Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Art From the Heart: Saluting French Roots

     For several years I took a watercolor painting class at the local community college, and there was no doubt that I languished near the bottom of the talent pool.  I did, however, meet a lot of nice people, and had a good time.  One of the other students was a cheerful, kind, older lady, who was born in Épernay, the heart of the Champagne region of France.
     Eventually, time and health issues caught up with her.  She moved across the country to be closer to her family, and took an apartment in an assisted-living facility.  We all missed her sweet presence.
     Recently, I had an idea to let her know we were all thinking about her.  I enlisted the help of one of the best students in the class, to create a watercolor depicting a "house" of some sort.  While I was expecting her to spend a short time on a ten-minute sketch of a cottage, and accent it with a few washes of color, she went a different route.  She made this lovely painting of Chateau de Chenonceau, one of the more popular historic sites in the Loire Valley of France, then matted it and placed it into a blue frame.  I then scanned the piece, and added the phrase "Chez Claudine" in a complimentary color, using a font called "French Script."  Next, I reproduced the painting on cardstock, and put it in a cheap white frame with a hanger made from lavender bias fold tape from my sewing supplies.
     Now, Claudine can enjoy the original painting in her apartment, and hang the copy outside the front door as a sign of welcome.
     Art from the heart:  the best product of my less-than-stellar painting career.