Sunday, April 02, 2006

Letter from France

After a long exhausting series of flights, I arrived at the Toulouse airport to see two smiling faces. Raya and Debbie waved and welcomed me with big hugs. A lovely feeling to be so warmly greeted! My bags arrived with me, so no problem there, and we piled all the luggage into our tiny European car and we sped away from the city into a countryside of verdant folds of hills and valleys, trees bursting with buds, flower fields stretching endlessly. We turned a curve and the rugged peaks of the Pyrinees pierced the sky in front of us, bathed in the orange light of a sinking sun. Several kilometers further and we followed the signs to the compound of buildings at Cat Art.

Catherine was there to meet us and show us around our house. We were pleased to discover that Karen and Annette were set up in the house right next door. When I rushed over to announce our arrival Annette answered the door dressed all in lavender with jeweled shoes and a mouth full of strawberry. She motioned us in with the hand holding the remains of the red berry.

There was a welcoming party that night, but I just couldn't stay awake long enough to finish it out.

On Saturday we drove a few kilometers to the small village of Chalabre to the fresh market. Stocked up on produce, several different kinds of lettuce, ripe red tomatoes, asparagus, shallots, broccoli and a big roasted beet. Then headed to the butchers for fresh bacon and pork chops. We took the indirect route back home, turning on any country road that looked interesting, and went through a number of villages, fir forests and mist covered mountains.

In the afternoon we loaded up our painting supplies and took everything to the studio where we will set up to paint for the month. We arranged our spaces according to personal preference, to take advantage of the view, or the light. Raya and I walked home from the village, on the path following the river. We shared a fresh rotisserie chicken for dinner, and sat around the big table talking until late in the night.

This is Sunday - which is market day in Esperaza. This is hippie country! Lots of English spoken here - and the market was a riot of flowers, food and clothes. The weather is gorgeous and right now we are sitting in Ellie's backyard garden in the sun. Couldn't be better.

5 comments:

JasonSpalding said...

Riots are nothing new in France in 1789, when a Parisian crowd was demonstrating furiously in front of his palace, King Louis XVI asked, “Is it a riot?” and was answered, “No Sir, it is a revolution.’’

Bobbi C. said...

Robin!

Hello from Texas! I'm SO envious, stuck here in Leander, where it's already too hot and humid. Say hello to all the girls for me...Hope ya'll have a wonderful month of painting!

bobbi c.

garyb said...

Sounds great.

Glad you made it safely.

Now get to shooting and painting.

MMComstock said...

Omigod, Robin, you all have found your way to heaven right here on earth! Btw, your description is fine writing too. How many other talents have you!

So glad it's so lovely!

Joyce said...

Thank you for the nice word picture. It sounds lovely where you are.