Gallery of Current Work

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It has begun!

Internet service does not work so blogging and emailing is not as easy as I had hoped. And then everything is in french so this is a challenge!

I am not sure how to begin. I may be in my own personal heaven. This is definitely a life changing experience and perhaps the most thrilling experience of my artistic life. My senses are filled to over flowing. The smells, the sounds, the light and of course the cheese!

All of the residents have been jolted out of their comfort zones a little. We all have experienced sensory overload to some degree. We are all moving around in the Abbey (L’abbaye St. Magloire) to find our work spaces. We have been given a cluster of skeleton keys that open all the doors and allowed to wander day or night and work wherever we want. This is an incredible honor. The Abbaye original foundation dates from the ninth century when six monks from Whales settled in the Rance Valley with a mission to evangelize the wild country of Armorica. Through invasions and the revolution it has been used for a variety of things and is currently being restored.

The main studio for artists is a good base for us to store things and make a mess but is a bit tight for 5 artists so we are spreading out as the first days of our residency begin. There are extensive wild gardens that are full of sun and ruins and every inch of the place is inspiring.

This afternoon I chose the attic (grenier) as my workspace. Monks used to go up there to pray and the kneeling chairs are still there with names carves in the arm supports. Pigeons roost in the walls of the roof inches away so I can hear cooing and scratching adding to the ambiance. The original timbers are carved by hand.

I have to say my emotions have been up and down these last couple of days. The unbelievable beauty and fairytale like environment I am in couple with meeting town officials and new artist, the program directors and settling in. The expectations and questions I have about my own abilities are a bit unsettling. I do indeed feel I am walking with the impressionists and it is an unbelievable and indescribable thing for me.


  1. Sarah--so wonderful to see you thriving! I am writing about an old French barn at present, and your attic rafters are quite an inspiration. Hope your flow continues to grow and build. X, Deb from TSR

  2. What a wonderful adventure for both of you! Inge and I look forward to following your time in France. The Abbaye is truly lovely and what a wonderful space you choose to paint. We look forward to seeing you in November for Margaret's birthday.

    BW Fullerton, CA