A new life begins…hoorah!

Only 3 months since my last blog and just over 2 months since our move to Sainte-Maxime.  How quickly time flies!

So much has happened and with the weather being so amazing since we arrived it felt like a very long holiday!

Even now in October, the first signs of Autumn are appearing, the colours are changing..the vineyards are putting their russet and yellow coats, plane trees are slowly losing their leaves and Monsieur Mistral is bringing that touch of freshness as it blows the clouds away, but the sun remains faithful and  swimming in the sea is still a pleasure !

I do love my new home..I love Sainte Maxime. » Read more…

 

Le Roi Babar

Le Roi Babar

 

 

 

‘Babar the Elephant ‘ was my favourite childhood friend and I fondly remember looking and reading the books filled with beautiful and colourful illustrations,  imagining myself with him and his family sharing all their adventures.  I think every child became Babar’s friend very naturally.  I did,  and still am…

» Read more…

Life is such a wonderful thing full of the unexpected …

A few days ago  a wonderful surprise came through my letterbox…A budding artist friend of mine came back from visiting her sister in Canada and brought me back a beautiful book of postcards of The Group of Seven. » Read more…

‘Courage is the power to let go of the familiar’   Raymond Lindquist

The time of going to France is fast approaching and as people who move house will know very well,  there is always too much of anything and everything stored away !

So many things we have forgotten about,  especially the ones put away safely    ‘just in case we might need them one day !’

After 23 years in our house,  you can imagine how complicated and time consuming the ‘sorting out ‘ is.

I am not a hoarder and I find it easy to just let go of the old and look forward to the new….not everyone in my family feels the same … my boxes of  ‘things to take to France ‘ are the smallest!

My studio is now practically in order,  ready for the new adventure.

I feel excited about the new works I will produce ,  fresh inspiration ,  new departure.  I  sense that my sketchbooks,  canvases ,  paint and brushes cannot wait either.

I found a small sketch I did a few years ago , whilst on holiday in Dorset and at the time,  I drew it with a large painting in mind.  It is going in one of my boxes to take to France and I know I will do the painting.  I have just the right canvas for it packed away in that same box!

Embracing the view

Embracing the view - neocolor crayons on card - 30cm x 20cm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is truly here,  painting the landscape with colours of deep and light magenta.  This year,  the cherry  blossoms in particular,  are thick and fluffy like candy floss,  showing how strong and beautiful the trees have become as they persevered through the hardships of a snowy and very cold winter. They are singing,  joyful and colourful songs !  Life always gives us opportunities to reveal courage and hope, opening one’s heart and find deep joy.

Blossom path

Blossom Path - ©AnnickMcKenziephotos

» Read more…

 

Le Port de Saint-Tropez

Le Port de Saint-Tropez - Annick Mckenzie/photo

On March 21st , we celebrated our 30th wedding Anniversary with a very yummy lunch in Saint-Tropez.

After the champagne ,  the Grand Aioli,  the rosé de Provence,  the absolutely delicious tartes aux fraises ,  we strolled along the port , happy and at ease !

For those of you who have only visited Saint-Tropez or St Trop  in the summer months,  the feeling is quite different in winter and early spring..no crowds,  hardly any yachts in the port ,  the plane trees look magnificent and sculptural ,  and the restaurants are quietly busy .  We enjoyed our day so much! » Read more…

 

Home, Sweet Home

Home, Sweet Home , 60cm x 40cm

This coming monday ,  my husband and I will be in France in the Var region of Provence.

Our mission:  To look for the  house of our dreams and to book a fabulous restaurant for our 30th wedding anniversary dinner celebration…will it be in Saint Tropez,  Sainte Maxime,  Plan de la Tour even Flayosc or Tourtour ?… so many choices..maybe we will try a few during our 10 days stay!

I am taking my two Moleskine sketch books,  pens,  watercolours and I know there are some exciting motifs waiting for me to draw and paint.

We will also re-visit one of my favourite museum Le Musée de l’ Annonciade in Saint-Tropez.

If you want to see wonderful paintings by some of the great Masters of Colour, this is the place to go and be inspired by painters from the Pointillist,  Fauvist and  Nabis movements…as they say in England ‘ just my cup of tea’ !

Who hasn’t got a golden dream ?

For the last 20 years ours has been to find our home,  sweet home,  in the very place we love and  yes, where we feel at home . Lucky us,  it happens to be in a beautiful part of the world .

Sunshine,  blue sea,  pine trees,  cicadas,  hills and vineyards – a painter’s dream .

Let go of the past and go for the future.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Live the life you imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

It is such an exciting and important time for us,  and of course there is sadness in leaving the place where we have been happy for nearly 23 years. But,  it is about recognising the right time,  and when we do,  we must seize it,  knowing that the next adventure will be even more thrilling than the previous one.

I  cannot wait to paint to my heart’s content in the beautiful light and meet many new friends !

I will report on this trip in two weeks time… stay tuned !

A friend of mine blogged and made a wonderful video about the place we are leaving behind ..a very special momento and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Merci Steve !

 

 

You must not blame me if I do talk to clouds. H.D.Thoreau

 

A few years ago, on a July visit in Perpignan near the Pyrenees,  the beautiful Canigou mountain suddenly appeared in the deep blue sky , wearing a scarf-like cloud around its neck..I was awe-struck at the magic of this vision and luckily I had my camera with me so I could capture the moment. Canigou was visible for a very short time only and it faded away as quickly as it appeared.

Canigou - 100cmx80cm

Canigou - 100cmx80cm

Painting the ‘vision’ was magical and  putting up again on my studio wall ,  I realised how much I am attached to this painting and wonder if is the reason why it hadn’t sold yet. Writing about it now, I am letting it go. » Read more…

Ten years ago or so, an Art School friend gave me a wonderful book of letters between two great artists I admire : Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse.

All letters written in French have been beautifully translated in English and it is a privilege to see copies of some of the handwritten letters, postcards together with many beautiful  black and white photographs of these artists, at work, at home and with friends, taken by the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

I have not seen or been in touch with this friend for at least 8 years now,  she moved away and we lost contact. ..but this book about friendship reminds me of her kindness and thoughtfulness in giving me the opportunity to read about the daily life of these two artists she knew I admired and I am grateful… » Read more…

Winter is always too long for me …I miss the light and the cold holds me too tight in its freezing hands. I am always yearning for longer days, sunshine and warmth.The last few days, I have witnessed beautiful and hopeful changes .The first signs of Nature waking up from its long winter sleep.

» Read more…