Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the photograph that became a painting, and yet...

I took a picture of my feet.

This isn't as strange as it sounds... I tended to take off my shoes when I came through the front door (into our house in Normandy) and I would throw my feet up onto a chair or ottoman to relax. We also had a bed that was a little on the short side, so feet crept out from under the covers... So I saw my feet a lot.

I had just learned a new French phrase: tout arrive. It means, as I understand it, it will come, it will happen (so give it time!).  I wanted to paint something that illustrated that phrase, which meant, to me, that we had come to this point, where we didn't exactly "fit" the way we anticipated we would, but we would, I hoped, continue to feel more and more a part of our French world ...

So I painted the feet (just mine) in our bed, with our squared window above (we could often see the moon or stars). It was a dream, of sorts... I think I intended the right-hand side to be the "tout" that would come in time.

When I took this painting out of the stack, I was prepared to hate it. It wasn't exactly a happy painting, but when I was working on it, it was hopeful, and I so wanted it to be "true." I do think it is true to the moment when I painted it. And, in its own way, I feel I need to admit that this is a good painting. 
And in its own way, it did come true, the tout arrive. It did come, the life, just not in France!

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