I'm running a retreat at the Monastère de Ségriès, a former 19th centuryCistercian monastery in the South of France
Of the three decades I spent in France, living in Provence for 7 years was by far the most memorable and it’s where I gravitate whenever I got back to visit. Provence when I moved down from Paris, was where I was able to dive much deeper into my art practice after the 10 years of training in Paris. It was where I recovered from weather induced SAD, and binged on sunshine, turquoise sea swims and olive oil.
I met some of my closest friends during that time including my art mentor and know the ins and outs of it’s culture and people by heart. I’m honored that I was able to fully integrate the place that either takes you in, or spits you out. Provence still feels like home to me in many ways.
One of the things I’ve always resonated most with in France are the monasteries, the Cistercian ones in particular. I feel a powerful connection to the quiet ancient stones, those gatekeepers of secrets. I've sat in front of many stained glass windows basking in the mystery of their jewel like presence. They feel so familiar to me and always have. If that past life business is really true, then I 100% lived in one of those places.
All of this history with France, Southern France, Monasteries and Churches, inspired me to book Le Monastère de Ségrié for a week long art retreat in Provence in September 2023 (9/11 – 9/16). I can already tell how the breathtaking views and general environment of the area I know SO well will affect my student’s experience. I’m already designing a curriculum that will inspire creative expression while building mastery using this Southern France setting as a jumping off place. We’ll take full advantage of the quiet cloistered gardens, the peaceful charm of the interior spaces, the beautiful fresh food, the surrounding villages and lavender fields to contemplate, rejuvenate, experiment and grow as artists. There’s something about going inward to be able to extend yourself outward that is so important in an art practice. Making art, spending time in the studio is a communion of sorts, for me it’s been my deepest connection to a spiritual practice. The studio is my sanctuary and I know the same is true for most artists.
I can’t think of a better group sanctuary space to immerse oneself in than a monastery, one that holds centuries of contemplative practices in the memories of its walls.
Will you join me ?
PS getting inspired already with some Medieval inspired imagery.