If there was a little bundle of energy in our Atelier Provence group, Hyacinth (from Dayton, Ohio) was certainly. Kind, talented, persistent, with a yearning to learn, she even spent a whole night painting… below, is a “quick” appreciation of her painting workshop in France with us. I even nicknamed her “Maverickette”, from Maverick in Top Gun!

Walk the Arts

The Artist Opportunity Grant afforded me an impressive and priceless art experience.

Text by Dr. Hyacinth Paul

Atelier Provence and Barcelona was an intense art experience for me; I learned more in the 11 days under Walk the Arts’careful supervision than I did in the last five years. I was taught to question my very own place in this art world and to truly think about my art.  Our instructor Yves M. Larocque did not spoon-feed me, but he wanted to bring out the best in us all by challenging us to think outside the box. 

In France, we painted from the moment we landed at our lodge east of Avignon in Provence. I was painting 12 hours a day and on the sixth day, 24 hours straight to bring my paintings to a level of completion. The painting sessions were also mixed in with lectures, discussions, critiques, and, of course, instruction.  We painted various landscapes: lavender fields, ochre mines, undergroves, architecture, and Cezanne’s Mont Sainte Victoire.  We visited Paul Cezanne’s studio and traveled in the very footsteps of the great artist.

When we sat down to dinner each day at around 8:00 p.m., just as the sun was setting, with exquisite meals prepared for us by our chef Monica Marquez (see her book), the evening was filled with not only the sights, smells, and wafts of delicious couscous royal, confit de canard, lapin à la lavande, veau aux olives, but also with delicious salads, unique local cheeses, honey, local bread, scrumptious dessert. And let’s not forget the now uncountable bottles of Crémant de Loire, rosé, Bordeaux, and… of course Cognac. The long dinners were filled with animated conversations on various art topics … and life. Most often, we ran into the candle-lit night, past 11:00 p.m.

All in all, I was like a kid in a candy store and I did not leave Professor Yves and asked him so many questions about mundane things like the medium he used for oil painting to which biennales were worth visiting. I found that our professor was a wealth of knowledge who willingly shared much more than I expected to learn on this trip such as writing a proper artistic statement, making a proper Web site, and the importance of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and more. 

We also delved into the philosophy of art making.  We were continuously challenged in terms of thinking about where we wanted our art to be and what purpose our art serves in this world.  We were constantly pushed into reflection about how and what makes our art our very own. Do we mimic, or do we want to express the “be”? We also learned from our colleagues from different parts of the USA and Canada and of various age groups.

Oh my god, I have forgotten Barcelona! Ok, Ok, Ok…to conclude, we visited its major art museums: the MACBA, the Picasso Museum, the National Museum of Catalonia, the Fundación Miró, Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, the Palau Güell, and the Casa Batló. How fortunate we were to admire the works of Turner at the National Museum of Catalonia. And Let’s not forget the paellas.

Barcelona Art Trip
Hyacinth Paul and Yves M. Larocque in front of the MACBA in Barcelona in July 2022

I would highly recommend this workshop to novice and pros alike.

 

4 Comments

  1. Claude

    Alléchant!! Dans tous les sens du terme bien sûr!

     
    Reply
  2. Susan Sohn

    I was in Tuscany with Yves and Monica. Lovely people! It was truly a rich experience! I would highly recommend it.

     
    Reply
  3. Hyacinth Paul

    Yves, thank you for publishing my review! I meant every word of it. See you in Columbia and I can’t wait to learn more. I’m looking forward to the water color sessions. I’ve already started practicing. Thank you also for a fabulous workshop!

     
    Reply
  4. Akashleena

    Beautifully written!

     
    Reply

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We all make art! It is part of culture. It is deeply rooted in human nature as a way of communicating with others. We all need to tell our stories because it is stories that link us all. We are all one, one creative mind! Though, all unique and equipped with unique ways of expressing ourselves. We live in constant search of that unique liberating voice. At Walk the Arts we aim to facilitate our art makers to explore new territories. Our painting classes and art history trips on three continents are meant to be rounded art experiences among small groups of like-minded adults. We offer an environment that fosters creativity. As we always say, art as religion is just a matter of faith. This blog is about living fully the experience of art, about finding our single artistic path, about the joy of art-making. We believe that making art accessible to all will lead to a betterment of our society.

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What is “metaphysics”?

 

Since the advent of History, there has always been metaphysics: the Greek, the medieval, the rational, the modern. Each of these metaphysics answers to the other. The metaphysics of Plotinus responds to that of the Stoics, as that of Spinoza responds to that of Descartes, etc. (p. 80). Metaphysics is a deep reflection on things.

I return to visual art, especially to the matter of the intelligible aspect of painting: doesn’t Monet’s thought meet that of Turner, Picasso’s to Cézanne? Doesn’t Monet’s thought respond to Turner’s, Picasso’s to Cézanne’s? Shouldn’t we feed our own work of art from a greater one, which has withstood the test of time? Would metaphysics be evolutive? Would my current work necessarily prevail over the one of yesteryear?

Are We Jugglers of Life?

 

I am currently in Colombia on a beach, far away from the crowds because of the pandemic. And every year that I am on that beach, Picasso’s painting Les pauvres au bord de la mer (title in French) comes to my mind. More than a century passed by, and we still witness the same inequities. I keep thinking about them, the reason I wrote, during the pandemic, a novella on our society today’s conditions of which I am sharing this dialogue.

“Perseverance” is the key to all successful artists

 

Perseverance is the key to all successful artists.

I always ask my painting students to memorize … “Until then, we will not rest or falter. Hand in hand with others thirsting for a better life, no matter how long it takes, regardless of support or persecution, we will joyfully respond to a savage need for liberation”.

Studio Italia, a painting vacation with…

 

If our art workshops focused mostly on painting techniques, then why traveling to Italy and spending money when you could stay at home and learn everything you need through the Internet for free?

We can’t wait to see you again!

 

Travelling to Italy to paint and eat! This is what we want! We are optimistic about our upcoming art workshop in Tuscany, Studio Italia 2021 (October 1–10).
[…]
In a nutshell; we cannot wait to meet everyone, to see you again, to have this morning coffee together in Tuscany, to do art as a group, in brief, to fully enjoy life all around a gourmet meal with excellent wines.

Art and Neurosciences

 

When a subject becomes familiar, the brain activity shuts down like when viewing a lovely chickadee painting…

Can we talk about the neuroscience of art? This is the question that French neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux addresses in his beautiful book The Beauty in the Brain or La Beauté dans le Cerveau (Odile Jacob, 2016). Prof. Changeux describes how the human brain behaves when making or contemplating a work of art. To make a long story short, he argues that the neural bases of aesthetic pleasure are the product of the link between cognitive and emotional brain functions, in other words, the harmony between reason and emotion. Moreover, he gives some tips on how artists can maximize the impact of their works on their audience.

Evolving in art is just a matter of faith; only believe!

 

We refrain from teaching painting techniques easily found on the Net. We prefer taking the necessary time (36 hours) to fully involve the participant in reflecting on her or his art — including all levels, all media […]
Rest assured that having attended one of our online classes, you will be more confident in taming the landscape in your own way while on a plein-air painting workshop.

May I see the instructor’s works?

 

So why do we attend a painting workshop In Tuscany, Provence or South America? We attend a workshop to learn from each other, to share our passion, to live an art experience and to enjoy the power of knowledge through creation. This is what we offer at Walk the Arts.

Plein Air Painting = Trapping the Moment

 

Here’s a curious paradox: stopping time by painting quickly. Can one set a trap to catch the moment’s impression? Can the artist’s canvas trap the beauty and the wonder of observed events which melt all too quickly in the flow of time? Can time be halted? Yes, says Michael Findlay, obviously, this is what artists do…

Let Go! The Artist’s Way of Cooking


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Ten years ago, here in Tuscany, we decided to write a recipe book but with so many good cookbooks in the market, we needed to propose a new idea. We had to find a modus operandi close to who we are and what we do as visual artists. The answer was in front of us and painting gave it to us: art and color!

Travelling with meaning : a painting workshop in Italy

 

More and more travellers from the developed world are looking for meaningful travels. We are aiming for journeys that allow us to learn something new, to deepen our culture, to enhance our lives. Purpose, inspiration and self-discovery are now vital elements in our traveling choices. Probably, this is why our quality painting workshops offered since 1997, have become more and more popular.

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