We had the honor and privilege to spend the month of October at Chateau Orquevaux in the Champagne-Ardenne area of France. Josh packed lots of plein air supplies and maps of the surrounding area while Susan took a large roll of canvas in a ski bag only to discover she was a couple of rolls short.
We had our own guesthouse (aka the gatehouse) and separate studios. Susan painted in a converted stable and Josh had a studio at the top of the chateau just a short walk away.
We were prepared beautiful meals every evening, made lots of new friends, felt incredibly supported and can't wait to go back some day.
Having decided ahead of time to work on large scale paintings, it became clear to Susan early on that she was not going to have to venture far for subject matter. In fact she didn't explore much beyond the village of 75 residents and 35 houses. Waking up and walking the 30 yards to her studio for the day became a ritual that could not be interrupted. Access to Amazon France and two new rolls of canvas meant she could paint to her hearts content.
Josh, on the other hand was eager to explore the surrounding area after pouring over his topo maps of nearby villages.
After the first two weeks of dodging rain and gaining encouragement from others he challenged himself to a first ever self portrait and some nocturnes while managing to capture nearby scenes as well.