Saturday, April 01, 2006

Arriving in France -Day 1

(A note about the drawings: I was not concerned with 'matching' the pages or the style of the sketches. Some days, I would use a combination of pen, waterbrush, and watercolor; other days, just a pen would do. As you can see, mistakes were scratched over, errors were sometimes corrected and the next day was a blank page. Occasionally I have published the actual page, other times I have typed in the text for easier reading - You'll find those words in italics. Enjoy.)

March 31
In Atlanta, I met Karen Jacobs for the flight to Charles de Gaulle. We missed our connection toToulouse. We learned that 55 minutes is not long enough between connections and that overbooking on the morning flights is quite common. So we hung out for 5 hours with coffee, croissants and naps.

We contacted Avis with request that our car still be available when we arrived and hoped that John and Ellie Clemens would discover the problem and drive the two hours back to Espéraza without us. Bless their hearts. They ran errands, had some lunch and were waiting with big smiles. We picked up the car from Avis and began the journey. My daily sketches follow with their errors and blotches. I will occasionally add some commentary or clarify words which circle and squiggle, but mostly they'll be just what I entered each day before.

Text: John and I unloaded the luggage at Maison du Poupees (House of the dolls) near the studios in Gramont, while Ellie and Karen went to search for the Center Director Catherine. They returned with the suggestion that we take the newly repaired Maison du Cerisiers (House of the Cherry Trees) next door to the other artists at LaForge (They were scheduled to stay in the Patio House about one mile away.)

Cristophe gave me a lesson in putting the car in reverse. He seemed very nervous to ride with me, but said I could get a French drivers' license. (I considered that to be high praise for my driving skills!)

One look at the cherry blossoms, out every window was enough for a fast decision and we moved to the house I had loved when I saw it on the Cat'Art website. . .

Later that evening, we all gathered on the big terrace for a welcome party and much laughter. We were delighted to meet other artists from the area and the folks who were part of Cat'Art. The chilly wind pushed us inside to a roaring fire, cuban cigars, cheese and chocolate!

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