Jasmine Becket-Griffith (jasminetoad) wrote,
Jasmine Becket-Griffith

MINI Paintings & Photos from my FRANCE TRIP!!!

I'm back! I was gone this weekend on a short visit to the Caribbean for my birthday - we had a wonderful time, very relaxing - just what I needed =)

I'm sure I missed a lot here at LiveJournal while I was gone, so I will catch up asap after I post this!

Good news - I have a TON of mini paintings that have been stacking up over the past couple of weeks, so I have listed them up on eBay. Also I finally have uploaded some of my FRANCE PHOTOS, for those of you who have been asking ;)

First though, the mini paintings.....each is a fixed $50 price (a great deal, for an original painting), is 3"x5", and these sell out FAST so grab one if you can....

Click HERE to see all of the available MINI paintings (that haven't sold yet, if any)

Or individually (also if you missed them until they sold out, click on these links to see them...):

& "A Little Lost in Thought" ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING
& "Little Magenta Dragon" ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING
& "Yellow Wings and Blue Sparkles" ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING
& "Tiny Golden Eyed Green Dragon" ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING
& "Pink Wings and Freckles" ORIGINAL MINI PAINTING

Next up......my FRANCE TRIP! I have a bunch of photos, and a synopsis of my trip. For the courtesy of others, I have put most of the pictures & info behind the link below - click below on the link that says "read more here"..... that's where all my pictures and descriptions are....


My France Trip!

Okay - for those who don't know, my friend, mentor and one of my favourite artists - Larry Elmore - http://www.larryelmore.com - periodically has art classes/art retreats. I've been to several, and I always have fun and learn a lot - and this time it was held in France!

There was about 10 of us total - me, Larry, Donna, Tammy, Delphine, Kayti, Kelly, Leo, Chad, Susie, and Gonzague (the owner of the Moulin Madame where we stayed). Gonzague was also our chauffeur - he drove us around in a big white van, all over the country.

I flew into Paris at Charles de Gaulle Airport - after we all got there, Gonzague picked us up and did a quick (very quick, I was overwhelmed) car tour of Paris - what a beautiful, overwhelming city! Wow! We drove by the different monuments, Eiffel Tower, Arc d'Triumph, Louvre, etc. for a couple of hours. Then it was off to the country - where we spent most of our trip.

We stayed at the Moulin Madame - we rented the whole place just for us - here is a link:

http://www.moulinmadame.com/en/index.html - check it out - a beautiful Chateau - a video of it can be seen here:


It's beautiful, hundreds of years old - great location - in the beautiful countryside of Burgundy, France. I loved it! It was great - it had a living room for all of us to hang out and talk art, sketch, etc.

We stayed there every night except the last one. Every morning I'd wake up and hear birds, with my open windows (no screens there!). Very idyllic. We'd go down to the common room and every morning they had croissants, breads, jams, tea, fruit, etc. - continental breakfast. Very nice!

Then Gonzague would come tell us the schedule for the day - we visited many of the countryside villages all over the region. Many of the towns are still very medieval (on the outside, that is - lol - they are quite modern indoors!) - 800 year old buildings still in use, many places looked straight out of a historical movie or a renaissance festival. We visited so many castles - it was amazing. There were castles on top of almost every hill out there.

We also saw so many vineyards! OH MY GOODNESS, the French folks love their wine! It truly cannot be exaggerated how much wine there is (and how tasty it is) there. It's crazy - every meal they would bring out bottles and bottles. It was great, actually ;) Burgundy is known for their currants - Creme de Cassis is often added to their wines to make "kir" cocktails, which we drank just about every day too. I bought some to bring back home with me.

Before I went to France I kept hearing that French people might be rude to me, or that they were rude to Americans, blahblahblah. That was NEVER the case for me. Everybody I met was very kind, helpful, generous, polite and made me feel welcome. My French is awful, but I always said "bonjour" and "merci" and "si vous plait" etc. and smiled a lot, and everybody seemed to genuinely appreciate the effort. Even in Paris (which people kept telling me was snobby, lol) everybody was great. So that is definitely (in my experience) an incorrect stereotype.

The food - well, that was an experience! I'm a vegetarian (no meat, no poultry, no seafood, no meat of any kind) - I was worried about if it would be difficult to find food there. I did kind of go hungry a bit, but that was mostly because we were with a large group of people and we ate at authentic French restaurants almost the whole time. I saw other restaurants that had vegetarian options, and even some vegetarian-only restaurants, Indian restaurants, Middle Eastern restaurants, Italian restaurants, etc., so when I go back by myself with Matt I definitely think I'll be able to find plenty of food. But this trip, with the decision out of my hands, we went to fancy grills, French gastronomies with all meat, snails, duck, foie gras, stuff like that. So basically I had a salad and bread and wine at just about every single place we went to. Which was all right, and kept me going, but when I came back to the States I was starving!!! Next time when I go with Matt I'll do research and hit some of the veggie restaurants.

We visited a lot of larger cities too - I loved Dijon! What a great place! Absolutely beautiful, great shopping, amazing architecture and cathedrals, statues, fountains, nice people, I loved it. And yes, I bought some Dijon mustard when I was there =P

We talked a lot about art, and Larry had some class-type afternoons too, which was great. We also focused on taking our own photographs for use as reference photos for paintings, especially architecture and landscapes - you'll probably see a prevalence of that in some of my upcoming paintings ;)

The last day and night we were in France, we spent back in Paris!!! I wish I'd had 2 weeks just in Paris, there is so much to do. Wow. I got to spend time at Notre Dame cathedral (which I love) it is HUGE and insanely detailed both inside and out. What a work of art. I have hundreds of photos of it now, so I'm sure I'll be painting some more Notre Dame themed paintings soon.....

We had dinner up in the Montmartre neighborhood, which is very much a sort of Mecca for artists. It was beautiful - reminded me of San Francisco, or New Orleans a lot. Very magical place.... Made me want to do some Moulin Rouge inspired art...

We did make it to the Louvre (gigantic crazy art museum, one of the best in the world), but it was getting ready to CLOSE. And this was an ART TRIP. So I was very disappointed about that. I'm planning to go back specifically to see the Louvre. It is RIDICULOUSLY large - I had no idea - it went as far into the horizon as my eyes could see. It's almost unbelievably large - I thought they were joking when they said the whole thing was the Louvre. And it goes underground too. I've always wanted to go there, so getting to the building and not going was kind of like taking a little kid to the Disneyland parking lot, and telling them - "never mind, it's closed". Hmph. So I promised myself I will go back sometime soon to go to the Louvre, and spend a few days there.

We walked around the Seine river, enjoyed the lights of Paris at night. Rode all over on the subway - they have an AMAZINGLY CHEAP AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND public transportation system. Very cool.

That last night we spent at a little hotel by where the Bastille was. Small, but clean, nice, and cheap (something worthy of note in Paris!) - this is the place here:

Hotel Trois Gares

The next morning we flew home =( I want to go back already. Also being a Disney NERD I really want to go to Disneyland Paris too, hehe. So I'm tentatively planning a trip in my head sometime to go with Matt to the Louvre and to Disneyland Paris and have several more days in the city too, that would be awesome.

So that was my trip! Bring on the photos........they might take a while to load, so give it a minute....

::quick legal disclaimer - these photos were taken by me, Donna, & Susie - please be respectful and do not use these photos for anything, as they are copyrighted, blahblahblah - also please do not hotlink them elsewhere!::

So! That's all the photos for now! Kelly has 8GB worth of photos he's going to send me too, lol - so I might have more to post later. Mostly though I took reference photos of buildings, plants, landscapes, etc. that probably aren't interesting to anybody but me (I plan on painting many of them) - so I'm not posting them much.

Thank you for reading about my France trip - I had a wonderful time!

The next couple of days I'm going to be doing a lot of painting - I have a couple of commissioned paintings I need to work on, and some new originals as well. I'll also try to catch up on emails and LiveJournal in the next few days too, hehe. Good night all!
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