After taking my workshop ladies to the wonderful Saturday market in Revel, we hopped in the cars and took off for Albi, about an hour away. Along the way we pulled off to a picnic site and had a most wonderful pique-nique from the market- olives, cheese, bread, apricots, tomatoes,almond, spicy radishes and other delights.
Albi is a magnificent small city. The astounding fortress-like cathedral presides over a delightful pedestrian only city centre, filled with shops, boutiques, cafes, and beautiful architecture from the 14 and 15C. The cathedral itself is literally jaw-dropping. I am designing – or at least sketching- some new jewelry inspired by the magnificent gargoyles.
On top of this, the Toulouse Lautrec Museum is right around the corner and houses not only the fabulous posters, but his early drawings and paintings.
If one needs a rest, the small boats cruise– old wooden boats- are right there at the river behind the Cathedral to give a unique perspective of this magnificent city.
We started off the workshop by visiting our neighbor village Soreze- a medieval village filled
with photo-ops and inspiration. Many doors in the village have exquisite and unusual door knockers that I think can lead to some interesting ideas to link, hinge or combine parts together. Hmmnnn….. I need to get my journal out and start sketching some ideas.
I photographed several peeling paint doors– the look of the faded and deteriorating paint and patinas is a rich source of ideas for color and surface textures. We also visited the nearby monastery, En Calcat, which has an incredible bookstore filled with art books, icons and even jazz CD’s!
The Saturday market here in Revel has been going on since the 14th Century. Just like pictures you have seen in books and magazines, it is a dazzling display of fruits and vegetables providing potent inspiration for gorgeous color combinations.
I’m taking with me my journal and colored pencils to try to capture the beautiful colorways. Also at the market are buttons, ribbons and trims, colorful woven baskets, trendy fashions and the Provencal fabrics, tablecloths, dishcloths and napkins. I bought six Jacquard dishcloths to turn into seat cushions for my dining room chairs. My first groups arrives on Wednesday- I’m very excited!
I’ve arrived at beautiful La Cascade where I’ll be teaching workshops this summer (info on France page). After landing in Paris we went straight to Versailles for a day of exploration.
The chateau and gardens are a feast for the senses. I was particularly inspired by the sumptuous wallpapers and upholstery fabrics– glorious color combinations that I can see will lead to a new series of brocade brooches.
And the hundreds of beautiful statues throughout the gardens and fountains got my imagination going on a new approach for a series of Renaissance figures.
Today was spent here in the garden at La Cascade, weeding and pruning a path to the beautiful river and waterfall (la cascade).
Bonjour! I’m off to France in a few days and my goal is to “journal” from there evey week (depending of course on finding cyber cafes along the way) to show you how I’m using what I see as a “creative spark” and inspiration.Â
I’ll be joined in June and July by my students- adventuresome and talented- who will be coming for my workshops in southern France.Â The area is so rich with medieval villages,Â artists, fleaÂ markets– I’m excited to share it all with you.Â
So please check in every now and then- I’ll begin about June 1st- and join me on this adventure!