So, prior to my trip, I loaded tons of books (finished one and am reading 2 others now) and also three magazines onto my iPad. I usually don't make time to read magazines that are not related to my work. For the trip however, I loaded 3 months of Oprah magazine. One issue is all about living one's life with a purpose. This idea has been one that is imperative for me and is one of the reasons that I made the trip to France.
Yvonne Jean-Haffen was the artist who bequeathed this opportunity for other artists to come live in Dinan, France for a month to work. Now, SHE was a person who lived with a purpose. Her home is now a house museum. Unfortunately, the museum is closed to the public during the winter months. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to go into her home for a private viewing. This was a moving experience for me on every level. Her work was displayed throughout the home. She had mastered a variety of media including drawing, painting, and ceramics. The full collection of her work includes 4,000 drawings and paintings. What moved me most was her studio which appeared to also be her sleeping quarters. What a way to live!
Yesterday was market day in Dinan and I hated the thought of missing the experience. There is produce, cooked foods, cheese, meats and all types of clothing. Fortunately, I was able to go to the house museum and then head to the market before it closed. I will miss that experience. There are venors who have come to recognize my face. I also went into one of the shops to purchase a map of Paris. When I inquired if the shop worker spoke English, she answered me with "very little". I stumbled over my French to ask for the map of Paris and she said, "You do speak French". The months of study have paid off. I still speak so very little, and have so few words, but I have been able to get by. The real test... Paris! I will be living on purpose there as well!
I have included a photograph of Yvonne Jean-Haffen's studio and a photo of the little studio where I have been working for the month.
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