The day was bright with midday sun. The light was clean and crisp. The building above the tiny cafe rose high and fast, typical of Parisian architecture. The patrons were engaged in conversation, sharing tidbits of stories while sipping their cafe au laits, biting into an occasional croissant. Two cafe-goers caught my eye; the red-jacketed gentleman in the background who seems to wait for someone and the woman in the center. She sits alone, dressed in Parisian fashion, staring into the bottom of her cup, lost in thought. I am moved to take note that the places I visit, such as Paris, are places filled with real people in their real lives, with their hopes, dreams, and concerns, these places are not just real-life amusement parks for tourists.
This painting from my trip to Paris in 2002 was my first diptych and definitely my tallest. Instead of using one solid grey/taupe color for the building, I chose to combine the two complementary colors yellow and purple to create more vibrancy. The blues in the shadows are electric and bring energy to the painting. The fisheye perspective and exaggeration give the viewer the sensation of being immersed in the scene. “Cafe Le St. Andre” documents afternoon life at a busy Parisian cafe.