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I remind them that I was there on a work trip as instructor for my group of painters and tour organizer.  You can see from these photos, you can feel sorry for me for having to work so hard!
Today we had a reunion of a portion of our group that went to France this past May 2013. One of the members of our group invited us to her art guilds’ exhibit in Lebret, Saskatchewan. One of the ladies had brought a photo book she had made of images of the trip. I could see with the fondness of the stories exchanged that we had shared a special time with one another. Each one agreed that next time the tour needs to be at least 2 weeks long though! Sounds like my inaugural trek into the art tour business was a success, even if we did get to experience unseasonably cold and rainy weather for that time of year and region. The images below are from day 2 in Paris onto day 3 in Poudernas where the Mill, our base was located and a day trip into Mezin, France. Hope you enjoy this picture diary!
I call this one “A Study of Heads with Mona Lisa”. It is crazy how the swarms just mindlessly headed past other
works of art to get in the cattle cue to see Mona. I was more fascinated with the hullabaloo and stayed out of the line up.
View from my bedroom window! No need to go right there our feet hurt too much after a day of the Louvre so we had a wine and cheese night in my room.
After two days in Paris we arrive at the Mill in Poudernas, a small hamlet 10 min. from Mezin, France close to the Spanish boarder. The local folks were so friendly. You can see the workings of the 13th century mill in the background. Rushing water could be heard all night because we did straddle the Gelize River.
The mill was also a restaurant with award winning Marie-Claude whom I met! She even had a letter from the President of France who ate at her restaurant, medals and a hard cover coffee table book!
The whole group went  for a walk up hill to the chateau that over looks the hamlet and mill. We were all being goofy after too much good local food and wine.
Our group at the breakfast table. This was our view each morning of the river! Our hosts prepared our breakfast each morning, some of our picnic lunches and took us to all painting sites and restaurants. They sure know their food! There is even a pool table in the background.
Each room had it’s own sitting area and
bathroom all decorated one as beautifully as the next!
The small hamlet had a fete the night we arrived and we played some games of chance. They had a duck roast going on back of the community hall…too bad Ray and Lynne Johnstone had already fed us soo well.
View of the Chateau that over looks the tiny hamlet. A sign says it is the Bastien de Prince Noir!
My room!
Another angle of my room. Each room was beautifully decorated, with its own sitting area and private bath! Did I mention it was a 13th century mill at one time?
Across the street from the Mill. Is this quaint or what? There are so many photos begging to be painted from this trip.
Marie Claude the well known chef from the Mill and I pose for a photo.
Our whole group on the bridge in front of the Mill.
This is a view from an early morning walk up the steep hill in Poudernas where the Mill is. This region is home to many wineries, and orchards.
This is Ray and Lynne Johnstone’s home and B&B in Mezine, France about 10 min. from where we stayed. They were wonderful hosts for the S.W. portion of our tour.
In Ray’s studio below the B&B.
Ray & Lynne fabulous hosts. She was born in England but lived as a child in France and later in S Africa as an adult with Ray.
Ray was born in S. Africa and worked in advertising and pursues his art now in retirement.  He taught two of the art sessions during our stay.
Mezin home.
This is the kind of site we saw everywhere, quite rural, rustic and inviting!
There will be more photo diary entries to come in the future. If you would like to hear about future painting excursions I am planning please email me, Nikki at artist@nikkisportraits.com. I will be sure to notify you of our future adventures.