Sketching the Louvre in the Tuileries & the Japanese Tourists

www.kimminichiello.comWatercolor Sketch on Handmade Paper

I have been super busy working on the Coral Reef Restaurant menu commission, so I thought I would post another sketch today.  This one was done on a day in Paris when the nasty weather had finally broke, (I know some of my readers can relate to nasty weather right now!). The sun had come out and everyone flocked outside to get some sun and fresh air including me!

I headed straight for the Tuileries Gardens, parked myself on a bench, (it was slim pickings) and started to sketch and paint.  I had always wanted to do a view of the Louvre and not get too caught up in the details of the building but be very sketchy and insinuate them with value.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Just as I was finishing a lovely group of Japanese ladies on a tour stopped and started to gather around me watching me paint.  The Japanese tour guide asked me in French if it was OK.  (The Japanese are so polite.)  I said, “bien sur”,  they watched and made comments as I was painting, none of which I could understand.  I only know a few words of “tourist Japanese.”  The tour guide indicated to the ladies it was time to move on, and translated to me in French, thank you very much for letting them stop and my sketch was beautiful!”  For which I replied, “arigatou gozaimasu,” the formal way of saying thank you in Japanese.  You had thought I had given them a million yen by their reaction.  They were shocked and amazed that I had replied in Japanese! They all giggled, bowed and smiled, thanked me and were on their way.

Little did they know, probably thinking they had happened upon a French woman painting in the gardens, was actually an American who happened to speak French and enough Japanese to make their day.  They certainly made mine!


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