Hi everybody! I've been away for a while and just finished looking at all your wonderful posts from the past couple of months. I'm so impressed by all the great work. You all rock!
I recently spent 2 weeks in the Dordogne region of southern France and had the most amazing time. My friend and I rented a car and drove all over, often taking detours to places that looked interesting and getting lost, then turning on our GPS to find our way home. We stayed with friends the first week in the Lot region which is full of lovely rolling hills, farms, small villages and forests. The first day there my cell phone cuckoo alarm woke me up. I stumbled out of bed to turn it off only to find out it was already off--I was hearing a real cuckoo just outside my window! That was a first for me and though I never managed to see him, he continued to wake me up the rest of the week. I also enjoyed the big black and white magpies that sounded like our mockingbirds but with more (and louder) songs. The sketchbook spread above if from two of my favorites places on the trip. The small village of St. Leon appealed to me with its sturdy church and lovely river. I could easily live there. The other place is Les Jardins de Cadiot which was a lovely privately owned garden that's open to the public. I liked it because it wasn't formal and looked like it something I could have managed. We wandered around it for hours and had it almost to ourselves. It's pretty much off the beaten path but well worth the trip. I've posted all my pages on my blog if any of you are interested: www.almostapaintingaday.blogspot.com. They can be enlarged a little more there I think.
The flora of the region is almost identical to Virginia and everywhere there was wisteria and lilacs blooming. The bright red poppies were just beginning to bloom as we were leaving (mid May) but they promised to be spectacular in June. Everywhere we went, the people were incredibly nice and very forgiving of my halting French but it was a good thing I spoke a bit because out in the country most people don't speak English. Thank you Rosetta Stone! (and of course M. DeVier from my college classes).
Anyway, this is probably more than you wanted to know but I did want you to know I've been sketching!