Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monet's Dining Room

The all yellow dining room makes a dramatic statement when you enter Monet's house. It opens to the entry hall and offers a warmth of sunshine to an otherwise drab 19th century house. If you were an invited guest, it was best you showed up by 11:30 a.m. or he'd eat without you. Monet was very punctual about his main meal of the day.

"Monet's Dining Room" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monet's Kitchen

Being able to visit Monet's Garden was a the big thrill of my trip to France this year. Walking in his footsteps, being in his studio and seeing his house was a real treat. His kitchen was a study in blue. His dining room is all yellow with blue and white plates. I'll post that tomorrow.

"Monet's Kitchen" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Desert Sunrise

One of the benefits of living in the desert are the beautiful sunrises. I'm normally not an early riser, but as I was watching the morning news on the local station, they showed a shot of the rising sun so I grabbed my camera and rushed to the patio and grabbed this shot. I can thank Channel 6 News for the heads up.

"Desert Sunrise" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

French Hugs

These colorful salt and pepper shakers are actually replicas of a sculpture known as "La legende des fleuves de la louve et des deux amants". The best translation I can get is that it means "The legend of the rivers of the she-wolf and the two lovers". I don't know the legend but if anyone out there can help me, with either the translation or the legend, I'd be most appreciative.

"French Hugs" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sarlat Clematis

Last year when we visited Sarlat it was a very rainy day. But this year we were blessed with sunshine. And what a difference it made. This 6th century medieval town came to life in the sun. These clematis were climbing up the side of a stone house flaunting all their glory.

"Sarlat Clematis" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not a Happy Camper

We were having lunch in St. Emillion, a wonderful quiche with pomme frites (french fries) cooked in duck fat, when a young family sat next to us. For the first 15 minutes this cutie flirted with my camera. But by the end of the meal everything had changed. I don't know why she was fussing but I just had to take the shot.

"Not a Happy Camper" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clouds Over the Great Salt Lake

I overnighted in Salt Lake City last night during a rain storm. But today the sun was out with these beautiful clouds casting a magnificent reflection on the waters of the Great Salt Lake. It feels great to be home but I had a wonderful time in France and brought back lots of great memories.

"Clouds Over the Great Salt Lake" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Grape Vines of Saint Emillion

Delays in travel and no Internet connection are frustrating but I'm almost home and wanted to get one last trip photo posted. Saint Emillion is a historic grape growing region east of Bordeaux. The old town is located on a hillside overlooking fields of vines, all just starting to sprout. There are even vines growing up walls and over light fixtures.

"Grape Vines of Saint Emillion" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

The French Countryside

We walked to Cougolot today and on the way we saw this field of wildflowers. White daisies and "something" purple presented a beautiful image. At the top of the hill is an old church and cemetery. It's so quiet and peaceful here in the country, a real treat for city folks.

"The French Countryside" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Market Day in Eymet

We walked into town this morning to check out the local market. Eymet is a Bastide town (planned design with a square) and it's Thursday morning market has been ongoing since the year 1270. It has never missed a day. Not through the Hundred Years War, both World Wars or any other war for that matter. These olives were wonderful. Nothing like we have back home.

"Market Day in Eymet" © Kathy Dunham 2009

A Drive in the Country

It was a warm sunny day as we headed to see the caves of pre-historic art at Rouffignac. Created over 17,000 years ago, they are a spectacular example of cave art. Afterwards, on our way to lunch, this aging Citreon passed us and I couldn't resist taking a picture.

“A Drive in the Country” © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chateau Beynac

It was a full day today. Our first stop was the Medevial town of Sarlat. The sun was out and every turn around a corner was a photo op. After lunch we stopped at Beynac, a beautiful town with a huge fortified castle on the top of the limestone cliff. We walked down from the top then took a GaBarre (barge) ride on the Dordogne. It was so peaceful a quiet. Absolutely awesome!!!

"Chateau Beynac" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peonies of Eymet

We had two classes today in addition to walking into town. With all this wonderful French food we're eating the exercise is good for all of us. I took the opportunity on the way in to get shots of the tiny things; wild orchids, bugs and dragon flies in addition to a few larger critters such as cows and horses, even a neighborly dog. But these peonies were absolutely ravishing. They don't grow in the desert where I live so I'm enjoying the opporotunity to photograph them.

"Peonies of Eymet" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Market Day

Today we visited three Medevial towns in the Perigord Region of France. Monpazier, Beaumont and Issigeac. It was market day in Issiageac and these beautiful onions along with fruits and other vegetables plus fois gras, flowers and clothing and anything else you might need were available. The sights, sounds and smells were fantastic!!!

"Market Day" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our French Home

Today was studio day which means we paint, learn a little and have a great time. My fellow artist John Fransworth covered photography this morning while I gave a demo on clouds and dew drops thid afternoon. There are 14 students and we're all having a great time. Several of the gals walked into town this afternoon to do a little shopping. I think there were several pairs of shoes calling their names. This is Le Petit Rousset, our home away from home. A renovated 18th century farm house that's been lovingly restored.

"Our French Home" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bottle Room

Today we were at Chateau Montbazillac, a wonderful 15th Century chateau and winery. We toured the building and this is the room in the cellar where they stored the bottles of wine that is unique to this area. It's a sweet, after dinner wine similar to sauterne.

"The Bottle Room" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Even Bird Houses Have Bird Houses

It was raining as we walked into the small bastide town of Eymet this morning. On the way we passed this interesting bird house. Note what's hanging below it.

"Even Bird Houses Have Bird Houses" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Parking Bordeaux Style

This scene really stopped us yesterday. And that's a Jaguar coming through the parking garage.

We finally arrived at Petit Rousset this evening. All 17 of us. Safe and sound and ready for 10 days of fun and painting. The French countryside is peaceful and quiet. We should all sleep well tonight.

"Parking Bordeaux Style" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Palais des Sports

It took two train trips today but we made it to Bordeaux this afternoon. It's an old city, parts of it still in need of cleaning and refurbishing but interesting none-the-less. We spotted this building as we were scouting out the city.

"Palais des Sports" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

From Monet's Bridge

A treat of a lifetime! I get to paint in Monet's Garden this afternoon. It took 2 years to get permission, but here I am and the flowers are wonderful. It's overcast so I won't get a lot of great color or contrast, but it is the garden that was planted to be painted. We can't paint until 5:30 so we go in earlier to check it out. His house is interesting as are all the wonderful flowers. But it's his pond of waterlilies that are so famous. They won't be in bloom until later in the year but the wisteria over his Japanese bridge was in full bloom!

"From Monet's Bridge" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Veteran's Day - French Style

We managed to arrive in France on Veteran's Day for the second year in a row. That means everything is closed and everyone is on holiday. We're in Giverny now and I spotted these beautiful wisteria and flags in memory of veterans. There was the French Flag, Eurpoean Union Flag and behind them both is an American Flag.

"Veteran's Day - French Style" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rent A Bike

These rent a bike stands are all over Paris. Just insert your money to unlock and you can leave it at the next bike stand. An inexpensive way to get around, especially if you don't own a car. Locals use them all the time. I wouldn't, considering Paris traffic and the narrow streets.

"Rent A Bike" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Afternoon at the Bistro

We had drizzles most of the day but by late afternoon the sun came out and gave us some spectacular lighting. But it also brought out everyone else as they enjoyed their favorite past time, drinking at the local bistro and watching the people go by.

"Afternoon at the Bistro" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Along the Seine

The "Rive Gauche" or Left Bank of the Seine is lined with book stalls. But they also sell magazines, postcards, prints and trinkets. Anything a tourist might want to buy. It's a little overcast today but I hope we get some sun since we plan on visiting the Jardin de Plantes. Hopefully there will be some flowers in bloom.

"Along the Seine" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

French Lunch

Quiche Lorraine is on the agenda as my lunch when I arrive in Paris. To go with that glass of red wine I posted yesterday. Then an evening trip to the Louvre is in order. It'll be a long day of travel but well worth it.

"French Lunch" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Un Verre de Vin

I'll be headed to France shortly and will definitely enjoy a fine glass of red wine with my meals. Stay tuned for further adventures.

"Un Verre de Vin" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vines in the Window

The Chateau Biron in Southwest France is important in history as one of the focal points of the Hundred Years war between England and France. A well maintained fortress, this massive edifice makes a statement in the French countryside.

"Vines in the Window" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Artist's Toy Chest

There's a very old art supply store in Paris on the Left Bank across the Seine from the Louvre. The Sennelier store has been there for over 150 years. A tall skinny store, it's three stories tall with lots of supplies and artistically arranged to temp any artist.

"An Artist's Toy Chest" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Room with a View

This pigeon had a great place to live. A nice high wall overlooking the bay in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and lots of tourists to feed him. What more could you ask for?

"Room with a View" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rock Hard

The City of Palm Desert is very creative when it comes to their center dividers on major streets. This combo of flagstone and blue glass makes a striking statement to drivers.

"Rock Hard" © Kathy Dunham 2009