The Day of Days
”You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” -Dwight D Eisenhower, D Day
On the eve of my departure for France I look back on this past year leading up to this trip. In March of 2017 my mom connected me with her friend, the very talented artist Jill Steenhuis.
Jill Steenhuis, an Atlanta native, has lived in Aix-en-Provence, France, since 1980, painting in the landscapes of Provence. After graduating from Sweet Briar College with a BFA in studio art, she attended The Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing in Aix. In the 1980’s and 90’s, Jill was one of the rare artists to have a studio at the Château Noir, where Cézanne had his studio in the late 19th century. She continues to reside in Aix with her family. She leads en plein air workshops, two of which I’ll be attending. One is in late July and the other starts as soon as I land in France in one day!
I will only be in Provence for a small part of my trip. The rest of the time I will be traveling all over the country, painting as I go. I’ll definitely be hitting the classic haunts of Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Monet attempting to paint what they did. Notable stops will be Arles, the Cevennes, the Pyrenees, Normandy, Paris, Nice, and hopefully much more.
I’ve got some leads on where to stay and how to get around but “a plan is a point to diverge from.” Who knows what is going to happen. The great crusade toward which I have striven for many months is here at last. Here we go.