samedi 24 mai 2008


So my drawing/watercolor teacher was none other than Kitty from "Arrested Development". In the midst of our quiet painting sessions, I almost wanted her to scream out "Spring break! Woo!" Naw, but she did look and talk kind of like her.

The whole class was me and 3 French kids she knew who were MICEFA students at Brooklyn College in New York, so that was cool. And these kids are AMAZING at watercolors. I had emailed Meghan (the teacher) about how my level was very debutante, but she encouraged me to come anyway, and I'm glad I did. WATERCOLORS ARE SO MUCH FUN!

We went to Jardin du Luxembourg and painted there. I used Meghan's brushes and watercolors, and she showed me some techniques, and I just played around before she asked me to do a scene. I chose a treeline that obscured the Pantheon. I was taking a while just to draw the general shapes of everything, so Meghan said, "My art teachers did this a lot at school to discipline us: you have two minutes to draw all the shapes for the scene. GO!" I flipped out and did the circles for bushes and trees and squares for buildings and the half oval for the Pantheon, and when my two minutes were up she was pleased. "Now, you can paint."

It was really illuminating to see things in a different way, just on a much deeper level. I've been in my tattered copy of Franny and Zooey again, the book that goes wherever I go, and two days ago I was on the part about no-knowledge I think which made me think of another short story by Salinger, and anyway, it doesn't really matter what this means to you because writing this out is for me and not you, and anyway this story was about seeing things first before being told what they are, and how children should learn things this way. So, in Salinger's sense, and with painting and watercolors in mind, I was seeing everything with a child's eyes. I was seeing, but not thinking immediately about names or assigning the recognizable to my other memories. I was just seeing something like it was the first time.

And it was beautiful.

Seeing this way...Now, it's like my memory is much clearer, and I can remember where the shadows where and where it was was lighter and darker, and the shapes, and where I was sitting. It's not like those basic memories where parts are displaced or mixed with other memories. It was just one perfect memory.

It started to rain so we went to a cafe to get a drink and then started painting there. And then when the weather got better we went back to Luxembourg to paint again. It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon and not worry about my tests and papers and leaving Paris. It was a really good way to relax. Below are some things I worked on:

After the class, I watched some performances at the Mime Festival at Luxem. It was really cool! I no longer have this neutrality towards mimes. They are quite the performers. Really funny too.