Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To me you will be unique in all the world...

... To you I shall be unique in all the world.

an extract from,

by French aviator Antoine de St-Exupéry

This piece is for Sarah, who recently missed out on a long awaited and well deserved holiday to France, and who has a beautiful blog called Hyacinths for the Soul. It has taken me months (since she won my contest back in January!) to finally come up with an artwork to portray her chosen quote and until today I couldn't figure out why every attempt I've made to date has gone promptly back onto the recycling pile. 

I have read Saint-Exupéry's book 'Le Petit Prince,' in both French and English, and for various reasons, it is special to me. Everytime I read a quote from that book, those very well known illustrations of the Little Prince and his lonely world, that are dotted throughout the story, come flooding back  into my mind. 

Yet the artwork for Sarah could be nothing like the original images. Over and above the obvious reasons of plagiarism if I could even draw that well of course, Sarah wanted blues of Lapis and Indigo (Yay! my favourites). Le Petit Prince comprises sketches of golden yellow and earth green, and one beautiful pink, pink rose. OK, I'll concede there is a little blue in the sky too here and there... but there was still something holidng me back. 
(Insert image of therapist's couch and me agonising over what obscure inner memory could possibly be blocking the successfull completion of Sarah's artwork)


Break through!!
The light bulb appears!!!

Today I set myself up in the sun, determined not to be thwarted. I whipped out my brushes and dusted all thoughts of a little boy, a fox and a flower from of my mind. This is what I finally came up with.

La Marquise de Sévigné and a blue 'plume.'

Sacré bleu! Now I can breathe easier...

If you haven't ever read Le Petit Prince
It's a lovely story
Below are some of my favourite quotes from the book
in French and in English


On Friendship:

"Tu n'es pas encore pour moi qu'un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n'ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n'as pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu'un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde..."

“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…”

“If you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life.”

“You have hair like the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”

On Grown Ups:

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.  (Is this why my Messmonsters keep rolling their eyes at me in a very impatient manner?)

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essentail matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

On Wisdom:

"On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur; l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux"
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


  1. Brilliant post. I have made it back to Aus in one piece! :o)

  2. What a beautiful piece! I love it...

  3. Hi Ange,
    Love the work and the quotes from the book.
    I have it from a thrift excursion but have yet to read...
    Have a wonderful week!

  4. your piece is fabulous and of course I too adore the little Prince!

  5. That book is a classic. However, there are some grown-ups that I'm kind of fond of.

  6. Just lovely Ange...as always!

  7. Thanks for your visit and comment...Yes, I cannot Link. I have tried and failed many times..I finally got the name on my blog to link to but when I clicked it it said "safari cannot open this page... I have not been able to link or put peoples buttons on my blog or any of the other cool stuff....don't know why..could it be cause I have an Apple computer?? Frustrating to say the least...Thanks for asking...Cynthia

  8. Oh, Angie, when you sent the image of this piece in today's email I was totally awe struck. It is perfect, and I am so honored to be the lucky one that receives a special, personalized piece of your art. And now I read this beautiful post . . . you are truly an artist with words as well as with your paint and brushes. My heart is racing with excitement!
    Hugs to you . . . Sarah

  9. One of my favorite books, in English and in French, and I love your piece. For years, when I was still teaching at the university (long, sad story why I am not), I'd always put the dedication to Leon Werth on my Children's Literature syllabus. It is so, so beautiful. Antoine de Saint-Exupery had a gorgeous soul, as do you, Ange. xoxo

  10. It is gorgeous Ange, and I loved learning about the little prince. I bought some plates on Sunday that have titles and pictures on, from the books of Jean de la Fontaine.

    Looks like we both have fables on the brain!

    Bisous, Leeann

  11. Beautiful Ange
    such a lovely 'blue' piece.. as you know my favourite.. I'm a am sure.. and read above.. that Sarah will love it.... Well done...

    You know I have never read the Little Prince.. but have carried a French money note with me for years... from one of my trips to Paris... with the image of the Little Prince.... must be time for me to read it ... [in english sadly .. cannot remember my high school french] xx Julie

  12. Hi, my dear friend Ange,
    Such beautifully written words from 'The Little Prince' and a beautiful piece of art that you have created for Sarah. By the sound of her comment, she is VERY pleased with it. I can't imagine how she is going to feel when she sees it in real life!!
    Your creating juices are flowing to full capacity Ange. I think that you are really in the zone ! XXXX

  13. such a beautiful piece...and thank you for reminding me of the Little Prince. Must go home and dig that one out of my parent's attic...if I can find it!

  14. What a great quote Sarah chose, and your beautiful art makes it so special Ange. Imagine how excited Sarah will be when she sees it in the flesh. How very very clever you are. As for the most apt quote for me - will my girls find it exceedingly tiresome and tedious to explain things to me all the time. I love the 'grown up' quotes so much! Amanda xx

  15. I adore these quotes! I also love the piece you finished - it turned out wonderfully!!! Looks like you are far more productive sans houseguest...
    I am off to french class tonight, to try and convince them that I actually practiced speaking french while in France. I fear the gig is up... :)
    love to you~

  16. Such a beautiful story. My mother read it to me in both French and English when I was very young, and I'm looking forward to reading it to my little girl when she's a bit older. It always makes me cry though, yet I still love it.

  17. Beautiful beautiful piece Ange! I love your work. I've missed so many of your posts!! Your photography is really nice, good job. Love your new blog banner too.

  18. Ange..love the painting, just beautiful. You work magic with blue!
    I read The Little Prince to my son a few years ago and loved the story. A perfect combination, words and paint!

    Now...I have tagged you for your 10th photo:)
    More details on my blog...


  19. Oh Ange, this is such a wonderful post. I enjoyed every moment of it. Your art is fresh and delicious to behold and the words you share, Well I took in every word.

  20. good summary of adults! (I roll my eyes here!) But with regards to being tamed, what if one cannot be tamed!!!???? Oh to remain wild and not grow up *sigh* . . .

    The course is going so well, I am loving it sooooo much, Will tell you more one day I am sure.


  21. Just having returned home from a week long visit with our grandkids, these sweet quotes from that book made me smile and realize how much we really do learn from being with them.
    Your artwork, in addition to being so lovely, made me remember that "le plume" were the first French words that I learned in 3rd grade. ~Lili

  22. I love how artistic you are, Ange. That piece is beautiful! My favorite color ever is that lapis blue.

    The Little Prince is such a lovely book. I've read it to both of my kids.

  23. I love the artwork you have created and I have enjoyed reading the quotes too.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    best wishes

  24. it is a lovely book, one that I haven't read for a long time, I will go back to it.

    And such a beautiful artwork

    ...And loving the new header

  25. Very nicely done, Ange, and your appreciation of the book illuminates both your post and your illustration. I'm still struck by your idea of illustrating a quote - the task demands an interpretation, more so than words do. Look at how this comment is turning out, so desperately abstract, whereas if I could present you with an image we'd be home and dry.

  26. Hi Ange, I really enjoyed this post and loved loved loved the quotes. I must re read this book. I read it at school when learning French...now long forgotten alas... It reminded me of my youngest son. When he was about 3 I had a wonderful friend who was renovating a very and I mean, very small house. It was caos and she wasn;t a housekeeper on top of it but the house was always filled with so much love and fun and noise and games and really loud music and kids making and painting everywhere that my son asked me one day "Can we get a fally downy house too" To him it may have looked like it was falling down but it was the best place in the world...and it was. Sadly my friend passed away 6 years ago. I carry the key to this house in my hand bag...a reminder of when I used to let myself in when she was ill and I can't bear not to have a peace of the love of that house...I realize I have rambeld on....did you know you are a therapist too haha Love the painting...you are so clever. ..secretly I am very jealous and in awe of your talent..cheers Katherine

  27. Hi Ange....yes, I got your e-mail and thought it would be of interest to you. Please do not worry about stopping over at the farm - I know how busy us moms can be...and if I can ever help you transition to home schooling your children, I would be honored.

    that last quote is by far my favorite you posted....

    have a wonderful weekend Ange.

  28. Ange,
    What an incredible artist and soul you have/are...one of my favourite books, you truly captured it!
    Ahhh, such talent! And if I do not get back in time, a very Happy Mother's Day to you...but then now I remember it is celebrated on a different day in France, no?
    Happy weekend,

  29. St Exupery is one of my favourite writers. I had a Jesuit professor who used St Exupery's writings in his theology lectures. He spent a year in Strasbourg writing about St E's life and translating his work as part of his dissertation. I find i quote St E all the time, especially when it comes to friendship. I love the piece you've done, it's exquisite.:)

  30. Oh I love Le Petit Prince! I've just discovered your lovely blog via Small Acorns - have a wonderful weekend!


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!