My last entry in this diary was about “painting in Saint-Bertrand de Comminges”. Unfortunately, we had been obliged to leave the town faster than planned, as it was raining all the time. So we drove a little bit farther on our way towards Andorra, entering the department of the Ariège, and decided not to stop again before the rain itself would stop. Well, this happened quite soon, in the beautiful town of Saint Girons. Based on photos I had seen on the net, I thought it might be a good painting motif, with the coloured houses, the river attractively meandering through the town and the old bridges.
We spent the rest of the day wandering through the town. My first impression was very positive, exactly corresponding to the beautiful motifs I had seen on the net.
But gradually I started feeling less and less comfortable there. Perhaps because it was quite chilly and I had a big coat on and and felt trapped in my clothes. Or perhaps because the sky was still quite menacing and I was expecting some new rain all the time. But for whichever reason, something was wrong, with the consequence that I was not in the best painting mood. Unfortunately my painting moods are quite sensitive to outer parameters, the tiniest inconvenience being able to make me want to never paint again! But I still managed to do some rough pencils sketches in my watercolour travels carnets, to which I added the colours later on in the Boomobile. Some became quite coloured, like the one above.
Others do reflect my sad mood, almost monochrome, very unlike me
But the grey sky, the cold and the coat were not the only reason for my awkwardness. Despite the beauty of the scenery and townscape, there was something else in the air there, which made feel uncomfortable. A feeling of imminent danger. Difficult to explain, and also I don’t want to offend anybody, but there were so many groups of “weird” people with big dogs hanging around, drinking and smoking and being loud. Homeless people, but others too, probably jobless people. I am certainly not judging them, perhaps they really had no other choice in their life, but I don’t like the way they were looking at us, unfriendly, with obvious signs of provocation and defiance. As if WE were the “abnormals”. And these looks, yes, they were the result of a personal choice…
And me who was expecting peaceful people walking or jogging along the shores of the river, as so often happens in such a beautiful setting! Never mind, I invented and painted an old guy walking along the river!
In the evening Kevin was wandering around trying to find an unsecured internet connection hanging in the air, and did find one next to our parking, by the Peugeot Garage. Next morning we were speaking about the differences of finding unsecured net connections from country to country, (France being apparently quite at the top of the ungenerous places in that sense!) as he suddenly mentioned a bike shop nearby. The bike I had with me on this tour looked wonderful, a bold red fancy mountain bike with loads of extras. But to be honest, a crap bike, heavy and not willing to roll. As much as I loved its appearance, I hated its disfunctionality in equal measure! Unfortunately I often shop that way, going by the appearances, very sensitive to aesthetics and colours…
Anyway, I am a woman of fast decisions. After the traditional morning café au lait, we went to the bike shop and I said to the seller:
“I want a new bike. It should not cost more than 400 euros, should be very pretty and have mud guards.”
The guy looked at Kevin with a weird expression on his face. I would have loved to know exactly what he was thinking at that instant, probably something along the lines
“Good luck with that bird, mate!”
I guess he was not used to clients approaching the subject in such a straight, short and untechnical way! The whole shop and the guy himself looked like a place for pro bikers, somehow. Consequently he had not many bikes fitting my description, only 2 in fact. One minute later I said
“I take this one!”
It was not exactly very pretty, not purple or pink or yellow (I had seen such a pretty yellow one in the Tour de France online shop and was dreaming of it since then!) as I would have wished, but I had no choice. It had to be now, I did not want to wait to come across another shop. But it did have a nice shape, was white and red, beautifully matching Kevin’s bike.
Then I decided, with an heavy heart, to get rid of the red beauty and leaved it by the shop. I got a free bike basket for it: it was not worth more in the professional eyes of the shop owner who looked at it with such a disdain as I brought it, and spoke such bad words about it… did break my heart!
One hour later I would try it, on a little trip to the neighbouring town of Saint Lizier. But this is stuff for my next journal entry!
So people, see you next time on my way to Saint Lizier on my new bike and… under the sun!
These land- and townscapes, as well as many others from France, are currently available as Giclee prints in different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, as well as greeting cards. Just click on the painting above to access my shop online.
The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.
I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.
Poster Price: 50 euros.
They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.
(the price does not include packing&shipping)