After a slow start, my first little band of Artistic Adventurers barely made it to their Paris-bound train in time yesterday morning. As I unloaded their suitcases and bid them goodbye, I realized that I’ve been fascinated by this ritual ever since I rode my first train in Europe. As I retraced my tracks from Bergerac back to sleepy little Limeuil, the realization that I was alone in a foreign country swam through my mind. Though it’s a little jarring on one hand, on the other hand, I felt my body decompress with each kilometer I traveled along the swan-studded Dordogne. With nothing but swans, sun and autumn breeze, I realized how exciting it is to be here alone. As much as I love showing this amazing country to other artistic-minded souls, I love the exhilaration of the solo adventure, too.
Back in Limeuil, I began the routine of house-cleaning our medieval, hillside stone house for the next band. Surrounded by drying bedding on the terrace, I pulled out my dozen paintings of the week and began to tweak them, correcting the little details that I missed in the fast pace, beat-the-sun race of painting en plein air. Lunch in the garden and it was time to head up the Lézère River to Chateau de Losse. I snuck in the door on the last tour of the year much like my morning travelers got on their train at the last minute. The country renaissance chateau didn’t disappoint, from the formal gardens of hornbeam and boxwood to the finely furnished chambers. Best of all, as I came back outside, was the low lying sun casting its rays on the banks of the now dry moats filled with cascades of wild cyclamen. Their mauve blanket led me all the way to the rocky foundation of the chateau at the edge of the lazy river. Meandering the gardens one last time filled me with a little twinge of desire to see my own simple garden. Being here, I’m missing its last show of blue and white anemone and belladonna. C’est la vie!
p.s. Well, with the help of my brilliant, computer savvy, French friend, Laurent, I nearly got my photos on the computer. He led me to the app, but it only loaded photos taken at home. Why won’t it recognize the several hundred I took here?!?!?