Sunday, July 10, 2016

Montelimar - Fete de la Couleur Lavande

3 guesses where I am? I came to see the fields of lavander in the Drome..sort of upper-upper Provence also known as the Rhone Vallée. Almost every region in France has abou3 names nd thy just changed them again to keep the French on their toes.as if they weren't already expert enough...ahem.
I saw they had a fete on this weekend. By the way there are fetes every weekend in almost every town in Provnce and upper/lower Provence.
The lavander is available for just a short window.
Then its cut and distilled etc into oils, essences, room sprays, you name it.
Lavender oven ware and pas cher...so tempted but I'm already loaded. I'm sitting on a park bench postine which is why there are even more errors than usual. Please forgive PBers. Also there are roosters definitely free range running around crowing to give a country effect. Ha!
La creme de la creme of honeys..well one of them made from bees that hang around the lavander. I spotted a few visiting here in town for the fete.
The regional viennoisserie of Provence flavored with lavander. I am resisting...so far.
Of course there is lavander soap...so tempted.
Some bars have actual springs of lavander.
I did not resist buying a bunch...which I'll probably leave in my hotel room (Hotel Sphinx).
I misread and thought there were shuttles to the champs de lavande (fields of lavender) to paint. Wrong! There is a faux champs set up in the town parc and you are meant to paint there. Oh.
For the readers of PB who love tech here's how they distill the essences.
At 4 am this morning I was trying to distill lavender essences of aquarelle...
How to paint lavender?
Which by the way is not at all the sweet, wussie pastel color we think of as 'lavander'.
Its deep purple with bits of green plants and not at all a piece of cake to paint. This series will continue. Have you visited the lavander in Provence?
My work station/atelier at Hotel Sphinx. I tipped the chambre de bonne a tenner NOT to clean my room Please! Let them deal with it after I'm on the train. Bonne chance. Someone asked if I put plastic shower caps on the table (for protection). No, those are freezer bags (fom the US and becoming rarer and rarer in France). I carry all my materials in them - so handy.
The view out my bathroom window. No wonder Matisse, Bonnard and everyone else painted their windows.
And the piece de resistance!! Fabulous home-made apricot jam bought at the Fete. They grew their own apricots. The Real Deal. I ate so much last night I woke up with a hangover. But oh so worth it. I'm back in Paris late this afternoon. I have to finish the July Paris map before July is over!! Just in case you were wondering. Meantime there's a very nice post on Bonjour Paris on June's ice cream map.
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29 comments:

  1. We visited lavender fields a few years ago..amazing how everyone's interpretation of what they see is different..artists had set up..it was a gorgeous day..I left with honey and flowers and an apron.The day was so nice.
    Your interpretations are so you.
    Rich rich in colors.
    You made me smile at the hangover.

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    1. Now you have me wondering about interpretations..? Hmmm...

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  2. Merci Carol, for this fabulous post. I am a huge lavender fan, and truly appreciated every one of your photographs, Paintings bien sur, and dry witty commentary. The recreated faux lavender field in the town really made me laugh...and I also loved the technical drawing of how lavender is processed.
    I am making a note of this fete's general time of the year and place in my little notebook where I keep such notes. xo

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    1. Thank you Frances!
      Just Google fete de la lavande. There are far better fetes to go to in real Provence. But after reading Marjorie Williams Markets of Provence I was hot to go to one as soon as possible. I'm going in August to at Sault near Gordes in the heart of the Luberon. Trouble is you really need a car to get to the fermes. And I dont even drive. Some buses pass by. Study up. One of these days you'll make it over I hope Frances. Come NOW. The $$$ is good. :)

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  3. Carol, you are really into taking the small trips this summer. Seeing so many places and then to have your paints to create your memories on the spot. Enjoy as we see all through you.

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    1. I'm loving every minite of it Marilyn. What was I waiting for? France has nailed the small trip thing. Paris empties out every weekend while I sat here last summer!! :))

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  4. I wish I could paint, I have ancestors who were relatively well known artists during their time and children who have great talent, alas it has passed me by completely! Living in France, the light, the sights, there is always so much that I could capture on canvas, alas I will have to stick to my camera!

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    1. Take a class for goodness sake. If you have a good eye for photos yr halfway there. There are tons of stage in France or join URBAN SKETCHERS. You'd be surprised. Look at Danny Gregory's book. He got the world drawing. Anyone can do it. Fun.

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  5. Two things. Maybe three. First, BIGGEST SIGH! Oh, I can practically smell it! And I certainly love seeing all this wonderful lavender and the town and the treat and the paintings right here! What a glorious experience! I especially love the photo of your hotel room which brings me to #2.

    I would be glad to send you plastic bags as a thanks for all the joy you bring me! I get to visit France, see wonderful things, learn even more and even get my painting inspiration on! Email me (I think it comes through on my comment -- jeanie@wkar.org) and I'll get some in the mail very soon indeed!

    Finally, at the end of the month, Cara Black is coming to our bookstore. Of course, I read all her books and remember your post on the walk through Paris with her. Very excited. That and the Tour de France and I'm having a grand July~!

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    1. That's very kind Jeanie. I may take you up on it. My freezer bags (not zip-locked) are on their last legs. I seperate all my artwork in them. I'll sho and tell next post.
      And yes the fragrance of the lavender is Divine!!!

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  6. Kathy H11:09 AM

    You have good karma for sure...love the lavande!!

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  7. Jane G.11:11 AM

    looks SO inviting! I am excited to attend the Fete de Lavandre! In August!!

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  8. Absolutely my favorite. My idea of heaven. I so glad you are there.

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  9. Carol, your posts make me so happy.

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  10. Karryll1:38 PM

    if you get the chance (and haven't done so already), try to paint at the Abbaye de Senanque. I was there in May, but the lavender wasn't blooming yet (dommage!). Fields are right in front of the abbey, which is just gorgeous. It was one of my favorite things on the trip. Beautiful, flower-filled cloister, too.

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    1. I wanted to go but I dont drive...so annoying.
      I have many pictures...
      There is no guarantee when exactly they will be in bloom.

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  11. Susie T2:05 PM

    Love this post. I have many fond memories of lavender fetes in Provence and a visit to a distillery not too far from L'isle sur la Sorgue. Thanks for the great post.

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  12. Gloria2:11 PM

    Bonjour! Abricot confiture et lavender pour vous çe matin.

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  13. No ziplock bags? Horrors! I can hardly contemplate a life without freezer bags....Now I know just how provincial I am....

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  14. Oh, this post. Lavender!!!!!!! I am going to Paris in October and cannot wait. I will research and use your posts as my inspiration for places to search out and enjoy.

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  15. Loved this post and, although I do love the lavender fields and products, my favorite part was the apricot jam (heavenly). Got a kick out of your hangover, great way to explain eating a lot (too much?) of any one thing. I will be happy to bring you some freezer bags when I travel to Paris next year - just let me know the size and type - it would be a small price to pay for all the joy you bring to my life with your blog and aquarelles and maps etc.

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    1. I also bot a big box of farm-picked apricots(3€) and a big bottle of apricot nectar(2,50€)
      Nothing like diving into apricots in Provence. =Heaven!!

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  16. love your photos here Carol! we're heading to france near the end of august to visit family, next year it will be during lavender blooming season. Merci! oh and love your artwork!

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  17. That's too funny about tipping the maid not to clean! I've missed the lavender this year, as we were hoping to visit my parents-in-law in Provence but we're off to Corsica to visit family instead as entertaining visitors non-stop just now in Paris. All your lavender here is so beautifully tempting, Carol. Can almost smell it from here!

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  18. Diana P9:56 AM

    That was delightful ! You are such a great artist!

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  19. Wonderful post, comme toujours. For those who can not make it to La Belle France, the many many lavender fields around Sequim in Western Washington state are lush and amazing. It's a short ferry ride from nearby Port Angeles to glorious Victoria, British Columbia and more lavender fields in B.C. The fields seem to go on for miles ; so beautiful & fragrant. Remember to bring your US Passport et amusez-vous bien!

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  20. Carol - Women like technology, too.

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    1. You are absolutely right AJ
      I must change the text

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  21. Leslie in Oregon1:46 AM

    Lavender and fresh apricots...add raspberries and it's my idea of heaven. My garden is too shady to grow lavender, but there are lavender fields in two areas nearby. We make a point of visiting them each summer and keep the lavender bunches we pick in vases around the house until the next summer. At that point, the year-old bunches go in a fireplace basket to be added to fires the next winter. As they burn, they release their wonderful fragrance. Your watercolors are glorious!

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