|"Flowers of Cap Martin" oil on hardwood panel, by Hilary J. England|
|Just outside of Monaco!|
One week today! I am finally getting used to the blazing heat, and that's no easy accomplishment for me. I am not very good in the hot weather, and my paints don't want to hear it either, as they have become sticky, gooey messes, and trying to get that to adhere to a panel is quite an arduous task that takes some getting accustomed to. But, I blunder on, haha.
I went up the coast to Monaco and Menton today, stopping off in Cap Martin and a few other "Caps" as well. Very beautiful. I was most grateful for the air conditioned bus! I tried to pair my supplies down to a bare minimum, but even so, and in this relentless heat, I wound up nearly dead from heat exhaustion. Every inch of my body was sweating, even parts I didn't know could sweat!! I packed it up just in the knick of time before I went down for the count! I was quite surprised at how the sun and heat just crept up on me, am just recovering my equanimity at having been beaten by the the Sun. Literally. Sun 1, Hilary, 0. ;-)
While I was languishing in the weak shade of a palm tree, I did happen to recollect my wits enough to look around, and people watch awhile, and see the beautiful Mediterranean architecture, the posh shops, and posh people. I guess I didn't look very appealing to an Arab billionaire, all covered in sweat and paint, LOL. I guess also that for a weird woman painter, not all dolled, pinned, powdered, and primped, they didn't know what to think.
I noticed that many women here are walking their dogs and just window shopping in high heels, designer dresses, and full war paint. I guess to each their own, but for me, as a woman, I hate the idea of not being able to be au natural without being conspicuous or judged by both men and other women. The women here enjoy being dolled up and being adored and validated for that, their outside appearance, and from the view of an outsider looking in, that seems to be their entire life. But again, it IS their life, and they are free to live it any way they want, including spending it as a Stepford wife. I just don't get it, and wonder what goes on beneath the surface, if anything at all...
I guess I'm an odd person as a woman, but I am what I am, so I don't lament it. I always was a tomboy, but never to the extreme. I like getting dressed up when the occasion calls for it, but that doesn't mean rolling out of bed and spending three hours doing hair and makeup to walk the dog. Ah well. I guess that's as foreign to me as I am to them, and that's why I am lugging my paints around the Riviera covered in sweat instead of lolling about drinking champagne on the deck of some billionaire's boat! But, I must say, I do admire the pure glamour of these women, and they do make the world beautiful with their efforts at their appearance, even if I don't understand it, they are still very charming and elegant to look at! And the jewels some were wearing, wow!!! Very impressive.
Aaaaaanyway, views were beautiful, and although Monte Carlo is the playground for the wealthy, I didn't notice a huge glut of yachts, just a handful littering the Mediterranean. Maybe it's the hard economic times, or maybe yacht season isn't in full-swing, but either way, I don't really care. Yachts and cars and clothes and so on don't impress me, BUT, the natural landscape absolutely blew me away in it's endless and unabashed beauty! The soaring rock cliffs, the caves with the gulls flying in and out, the scrubby landscape that was still verdant and lush with exotic flowers, and of course, the never ending azure of the Mediterranean, all so gorgeous, I didn't know which way to look first. Truly a paradise, if you can have one on earth.
I painted the one particular crag of a precipice as quickly as I could, working against the elements, particularly and ostensibly, the sun. The flowers were just a lovely profusion of color, and because I am not local, do not know what genus or species they all were, just lots of bright color and breathtaking beauty. Trying to transport the little panel became difficult as well, but I got it back in tact, where I could touch up the damage and places that needed help after my hasty abandonment of the area.
Anyhow, I hightailed it back down the coast, and literally took a flying leap into the shower as soon as I dropped all my stuff at the door. I stayed in there like I was on fire for at least a half hour, no joke. I thought about taking a dip in the ocean, but all of the gear for that was too tiresome. I didn't feel like lugging an umbrella, putting on sunblock from head to foot, packing water and a beach bag. Nope, the shower did the trick just as handily. Maybe tomorrow if I don't decide to head into St.Tropez, Cannes, and Antibes.
So that's my recap of todays "Caps," haha. Pun intended.