole experience was foreign and magical from the inspiration in the church lobby to the actual concert a day later.

Although I know about 100 words in French that can be cobbled together to form a sentence that might purchase a meal or reserve a train ticket, the nice clerk at the ticket booth knew zero words in English.

After a lot of what was gibberish to each of us, and much awkward smiling and exchanging of Euros, the helpful woman behind the counter started to urgently describe something she thought it was important that I know. I would utter what I thought she was saying in English and she would shake her head and rapid-fired more nasal-tinged French that just confused me further.

Eventually she stood up from her chair and began running in place, pumping her arms briskly.  I got it!!  She was trying to tell me that there were no reserved seats and that we should hurry there early to get a good one.  Once I understood, even though I couldn’t really say it with words, she knew immediately that she had communicated what she wanted to say.

She was so gratified to have, not only connected, but to have been understood that she hugged me. How wonderful for two people, who might just as well have had clubs for tongues, to find a way to converse!

This little story might be a metaphor for this week’s class. With “clubs” for brushes, the challenge will be to interpret two images. I will provide one on the wall and one for each person, I’m not sure if each person will get the same one or not yet.  If there are still beautiful flowers to be painted, a third element may be added. Your challenge will be to use anything to make marks and apply paint EXCEPT traditional tools—no brushes, no palette knives, no fingers!!  Be searching, be imaginative. See how creative you can be in trying to communicate what you have to say.

Bring stuff.  If you wait until you get here you to gather tools you may only have a rock with which to paint!

Remember this in case I forget.  If in the middle of piece it is all a muddle, do something extreme.

Let’s have fun!  You guys deserve it.

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