After spending the day traveling, with stops to Bayeaux to see the fascinating Bayeaux Tapestry (utterly amazing that this tapestry has survived over the years) and being moved at the Normandy beaches, Gil and I made our way to Dinan. I was so excited to see Dinan again, that I was bursting at the seams. I had told Gil that the hill we climbed to get to our B&B in Rouen was about as long as walking into the city of Dinan, but not as steep. I don't think that he believed me. Well, he believes me now. After he huffed and puffed up the Rue de Petit Fort and the Rue de Jerzual, he exclaimed, "You did this almost everyday?" No wonder you lost weight while you were here!" I didn't huff and puff. In fact, I felt like I was walking on air. I was only breathless with excitement sharing my memories with someone who has tolerated my reminiscence for almost two years.
I showed Gil some of my favorite sites. I walked along the River Rance, ate the delicious Breton kouign amann and the wonderfully French ille flottante, walked around the walled city of Saint-Malo, ate crepes and galettes, walked all over the city of Dinan, and walked some more. Do you see a pattern here? It seems if one is going to eat all the delicous food, one MUST walk A LOT!
I have included a photograph of me in November 2011 followed by a photo taken today at the same location. Dinan is still aging beautifully. I won't address the other subject in these pictures!
Taking a detour in sharing my artwork to tell a little about my recent trip to Ohio. I will get back to art soon.
I had three things that I wanted to see and do while in Columbus. One was easy enough. I just wanted to spend time with Artie. The second item on the list was to experience a Ohio State football game in person. The third item was to see the fraternity house where my father lived so long ago.
My father attended OSU prior to enlisting in the military to serve during World War II. Dad intimated that some of his most enjoyable experiences took place during his short time in Columbus. His eyes would dance when he spoke fondly of his time there, and he always followed Buckeye football. He watched the games on television whenever possible. Those who know me know that I have very little interest in football, so it may be surprising that I wanted to go to a game at all. However, I have fond memories of Dad calling me in to see the television when the OSU marching band performed the script Ohio. "Lynn—hurry—get in here— they are about to dot the i!" I always feigned disinterest, but really loved seeing the band spell out the word Ohio on the field, and anticipated when the honored sousaphone player finally dotting that i. Well, I finally got to see it, and with a tear in my eye, I looked skyward and softly said, "They dotted the i Dad. I saw it. I so wish I could see you too."
This morning I went for a walk in the woods to the lake near my home. Suddenly it hit me, and I realized that next week I will be walking along the River Rance in my beloved Dinan, France. Before leaving France in 2011, I knew that I would return as quickly as I could. The experience there was extraordinary. I can hardly wait. My mind is crackling with excitement. In the meantime, I have the not-so-fun task of preparing my art supplies, etc. for the trip. Packing is definitely not the sexy part of travel.
Since I will be teaching this time around, I have other items to take along that I didn't have last time. I will be teaching in pastel, so the acrylics that I have been enjoying lately will be resting in my studio. I will miss them... maybe next time! There WILL be a next time, I am sure of it. Stay tuned.
For those of you who may be traveling via air with your pastel supplies, here is an easy checklist for you before you go:
- Pastels in a case that protects them (I carried my pastels in my carry-on the last time I went). This time I am packing them in my checked bag. I will have them in a Heilman backpack size box with a label in French and English that they are artists' colors. I will insert the box in a plastic bag to protect my clothing, etc.)
- 10-20 Mounted Uart sheets with glassine covering taped to the sheets for transport home (I have inserted these into a cardboard portfolio to protect them.)
- A small set of watercolors
- A small amount of watercolor brushes
- A small empty spray water bottle
- A small sketch book
- A set of pencils, erasers and a pencil sharpener
- A few felt tip pens
- X-acto knife and a few blades (DEFINITELY in checked bag)
- Small metal ruler
- Bug spray and sun screen
I am not bringing an easel because there are easels available at the West Mill where I will be staying with my students. If I were to bring an easel, I have a Sun Eden easel that is very compact and lightweight.
I am also bringing a color wheel, a view-finder and handouts for my students. I will, of course, also have my camera along for the ride with me in the plane's cabin.