Tuesday, June 3, 2008


In the fourteen years of painting in the street, I thought I had been asked every possible question and had  given directions to all known and unknown landmarks in Paris. Until today.

I had been working about half an hour when I saw from the corner of my eye, two kids approach. One waist high. The other two or three inches shorter.

“Madame. S’il vous plait. Madame s’il vous plait”

“Oui.” I didn’t look away from my canvas.

“Est-ce-que on peut vous aider?”

I stopped. “You want to help me? What would you like to do?”

“You know. Paint a little on your canvas.”

“Where’s your mom?” I asked motherly.

“√† la maison.” They pointed across the street.  They were eyeing the treasure of paint pots sprawled around me.  They didn’t see the “I’m- God-when-I-paint” egotistic in front of them, who doesn’t even like advice. I would not even allow my art teachers to touch my oeuvre.

“What color”

“Red!” big brother shouted.

"Blue no green no blue” little brother followed.

I took my smallest brush, mixed a little naphthol red light, and handed it to big brother. “Be careful. Just a dot.”

He slowly outlined a traffic sign. A future engineer, I thought.

Little brother was still undecided between blue or green.  An artist, I thought. I mixed some phthalo blue (green shade) on my palette. 

“Be careful.” I said. He was so nervous, I’m not sure that he actually touched the canvas. I was looking for my camera. When I finally focused on him. I saw a flashing CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES. They had it right there.







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Ruby chez la princess from paintingparis.blogspot.com