|"La Femme Courageuse"
By Joseph Zamboni
For the final project, an oil painting on canvas will be turned
in; titled, "La Femme Courageuse," the painting depicts a lone female figure
overlooking a ship at sunset. I would like to donate the piece to the Franco-American
Center, or wherever Rhea sees fit. The intent of this work was to depict
the nature of the early Franco-American women's experience. I apologize
to everyone for being obscure with my project; I tried tracking down a
digital camera but to no avail. I wanted to add a little information about
my project in case anyone gets to see it.
Firstly, the silhouetted nature of both the figure and ship represent
the anonymous nature of the many women who bravely came to a new land,
our country, and founded its lands, only to be forgotten by the nation
they birthed. While we do have examples of founding Franco-American women
such as Jeanna Mance, who showed exemplary valor in not only being one
of the first and only settlers of New France but starting the first hospital,
this piece is for those who have been lost or forgotten by time. Thus a
solitary figure is present to represent the individuality and self-sufficiency
of the Franco-American woman.
I was most inspired in the courage of "Les Filles Du Roy," where
these independent spirits came to a land that was not unfamiliar, but completely
unknown by them. It would seem that these women would have formed intense
bonds with one another, but also share in their individual fears and hopes
in the new world. While painting this the image I found myself imaging
being in a new world, and my transportation heading home without me. This
moment in time, seems like it would be one of the hardest to deal with.
Such intensity became my focus.
I was also inspired by the bravery in "French Women of North
America," by Corinne Rocheleau Rouleau, as it helped me rethink Žthe patriot'
with musket, standing tall against Žattacks'. Although apocryphal, we have
ingrained that men somehow were the fighters in colonial warfare, when
in actuality there were not only many women who fought along side husbands,
brothers, and sons, there were communities of women who had to defend themselves.
For this reason, the portrait holds a posture that is straight and strong.
The figure, standing tall, is also inspired by those who had
courage when they had less or no free will, but still were integral to
starting a new world, as we saw in Marguerite Ledoux, the French Bound-out
Girl experiencing the New World with an English family.
The frame of the picture is also a part of the piece. This old strapping
I found was a perfect addition to the painting because it reminded me of
time and history, and about how the simple things hold a lot of stories.
Anyway, I hope that some of you get to see it, and enjoy as much
as I have your finals.