As many of you know, I went to France two years ago for an artists’ residency. It was a life altering experience both creatively and personally. Before I left, I knew that I needed to make extended creative experiences a regular part of my life.
This year, I have decided to go to the south of France for my own personal artist residency. I have rented a cottage in Avignon France for a month. This cottage will be my studio and the base for my adventures. I will create. I will explore. I will relax. I will shop at local markets. And, I will drink really good wine.
Wait, where are you going?
I chose the city of Avignon for my next adventure. I wanted something in the south of France. I’ve been to Paris and the north several times and I wanted to see something new. The south of France has long been a haven for artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso. The light and the colors are beautiful.
I have chosen to rent a cottage just across the Rhone River from the city. It is part of a Bed and Breakfast compound. They have rooms, cottages, apartments and even a Gypsy Caravan for rent. It is not a Chateau this time, but it is cute and cozy with outdoor space. I will be “in residence” the month of September.
But, what will you do?
My main objective is to step away from the everyday life of a software consultant living in Texas and experience a different way of life. I will be making art and finding inspiration. I will be slowing down and reading a book in the garden. I will be lingering over a baguette and glass of wine.
Something that I continue to treasure are the friendships that I made at the Chateau. We talked, laughed and explored. While I do not want to be a “tour guide”, I would love to have other intrepid folks join me at the Domaine in September for your own self-styled adventure. If you are interested, check out the Domaine de Rhodes. If you have questions, please message me or send me an email at tangerinetabby at gmail dot com.
Well, if you'd look only at my blog, you'd think I went to France and never came back. I do have to say it was tempting. It was an amazing experience that I am so glad I took the time to do. I slept, painted and drank champagne. The home and the people were just wonderful. It really helped to recharge after a very stressful couple of years.
One of the things that I worked on were gelatin prints. I finally had the time to dive in and really get to know a process. And, I loved it! I've been doing them ever since. Above is an example of a finished piece featuring the gelatin print.
I will try to do better at posting on my blog when there are more in depth postings. I am very good at posting on Instagram though, so please hop on over there to see more frequent short postings.
I haven't posted much on my blog this year. It is one of the casualties of my busy life this year. I kind of threw myself into work partially as a distraction and partially to fund a six week sabbatical. And, I'm excited to say that the trip to France is almost here. Three weeks and I'm walking along the Seine!
Today's photo from the chateau is this adorable goat. He lives at the chateau and is probably considered one of the groundskeepers. I've also gotten a list of the other artists who will also be doing residencies this fall. What amazing talent! I can't wait to meet them all and learn some new things.
If you'd like to follow along on the adventure, you can follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page (click the photo below). I post a lot more on Instagram these days. I also published a new newsletter with more photos. You can view that here.
The death of my mother has been quite a shock to my system. Things just aren't the same anymore. I know those who have lost someone will understand. I tried to understand when my friends went through this before me, but nothing could really prepare me. Some days are good and I cherish her memory. Other days, I cry at random times - like when I broke down sobbing in the Memphis airport for no special reason.
One of the things that has been neglected is my studio time. I just haven't felt like making anything. Usually, that brings me joy, but, for a while I would go to the studio and just sit and feel empty. I've been trying to give myself some space and let it come when it comes.
Lately though, I've been getting the itch to create. This past weekend, I had a few hours and I got out my watercolors. Birds were a favorite of my mother's so I'm not surprised that they showed up on the paper.
Last year, I came across an Instagram post calling for artists for a residency in a chateau in the Champagne region in France. A month living in a chateau and making art! Last year was difficult and the thought of running away sounded fantastic. So I applied. What did I have to lose?
I was notified that I was accepted the day after I received really bad news about my mother's health. It could not have come at a better time. I was able to share the news with my mother, and, it gave me something to focus on. Life would continue after her death and she wanted me to keep doing the things that bring me joy.
I am excited to announce that I'm off to France for a month in September. No work. No responsibilities. Just immerse myself in French culture, drink champagne, engage with other artists and make art! Think of all the wonderful French ephemera that will find its way in to my mixed media work. Je suis tout excite'!
I'm taking French classes to help me prepare. So far, I am excellent at ordering coffee and croissants. I've gotten the important things down right?
I haven't been in the studio much lately, but I do have some news! I was published in the March and May issues of Somerset Studio. Both issues feature some of my eco-dyed papers used in mixed media artwork.