the last time we had the paris workshop my daughter and husband ventured to see the monument one day while i was teaching. when we got back to the states i was looking through their photos and saw that they were on top of the arc. when i asked how they got there my daughters eyes widened and said "momma it was the most dangerous street i have ever tried to cross". i looked at my husband who was now wearing a gumpy smile - he confessed "er, we didn't know we were suppose to get to the arc by the underground passage - apparently it is illegal to cross the avenue." my daughter then added "the french drivers really like to blare their horns." hmmmmm.
thinking back, i thought they looked a bit flushed when they came back to the apartment that day. and so, now i know.
this is a very quick sketchy little piece - i tried to make the arc de tromphe appear to glow. that was my intention, so i really didn't care too much about the surrounding night. if i paint this again i would spend more time on the rest of the painting - create the shadowy figures in a bit better, etc.
the arc de triomphe was built by napoleon bonaparte in honor of his victories. the 12 main avenues in paris radiate out from it are called the place de l'etoile meaning "star" as that is what it looks like from a bird's eye view.
the avenue des champ elysees is said to be "la plus belle du monde" the most beautiful avenue in the world.