Painting in France to an art show on Salt Spring Island
“Spring in France is a wayside blossoming. The southwest a burst of viridian green meadows feed ample cows and sheep that dot this fairytale landscape. Squares of land sing as dandelions carpet landscape. Plum, cherry, pear in quick succession welcome bees as farmers prepare market gardens, help birth lambs and and put the newest foals out to pasture. Every curb is array with a graduation of colour. Daffodils, tulips, irises, while colour climbs and softens stone walls drape cracks of crumbled age, now afresh with delicate wisteria. Hanging clouds of mauve foam lazily trail over trellises as we devour our lunch quiche washed down with the lightest of wines from the region. Our afternoon will be touring castle top hamlets, past pink patchworked orchards. We will meander along the romantic Dordogne and Lot rivers to rediscover tiny villages sleepy with 800 year old history.
This France has welcomed us since the early 1970’s when I lived for a year attending The Sorbonne in Paris. As decades pass my reminisces are of living for a year in 1989/90 with our children, they attended a tiny one room school a rural farming community that embraces our family. I remember our 150 km walk along The Chemin St Jacques part of the Camino in The Languedoc Region, this thousand year old pathway crosses farm fields and wood lots, we stay at nunneries to rest our blistered feet.
I remember a month in a real Chateau while I painted India enroute from Delhi to Salt Spring. France is my other home, a sanctuary, an inspiration and yet illusive. My grasp of language still rough, but the comfort I feel for this beautiful land I try to express, primitively, humbly but with love.” Jill