Back from a month at Cat’Art

I haven’t written in the blog since Wednesday when we left for Toulouse. The hotel wasn’t as hard to find as the one we stayed in last time and due to some clues from Robin on finding the Avis rental return, we got past that a lot faster than two years ago as well.
We checked in to the Ibis Blagnac, had a glass of wine. Then decided to take the car on back that afternoon and use the shuttle to the airport the next morning……..that turned out to be a great way to do the auto rental return.

The hotel had wi-fi (hum is is wi or we-fee as pronounced there??) Anyway, at a price of 8 Euro you could use Orange for 2 hours. I didn’t think about the fact it might only be on the Ibis network so didn’t get to use the last 45 minutes at the airport waiting to depart as planned. Oh well……….I tried. France Telecom or Orange should sell weekly unlimited access for people traveling…….

The dinner at the hotel was satisfactory and we turned in early knowing 4 am would come before we knew it.

The trip was as uneventful as you can make it when you have so far to travel…….about 1 1/2 hours to London and 9 1/2 to Dallas…almost 3 hours on the layover so I was able to get the two grandsons a souvenir ball cap each…already had my girls something.

We left Dallas early Friday morning heading home. I’ve been unpacking, checking snail and email, grocery shopping and now even cooking ever since…..well, except for lots of long naps, afternoon and night. Good news from my Louisiana gallery that 4 paintings were sold and the check was here for my return. It’s been hard on sales since Katrina…………..

I can’t say enough good things about all the people at Cat’Art. They went out of their way every day to make our art residency pleasant………we’ve made new friends in France. How happy we are that Ellie Clemens mentioned the art center in Ste. Colombe sur ‘lHers, Aude, France.

Hum…maybe a nap is a good idea right now as well.

April 22

I’ve been down to the studio this morning quite a bit….working on two more collages and re-working the 7th piece into something else….who knows how many of these “re-workings” on various pieces there will be. Definitely, even work that I see coming together will need more “quality of surface”, while retaining their color and value from a distance as they stand.

2 pm we will all meet in the village studios and bring our work to hang/spread out and discuss. Since we have all worked in two studios, plein air, and photography, we haven’t really seen what the others have done during the residency. This will be a time to discuss our work here and share with the others. Maybe pictures later when I get home.

4 pm Tea time at Dominique’s ceramic studio/atelier.Her studio is located up behind Ellie and John’s Ste. Colombe house….violet shutters and trim…wowee.

Wowee, my foot….we got there and it looked like a great space….but no one was there to greet us or let us in….we have no idea what happened that too her away…..we still had a great view from the studio.

April 23 & 24

Sad to see Annette and Karen pack up and leave for the airport this morning….and we only have a couple more days ourselves. Boo hoo! Our time at Cat’Art is coming to an end.

What an afternoon and evening we had yesterday. The film crew showed up and we just waited until they filmed whatever they wanted from all of us in the two separate studios and then waited for Karen to return so we could get the map directions to Rebecca Gregory’s chateau and studio northwest of Mirepoix. She had decided not to go so we borrowed the map and waited for Ellie….she couldn’t go either, so we got a late start. However, when we did get on the road, the trip was through some areas we’d not been through before and noted the differences in the soil color and texture, the fields, and the trees and colors. And to think this wasn’t really that far away….many micro climates around this part of France.

Rebecca’s home address is the village of Paligne, however, the property, La Commanderie, lies outside the village……… is fabulous and dates to the 13th century when built by one of the Cathars. The lineage is lost (if I got my info correct) for a couple of hundred years but the main estate was built in the 16th century. It is just a BEAUTIFUL property. We came to see her studio and were pleasantly rewarded with viewing the house and grounds as well. Rebecca’s work is really wonderful…..metal sculpture. Her web-site is .

She and her work are lovely and we hope to keep in touch with her career as time goes by.

On the way back through Mirepoix, we took a chance that our favorite restaurant would have a space for us to have dinner ……..AND they did. It was a superlative meal again as last time. You can’t ask for better service or food than at the Relais Royal Hotel restaurant.

April 21

Worked in the studio some of the day… a few chapters of de Kooning again. I planned to upload the latest collage image but it did the same thing as the other one….turned from vertical to horizontal and I can’t find a way to rotate it with the blog program. So the picture is from the area of the village compound studios and gallery.

It looked as though the day would be another good one for us to get out and about so we got in the car late afternoon and just drove down various roads we’d not been on previously for some reason or other. Ended up making the rounds around Lac Montbel from another direction and actually going through the little villlage. We took some more photos but the sun wasn’t right for others we would have liked to take….not low enough or too much backlighting.

Leran was another small town we’d been passing signs to in the past so we drove through….nice place with a little outdoor glace/coffee/wine shop to stop and sit for awhile The Unicorn, I think it was……oh yes, and another patesserie right across the way to investigate.

When we got back to the residency, we checked in with the sculpture studio to see the work that came back from Nicolae’s show in Andorra…….wow, some fantastic marble pieces and wood and metal as well.

We also ran by David’s studio to see if he had any other small abstract pieces but I think they are too heavy for my quota for luggage going back, and over my budget as well…..would have liked to take one home.

April 20

Another painting from the Cat’Art series…will make a web size image tomorrow of the collage I did yesterday.

Pat and I finally get to meet Randy and her husband Jean Marc from the Possomworld blog…They live in Chalabre. Some of the others of the group have run into them previously. Ellie said that we have lunch set up in Mirepoix today.

Wonderful day…sun shining and warmer. The natives laugh and say it’s summer.

Ellie and John came by and we all caravanned to Mirepoix for lunch at Le Commerce. Very good plat du jour…some ordered other items from the menu. The restaurant is in a hotel right near centre ville. After lunch we roamed around the shops and I found a few things to take home…no telling what since family might be reading the blog.

Not much in the way of “art work” done today other than continuing to soak up the wonderful atmosphere in the south of France….did I say we all love it here??