Let’s go back to our recent trip to southern France. Among the gazillion pictures Rob and I took of doors and windows, there are more than a few which feature trained leaf vines and other plants. It was so odd to see vegetation growing out of the pavement, with no dirt in sight. I love the way a bit of greenery frames and softens the straight angles on the buildings.
Polly doll had a wonderful time on her first trip to France! She got up close and personal to a large face and was introduced to some delicious food.
She saw a model of what the city of Marseille would have looked like in ancient Roman times.
She loved the brightly painted doors and shutters…
and even met some of her own kind.
She took in the view from atop the village of Les Baux-de-Provence…
and climbed sedimentary rock.
She saw some amazing wild life.
She saw the same places where Van Gogh lived in St. Remy…
and took shelter under some mushrooms.
In St. Remy she visited the Glanum archaeological site…
and touched the ruins.
She navigated the Canal du Midi…
and walked around the medieval city of Carcassonne. It was a splendid journey!
During our visit to France, we spent a week navigating a barge along the Canal du Midi. There were were many locks to go through and each had a cute lock house, all with signature red tile roofs, and green doors and shutters.
The canal was beautiful, with tall plane trees arching over, creating a shaded waterway. Our excursion included 18 friends from home, 9 couples who were divided into 3 boats. The barges were like floating Winnebagos, with accommodations for sleeping, cooking and eating aboard. Like renting a camper, you are given a key and simple instructions and off you go! Some of us rode bikes along the side path, faster than the barges, which puttered along at 5 miles an hour.
Each lock had a keeper who operated the lock, which in this case lowered us down.
I was so taken with the charming lock houses! The canal took us to several towns and villages, which I’ll be showing in future posts.
We’re home from a wonderful trip to France, where we spent the first week gallivanting through Provence. Then, we piloted a rented barge along the Canal du Midi from just outside of Toulouse to Argens. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been culling through 1000+ photos, grouping them in my usual collections of windows, doors, streets, misc., etc. I thought I’d start the tour with the iconic images of French store fronts. I’ll be posting more photos over the next few weeks and will be sure to feature Polly’s adventures, too!
Polly’s going on another adventure tomorrow! It took the better part of a week for her to figure out what to wear on this trip. She’ll only have one outfit, so it has to work for everything. Polly looked through her clothes from Antarctica, Ireland, California, China Town (San Francisco) and Cuba, but they were not right for this trip.
Polly decided to get something new that was a little more practical and nautical; a simple blue skirt and striped top. An acorn cap beret fits nicely on top of her head, too. Among other things, she’ll be helping navigate a barge along the Canal du Midi in southern France. There will be so much to share when she returns in a couple of weeks!
The island of Martha’s Vineyard is just a few miles off the coast of Woods Hole, but it seems far away, like a separate, insular territory. People are often surprised by its size, 30 miles long, with a half-dozen towns. We like to drive our motor boat over at least once a summer. This time we went to Edgartown, which usually has moorings available for a few hours and the added bonus of a public launch service that takes you to and from your boat in the harbor.
Each town on the island has its own character, from pastoral to gritty. Edgartown is sort of upscale touristy, with lots of high-end shops and manicured properties. It’s pretty, but almost too well-kept up to feel real.
We watched the car ferry make its way across the narrow channel to Chappaquiddick Island. Imagine having to travel this way every time you want to go to the main island.
That’s Chappaquiddick, where the ferry docks on the other side.
There are bicycles everywhere! Car traffic is bad, so traveling by bike is preferred. It was a beautiful day and we had a nice time before getting back to our boat and heading home across the water. I hope that you enjoy this little photo tour of our visit!
Earlier this summer, I found out that fabric artist Chris Roberts-Antieau opened a pop-up gallery in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. Having her work so close presented an opportunity as well as the motivation to make trip. My goal was to get there before they close Oct 13th. So a couple of weeks ago, Rob and I picked an absolutely beautiful day to drive our boat across the sound to Edgartown harbor. We easily found the gallery on a quiet side street, not far from the bustling tourist shops.
I first saw Chris’s work a few years ago at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. I was immediately attracted to her style and design sense, not to mention her use of fabric.
We talked with the lovely woman who’s managing the gallery for the summer, while Chris spends time in her Michigan studio. I can hardly believe how prolific Chris is, keeping the walls here and in New Orleans full of art. We learned that she has the help of assistants, who cut out many of the fabric pieces. Chris picks out the fabric and does the sewing machine finish work, though.
I love her sense of humor and the storytelling quality of her pieces. Her work defies categorization and I can see that she’s benefited from going out on her own and not necessarily trying to fit into the art (or craft) world, quilt world or fiber art world. I also get the idea that she’s focused on creating her own vision and presenting it to the world. Now, that’s inspiring!