February 3, 2008

"Playing with your food"

The general consensus in our country is that the French don’t smile. The truth is that the French just need a reason to smile. I am here to tell you that I brought out a smile wherever I ate. Perhaps it was visiting the Picasso museum that inspired me to create these impromptu portraits, or perhaps it was not being near my studio for a week. If ever you visit France, first read Polly Platt’s book, “French or Foe.” It explains in clear terms the differences in our cultures and how to get along. I found the people extremely warm and friendly. One example: as we stood on the platform trying to figure out which train we needed to take to Versailles, a Frenchman nearby came over to help us even though his train had just pulled in and he had to run to just catch it before it left. On another occasion we visited a farmers market and went into sensory overload at the sights and smells of stall after stall of lovely meats, fresh flowers, and beautiful produce. I guess the locals take the food home to eat later, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from buying grilled sausages, crusty cheese bread and warm boiled potatoes and eating them on the spot. One woman was plainly amused at this and with a big smile said “Bon appetit!” as she passed by. Even though I had a few disappointments such as the Dutch and late 19th century French wings of the Louvre being closed and Courbet’s paintings being elsewhere as the Musée d'Orsay redid their room, I had a really great time and the next few weeks will be filled with images that inspired me.









O.K, maybe I can't go anywhere without playing with my food...

4 comments:

dneascooks said...

The 3 Fs (Fun French Faces)

Jason Waskey said...

Welcome back!

I also have to say... what a great way to remember your meals!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks Jason.
The memory of the meals in Paris will stay with me for quite some time, especially those at Taillevent and Guy Savoy. I’m sure that I’ll remember them all over again when I get my visa statement. I suspect the waiters will remember me, too.

Liza Hirst said...

I love your 3 Fs! Living in France for more than 12 years now, I can tell you that there are just as many French that smile and just as many that don't, as elsewhere!
But you're right, they don't nescessarily smile without a reason - the question is " does one need a reason to smile" though?