Monday, July 24, 2006

have to put some art up

horse at the 18th century lavender farm we visited

I've been cresting on a creativity wave since we got back from France, and want to share some artwork with you. I have so much I want to put up! Photos, art, thoughts about what I saw and did. Whew!

So I'll continue on with our trip. The first full day there we went to an open air market in Coustillet, a town near where we were staying. The thing that struck me about life in France is how much value the French put on beauty. The market was full of beauty. All the of the shoppers carried beautiful woven shopping baskets in vibrant colors and pretty patterns. No ugly plastic bags for them! I LOVED that!

The vendors all had displays bursting with color and texture. Flower vendors, butchers, fish mongers, bakers, booths filled with fine french linens. It was truly a feast for the eyes and soul.

We headed back to the house, and then began a routine that we stuck to throughout the trip. We fixed lunch, then got our bathing suits on and laid by the pool relaxing, swimming, and talking. We did that everyday until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Then we would head out again for awhile exploring.

My mom, Brigitte and I did some painting at home of a chair with a pot of sunflowers perched on top. I was glad I went swimming first, as it was warm! Most days got into the upper 90's (dry, however) and the sun was intense. We sat in her garage (soon to be an artist's studio) and looked out at our still life. It was lovely.

We worked till about 5pm, then everyone got changed and we headed out to the Abbey of Saturnie. This was our first real experience of French roads other than the highway. The roads are only wide enough for about one and third small cars. Therefore, every time you see someone coming the opposite way, you both have to manuver around one another without pitching into the deep ditches that are found on the sides of the roads. Let me just say I'm glad I didn't drive! To get to the Abbey we had to climb to the top of a mountain, then head down the other side. The mountain road is only wide enough for one car, so if someone's coming the other way, you have to pull in to a little cut-out in the mountain and wait for them to pass. Of course the road is winding, so you can't really see all that well. We made it to the bottom without incident, then headed down the road into the Abbey. A stone giant surrounded by mountains, trees and and fields of lavender. It's still a working abbey, and the monks there grow and process lavender as their way to make a living to support themselves.

After much picture taking and ohhing and ahhing, we enjoyed a leisurely, delicious dinner at the house, then went for a walk in the area around Brigitte's house. That was one of my favorite parts of the trip, walking in the evening and seeing the little towns on the mountains lit up, surrounded by open fields of vineyards and lavender.


d. said...

Wow! I bet all that lavendar smelled AWESOME! I would've just laid down in the field and taken deep breaths for a couple hours! :)

d. said...


kirsty said...

Wow, those market bags are too gorgeous! And your sunflower painting is great :)