In 2011 I was fortunate enough to enjoy an artist residency in Dinan, France. Dinan is in Brittany, a place that now owns a part of my heart.
The King Arthur story has always interested me. Imagine my delight upon discovering that the King Arthur legend has ties to France—it makes sense—after all, I was in Britanny.
About 45 minutes drive east of Dinan, the Forest of Paimpont is all that remains of the vast forest that covered ancient inland Brittany. Legend has it that the 25 square miles of woodland is also the location of mythical Brocéliande, the forest of King Arthur. This painting was inspired by my visit there.
The day that I visited was dreary, chilly and misty, but I didn't want to portray the forest that way. The Arthur legend has lit my imagination for years, so it was important to me to indicate a bright light in the distance of this piece. One of my favorite books is "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley which is the King Arthur legend told from a decidedly female perspective. But I digress. Legend has it that the adventures of Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, occurred in this forest. Also, Vivianne, the Lady of the Lake, was said to have imprisoned Merlin the magician here after learning all his secrets of magic. It is also said that excalibur, King Arthur's sword, is in the lake within the area. In fact, the painting that I made that was selected to remain in France was a painting inspired by that lake. It was the only painting to which I gave a name while in France.
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