Showing posts from December, 2017


February 20, 2018 I've completed two more paintings, "Ratatouille" and "Linda's Macareux (Puffins)".  I actually started "Ratatouille" first --bought the vegetables, did several set-ups, several photos, back-and-forth (including with teacher and friend, online) about which version to select.  Ultimately chose a set-up that wasn't my first choice, but was others', and turns out they were right (they're both artists, so have a better eye than I do -- at least at this stage in my artistic development.  Ratatouille:  Photo of vegetables on board on top of washing machine in my kitchen. Then came the drawing, which I'm getting better at (especially since I've started with a weekly drawing group), but curved lines remain a challenge -- well, so do straight lines, for that matter!  :) "Ratatouille"drawing Next, "color blocking" -- mixing and painting major shapes with solid colors, in acrylic, mostl

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...

...and all through the day (Sunday, Dec. 17), people were going to Christmas markets, putting up decorations (traditionally not done much before week before Christmas), and attending musical concerts.  I did two out of three.  And, as usual, each day here brings its special gift of life in rural France. First stop was a village about 20 minutes south of me, called Magnac Laval.  The sign is on the side of an old building, and I took the picture just to set the location; it's not indicative of what the town looks like, which is your basic French country charming.  :)  Every commune, village, town and city has its own "Marché de Noël"; I've been to two. Not surprisingly, my favorite parts were learning about local customs, and engaging with the people. Thus, the picture below with the woman standing behind the jars, shows popular dessert made with rice or semolina, milk, sugar and flavoring (e.g., cocoa, vanilla, raisin, etc.).  I bought one with

A sweet day

Tuesday, 12 December: Sunny and not too cold. Finished making some changes on my painting of avocados...stopped in at the mairie (municipal office) and joked (in French) with Bernadette that I was going to apply for a handicapped parking card because I was incapacitated by my long holiday fingernails (she cracked up at that)... went into St. Sulpice (3 min drive) and got a pain au chocolat (pastry with chocolate) and then stopped in for coffee and chat with Pierette at La Presse; though she was busy with customers, as usual in the morning, she still had time to catch up on my social life (such as it is)... on to Family Village outside Limoges (this has become rather a pilgrimage) for some Xmas and me-shopping, including lunch at a cafeteria called "flunch", which included escargots (snails) in the salad bar (!!) and my choice, a sort of French version of Jewish deli: lox (smoked salmon), cream cheese (more cream than cheese and with herbs) and cute little rounds of g

Why France Has Won My Heart

Montmorillon in the Vienne département of Poitou-Charente now has a rival for my affections -- the town of Argenton-sur-Creuse ("on the Creuse River"), a wonderful town in Berry, the province comprised of the départements of Indre and Cher, in the "Centre" region, less than half an hour northeast from me.  This is also known as the Valley of the Painters for its popularity with the Impressionists (especially Monet); the region was also home to author George Sand , where I visited a couple of years ago.  I did some Christmas shopping, took photos, and carried off an armful of printed materials from the very nice lady in the tourist office who understood immediately what I wanted when I said I was interested in possibly settling in Argenton.  (I am always clear about my circumstances when I make these inquiries, so I'm neither misled nor misleading.)  (Narrative continues after photos) It was, however, an encounter with