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Archive for the ‘Art’

Dali museum, a surrealistic object itself

September 14, 2013 By: guest Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Travel to Spain, painting workshops No Comments →

Today, I planned a cultural visit as a treat to the artists. The painters have been working hard and they deserved some fun. So we went to Figueres, Northern Catalonia to see the Dali museum.

The museum had been designed by Dali itself. Where else will you find eggs on the roof and people wearing baguettes on their head to welcome you?



The inside is as crazy as the outside, actually even more. You are welcome by dozen of golden naked statues with open arms, similar to the ones on the roof of the museum.


Then among others, you see a painting of Abraham Lincoln.


But when you walk closer, you don’t see Lincoln anymore but Gala’ back, Dali’s wife, naked, watching the Mediterranean sea.


Then you walk through rooms and rooms of art, sometimes (I should say often) very crazy art but that is what makes Dali so unique. A genius, he called himself. The two paintings on the wall, the piece of furniture in the middle as well as the red sofa in the back of the room, can be viewed through a frame with hair-like giving you the feeling of watching a human face….


In the gift shop, you can buy a book with Dali’s mustaches: many pictures of Dali with his mustaches of different lengths, shapes, etc…On the last page of the book you can read a citation from Dali: “Some people think I am crazy, but I am not as crazy as the person who just bought this book.”


After the visit of the museum, it was time for lunch and we went to a French (Brittany) crepe place. I had been there before and they make the crepes just like in Brittany. I know we are in Spain and should be eating Catalan food but I couldn’t resist.

By the crepe place was a little Mini from the 60s I believe, painted with the “Flower power ” theme. Sandy Delehanty, the teacher on this watercolor workshop, said that her first car was exactly the same but instead of  the flowers she painted a big lady bug (making her very famous in her neighborhood). She and I, the tour leader with the white shirt on the pic, decided to drive it (or at least pretend to since now the car has been converted into a bar).

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After our great lunch, we went  back to Calella for some more paintings:


Next blog, all the gourmet food we ate on our painting workshop to Spain. Stay tuned!!!!

There is more than the sea on the Costa Brava

September 12, 2013 By: guest Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Travel to Spain, painting workshops 1 Comment →

Like always, I am chatting away, showing the village to the group. I am on the right and Sandy, the teacher on the left:


Below is a picture taken by Janet of (from left to right) June, her daughter Laura and Anne.


The post below has been written by Sandy Delehanty, the art teacher on this watercolor painting trip to Spain:

Having wondered last night around the tiny 12th century Medieval village of Pals photographing it in the late afternoon sun, we knew what there was to paint here.  Staying in such a breathtakingly beautiful place as Calella de Palafrugell by the sea, it would be hard for artists to leave to paint at another location, but knowing the beauty of the village of Pals we were able to choose whether to spend the day painting there, or spend the day painting by the sea again.

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I snapped a photo of this sunny wall that I kept passing on my way from where Linda (Minnesota) and Ann were painting to where Judy was painting.  I loved the shapes of the basket purses and the cast shadows and the colors and textures in the stone wall.

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The great thing about watercolor journaling is that you do not need to carry an easel and stand up all day working away.  In fact, since we are staying in a beach town my students purchased these folding beach chairs so they could be comfortable painting.  Here is Mary (on the right) and Linda (the Linda from Canada, we also have a Linda from Minnesota). Mary was the fast painter on the trip. Linda has been added a motorcycle in her painting that was there the day before but not when she was actually painting.

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Not far, were June (left) and Laura (her daughter) sitting quietly in a little alley way.

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Laura was painting this cute little window with the big leafed plants beside it.  When I took photos it was not quite done as you can see, but I love the style of her ink lines and the lovely transparent colors of her watercolors so I wanted to post it anyway and she was OK with that.

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And June painted this cute little window with the pots.  It was a really challenging spot with lots happening, but she had fun with it as you can see!


Below is a picture of Sandy, the teacher, helping Laura.


Judy found a really cute corner in the village of Pals and worked to the very last moment, not even stopping for lunch, she ate a protein bar in one hand and kept on painting with the other.  Her painting buddies in Hawaii are probably not surprized by this at all!

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Here is the corner she was painting, talk about eye candy!

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And below is her lovely watercolor.  She did not like the dull brown color of the door so she created a much prettier blue door.  The round tower structure next to the door was difficult but she got it.  Also notice that her rocks have a wide variety of color, great job!

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Here is the cute little street scene Ann and Linda (Minnesota) chose to paint in Pals.  Somehow I forgot to take a photo of them painting but below are the paintings they created.

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This is Ann’s painting.  It is a lovely watercolor that captures the whole scene beautifully and I think it is my favorite of all that she painted.  Lovely painting and I love how she wrote the story of her day next to the painting.

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This is Ann from Australia (who painted the above watercolor) and we all had a great time getting to know her.  I am honored that she came so far to join our painting trip.  Before arriving to paint with us she visited London and the Cotswalds in England where she created some lovely watercolors in her journal.

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This is Linda’s (Minnesota) watercolor of the pots along the main street of Pals.  I love the way she shows you that the plants were cactus but a variety of them and also she got the pots nice and rounded and the wall is definitely made of a variety of stones.  Great job Linda!

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Linda’s husband Tom went with Jackie, the tour leader, to the cork museum while we were all painting. Then he came to meet us in the village and walked everywhere, scouting the town and by lunch time he knew not only where to shop for the local products but which stores had the best prices.  He is a keen observer of people and provides us with interesting anecdotes of the daily life of the people he had witnessed.

Below is a picture of Linda when she is not painting. Pals is a medieval village so she got right in the spirit of the place.

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Linda knows how to keep her husband Tom in line!

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But where was Janet?

Janet was determined to find time to swim in the sea so she elected to stay and paint and swim in Calella.  The hotel loaned her an umbrella, she had her towel, her watercolors and journal and off she went to the beach.  She swam, lounged and painted the rocks and the sea. I don’t have a picture of her on the beach but I have a picture of her painting supplies on the beach…….


Here is a picture of Janet, another day:


Stay tuned for more.

Painting in the quiet and beautiful botanical garden of Cap Roig, Spain

September 11, 2013 By: guest Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Travel to Spain, painting workshops No Comments →

Our adventure continues, in the botanical garden of Cap Roig.

The origins of the Cap Roig’ Castle and its Botanical Gardens date back to 1927, when Russian Colonel Nicolai Woevodsky, who was keen on drawing and architecture, and his wife, the English aristocrat Dorothy Webster, decorator and amateur archeologist and gardening, left behind her court life in London to settle down and make true her fondest dream in this unique place located in a special enclave by the sea. A place prevailing in nature and calm. The works continued until 1974.

I always give a little orientation/history speech in all the different places we go to:


Our group sat down in front of the castle and starting to sketch the beautiful window with iron work.


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The garden runs down in terraces from the castle to the sea. The first ones (Nuns’ Terraces, El Bassin Terrace, Lovers’ Garden) are connected by the Cypresses Staircase, and have a marked architectural character.






From there on, the paths descend gently towards the coast. This area is home to the Spring Garden, Cactus Garden and Geranium Walk with stunning flowering seasons.Wether you like to paint flowers, cactus, trees or buldings or even the coast, you have it all at the garden.


I think my favorite part was the cactus garden: hundred of them, different shapes, species and color.



For more pictures of the botanical garden of Cap Roig, visit our site at

Sketching in Calella de Palafrugell

September 10, 2013 By: guest Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Travel to Spain, painting workshops 2 Comments →

Our group had fun sketching and painting by the ocean. They didn’t go very far to paint what I show below, just from the terrace of the hotel. Calella de Palafrugell  is really a hidden gem of the Costa Brava. Many resorts on the Costa Brava have been over built in the 60s and 70s for mass tourism and only a few fishing villages have been preserved. This is one of them.

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Judy painted the boat that never moves!

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Linda did too but from a different angle. She actually walked a few yards away from the hotel….

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Some people didn’t leave the hotel and took pictures from their room balcony.



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Tomorrow, different scenery as we are going to the botanical garden of Cap Roig, a 10 minute drive from our hotel.

Click here see the itinerary of the trip.

Dancing the night away in Provence

June 16, 2013 By: guest Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Painting tours to France, Provence, Women, painting workshops 1 Comment →

Lynn Gertenbach, an oil painter from South California, has arrived with her students for a week long in Provence.

Luckily, the weather is wonderful, even quite hot. Until last week, it had been chilly in France, even here in Provence, which is very unusual. But now the sun is here and the sky is blue.

We are staying a week long at the same location, la maison aux volets bleus, in Venasque, a charming village in the Luberon.


Here is the group at dinner:


From L to R: Ghislaine, Holly, Betsy, Bobbie, Lynn, Patrish, Josephine and Lori.

After dinner, we had a great surprise. The little tiny village had a special festivity planned: a latin night. There was a DJ playing not only salsa, rumba and merengue but also some disco, hip pop, etc…

Eight of us went to check it out (while Patrish decided to stay at the hotel and read). The minute we got there, Holly and her mother Betsy went on the dance floor and never left it.


Holly and Betsy danced all night long…

Well, the dance floor was gravels since we were on an outside parking lot. Lori, Josephine, Ghislaine, Bobbie, Lynn and I joined them. Luckily, the DJ taught us the moves for all the latin dances so it became sort of a line dance. There were 4-year-old kids dancing the night away as well as older people. Some were really excellent some were just trying out but the most important is that everyone had a blast.


We called it a night around 11PM. Nice start for our week.

To follow the full itinerary of our painting week in Provence, check our site

Arrival in Venasque for a new painting workshop in Provence

May 21, 2012 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Painting tours to France, Provence, Women, painting workshops No Comments →

My new group arrived. This time the art instructor is Jeannie Breeding, an art teacher from Colorado.
She came with her friend/student Bruni.


There are also 3 women from California, one from New York and one from Australia. Very international. So far, so good. Everyone is cheerful, happy and is getting along.
More tomorrow.

Painting the same olive trees Van Gogh painted

May 09, 2012 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Painting tours to France, Provence, painting workshops 1 Comment →

Today we head off to Saint Remy de Provence, famous because of Van Gogh. She stayed there the last year of his life. He asked to be internalized in the hospital. This is where he painted 150 of his famous painting like irises, starry night, etc…

It was very emotional. We first walked through the 12th century cloister and took a lot of pictures.


Since the place is still used to treat women with mental disabilities, everyone was very quiet to respect their space. That added to the atmospehere.

The garden was full of irises of different colors, even pink irises.


After the visit, and the picnic, everyone watched Cherry’s demo in oil painting before painting on their own. What a treat to be able to paint the same trees Van Gogh painted 150 years ago!



After the painting session, everyone went to explore St Remy. Kirsten and Cherry made the most interesting discovery: a pedicure session made with living fish!!!! NO kidding. You put your feet in a tank full of fish and they do the job. They do eat the dead skin and anything bad on your feet. Everyone else was grossed out. I think if Cherry had the time, she would have tried. Just talking about it to Ann, made her sick in her stomach. I don’t think Ann will ever try.


Join us too next year, either on a painting trip to Provence, a culture tour to Provence or even a cooking tour to Provence.

Oil painting workshop: painting still life in France

May 05, 2010 By: guest Category: Art, Painting tours to France, Women, painting workshops No Comments →

Today has been a rainy day so indoor painting for everyone; still life. Everyone painted a bouquet of flowers on top of a wooden chair with a French hat sitting on it. Ok, it is not a real French hat, it is actually Joan’s hat but everyone agreed that the still life with her hat looked very French. Below are a few pictures of our guest painting.


Judy painting


Joan painting

Nancy painting

Nancy painting

Anne painting

Anne painting

But France is not only about painting but eating and drinking. Therefore, we went to the Chartreuse cellar, the longest liquor cellar in the world. We learned about the Chartreuse monks making the Chartreuse liquor. We know it is a mix of 150 herbs but they keep the recipe secret. I guess we don’t need to know, as long as it tastes good. They make 9 different types of liquor, from the elixir of long life at 75% alcohol to the fruit liquor at 21%. You can’t find them in the States. You can only find the green Chartreuse (55% alcohol) and the yellow one, called the liquor for ladies, because it is only 41% alcohol. We also got a chance to see the life of the monks in a 3D movie wearing great glasses…. Very good day after all.

Drinking Chartreuse liquor when traveling to France

Drinking Chartreuse liquor when traveling to France

Watching a 3D movie at the Chartreuse cellar

Watching a 3D movie at the Chartreuse cellar

Stay tuned for more adventure with French Escapade

Day 1 for painting tour in rural France : is it winter or spring?

May 04, 2010 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Jac's Travel diary, Painting tours to France, painting workshops No Comments →

I am back in France on my first 2010 tour. A painting tour in the foothills of the Alps with art teacher Niki Reynolds.

What a fun group it is! small (5 women) for a lot of fun and laughter. The tour is not only about oil painting even if it is the primary reason for them to join the tour but it is about enjoying each other’s company, French food, French culture and having a good time.


The weather hasn’t been the best it can be. That is the least I can say. It is quite chilly, about 13 degree Celsius (55F), which is usually the weather for March.

That doesn’t stop our guests from painting: if it is too cold outside for some of them, they are painting inside.

Most are beginner painters (Nancy, Anne and Judy) while Joan is an experienced outdoor painter. By the time the beginners finish to set up their easel and paint, Joan has almost finished one painting. Oh well, they found that rather amusing. Me too!!!

Niki is a great teacher. You can check her art on her site at

She is spending a lot of time helping the newbies. That is the beauty of being in a small group. You get plenty of personal help from the teacher.

On thhe first day, we had a professional chef preparing dinner for us. Not just any chef, but Jean Claude Poulet has been the chef for the Louis Vuiton family. What a treat.

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Jean Claude prepared  superb food for us. I didn’t take pictures of everything and I should have.  Below is a picture of him preparing the asparagus as hors d’oeuvres, then a picture of him with the bananas with cinnamon for dessert, a close-up of the banana and finally a picture of our group.

If you want to join one of our painting tours in 2011, make sure to check

Stay tuned for more tomorrow.



No more business for Lacroix

December 01, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Cultural tours to France, French news, Paris, Provence No Comments →

Designer Christian Lacroix was born in 1951 in Arles, Provence, and his fashion shows and collections were often inspired by Camargue colors, gypsies and corridas.


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He opened his own fashion design business in 1987, sponsored by French luxury company Louis Vuiton Moet Hennessy. He became internationally successful right away, and later diversified his business by creating a line of perfume, linen, table ware and accessories. He even participated in designing of the interior of the Mediterranean TGV.

However , financial difficulties appeared in 2005, and today, the company was officially closed when no potential buyer showed up to make an offer to buy the famous brand name.

The French Riviera celebrates its 62nd Cannes Festival

April 26, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Cultural tours to France, Customs and Traditions, French news, Provence, Worldwide No Comments →

          cannes     palme d'or     croisette

                                                                               Views of Cannes and Festival Award

From May 13 to 24, international film stars will take over the glamorous Mediterranean resort  where they will meet in the prestigious Palais du Festival but mainly in lavish parties in the luxurious hotels .

It all started in 1946, and the first selection included Billy Wilder’s “Lost Weekend”, David Lean’s “Brief Encounter”, Roberto Rossellini’s “Rome Open City”, George Cukor’s “Gaslight”, Walt Disney’s “Make Mine Music”, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious”, and Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast”.

This year’s  jury will be headed by French actress Isabelle Huppert, only the 4th woman to hold the presidency for over 6 decades.

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                                           Isabelle Huppert holding the Cannes Festival Palm Award

Here is the official selection of the movies in competition:

  • “A prophet”, France, Jacques Audiard
  • “Agora”, Spain, Alejandro Amenabar
  • “Antichrist”, Sweden/ Denmark/ France / Italy, Lars Von Trier
  • “Bright Stars”, Australia, Jane Campion
  • “Broken Embrace”, Spain, Pedro Almodovar
  • “Enter the void”, France, Gaspar Noe
  • “Face”, France/ Taiwan/ Netherlands/  Belgium, Tsai Ming-liang
  • “Fishtank”, UK/ Netherlands, Andrea Arnold
  • “In the beginning”, France, Xavier Giannoli
  • “Inglorious Basterds”, USA, Quentin Tarantino
  • “Kinatay”, Philippines, Brillante Mendoza
  • “Les herbes folles”, France/ Italy, Alain Resnais
  • “Looking for Eric”, UK/ France/ Belgium/ Italy, Ken Loach
  • “Maps of the sound of Tokyo”, Spain, Isabel Coixet
  • “Spring Fever”, China/ France, Lou Ye
  • “Taking Woodstock”, USA, Ang Lee
  • “The times that remains”, Israel/ France/ Belgium/ Italy, Elia Suleiman
  • “The whit ribbon”, Germany/ Austria/ France, Michael Haneke
  • “Thirst”, South Korea, Park Chan-Wook
  • “Vengeance”, Hong Kong France/ USA, Johnnie To
  • “Vincere’, Italy / France, Marco Bellochio

Pixar 3-D movie UP will open the festival on May 13th, an unusual event as it will be the first time an animated movie will be shown for the opening. The results will be anounced in the evening of May 24th.

Video introducing the 2009 festival/ Film samples /In French with some English

My 5 top info about spring 2009 in Brussels, Belgium

April 17, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: "How to" Tips, Art, Belgian Escapades, Belgian news, Brussels, Cultural Tours to Belgium, Women 2 Comments →


                           Jackie, your travel guide and specialist about Belgium, France and California

                                                                         (see bottom  of article for latest trip discounts)

  • The new Magritte museum is opening soon! On June 2, its doors will open on the magic world of the most famous Belgian surrealist painter. Located next to the Art Museum on Place Royale in Brussels, and not to be confused with the former Magritte museum, located in the painter’s home. While the old one focuses on the artist’s life, the new one will exhibit some 170 paintings by Magritte. Not to be missed! Tickets are for sale online.


  • The royal greenhouse of Laeken are only open to the public in spring. This year, you will be able to admire the huge collection of rare plants in the superb 19th century greenhouses designed by Balat from Friday, April 17 to May 10 (closed on Mondays). It is a short window and therefore a privilege to enter this magical  space located in the King’ s palace gardens.


  • The Foundation for Architecture is presenting its 2009 exhibition " the Time of the Boutiques" , from booths to ebay, ongoing until October 18, 2009. You will be immersed in the experience of window-shopping through ages. The foundation is located rue de l’ Hermitage, 105 – Brussels 1050. Closed on Mondays.


  • On Saturday, May 16, 2009, you will be able to join the Belgian Gay Pride March in Brussels, with around 20,000 people walking the Streets of the Belgian capital. The parade is free and starts at 2 pm at the Bourse. It will end with the Rainbow Party at the Ancienne Belgique.


  • Brussels public transportation are varied and convenient: 5 train stations, an easy train access to the airport and a great subway network in addition to a large bus and tram network. On April 4 , 2009, new metro lines were added.

Practical info: the Brussels subways (Metro)  run from 5am to 1am / Trains are every 7 minutes / a single ticket costs 1.70 euros  and a Day pass 4.50 euros / a 3-Day pass 9.50 euros.


To and from the airport, trains run every 15 minutes (Central station, Bruxelles Midi, Airport station located  in the basement – level – 1)

And because Belgians are unpredictable, watch this video taken at the Antwerp train station on March 23.  Public transport can be art!"



So to all of you who will be in Belgium this spring, enjoy!

If you want to join us on our August tour of Belgium with a special 50% off discount, check our website . It is a women-only 8-day trip in Wallonia and the  Flanders in a small group of 8, escorted by bilingual guides with a real knowledge of the country. I will be there!


All pictures were taken on French Escapade tours in Belgium.

Painting in Belgium: a full palette of colors!

February 20, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Belgian Escapades, Brussels, Cultural Tours to Belgium 3 Comments →

Belgium is a land of painters. Famous artists  (Bruegel, Van Eyck, Rubens, Memling, James Ensor, Magritte…) are Belgian. Here are 3 different cities to illustrate 3 painting styles.



The technique of the oil painting was invented in Bruges, the romantic  Belgian  town built on the water, where many artists lived in the heart of the wealthiest 15th century communauty.

Bruges is associated to the Flemish Primitives (such as Van Eyck) which refer to the painting school and the painting style of the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium) in the 15th century. The name only started to be used in the 19th century. The name ‘Flemish’ (adjective for Flanders, the area running from Northern France to the Southern Netherlands) is used to cover the entire group of 15th century painters living in Bruges and its surrounding area. The word Primitive only mean they were the first to use new painting techniques, which were far from being primitive!

  • In Bruge, visit the Groeninge Museum, with its collection of paintings from the 14th to the 20 th century (mainly by artists who lived in the Bruges area ) : Van Eyck, Memling, Pieter Bruegel…


    Horse carriage in Bruges  by Sonja Hamilton                          Medieval houses by canals in Bruges

© Photo Credit: Painting by Sonja Hamilton SWA


Ostende was the Queen of the Belgian seashore resorts in the second half  of the 19th century. King Leopold II transformed the little fisherman port into a prestigious aristocratic town – eclectic and cosmopolitan.

Marine painters found there a perfect subject for their plein air vignettes.

However, Ostende is mainly associated to James Ensor, the impressionist painter who dared to use avant-garde expressionist effects in his work, which resulted in the fact that he was never well-accepted during his lifetime. He also enjoyed depicting his contemporaries in a very critical way (grotesque masks, snares …) which alienated him from the general public. He is now seen as a major precursor of modern painting and his work is displayed in major museums (Getty museum of California for instance).

  • In Ostende, visit the James Ensor House; it does not contain any of his work but it shows the  bizarre   environment in which Ensor lived and worked for the last 32 years of his life. The place is crammed with objects he used as models in his colorful paintings.



Brussels is an art laboratory. While walking around the city, you are constantly facing architectural splendors (sometimes horrors, I have to admit): Art Nouveau buildings, medieval shops, gothic facades , next to the ugliest 20th century condominums or the impressive glass building of the European Parliament. The king Palace is neo-classic but the nearby cafés and restaurants boast the most high-tech deco ! To put it in a nutshell, Belgian are daring and crazy when it comes to architecture.

As for painting, you do not need to enter a museum to admire beautiful murals: the city is the capital of comic strips, and you will meet many comic heroes on the walls of Brussels

But if you are not keen on Comics, and do not wish to visit the Comic Strip center, Brussels has many art museums, and the New Magritte museum is to open on June 2, 2009; you can also visit the old Rene Magritte museum (his house in Brussels) which is a different museum.

For more Magritte information, read our previous article dated January 5, 2009.

Painting tours and cultural tours are offered in these three cities with French Escapade.


Links (click on title):

Videos (click on title):

A Historical Theater In Gay San Francisco

February 02, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, San Francisco, Tours in California No Comments →

The Castro Theatre was built in 1910, and originally  located at 479 Castro Street . In the mid 1920s, a  larger Castro Theater was built at 429 Castro Street, its current location, only a few doors up from the original theatre. Its facade was ornated in the   Spanish Colonial Baroque style , just like the basilica in Mission Dolores.

The architect in charge was Timothy L.Pflueger who also worked on Oakland’s Paramount theater, among others.

It officially opened to the public on 23 June 1922, showing the Paramount release Across the Continent (1922), starring Wallace Reid.

Today, movies are still played at the Castro theater, but special events are real treats, such as sing-alongs , festivals and concerts, as well as charity events that are taking place there from time to time. The interior decoration and the Wurlitzer pipe organ  played on special events give the whole atmosphere an exquisite ambiance and make you travel back in time.

In January 2008, when Gus Van Sant shot his movie Milk, dedicated to the memory of Harvey Milk, assassinated in San Francisco in  , the neon lights were renovated on the theater’s marquee , and the facade  repainted.

Yearly  events:

Current programming:

Coming soon:

  • February 6: Midnites for Maniacs
  • February 7: Scary Cow Festival
  • February 15-26: Milk
  • February 27-March 5: Amarcord
  • March 23: Petula Clark
  • April 8 – 13: Mamamia sing-long (I’ll be there ! I love sing-alongs and Abba! What a treat!)

For more details, visit


Provence 2009: On the paths of Picasso

January 27, 2009 By: jgrandchamps Category: Art, Cultural tours to France, Painting tours to France, Provence No Comments →


Provence is the perfect inspiration for many painters. If Cezanne  and Van Gogh are the first names you would associate with the South of France, Picasso was not indifferent to its charms and spent a lot of time in Provence and the French Riviera..

In the beginning, the Spanish painter would often visit friends in the area before he eventually moved  there,  where he  painted some majors works inspired by the spirit of the place.

Here are his Provence landmarks:

  • In 1912, he stayed with Braque in Sorgue near Avignon and painted “L’Arlésienne”
  • In Vence , he would often meet Matisse
  • In Saint Tropez,  he drew the “Odalisque” sketch
  • In 1919, he stayed in Saint Raphaël for a while.
  • In 1923 and 1924, Cap d’Antibes and Juan les Pins were his summer destinations, where he painted “Paul as Arlequin
  • In 1939, he spent some time at Man Ray’s home in Antibes and painted ” Antibes port at night”
  • In 1946, he stayed in Menerbes , the village made famous by Peter Mayle’s books.
  • In 1948, in Vallauris, he discovered the art of ceramics 
  • In 1955, he moved to Cannes. There, he worked on his series “les Ménines” and also did  “Peace and War “ 
  • In Les Baux de Provence, he acted in a Cocteau movie.
  • In 1960, he finally moved  to Mougins, his last residence, near Aix en Provence, where he could see Cezanne’s dear Mont Saint Victoire. He died therenin 1973.
  • He is burried in the park at his Vauvenargues Castle, in Mougins.

After the extremely successful “Picasso and the masters” exhibit  this fall in Paris,  mentioned on this blog on November 25, 2008, Provence will celebrate Picasso in 2009.

Here are the major events:

  • May 25 – September 27: Picasso – Cezanne exhibit at Musée Granet in Aix en Provence
  • May 27 – September 25: temporary opening of Vauvenargues Castle (reservations required)
  • March 28 – June 28: Picasso 1945-1949 exhibit, 200 pieces from the Happy Years, at the Picasso Museum of Antibes .
  • Starting February 29: the Cathedral of images in les Baux de Provence will project Picasso’s  works in the amazing quarry used as an exhibition room. Always a superb experience!

Both our regular tours and painting trips in Provence include Les Baux de Provence, Menerbes, Avignon, the Cathedral of Images and Sorgues.

Our painting teachers in Provence; For 2009: Jann Pollard; in 2010 Victoria Brooks

Poster for the new show at the
Cathedral of Images, Les Baux de Provence.
     Painters and art lovers
               can discover
          art, gastronomy
    and painting workshops
              organized by
         French Escapade.