(to set sail from the Tuileries Gardens)

oil on linen 36×28 inches, 2010

This painting was inspired by the intrepid little sailors who ply the waters of the Tuileries Garden in small wooden boats.

When the rickety old pushcart appears at the edge of the fountain, children rush to choose a weathered hull with colorful sails. Awkwardly clutching their oversized vessels, they stumble to the edge of the fountain, dragging long poles behind. With a plop and a push, the sails unfurl, the boats gather speed, and the adventures begin.

For a moment the children stand transfixed, anxiously gauging wind direction and water turbulence. Then suddenly they break into a run, racing back and forth around the fountain, hoping to divert a disastrous landfall. As their boats approach the shore, they drop to the ground, steady their poles and push off to explore the distant shores.

As we watched one particularly enthusiastic little girl, we wondered if she would travel the real world someday or if she would have to content herself with memories of these mythical journeys. If she never visited the places of her dreams, would she return here to set sail once again?

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