I feel like I zoomed home in some kind of Harry Potter contraption and landed in San Diego in a matter of minutes after leaving France. In spite of all the anxiety about flights being canceled due to the Air France pilot strike (which I believe is settled for the time being), my flight home was smooth and easy. My new travel method is to book a flight home from France, on Delta's first flight out on a Tuesday morning. There was no traffic at 5 am on the Paris streets and almost no one at the airport and best of all no lines to wait in at the airline counters, security and passport control. The food stands were open and I was able to get one last French pastry and cup of espresso for breakfast. The only negative was that the designer duty free shops did not open until 7 am but I actually think that was a positive because it saved me an impulse last euro purchase and I don't wear designer stuff anyways unless it comes from a thrift shop.
Integrating what you learn in France to your home life is always rewarding and challenging. My family has agreed to letting me feed them my omelette and quiche cooking experiments inspired by the delicious egg dishes I ate in France. However, they are refusing to speak French so I can continue to practice and improve my French language skills. My table will be set with new French tableware and place mats. The family will probably not even notice that. My husband will be wearing the clothing I purchased in Paris for him but it looks remarkably like the clothing you can buy in the U.S. because if I had brought him back a French tailored sport jacket I doubt he would have worn it anywhere. I will wear the tops and dress I bought in France around town and when I teach, hopeful that someone will notice my new French chic look or at least observe the fit and the subtle colors of the French garments. I hope they like my new lumberjack shirt as well. Maybe I can set a trend in San Diego.
As far as my artwork, my head is filled with new ideas from all of the museums I visited, paintings I did out of doors in France and new art supplies I purchased in France. I am especially enthusiastic about using gouache, which is opaque watercolor paint and adds vivid color to your watercolor paintings.
As far as my teaching inspirations gained from this trip, I will continue to value my student's unique, personal style of painting and drawing and continue to guide and nurture their skills in the directions they want to go. Seeing many diverse styles of painting in French musuems, galleries and shops confirms my own conviction that there is not one correct way to paint or make art.
Besides all of the above, I am also contemplating how to cultivate my own garden here, both literally and meta physically. More about that as soon as I figure out how to do this. Probably, buy some top soil, ask my gardener friends for tips, listen more and hope people have read to the end of this post and will comment and advise me.