Day 2 at La Maison Verte

Picked up by Kinga around 8.45am to go to the flea market at Nogent. We picked up get friend Matildhe on the way. Apparently it’s a bit of a ritual to go to the flea market every Sunday, which is help in a different village each week. I purchased a variety of antique linen (not sure of the fibres, likely combinations of cotton, linen and possibly hemp; a small camping type pot set that included a steamer; some interesting drawing implements and a decorative wax sealer thingy that Matildhe found. She decided it didn’t really have a use for her and didn’t need another decorative item , despite finding it beautiful so I grabbed it, couldn’t resist. Then off to the supermarket for some more food and art supplies.

Still tired from the workshop and travelling so had a slow afternoon trying to delete things off my laptop to make it useable. Feeling very sluggish, achey and sinusey but decided I needed to do something positive to ward off the flatness I was feeling. So I pulled out my booty from today and unpacked some art materials and started to scatter things around my studio space. Started feeling better, just handling some material and paper was instant therapy.

Kinga came around in the late afternoon to take me to the botanical garden to gather some vegetables and have a brief tour of the garden. She showed me an area where I can set up an outside under cover studio which is awesome. They are going to try and set me up a gas cooker there do I can do my dyeing. I am happy to dye at the house but when the others turn up I don’t think it will be so appreciated. Kinga asked me if I thought I might like to mainly work in the garden and for other work use a small studio space attached my bedroom so she could offer my existing studio space to one of the other artists. While I loved the outdoor space I really didn’t want to give up my downstairs studio as I will need an inside space for laying out papers etc. Kinga said that was fine as she could set to the lounge room as a studio. I said I didn’t mind sharing and didn’t want to feel like I was hogging the other studio but she assured me it was fine.

Think I got a bit flat earlier on after Kinga told me that the other two artists were bringing companions which means I will be sharing the space with 4 others not just 2 as I was expecting. Will totally change the dynamic which concerns me. Have been taking a few deep breaths and telling myself it will be ok and that I just need to go with the flow and try and get as much sleep as possible before then. Sharing the bathroom will also be interesting and adapting to the noise of 4 others in what really is a small house. I am still thinking about going to Paris for a few days so will definitely be leaving that til after the others arrive. On the positive side I never expected to arrive to an empty house, which I am loving despite before I came being worried that being alone with my thoughts for so long could be dangerous until I realised that I wouldn’t be alone and at the time was relieved by the thought that I would have other artistic types around to share the experience with.

Still trying to figure out how to load my photos into the blog. Trying to do it on my laptop only causes it to crash so I have set up the app on my phone and writing this post from there so will give it a go with this post and go back and edit the previous posts later. The issue is with loading up my iPhone photos, it’s clogs up my laptop. I am sure if I was trying to add photos that I had fully downloaded from my camera I wouldn’t have the issue, but so far have just been wandering around with my phone. I did take the camera out for a walk earlier but only took a few photos as I felt I had already taken so many. Once I get up and running and focussed more on my project I will be taking more photos, of the location and my work in progress. Talking of such things, Kinga asked me to provide a bio and a few paragraphs on my project so it could be translated for the catalogue. I had thought I provided something with my initial application but I know that was rushed with only being given 24 hours to put my application and proposal in. The project will probably be a bit different anyway. Think I have a week but she wanted it pretty soon due to it needing to be translated.

Yesterday when I went for my walk I noticed a large walnut tree which had some old blackened skinned walnuts lying on the ground. Of course my mind went to thinking I could make some walnut ink, so today I asked Kinga about the tree and explained it was close to where her boyfriends mother lives. She thought it would be fine and when we were at the garden this afternoon her boyfriend’s mother Nicole was manning the office and she said it was fine to collect the walnuts, at first she was confused as she didn’t think there were any ripe walnuts on the tree but when Kinga explained my purpose she smiled and appeared to understand. After I got back to the house and unloaded my basket of vegetables I wandered up the road to gather the walnuts. I didn’t find a great amount but should be enough to make enough ink for what I might need. I was about to leave the tree when I found an extra stash of nuts I hadn’t seen earlier. Because I was so focussed on looking for black skins I didn’t notice until it was too late that the bonus stash were sitting on a bed of nettles. It was a very uncomfortable trip back to the house!

Some of you reading this may be exhausted by now, that’s if you are still reading so I will close off here. Those of you who know me well will understand my need to give a blow by blow account of my thinking and doing. Primarily this blog is for my own benefit to keep a record of my experiences and to assist me in remembering for later but I do hope it might be of interest to others as well. I also apologise for any typos and some weird highlighting thing that occurred above, I will be editing later but right now I need to prepare some food as it’s quite late. Not use to having to feed myself after 2 months of being fed by others. Also it’s seems that the photos load easily from my phone so will definitely be using the app to at least do that part.

The back of Maison La Verte

Interesting to see the stone under the rendering, have been told the house is a work in progress but no idea as to its age, maybe I will find someone in the village who can fill me in

Detail of the garden wall, there is evidence of repair. I particularly like the detail on the top

Detail of the top of the stone wall



Detail of tiles in the living room


This is a vinyl with a seagrass matting pattern in the front room that is my studio, brings back very fond memories from my childhood. Haven’t seen sea grass matting around for years.

Tiles in the entrance way and foyer area

Basket of vegetables collected at Jardin Botanique de Marnay sur Seine

Interesting wax sealer stamp thingy found at the market, the base is plain



Top of the ceramic handle


Sheets, fabric and a petticoat found at the market


Detail of of one of the sheets, am told it is probably cotton with maybe some linen, I am not sure


Detail of a more coarsely woven sheet, this one is very worn. Was suggested that this is more likely to contain linen than the other 2 finer sheets, again I can’t tell.


This fabric is very stiff, has some natural markings and other marks that look like fold stains. Pretty sure this one is linen but it could include be hemp or a blend


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