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Oct. 11, Friday: La Lorraine, Matisse, Chagall, and long walk on the Promenade.

On Friday, Oct. 11, I was up at 7:15 and at La Lorraine at 9:00 for 2 cafe cremes and a croissant. I finished the blog post for Thursday and published it. I may have already said this in that post! No time to check myself, I just have to soldier on with this. I was back at the apartment around 11:00 for more breakfast: apple, yogurt, nuts and raisins. I also took some photos of my art work in progress. As I explain in the captions, things have turned around for me – my workshop planning and blogging must all be done on-the-go now, so my art work no longer is. Now I am doing art sessions at the very end of the day in my apartment. I’m not following any structured overall project (as I have instructed my workshop students to do). With everything else that I’m doing all day, that would be some serious overload for me. But I don’t want to stop doing my creative work because I find the doing of it very restful and healing. Although I’m having a good bit of fun, there is also a good bit of stress in preparing to lead 9 other people around this big city. There is also simply a good bit of fatigue from doing so much everyday and encountering so much that is totally new – and sometimes confusing. Although so many people here speak English, almost all the signs and newspapers and magazines and brochures are in French, so it takes me a while to figure things out. Even getting groceries takes more energy here than at home – figuring out those labels! So, my art work is still being done, but I’m taking all pressure off myself regarding it – I don’t even care if it all fails and I toss it in the trash in the end. It’s the doing of it that is important to me. Keeping in practice and resting with an activity I love.

I left the apartment again around noon and walked to the train station, stopping at the bus office to pick up some schedules for buses #15 and #17. Then I got on #17 to go to the Matisse Museum – this is what the workshop group will do when we are staying at the villa, we will take the 64 or 75 bus from the villa to the train station, then the 17 bus to the Musee Matisse – I was doing a test run. As you can see in the photos, I visited more than just the museum – there are also Roman ruins, a park, a monastery, and monastery gardens. I took photos of everything outside, but wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the museum. It is a small Matisse exhibit, but there are some important things shown there that deserve attention. When the workshop group visits I’ll first take the group around and point out a few things, then everyone can look at their own pace for a specified time. After that we will do an art session, or maybe two: one in the monastery garden and one in the Matisse Museum garden. We will see how much time we have. After touring the museum, I bought a piece of quiche from the park cafe (see photo) and sat on a bench to eat it while I watched some men playing boules.

Revived by my snack and my rest, I took the #15 bus to the Chagall Museum. It was a short ride, maybe 10 minutes. There is a lovely outdoor cafe on the grounds, see the photo. I was also allowed to take photos inside, and I’ve included two. I usually don’t like audio guides, but I got one this time in order to check it out for the group. I decided that I recommend that everyone get one – they are included in the entry fee. I am not a Chagall fan, but the audio guide helped me appreciate his work in a way I hadn’t before. They discuss composition, color, symbolism, the use of cubist structure, and the narrative. I’ll get more specific for the workshop group when we are there.

I knew from reading the guidebooks and asking at the TI office that the only way to get from the Musee Chagall to the train station is by foot. I got instructions and tried it out – it isn’t hard at all, nor is it very long, maybe 15 minutes. Once I did my test run to the train station bus stop where we will be getting the bus back to the villa, I decided to get groceries on my way back to the apartment. I found out that the Monoprix grocery store is very close – this will come in quite handy when we are all staying at the villa and must bring groceries up with us. I’ll be writing more about this to the group via email. For myself on Friday, I bought green beans, peas, asparagus, apples, cheese, bread, yogurt, raisins, nuts, and, of course, more chocolate!

I walked back to my apartment and made myself the meal you see pictured at the end of this post. I finished about 4:00, then read through materials I had picked up throughout the day (planning, planning, planning) until 5:00. From 5:00 to 6:30 I walked the Promenade Des Anglais – not taking any photos, not doing any planning, trying to clear my head and rest my weary brain and exercise my sitting-on-the-bus-too-much body. Back at the apartment I had a glass of wine – my first since Cathy left, I realized – and some bread and cheese, and I hand-wrote this post and picked out the photos and hand-wrote the captions. I am finding that this helps me when I get to some cafe with free wifi and need to hurry. I also worked on my art projects. I conked off around 11.

It is now Saturday morning at 11:30 and I have been sitting at this table in Starbucks since 9:15. For better or worse, this post is done and I am going to hit the publish button.

Keep me company till Carl comes on the 17th by sending me comments.

Further progress on my works in progress, this one with a coat of heavy gel matte after 2 days of drying. I have no idea what this will look like when finished, I'm just playing around and following my impulses and using whatever materials and images show up during my days here.

Further progress on my works in progress, this one with a coat of heavy gel matte after 2 days of drying. I have no idea what this will look like when finished, I’m just playing around and following my impulses and using whatever materials and images show up during my days here.

The same for this work in progress - they are each going off in different directions - curious. These are not part of a larger project, they are just serving to keep me working. My attention and time are now devoted to preparing for the workshop and I'm not working on the go anymore, I am working at the end of the day in my apartment. Things are swapped around - I need to do email and blogging on-the-go, so I'm doing my art at "home."

The same for this work in progress – they are each going off in different directions – curious. These are not part of a larger project, they are just serving to keep me working. My attention and time are now devoted to preparing for the workshop and I’m not working on the go anymore, I am working at the end of the day in my apartment. Things are swapped around – I need to do email and blogging on-the-go, so I’m doing my art at “home.”

My book pages are slowly developing, too. No outcome in mind for this either. I've worked on several more pages than I will show you. I will limit it to 3 for this post. Here is one.

My book pages are slowly developing, too. No outcome in mind for this either. I’ve worked on several more pages than I will show you. I will limit it to 3 for this post. Here is one.

Here is two.

Here is two.

And three.

And three.

I at the bus stop waiting for the #17 to take me to the Musee Matisse and I'm looking across the street at the train station - lots of construction going on. For those of you who are joining me here one week from tomorrow, if you expect the construction I think that maybe it won't feel as confusing.

I at the bus stop waiting for the #17 to take me to the Musee Matisse and I’m looking across the street at the train station – lots of construction going on. For those of you who are joining me here one week from tomorrow, if you expect the construction I think that maybe it won’t feel as confusing.

I got on the right bus and got off at the right stop - phew! - and here is the entrance to the Musee Matisse.

I got on the right bus and got off at the right stop – phew! – and here is the entrance to the Musee Matisse.

But, going through this entrance, one first encounters some Roman ruins (and some benches! workshop students take note!).

But, going through this entrance, one first encounters some Roman ruins (and some benches! workshop students take note!).

Another shot of the ruins.

Another shot of the ruins.

And one more shot of the ruins.

And one more shot of the ruins.

And after the Roman ruins, one finds oneself in a park. The Musee Matisse is housed in a beautiful Mediterranean mansion set in an olive grove amid the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum.

And after the Roman ruins, one finds oneself in a park. The Musee Matisse is housed in a beautiful Mediterranean mansion set in an olive grove amid the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum.

Cafe in the park. (I bought a quiche here after touring the park, the monastery garden, and the Musee Matisse, in that order, and before getting on the bus to the Musee Chagall.)

Cafe in the park. (I bought a quiche here after touring the park, the monastery garden, and the Musee Matisse, in that order, and before getting on the bus to the Musee Chagall.)

Look Mom, I found another carousel! This one is a mini.

Look Mom, I found another carousel! This one is a mini.

Look at all those benches! Art "studios!" And also look at all those ancient olive trees.

Look at all those benches! Art “studios!” And also look at all those ancient olive trees.

Stairway from the park leading to the Franciscan Church & Monastery of Cimiez. I didn't go in. I was focused on Musee Matisse and Musee Chagall and didn't know I would encounter all this other stuff. I have to admit, I'm not clear on all of it, got to do a little more reading up on it.

Stairway from the park leading to the Franciscan Church & Monastery of Cimiez. I didn’t go in. I was focused on Musee Matisse and Musee Chagall and didn’t know I would encounter all this other stuff. I have to admit, I’m not clear on all of it, got to do a little more reading up on it.

Jardin du Monastere. Monastery Garden.

Jardin du Monastere. Monastery Garden.

Stepping foot in the Monastery Garden.

Stepping foot in the Monastery Garden.

At the end of the garden there is a striking vista over the city. Look at all those benches/art studios! Guess what the 3 women closest to us are doing - painting!

At the end of the garden there is a striking vista over the city. Look at all those benches/art studios! Guess what the 3 women closest to us are doing – painting!

Another section of the Monastery Garden. So contemplative.

Another section of the Monastery Garden. So contemplative.

Musee Matisse (Matisse Museum)

Musee Matisse (Matisse Museum)

I took one photo inside the Musee Matisse before someone informed me that photography is not allowed, so I can't share with you what I saw in there. Those of you joining me on the 20th will see for yourselves.

I took one photo inside the Musee Matisse before someone informed me that photography is not allowed, so I can’t share with you what I saw in there. Those of you joining me on the 20th will see for yourselves.

Musee Chagall.

Musee Chagall.

Outdoor cafe at Musee Chagall. Workshop group - I'm thinking we will eat here between the two museum visits.

Outdoor cafe at Musee Chagall. Workshop group – I’m thinking we will eat here between the two museum visits.

One room inside the Musee Chagall.

One room inside the Musee Chagall.

Another room inside the Musee Chagall.

Another room inside the Musee Chagall.

Late afternoon rest and repast: my very delicious meal - with veggies! Colorful, too, yes? Inspired by Matisse. And how about that composition! ;)

Late afternoon rest and repast: my very delicious meal – with veggies! Colorful, too, yes? Inspired by Matisse. And how about that composition! 😉

Diane
October 13th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Debi, I am so, so grateful for all of the preparations you are doing for our workshop. When I tell my friends what I am doing, I say “I am just putting myself in Debi’s hands and I know that I do not have to worry about a thing” and you are proving me right. Please don’t feel like you have to have every second planned out; I am certainly OK with ‘happy accidents’ too!!! Carl will be there in 3 more days….have some fun and relax until the group arrives!! See you in 7 days.

june burden
October 13th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

hi debi–Joe and I are now in marseille it is fantastic!Next we’ll go to Aix-en-Provence, then start heading up the coast to nice. We barely have energy to put the key in the door at the end of our days I can’t imagine how you’re making art in your room! oh well I guess you’ll whip me into shape! Can’t wait to see everyone–au revoir et bonne nuit!

Laura
October 13th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

The shot of your foot on the paving stones of the monastery garden is interesting. Even though it’s clearly flat, the shapes make your brain want to see depth. Shows how powerful forced perspective can be!

Marie Fortin
October 13th, 2013 at 2:57 am

Beautiful plate with colorful veggies. Love hearing about all your wanderings and your superb planning abilities…it always amazes me how much work and care you put into your teaching. Feeling grateful…and very excited for next week.
See you soon.
Marie

Martha
October 13th, 2013 at 1:37 am

Hope you can rest a bit and also prepare for your workshop! Love the abstract qualities in many of these photos. Carl was visiting here today and we spoke about your “foot stepping off into space” photo/illusion. Neat! Also glad to see the very healthy meal!

Vicki
October 12th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

You are such a trooper!!! Just like the EverReady Bunny you are definitely allowed to slow down the pace and recharge those batteries now and then. Better keep lots of veggies in the fridge! The museums and parks look so cool – I’m sure everyone is going to appreciate all the work you are putting into the planning to make it special.

Vicki
October 12th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Better keep those veggies stocked up. I am amazed at how much you are able to stuff into one 24 hour period. Both museums looks really interesting – sorry I won’t be there to enjoy them.

John Durnin
October 12th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I love your blogs….workshop is just around the corner!

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Debi Pendell Artist by debipendell.com