Donkey Walk

I try to take a walk everyday.  This particular day, as you can see, was a beautifully clear, blue sky, sort of day.  Perfect for taking out my sketchbook and mini-watercolor set.

Here are our neighbor’s houses and our neighbor donkey:

Doesn’t he have a such a beautifully shaped head and ears?  Pretty darned cute,
I have to say (and he’s not shy either).

Many folks around here grow apricot, cherry, pear and apple trees either as serious farmers or to supplement their incomes.  I’m looking forward to spring when all the hillsides are in full, fruit tree, bloom.

My sketch of the day:

Champtocé sur Loire: Travel Break

As you might have guessed by now, where I am in reality and where I am on the blog are not in alignment (though I promise to be caught up by the end of my trip).

I tell you this because what I’m about to write about is my mid-trip rest break, though in reality I am now nearing the end of my trip.  By the time I left Cathi’s house in Sisteron I had been visiting people via planes-trains-and-automobiles for 3 months.  While still in the U.S. my friend-marketing mentor-fellow bookmaker, Clara, suggested renting a place for a month-long artist’s retreat.  We found a little cottage near Angers (more on that later) and promised to meet there in the beginning of May.  So, here it is:

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I had 3 months worth of great people and experiences to reflect on.  I had a chance to catch up on emails and began to prepare my fall/winter schedule (searching for teaching and music gigs).  We enjoyed long walks, interesting talks (it was fun to see someone from home way over here), cooking our own meals, watching French T.V., reading books, making cozy fires and sleeping alot.

I even got to paint a little…

Painter Extraordinaire: Ian Brownlee

I really enjoy trading with fellow artists for work that neither party could afford otherwise.  It’s a great way to share, support and receive inspiration within your creative community without money being involved.  Ian Brownlee and I arranged to trade work well before we became dear friends.  I think it was actually one of our first conversations; to trade a painting inspired by “home” and “rain” for a large, hand-embroidered sketchbook.  The following is what resulted:

rd7-1 Ian's Fancy Pants Book Front of Ian's Book

Ian is inspiring to me in many ways:
-His work is amazing (simply put)
-He is incredibly dedicated and is prolific as a result
-He is versatile; creating both wall paintings and mural projects
-He is one of the most authentic people I know and it clearly shows in his work

Dying Words Painting #8Immersion

If you’re in the Asheville area be sure to checkout this work at Gallery Minerva and a new group show called On The Verge at the Asheville Area Arts Council.  You can also find one of his murals at Rosetta’s Kitchen on Lexington.

Here is an article by Brian Gallagher for WNC magazine.

Painting by IanThe Heroes Journey