Planning the French Artz Trip

Trip Start May 15, 2010
Trip End May 31, 2010

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Monday, February 1, 2010

We have our plane tickets and Paris hotel reservations!

Ten artists taking a trip to France to paint, watercolors, pastels and oils....met for lunch and the afternoon to go over plans and preparations. The artists going are, Arvilla Friar, my mom and accomplished watercolor artist; Tatyana Roberts, Oil, watercolor, pastel and silk artist; Susan Rogers, pastel and oil artist; Suzanne Lowry, oil, watercolor, and sculpture artist; Larry Seibold, watercolor artist (and retired bakery chef/owner); his wife Carol Seibold couldn't make it but she paints watercolors, is an accomplished seamstress and creates cloth dolls; Beth Meier,pastels, watercolor and colored pencil artist; Debra Townsend, oil and watercolor artist; Loris Butterfield, 


  watercoFrance Artz Trip Groupartistnd myself.

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How do you pack for 17 days and include art materials as well?! Having learned from experience that less is more, I started packing a carry on size suitcase for my clothes a month ago. I thought if I lived with the contents for a month, I could see how trimmed down I could make it. One carry on size for clothes, and one art backpack for the art materials - compact enough to be able to manoeuver from Charles de Gaul airport, to the Gare d'Austerlitz (train station in Paris) to La Souterraine (near Limoges) and then back again.

There is a Russian proverb that says "sit on your suitcases for 1/2 hour before you leave." No it's not to make sure everything is jammed in so you can zip it shut, but it gives you time to think if you need to take something out you don't need or add something. What do we really need to survive for 17 days? A lot less than what we think. We're not going to impress anyone with our fashions, but to see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the fragrances, taste the deicacies and capture whatever we can on paper. So we're starting early!

I took my packed suitcases with me to Susan Roger's home where she greeted us with soup and sandwiches to go along with our planning. I shared what I did to pack and could have been ready to go to the airport today, except I had my old passport with me. Steve keeps our current passports in a safe place until we need them.
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We shared with each other what materials we were taking to paint in our watercolor journals in Paris, and what we were taking while we paint in the rural area around Nicole & Gilbert's home. Larger sheets of paper, palettes, and easels can be used that first week, but when we do Paris, we'll take mini materials to paint in our journals. As we visit the Paris sites, we'll want to paint, but we can't be encombered with carrying around heavy paint material with all the waling we'll be doing. A good way to check this out is to pack that little travel journal kit in your bag and carry it around with you for a day! Even something small can grow in size and weight during a day of sight seeing! We'll be ready to sit down for the "bateau mouche" (boat trip down the Seine) ad we travel under the bridges of Paris.◀ Left Align

Being a bit consumed by this exciting trip, I've been e-mailing the group all kinds of sites to check out. There are some great ones that give ideas about art journaling and plein air painting. Some of them wanted to see how I do my art journals (something I began in 1999 on one of our trips back to France), so I did a little demo of a couple of scenes from photos I took at Nicole & G. two years ago. It's the best way I know to capture the joy and essence of a place and bring home a memory. Scenes from Journal DemoWinsor Newton Travel PaletteWinsor Newton Travel Palette

Here are a few photos of the day. The little Sugarbaker in miniature is also in the group photo. She will take the trip with us. Thanks to Alan Rhodes for his excellent little sculpture of Sugarbker!

I-pod nano has photos synced, I just need to add some music so I have some peaceful background music as we travel and adjust to any jet lag nights. It took awhile to remember how to download into the IPod - the curse of age....computers and electronics require a lot of trial and error on my part, but when there is a will there is a way.

Bon Nuit - a la prochaine!
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Nancy Sawalich on

Hi Jerie,
I'm enjoying following the blog and look forward to more entries and seeing the art produced on your trip.

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