The week started off with a Monday of recovery from Paris. Because Sunday was Easter, we had class at the house instead of catching the bus into town.
(Photo: Tommy J)
After lunch, we packed up our paint packs and headed to what Dave likes to call “The Sound of Music.” The paragliders we see so often above the beautiful Mt. Ste. Victoire use this perch as a launching point. On a clear day, you can see the alps from the top.
Grace and Tommy decided to paint from within a cave perspective.
We painted for awhile and then I took a nice nap in the sun on the picnic blanket.
Tuesday we took an excursion to St. Remy and toured the mental facility that Vincent Van Gogh spent a year of his life in. They have preserved his bedroom, which happens to be the very place he painted Starry Night.
I will never forget the feeling of walking up the very stairs he walked up every day. I got chills just walking over the threshold of his room. We picnicked outside and then set off on our own paths to find a place to paint.
I chose to paint from a field a bit above the facility facing the three-peaked mountain Van Gogh often used as inspiration for his paintings. Looking at the scenery Van Gogh was surrounded by while producing so many of his works gave us a special insight into what his mind could have been like.
Wednesday began with French class, then moved into the studio for a demo. This week our graded studio time was on a still life of some kitchen objects drawn with charcoal. I haven’t worked with charcoal in a long time, but it was fun to begin to play with it again.
I spent my personal art time finishing up my crocheted bag that I have been working on after purchasing some nice yarn in town. I used some leather straps that I stumbled upon in an art store in Paris.
Thursday we returned to our usual town day routine by having French and Art history before catching the bus with Jen. We completed our assignments before being set free in search of lunch. Kara and I had one goal that day: Falafel. After getting a very satisfying burrito, we wandered into some stores and found some very enticing overalls, but decided to save that for another day. My mom was just getting to her hotel as the grocery shoppers were gathering, so I bid Kara adieu and walked to meet her. Despite the rain, we had a lovely time wandering around so she could stretch her legs after a long flight.
Friday was another beautiful excursion. After meeting the parents that came for parents weekend, we headed down to the beautiful seacoast of Cassis. Upon finding our picnic spot on the rocks, we ate and laughed and eventually all jumped into the Mediterranean Sea.
It was so nice to be with my mom on the warm rocks in the sun.
Tommy's parents, Dave and Liz.
We all jumped, here is Sophia. Johnny and Tommy ended up finding close to 50' cliffs to continue throughout the day.
Future PA Hornet and Tommy's sister Annie
Though chilly and salty, we all came out with smiles on our faces. A highlight was definitely showing the parents how we set up for painting and having them make their own art. Some used watercolor, some took on the daunting task of oil painting, but all had fun. My mom and I drove back to Aix and found a little cafe to have dinner at before passing out in the hotel.
Saturday was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop my mom and I from getting up early to go to the market. I wanted to show her all the beautiful fruits and vegetables that come every week. We found shelter from the wind and rain in a Creperie for breakfast, and shopped around until it was time to head to the house for graded studio time and chats with Dave. Another night on the town brought a phenomenal dinner, and the exciting purchase of a bright yellow rain jacket. We even saw a rainbow as we were walking into town.
Chicken for the Coq au Vin.
"Love you Mom"
My mom and I decided to take a road trip adventure all the way down to St. Tropez today. Though the rain came on and off, we still had fun looking at all the boats and walking along the docks. It was a beautiful drive traversing through the mountains. We saw some incredibly old grapevines. It was great to catch up with each other and talk without a time difference complicating things. It’s hard to believe that we only have two weeks left in Aix, and two weeks left on the road. Time really does fly in Aix. - ~Mason ‘22