So here I am.
Attempting to do the impossible.
Condensing 10 days, 16 artists, and 2,000 photos into one single blog post.
Eddie says I’m crazy for even trying and for once he just may be right 🙂
To begin this story, I should tell you that when I was eleven I read “The Secret Garden”. It was the most memorable book of my childhood, carrying me away to an enchanted place—a place existing only in my heart—- ’til now.
The Le Vieux Couvent in the southwest of France has that special ingredient that was present in the book I read so many years ago—-the kind of place one might find on a walk and peer longingly over the wall wishing you could enter in, but knowing you will never get to—except in this case, I DID get to slip inside!
Once there I knew I knew it was meant to be shared—that I’d found the perfect place for those with eyes attuned to beauty to hang out, paint, and journey forth to discover the serene beauty of France. Many calls, many emails, many art supplies and many airline tickets later….
16 artists (Chris, Bruce, Julie, Dianne, Joanne, Ann, Faye, Paula, Jo-Ann, Roxanne, Linda, Tina, Cate, Judy, Vicki, and Lyn),
1 artist’s spouse (Ron Steed) ,
1 fearless leader (that would be me) and
1 roadie (Mr. Dreama, AKA Ron Perry my main squeeze)
Landed in France for the trip of a lifetime.
First Day in France
A lot of living took place between the photo above and the one below.
Last Evening in France
The Founding Members of the Purple Beret Club:)))!
After much reflection and pouring over all the pics snapped while there, I concluded the best way to share a taste of our time in France was via a few descriptive words and a petite video.
There were Loki’s and lilly ponds
Lavender and laundry.
Bonjours and Bonhowdys (a new Franglish spawned by Ron P)
Geralds and Journals
Billiams and brushes
Poppies and painting
Watercolors and wine
Rosé and roses
Longhouses and hobbit houses
Bullfrogs and bell towers
Napkin rings and Lobbies
and a thousand things more.
Fresh flowers in each room and lines to hang your laundry on.
A zillion places to sit and have a conversation with yourself, a friend, or no one at all:-)
We ate like little pigs but we also walked a lot and painted a lot so we were able to fit in our clothes for the return trip home:-)
We bought up all the scarfs in France, or a least made a dent in their collection!
We painted the poppies and ponds, gardens and gates, lavender and roses, bell towers and arches.
We met the neighbors and painted their laundry.
We painted morning, noon and night in watercolor and in oils.
We learned that the egg man delivers more than eggs sometimes (rumors of a French homemade brew…;)
We saw hummingbird moths, lambs and white cows (with very purple shadows:))
We walked and we talked and we laughed and we cried and we ended the day in the grandest of ways—-over divine food with a good French wine.
And the best part of all??
So much laughter:))
Over anything and nothing at all.
If video doesn’t appear, just click here:))
I knew I was out of superlatives to describe our experience when it came time to give a toast on our last night there. We were already so aware of how extraordinary our time together had been and how lucky we felt to be part of it all, there was nothing left to say that could add to the moment. Sometimes the warm glow on faces surrounding you say all that needs to be said.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
10 Days in France with 100’s of beauty-filled moments and hidden delights—-all shared with 16 kindred spirits.
A very happy ending.
Of course I am going to do it again—who could resist the French countryside, a gang of purple beret wearing artists AND Loki???
And now I am very happy to announce the other 3 Winners of the original watercolor postcards (please contact me with your snail mail address and they will be mailed to you from France:)). They are:
Katie May Mcelwain
“Paint France with Dreama” 2014 dates are set. Purple berets have already been purchased for the incoming members of
The Purple Beret Club:))
Invitations will be emailed this Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 6 AM EST.
(If you’d like to head to France with me next year, just send an email to info@DreamaTollePerry.com)