Sénanque Abbey near Gordes in Provence is one of my favorite destinations to paint. Not only is it beautiful, it is incredibly peaceful and filled with scents from the rows of lavender surrounding the 1178 buildings. At times you can hear the Cisterion Monks chanting in the chapel, or just enjoy the quiet reverence of the location. Since lavender is my favorite scent, I purchased some products in the shop along with a few art books and postcards. I used new colors from Daniel Smith including Lavender and Wisteria. I photographed the process and will share with Daniel Smith in a future article.
Yesterday was my Birthday, and I recognized even more how blessed I am with family and friends. I came here seeking tranquility and found it. I’ve discovered even more, how to just “be”. The peace that I discovered here will come home with me to share. I hope you feel it through my blog.
One thing I know is to look upwards with faith. To let go of anything that holds your spirit down. To choose happiness everyday and it will choose you back. Lifetime is filled with moments that define us.
I recognize the women in my life who have led the way for me, who share my journey, who hold my hand. Mother’s, Daughters, Grandmothers, Friends, Sisters, Aunts, Cousins, In-laws, Students, Neighbors…those who share their stories of faith, endurance, discovery, humanity, life, and art. Thank you for being a part of my life. I hold each of you so close to my heart. I’m grateful for Mary, she’s everywhere here in France, so adored. This statue is so simple and welcoming, it’s lilke she is reaching out here hand to all of us.
I have no will power when it comes to the bagette’s from the best Boulangerie in L’Isle sur la Sorgue.
Allowing myself to go only once every 3 to 4 days, their wood fired oven and special recipe make it the best bread in town. For less than 1 euro you can have a bagette that is unbelieveable. Add butter and and some rosemary honey and it’s even better. So you can understand why I don’t go every day or I would come back twice as big….so every few days it’s a treat and I don’t deny myself a single bite. I’ve become a bit of a bread snob now…not worth the calories from anywhere else.
They even kindly let me practice my “petite” bit of french.
First I walked. Then I bought a bicycle with Dina and Bernard and rode it out and about and then I rented a car and drove as far a Sault. So far I’m happiest coming back to L’Isle sur la Sorgue and staying in my Penthouse Apartment; here is a tour video link: https://youtu.be/B0UKyhjWIXA
Springtime in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence
From the snowcovered, frozen landscape of Bend, Oregon, I have traveled to the charming and much warmer village of “L’Iles sur la Sorgue” in Provence. In this I will be sharing my experience as I discover the stillness within my heart and soul and give myself the time to write, paint, ponder and just be.
After one week of the gentle cooing of the doves, the sweetness of the churchbells ringing outside my apartment, and the rhythms of the French people living all around me; I know in my heart I am meant to be here at this time and place.
I’m making every day a painting, by making the most of each day. In a way it feels as if my heart has gone from winter into spring with new uplifiting possibilities.
In Provence, Be Humble and Smile a lot.
With growing appreciation for the traditions and cultures in this Provence town, the baker, the butcher, the florist, the pharmacist and more all specialize in their product. I have learned it is best to support the L’Isle shops and get advice and purchase what is kindly recommended. The personal attention and concern to please you is authentic.
Obviously an American visitor here, I am trying to speak with my tiny petite bits of French, smile and humbly thank everyone for their kindness. As I ride my bicycle through town exploring the various streets, I feel like they will let me belong here for a time. Simon and Francis in the Tourist Office across the Place de la Liberte, smile when I enter with my questions and patiently direct me to my next adventure throughout Provence.
Finding my way around Provence.
I’ve waited a week to start this blog, to get my footing and “just be”. After many complicated arrangements and life changes, I boarded the flight to Paris with no challenges and train ride to Avignon went smoothly. Dina and Bernard kindly picked me up in Avignon to take me to my apartment bouquetdeprovence.com/ in town, just around the corner from their spacious home that was once a bed and breakfast.
I woke up the next morning to a fabulous market outside my window and have been learning my way around this week. I know how to catch the train, ride my bike to the grocery store and where the best place is to buy bread. I think I will thrive here with all the necessities taken care of and time to enrich my soul with this time surrounded by the Couleours of Provence.
I will be randomly sharing my stories and paintings throughout this journey, I hope you enjoy coming along.
Bend, Oregon – The Art Station
The Art Station In the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon 3 to 5 Hour Watercolor Workshops with Cindy Briggs. Call 541-617-1317 for details or visit the Art Station. Cindy’s workshops are focused on developing your own style and building confidence as you discover a deeper understanding of design and watercolor techniques. Her positive approach and willingness to share her insight makes for an enriching experience for all levels. Learn how to simplify a complex subject, how to create dramatic compositions, how to jazz up your color, utilize creative color strategies, and more… If class is full call the Art Station to get on the waiting list. Sign up early to reserve your space at www.artscentraloregon.org. More details about each class will be on the Arts Central website. The easiest classes are underlined.
Visit www.ArtsCentralOregon.org or call 541-617-1317 to sign up. Classes fill up fast.
Watercolor Fundamental Simplified Classes for beginners or to just jump start your painting:
4/5 – WATERCOLOR REFLECTIONS
5/3 – PLAYING WITH COLOR
Continuing Watercolor Classes:
4/7 – COLORADO COLORS
5/5 – FANCY FLORALS
5/17 – EXAGGERATING COLOR
5/25 – WATERCOLOR CLOUDS
Watercolor Workshop – All Levels
5/12 & 13 – PAINTING IN A SERIES
I am truly looking forward to our artist’s retreat in France this May. Following a week in Spain we are headed to Collioure, a true Artist’s town with everything just steps from our hotel. I can’t wait. Until then, I will be focused on painting, painting and more painting as I have a number of shows to enter, some exhibitions planned and a long list of commissions. Sometimes I need a lot of goals to get a lot done. We’ll see how 2015 flows. As a very goal oriented person, I’m working on being organized…always, enjoying each day, taking time to have personal prayer, meditation and mindful time. Slow it down, do less, be better. Let’s see how it goes.
Having persevered though my own cancer experience with St. Charles Medical Center, I’m honored to have my Smith Rock watercolor, “Endurance” in the New St. Charles Cancer Center collection. Smith Rock represents a place of strength, peace and continuance; it is a sanctuary to some and a place to be conquered to others. With each colorful brushstroke I thought of the family, friends and medical professionals who helped me through my surgery, treatments and recovery. I also continue to reflect on the personal fortitude, faith, optimism and endurance that it takes to face the challenge and continue onward with a new perspective and respect for life. – Cindy Briggs
St. Charles will host a reception for participating artist’s in August. Watch for the invitation.
It is truly an honor to be chosen as the feature artist of the Deschutes Children’s Foundation annual Art and Wine Event. The painting was a labor of love to help raise awareness and funds for children and families in need in Central Oregon. My painting “Terrazzo Tuscano” is also on the cover of the Cascade A&E, our local arts magazine. here is a link to the story: http://www.cascadeae.com/ It will probably work until the end of April 2014. Thank you to Renee Patrick for a thoughtful article, I really appreciate it. The colors aren’t true to the painting, hope you get to see it – or better yet, take it home.