Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exhibition & Coincidence

Last week I read about a nearby exhibit of paintings by a young American artist named 
Jared Coffin.


While that name will mean nothing to most of you, anyone who has lived on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, as I once did, will recognize it right away. Two bothers Tristram & Jared Coffin were some of the original settelers of the island. But even  thoes who are not history buffs, know the name form the islands lanmark inn 

Well since encountering Americans from any state is rare in these parts, I set out to find this young man & his art work.

On meeting, all I had to say was "Nantucket" & we had lots to talk about. Jared is actually from New Hampshire but is definitely related to the historic family & his infamous name sake. Jared has been living & painting in none other than St. Antonin for the past two years.

What a coincidence!

What I was not prepared for though was how beautiful his paintings are. His show consisted of works that he has completed since living here in France & they are lovely. His masterful use of oil glazes adds a wondrous depth & luminosity, while his use of color is simply sublime.

He had a combination of both familiar French scenes & subtle abstract  offerings. Unfortunately these photographs in no way do justice to the beauty of his work. These are paintings that are best seen in person.

At first glance one might see an enchanting scene but on closer examination delicate detail draws you into the painting & a magical world beyond.

If you happen to be in the area & missed the show don't dispair, Jared & his lovely partner are opening a gallery in St. Antonin in the near future. So keep your eyes open, this artist really deserves to be noticed. And for all of those of you not in southwest Franec at the moment check out Jared's website here

It is always a pleasure to introduce a new & talented young artist & especially one that shares so many coincidental similarities

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stripes & Dots

The French definitely have a thing for stripes. You see them everywhere or at least you see them everywhere down here in the sunny southwestern part of France.

These are bolts of fabrics sometimes sold in markets that are used to make beautiful table cloths. The fabric is coated for easy cleaning & the table cloths work perfectly in kitchens & for out door dinning.

There are of course the traditional French striped tee shirts which are ever present.

I just happened to see these little striped espresso cups at a vidé grenier recently. 

Espadrilles ....

.....& the stripes of the market tents & umbrellas....

.....yes it seems one sees stripes just about everywhere.

But polka dots are a close second. If one doesn't want stripes, dots will usually do.

I happened onto this polka dottie little picnic scene & was simply charmed by it.

Here are two separate dotted ensembles passing on a market lane,

where you can find bags & baskets with dots.

Although we are close to Spain I was still surprised to see these beautiful flamingo dresses hanging in a brocante. I just love the colors & the frills & of course the dots.

I share the French love of stripes & dots & I enjoy seeing them at every trun.

What about you? Are you a stripes or polka dot person? 

I am linking this post up with Paulita's Dreaming of France weekly meme. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Déjeuner à Toulouse

Yesterday we spent a day in Toulouse. The morning was spent at IKEA, looking for & purchasing things needed for the house. As anyone who has ever been to an IKEA knows, & no matter what country you may be in, the IKEA shopping experience is an exhausting one. So the rest of the afternoon was devoted to a leisurely alfresco lunch & some people watching. Toulouse like any other large city is fast paced.  One sees people busy on their smart phones & rushing by. Very different to the quiet, calm country life we are accostumed to here on France but it was a happy, welcomed change of pace.

Whether busy or calm I hope your weekend is fabulas & just what you want it to be.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Les Paniers (Part 2)

I confess to being one of thoes people that is curious about what other people have in their shopping carts at the supermarket. Back home I  guess the curiosity is simply wondering what other people eat, what their habits are. But here in France my curiosity is less about what someone has bought as it is about the artistry of the purchases.

I can't help but wonder what's in all thoes beautiful shopping baskets. The little packets of pastries & cheeses,  the fruits & vegetables at the bottom so artfully arranged are all so beautiful & enticing

Even when it isn't possible to actually peek inside, there is often some lovely thing sticking out the side of a basket, a bouquet of flowers warped in newspaper for example.

Sometimes it looks as if the basket belongs to a tourist buying all the necessities for an impromptu picnic.

While others are  filled with  artisanal breads & vegatables & other farm fresh supplies for the coming week.

And then there are thoes
that clearly contain the ingredients for a classic French Sunday lunch.

But no matter what the purchases are there is such a beauty to them. It almost seems as if the very act of shopping at the market in France is in & of itself an actual art form.

Today I am linking up with Paulits's weekly meme Dreaming of France
Wishing you all a happy Monday !

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Les Paniers au Marché (Part 1)

The tradition of the French market is not complete without the French market basket. They come in all shapes & sizes as well as a multitude of colors. 

At almost every market there is at least one vender selling baskets. In the St. Antonin market there are a number of different basket stalls offering a variety of beautiful & useful baskets & totes.

One thing is certain, one simply does not go to the market without some sort of basket & more often than not with two baskets.

It is as much a tradition as the market itself. Everyone it seems has his or her favorite, sturdy but well woren basket or baskets to " faire les courses". 

With list in hand, they tuck each of their purchases into their baskets as they make their way from one vendor to the next, much like the gentleman above. Yes, that is a gentleman in the photo above & yes, men as well as women do their marketing with a basket over their arm.

I love the tradition of the market basket. Although the style of the baskets has changed over the years, the addition of bright colors for example, the market basket has always been a part of the market experience. This is the way it has always been & 
I find something very comforting in that.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bonne Fête du Quatorze Juillet

Happy Bastille Day!

Although not a whole lot happens in my little village, the 14th of  July is a great day for Francophiles everywhere to celebrate all things French. I happen to know that there will be a party or two in Charleston. So where ever you may be I wish you a Bonne Fête !

I put together the sunny photos above in anticipation of Bastille Day but in fact as you can see below the celebration I attended yesterday was a rainy affair.

Whether rain or shine I hope your day is a happy one! 

I am linking this with Paulita's Dreaming of France weekly meme.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Drawing Challenge: What's That?

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.


I'm not sure I completely agree with Picasso but I do think everything I paint comes from somewhere.

Here is what I have been working on in the studio in several of its stages.

It's not finished yet....but.....

What's that?

Good question! I will just have to leave it up to the viewer to decide.

To find more answers to that question go over to Carole Ried's blog & take a look.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bonne Anniversaire Emily!

I can not believe that you are 15 years old today!
I love you.
 And I am so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become.
Happy Birthday Emily!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Au Café

It is lively at the cafe at the moment. Flags are hung in honor of the World Cup & even though France lost to Germany on Friday spirits remain high.

Never mind that it's morning..... one can order café au lait or a glass of wine it doesn't matter.

In the summer the cafe is always crowded & noisy, filled with laughter & good humor

But one can find a spot to drink your coffee or orange juice in peace & read le journal.

Reading the news paper & catching up on sports is an important activity at the cafe.

Sometimes cafe life is just a bit too much & a little tiring.

But one thing is for sure, one always feels welcomed & at home at the cafe.

I am linking these thoughts of France to Paulita's weekly meme Dreaming of France