Thursday, November 14, 2013

where my gypsy blood leads me

I.M Pei's Glass Pyramid at the Louvre, Paris, France
A month ago, I applied for an artist residency located in Noyers, France, and coupled with a career grant from Alaska Council of the Arts, this will help me fund this adventure.  I will be going in May, 2014, and while the Alaskan dark can be invigorating for others, I need a focus on a future project and something to look forward to.

For three weeks, I will working on a body of drawings and watercolors gleaned from the French countryside and upon completing this expression, I will have an exhibition at the facilities' space.  I am also thinking of renting a car and perhaps with other resident artists, we can view the landscape together and aspire to new inspirations.

Before heading south to Noyers, I will peruse Paris for five days.  Currently, I am reorienting myself to the city where I lived years ago in the late 70's and frequented back and forth from my college studies.  Under Rutgers University, we studied for two months at the Sorbonne and then headed to Tours, France, where we finished the bulk of our schooling.  Tours, France is best known for chateau country located on the Loire Valley and where the best French is learned and pronounced.  It is said to be linguistically perfect.

I remember my college times fondly as they were intense.  It is where I continued my love affair with French literature ( not to mention other involvements!)  The last time I visited Paris was in 1990, and so I thought recently, that I was way overdue a visit.  I wanted to reconnect to the language and people.  In fact, upon rentering the United States back from school as a young gal, I felt out of place.  The states shocked me by it's bigness and it appeared ugly.  I had immersed easily into the French culture at that time; attitudes, ways of thinking, and their high sensibilities for taste had grown on me and had become home.

Noyers, France 
Noyers is located about one hour and forty minutes southeast of Paris.  This is where I will be working and doing some art at the Porte de Peinte pour les Arts.  Seen below is the village where I will be living and were the foundation provides me with a studio.  You can rent bicycles and tour the area.  They have three good restaurants and I can bet the  food is incredibly good.  When I lived in Tours, it was a small village too.  In fact, while looking at the train departures the other day, I found France to be riddled with hundred of quaint small neighborhoods equivalent to our suburbs.  I am currently reading some French literature and listening to French movies to get my comprehension and language fluency up to par.  It will be challenging but I am hoping I will fall into the mysteries of language and dialog without too much hesitation.  Oh la la!
the village of Noyers, Frnace
Manet's Gypsy Woman, oil on canvas, 1862