This painting is the second original from our recent “Normandy” adventure. Sam and I stayed in Bayeux for several days and used it as our home base for day trips around the countryside. Of course we visited the museum that houses the famous Bayeux Tapestry, browsed in antique shops and enjoyed the local cuisine. As usual, Sam shot hundreds of great photos, many of which were examples of the local architecture. We noticed that many of the houses had colorful roof ornaments, most often a rooster, which is the unofficial symbol of France. In English these are called Gallic Roosters; in French: “Le Coq Gaulois.” I thought this house, with so many different colors and textures, would be fun to paint, and like most houses in rural France, even the most basic, colorful window boxes are always a nice touch.
Another thing that made me want to paint something relating to Bayeux was a wonderful experience that we had on our last day there. While killing some time before our taxi came to take us to the train station we stopped in a small bistro (aptly named” Au Ptit Bistrot”) for coffee and a tarte tatin (apple tart). Many locals were having lunch and they greeted us like we were old friends. Back at the hotel, I realized that I had left my backpack with train tickets, passports and several Euros in it on the floor next to our table at the bistro. I ran back as fast as I could for four or five blocks and when I walked through the door, slightly out of breath and feeling foolish, the owner held up my backpack and the locals cheered and applauded. I hugged the owner. So Sam and I will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Bayeux, and I’ll think of it whenever I look at this painting.
Joe Seme 2018
Giclee print on canvas
19 x 12”