(photo) Jacqui Morris
I have adjusted to life in Aix, and time is going by pretty fast. It’s hard to believe that two weeks has already gone by and that we are leaving for Paris tomorrow! With my excitement for the future, I want to reflect on yet another remarkable seven days in France.
All my expectations are being exceeded; I didn’t know that bread could taste this good, or that butter could bring me to a state of pure nirvana.
The latter may be a stretch, but in all seriousness, I couldn't be happier here. I’d like to share a few of my highlights from the week.
On Tuesday, I woke up giddy because we were about to go to Cézanne’s studio. After reading about him, learning about him in art history, and seeing pictures of his paintings, seeing where he worked was eye-opening. The room wasn’t too large, big enough for one. The walls were gray, and the ceilings were high. The table where he painted his still lives stood right before me with the same jars, glasses, and bowls that were once his subjects. I even got to sit down and sketch my version of a Cézanne still life, however, in my sketch, the legs on my table were off, and I wasn't necessarily happy with how I drew the apples; I guess I won't be on his level very soon.
After gawking at all the pieces of history in his modest workshop, we drove to the place where he painted Mt. Ste. Victoire over 70 times. I can see why he painted it so many times: the view of the mountain was perfect and the tall, dark green cypress trees were a nice addition to the foreground of the landscape.
We picnicked on the grass before setting up our pochade boxes, then we each did our best to capture what was in front of us. One of my favorite things about Plein air painting is seeing how everyone paints the same landscape in their unique style. The same subject painted in 8 different ways is perplexing because we all see the same thing yet our results are so different. I was satisfied with my painting that day, and it was the cherry to top off a very special day.
I won’t go into much detail on Thursday, but in summary, we went to the Asylum where Van Gogh painted his most famous works. Perhaps you have heard of “Starry Night?” I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. One thing I will say is that we all had, in our minds, a bad day for creativity and most of us felt that our paintings were the worst ones so far.
In the shadow of Mount Gausser (the mountain you'll see in Starry Night), not the stone structure next to me, but to my far left.
Jay getting surrounded.
(photo: Jacqui Morris)
Heading out to the concert.
We depart from Aix for the first time early tomorrow morning. I’ll miss my snack Istanbul lunches and hikes up the Tête for a week but its a worthy sacrifice for the Louvre!