There were so many dramatic scenes I could have chosen to paint for Stage 3. The peloton crossing the incredible St. Nazaire Bridge, Tyler Farrar forming a "w" with his fingers as a victory salute to the late Wouter Weylandt, and Yellow-Jersey wearer Thor Hushovd cheering on his teammate Farrar at the finish all would have made for wonderful subjects.
But one of the things I love about watching the Tour is discovering the little slices-of-life that make Old World France so unique. I've been visiting with my parents in North Carolina this week while on vacation, and one the things my mother (who is a great Tour de France fan) enjoys seeing are shutters that actually work!
Here in the US, shutters are pretty much decorative. They're just nice window dressings permanently nailed open. They don't even have hinges anymore. But in France, sometimes the shutters are open and sometimes they're closed. Sometimes they're bright blue, red, green, or brown. And sometimes, if you look closely enough, you can see a Tour de France fan inside wearing a yellow shirt and hat cheering on the race.
So to all the French fans throwing open their shutters, waving the Tri-Color, and shouting "allez! allez!" at their favorite riders ... this painting is for you.