Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Notes from the Dean on Monday, June 29, 2009

Yesterday was a great day--like every day here at La Girau!  The ladies of SAA worked diligently all morning on finishing their paintings, so that all will be dry for our approaching departure.  Their work is extraordinary as they prepare for their SAA Neo-Impressionist Art Show 2009 on Wednesday, July 1. 
When they finished their work, the ladies took a dip in the pool, read, and listened to their music.
After lunch, we had an excursion to the local (5 minutes away) chocolate "factory".    The Cesbron brothers, who own the chocolate "factory",  made a presentation and showed a film about the origins of chocolate.  We were able to sample everything, as the brothers demonstrated how they make the candy and decorate the chocolate.   Just after we made our purchases and returned "home", there was a lovely afternoon storm that was rather noisy and cooled off the evening.
After dinner, the girls did make up and hair, read, listened to music, talked, and "played" before the midnight curfew. . . . 
We have been so lucky that the weather has been so perfect.  This is not always the case in the this part of la belle France.  We have been eating typical French dishes.  Every now and then, there is something that we don't care for, but the girls have been courageous in trying things out.  
A bientot!  JM

Monday, June 29, 2009

Some New Pictures


Here are some pictures from the Japanese Garden, the Chocolate Factory and one of Corie painting with the house in the background.


Some parents are having trouble posting a comment.  I don't know what the problem is.  Could one of you parents post a comment and tell me how to do it.  Do you have to sign up to an account at Google to do that?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

From Danielle

Hello fellow bloggers! Today, we attempted Church. Who knew that the day we went, the time and location would be changed. After meditating for awhile, we returned to La Giraudiere for lunch and and a little bit of laying out. As we finished, we then loaded the bus and headed to a Japanese garden where we painted for 2 hours. We experienced what it was like to have others to come watch and take pictures as we painted. We're about to go to dinner and finish the night off with a little bit of an ab workout! More tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

From Ashlyn

Why hello Everyone! Believe it or not we got a paint free day. First we ate breakfast  and then took a 2 hour bus ride to a medieval walled city where we were able to shop, sketch, and eat lunch. After that we went to La Baule, which was the beach! It had been cloudy all day until we arrived at the beach. We all received tons of sun, especially Danielle's back while Andrea and I saved a ton of jellyfish. We were very fascinated by them. Andrea also was very excited about her "free souvenirs"..... seashells. After the sandy two hour bus ride back, We spend the rest of the day eating and relaxing, but in Corie's case, she decided to paint a whole new painting. We ended our night watching Mouline Rouge.... its a tear jerker. The girls say hello and we miss you all very much! Ta Ta! 
(The photos are from yesterday -- our hike into Des Gardes and painting in the village.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

From Andrea

Ok so since the blog didn't work last night and Mrs. McCarty gave a shorter version of what we did today we (All 8 of us) are going to give you a more detailed and a more exciting version of what today consisted of.  First we woke up bright and early and walked two miles to the village where we painted.  We had to carry all of our supplies including our easels! The walk was pleasant except for when we passed a group of angry bulls on a farm.  When we made eye contact they started to grunt...So we ran away. Finally we arrived and started painting.  It was so windy that Emily's canvas fell into her paint... :[ After our field trip was done we came back for lunch.  It was sea food day. Carleigh, Corie, and Emily all tried  RAW oysters.  After lunch we relaxed for 4 amazing hours, except Ashlyn, who painted for 4 hours straight. Now we are all hanging out downstairs and we are about to watch a movie. (Taken)-"Taxis here are so expensive... Want to share?" More to come later! All the girls say "I love you mom and dad and family!!!"

from Janis

We are so busy that we haven't had time to post today.  Today we left the house about 9 a.m. and walked to Des Gardes the nearby village and painted. We returned in time for lunch and a nap.  The girls spent the afternoon finishing up paintings and napping.  Tonight the people of the village of La Tourlandry are doing their dress rehearsal for a show they will present in Belgium next week.  Quite interesting!  I hope to get one of the girls to blog later tonight.  I can't post pictures because I have lost the cord to transfer pictures to my computer.  I'll try to do better tomorrow.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From Corie

Alright, today was wonderfully beautiful.  We all rose early to eat the incredible French, country breakfast.  The fresh bread and Nutella dissolved delicately in our mouths and in our stomachs.  After breakfast we met out in the coach house to begin our first painting assignment, which Mrs. McCarty left us to after having a minor emergency.  We worked for about 2 hours in the hot sun.  Mrs. McCarty finally returned and then LUNCH!  Later we took a bus to the Chateau d' Angers.  This castle was built in the 13 century.  To our delight, we arrived to find camels, a donkey, pigs, horses, goats, and sheep, all in the area that once was the castle moat.  We saw the Apocalypse Tapestry ("the oldest surviving tapestry of its size") and we sketched at the chateau.  We are now ending the day with different activities of idleness, including watching "Sabrina".  We miss everyone and can't wait to see you all soon!!

Here is a picture of us at the Chateau.  

From Janis

We painted today and the paintings are beautiful!  A few are not finished but will be by the time we head home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 1 at the Chateau

The food is awesome. We really enjoy it. Also a constant supply of cookies keeps us full. Today was a lazy day. We got to the chateau and explored. We were also assigned a sketching assignment. After the sketching, we played basketball, ran around the track, slept, and many more fun activities. Tonight, we ate dinner with everyone as well as sat around and looked at everyones sketches from today. Now we are just sitting around and will get to bed eventually. Until tomorrow..... From France.
Written by Taylor

La Giraudière!

We have arrived in La Giraudière and it is beautiful and the weather is perfect.  Lunch was ready when we arrived so I am posting a picture of our luncheon on the grounds with the house in the background. We were served deviled eggs, French style, mustard glazed pork roast, and apricot mousse. The girls are very happy to be here.  It is 4:50 p.m. and they are all out sketching.   
 (I was unable to post anything yesterday.  I could not connect to the Internet.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Late Sunday Evening

Happy Father's Day to all of our Fathers! (And husbands)
We finished up our day on the Champs-Elyéees with a wonderful Italian meal : ) and a visit to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  I got a great picture of the girls and had to post it tonight. Please leave comments and let us know your looking at our blog. 

Sunday in Paris

We  have had a busy day today.  We started the day at Versailles, the home of the Louis Kings of France.  Versailles is one of the largest palaces in the world and also the home of the Hall of Mirrors, the historic site where several peace treaties have been signed.    We then proceeded by train and subway to the Place de la Concorde and to the Louvre, the largest art museum in the world.  We are resting and will soon be heading to the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triompe.  Our feet are tired, but we are trudging on. The weather is beautiful, although more rain was predicted.  Please notice in the second picture the girls are eating bread and pastries.  We are eating well every place we go.  It is a good thing that we are walking 5-6  miles each day.  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

No Pictures Today

It is 4:30 p.m. our time and I have no pictures to post.  We took the train to Giverny, Monet's beautiful home and garden. It rained and we were not prepared.  The rain was not forecast and we got wet.  The girls were all troopers.  A few had on water resistant jackets and a few bought umbrellas at the gift shop.  They quickly toured the garden and home and did a little shopping.  We have come back to the hotel to rest and put on dry clothes.  
We will go to Montmartre and Pigalle, an area where our artists had homes and studios.  But most importantly they met daily at the Cafe Bourgois to discuss their work and to plan their "Salon de Refuseés" after being rejected from the Paris Salon.  After a quick walking tour of the area we will go to the top of Montmartre, visit the Sacré Coeur Church, and eat dinner, and hope to get a spectacular sunset view of Paris from the steps of the church.  However, the view is doubtful because of the weather. 
I will try to post pictures tomorrow. 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bonjour from Paris!

Didn't get to post last night -- internet connection problems.  We had a busy day - Gare St. Lazare and area, Musee d'Orsay (stood in front of all of the Impressionists paintings we had talked about for so long), shopping, Pompidou Center (museum of very modern art) and a dinner of crepes and apple cider.  In bed about 11:30 p.m.  We are off to Giverny today.  Gotta go catch a train.  
Here is a picture of the girls at the museum and the Eiffel Tower just outside our hotel as we returned last night.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bonjour from Paris!

We arrived in Paris at 9:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m.) Memphis time.  We were tired but excited.  Most travelers got very little sleep on the 8 hour flight.  The weather is cool, but pleasant, cloudy, but no rain.  We were able to get into our rooms as soon as we arrived at the Mercure Suffren Hotel at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  We rested for a few minutes and hit the streets with Dean Maness leading the way.  We were all exhausted but knew we had to keep going until an early but somewhat regular bedtime.  It is now 9:00 p.m. Paris time and we are all headed for bed.  We tried to keep everyone outside today in the fresh air.  We visited Notre Dame, St. Severin, the Latin Quarter, the Marais on the Right Bank, the site of the Bastille, rode several subways, and shopped a little. 
Tomorrow we will visit Gare Saint- Lazare to purchase tickets for our day trip to Giverny and to sketch this train station made famous by Monet, who painted 12 paintings of this glass roofed train shed. ( Later in the day we will view one of these paintings at the Museé D'Orsay.)From the train station we will begin a walking tour of sites in the area where many of the artists lived and worked. This will be the beginning of the day.  I will report tomorrow night the events of the rest of the day.  Bon soir!