I was at a beginning printmaking workshop and I didn’t like the first few drawings I made, a nature scene that just wasn’t working and a doodle to let off frustration. Visual art is usually just a fun stress relief for me. But I wanted to do something more.

I don’t know where the idea to draw the Eiffel Tower came from, except that I studied years of French growing up so I grew up with the image. I drew from memory.

I was thinking of a French girl I met through a high school exchange. She stayed at my childhood house near NYC for a week, and we went to the top of the North Tower in April 2000, both amazed at the building’s sway.

Later I would get the chance to visit her in her town outside Paris, and afterwards we exchanged IM’s through the rest of high school. In one of our last routine conversations, we talked about separating nationality from nationalism as the USA led the invasion of Iraq – a move the French government had opposed.

The idea to make this a tricolor triptic naturally evolved from the materials and the nature of the workshop. Soon after I finished this, I was relieved to hear that Marie-Claire and her family were safe.

I hope that this little contribution can help Paris heal.