Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Cats of France

Ahhh .... the French Chat. What an incredible life ... for a cat to live in France !!! For those of you who know the legendary poster 'Chat Noir', it must be wonderful for the cat to be so celebrated in France !

This photo I took for Phinneas Despereaux Schlegel ... maybe a long distance cousin ?

And, Monsieur le Chat ... Porquoi look so crabby when you have the greatest life of all ??? As they say 'what a puss' !!

So .... I am hoping that my future French husband finds me soon ... because I only have five more weeks in beautiful Antibes - Paradise - but ... WHO knows when it will happen ... like the song says ... 'What a difference a day makes' ....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hemingway of the Sea

Hemingway of the Sea

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Fete de St. Pierre was held in beautiful Antibes. I strolled around for a bit over the weekend, but on Sunday I had the great pleasure of being asked to join some others in an old fishing boat. They were headed to where the Mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, would toss the wreath of flowers into the sea in honor of the fisherman who passed before and for the fisherman of today. It's really quite a moving ceremony with a Reverened performing a benediction. Of course after the solemnness and the celebration of the benediction, everyone heads to the Village St. Pierre for some cocktails and punch.

I was very happy with this photo ... and although I didn't ask permission at the time, I think Michel, the captain of the boat, was pleased as well.

The mayor from St. Pierre, Martinique was present for the ceremonyl. It was his first time in Antibes ... and then he invited me to share dinner with him and his friends in Nice .... Hmmm ... ok ... so after a quick wash and outfit change, I returned to the Village St. Pierre and off we went to the train station. The trains are clean and efficient and quiet ... and it was nice to learn about a land where I know nothing of. I've been to Europe nine times, but never to the Caribbean. The mayor of St. Pierre was kind to invite me to have a painting exhibition there ... so, who knows what the future will bring.

It was late when I returned to the beautiful villa with garden in the center of Antibes ... but I awoke early, walked to the Cap and climbed the rocky steps to the Garoupe. Gosh ... it was difficult ... and next Sunday the sailors of Antibes will carry the stature of Notre Dame de Bon Port ... BAREFOOT !! And, It's been done the same way for over 1000 years ... incroyable !

Attention American women: This is what a French sailor looks like ! And he's as kind as he is beautiful - thanks Mathieu !!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My life in the South of France

This is beautiful Antibes, France. Each morning I power walk for approximately three hours. My newest walk includes the strenuous walk up to the Garoupe ... the large hill which overlooks Cap d'Antibes, Juan les Pins, the old Village of Antibes .. and you can see as far as Nice and Cannes. To put it plainly, it's spectacular !!!!! So, this is a photo from the top of Garoupe. Ahhh ... truly sheer heaven.

This is the lovely area of the Garoupe ... I pass beautiful villas and incredible parasol pines ... it's quiet and peaceful ... and the only unpleasant thing are the blisters and cramps from my too small new Keds. Next time: size 8.

This is the newly acquired mega-sculpture by Jaume Plensa entitled: Le Nomade. I have pro and slightly non pro thoughts about it. First of all ... it's fantastic ! I love that Antibes invests in art - expensive art. I only wish that they would want my paintings also ... the two slightly non pro thoughts about it are:

#1. It's a copy of the original that used to be here three years ago. The original is in Miami, Florida.

#2. I wish that the man in the sculpture didn't have such a rounded back. It's how I see my own ... bent over the computer .... I am also not sure about the shoulders ... and how they reach the neck.

But, don't get me wrong ... it's really wonderful that Antibes cares about art ... especially in this economy ... believe me, I know ALL about the struggles of being an artist in this very trying time that we are living in ....
My favorite sculpture in Antibes is the fantastic sculpture at the pinede where this year they celebrate 50 years of Jazz a Juan !!!!!

So ... tomorrow I attend the Fete de St. Pierre ... the festival of St. Peter ... the fisherman. I'm very excited about it and will takes lots of photos of beautiful sailors.

So until then, a bientot mon ami --

bon nuit

p.s. this was last night's dinner .... yum !!!

Leffe Biere


Salade Nicoise

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beautiful Antibes

Voila ! I have arrived !!

Yes, once again my luggage was lost ... but that may have been a good thing because honestly it was too heavy to lug around by myself. Two bags, 50lbs each. Lots of art supplies, little clothes.

My friend Isabelle picked me up at the beautiful Nice airport ... and then we lunched at a charming little restaurant with white linens on the tables nestled under a large shade tree. Parfait !

We then drove to see her father, Wolf, who had friends over from Ireland ... so international. He's the president of the twinning association in Antibes and always hosts the most interesting guests.

Afterwards we went to the beautiful house and garden where I am living until the end of the month. Monique is very, very nice and generous and kind ... each morning she serves crunchy bread with homemade jam that she makes from the orange tree that grows in her garden. She fascinating and friendly and I am extremely lucky to be here.

We then drive to a gallery opening in a nearby village ... I'm telling you ... everybody comes out for art openings here ... wall to wall people in beautiful clothing discussing art in ways only the French can do. It seems that everyone has observations and insight and there are always lively discussions. Of course, I'm in Paradise for sure !

I've already finished one painting of the Villa Fontaine ... I painted at the Marche Provencal on Sunday evening ... it was great to see my artist friends again ! I do want to focus on plein aire painting this trip here ... as last year I only painted at the Villa and in the Market.

Last night I attended a wonderful performance at Eilenroc. The presentation was celebrating the 30 years of the Musique Conservetoire. It was wonderful to see friends that I haven't seen since last year ... and the great surprise was that dignitaries from Schwaebisch Gmuend were in attendance as well. Richard Arnold is the mayor of Schwaebisch Gmuend - he's bright and handsome and funny. The last time I saw him, he attended an intimate dinner party in Michaele and Conrad's pretty garden and I had the pleasure of his sitting right next to me.

See, this is the life that I want. This is the life that I long for ...

So ... maybe this year I will find my future French husband with villa and bidet ... one can always hope ... n'cest-ce pas mon ami ?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival

This is the poster for this year's Hudson Valley WIne & Food Festival. The festival takes place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in beautiful Dutchess County, NY. The dates are September 11th and 12th, 2010.

It's a great festival with wonderful people running it. Truly one of the nicest wine festivals that I have attended ... and, it's nice for me being the 'official' artist each year.

Here's a surprise ... on Thursday, I leave for beautiful Antibes, France. If you are not familiar with Antibes, it just so happens to be the most beautiful place on earth ... just watch out for the criminals. They won't hurt you, but they will try to steal everything you have. Trust me. I know.

But, thieves aside, it's paradise. The blue skies, the even bluer sea, the ancient stone buildings, the cobblestones, the museums ... and even the air smells of lavender.

So, if I don't meet and marry a beautiful Frenchman, I will be back to join in the fun at the 9th annual Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival !! C'est parfait !

Thank You!

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