Wednesday, November 01, 2006



Dear Friends
Today is my last day at my cottage/studio in Roquecor and I am sad to leave.
This experience has been one of the most enlightening and creative ,my life and art will be changed forever because of it.
I am making my plans for next year, with great anticipation.

As I make my way home with my friend David, there will another stay in Toulouse
the capital of the Midi-Pyrenees region, and France's 4th largest city.
I love this city, it is smaller than Paris , but full of wonderful things to see.
Walking along the River Garonne, near the School of Beaux-Arts, you see artists displaying their latest works in hopes of a sale. There are great restaurants and hotels, art galleries and boutiques with unusual items for sale. I recommend this as a destination to all of you if you travel to France in the future.

This City is international and full of students who come to study at the many universities here. I have met new friends here and feel comfortable and safe. I will return here again next year to learn more about "La Ville Rose"

So I shall be back in the U.S. soon, back to my beautiful home and studio in Florida, seeing my dogs Max and Sophie.
Celebrating the holidays with family and friends, and I look forward to that.
However, I have fallen in love with this country, I will not stay away for long.
For now I say "l'adieu belle France' "

See you soon,

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Each day I walk from my cottage and studio down the mountain and back. It is one of my daily routines and provides inspirations for paintings. I am constantly greeted by the most wonderful panoramas .Farmlands and Valleys, dotted with small white houses and large chateaus with red tiled roofs.
The view of the village Roquecor on the hill top is one of my favorites vistas. A small medieval village not far from where I live , it is the closest for purchasing cheese , bread and wine.My french menu. And although it is a small village, it is full of rich experiences and wonderful, friendly people.

As the season progresses and I watch the fields change in patterns from harvesting and the colors change from the light, I am amazed at the difference created each day. Some of these have become embedded in my psyche and will no doubt show up in paintings for years to come. Little subtleties that leak out into the artwork, totally unplanned and recognizable only to me.
As my work here is almost completed ,I find that I am not ready to go yet. This place is one I have become attached too , It feels so familiar and has provided such a wonder place to work. Spending hours implimenting new ways to translate my visions , trying new techniques and directions.Whether they are beautiful or not, is not for me to say and does not prevent my artistic experiments from continuing. Some will go home with me and will hopefully take my art to new heights, others will remain here,in the trash,where they belong.

Renewing my artistic spirit has become the main focus of this sabbatical to France getting acquainted with my muse again and letting the creative process unfold. Those of you who truly understand this statement will see this spirit in my new work.

I am off for some more traveling now, exploring new towns and villages looking around the next bend hoping to find the next inspiration. Wish me luck...


Monday, October 09, 2006



Mes chers amis,

As I travel around France I am always struck by the beauty around me. While visiting Albi a town near Toulouse , I was fascinated by this hugh Cathedral in the middle of town. As much a fortress as a church , built of red brick in the true gothic style,it was started in 1282 and took a century to complete. And for as stark as it is outside , the interior is completely covered with paintings and carvings. Amazing!

I look at all things differently here, old stone buildings with their wonderful textures and colors, the streets in the towns and villages that are lined with interesting buildings adorned with shutters in lavender and that shade blue that is only found in France. Maybe it is just the light here, but everything looks incredible and extraordinarily beautiful to me. Maybe I am just falling in love.
Looking at the shapes and angles of the roof lines and the arches that are found everywhere in the cities I find myself mentally working out a composition that might work well on the canvas. Some are so compelling that I have started a painting that was inspired by the view in the photograph.

While in Albi , I visited the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. It was full of sketches he made of cancan dancers at the Moulin Rouge and prostitutes with their gentlemen callers. He also loved to paint the cabaret singer Atistide Burant and the Circus people.
I learned a lot about his point of view from studying his sketches and paintings. Quick brushstrokes with a simple line on cardboard were his preferred style and surface. He captured movement and expressions so well with these techniques and I gained a whole new respect for his talent and subject matter.

So yes, among other things I am learning new ways of looking at things here on my art sabbatical, and acquiring an expanded artistic point of view.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Getting Started

As I begin my first paintings, I am struck with the surreal feeling of being inside a picture.
After months of seeing this lovely studio online and corresponding with my landlords the Jones about my visit , it is hard to believe I am actually here, living my dream.
Each day I walk the mountain, absorbing the magnificent vistas and then I hurry back to the studio to capture the feeling of the views and the colors on my canvases.
The smell of the rich,moist earth and the feel of the crisp,pristine air on my face,renew my artistic spirit and refresh my energy. I found fresh walnuts on the ground and use them in my salad at dinner.
And as I ate the salad I thought, I could live like this for the rest of my life, paint on my hands and fresh walnuts in my salad,here in the Midi-Pyrenees,France.
oui, ce serait une bonne vie.
Until next time,

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Inspirations abound!!

Atelier Montmiral

Bonjour Friends and Family,

It has been quite an adventure getting to France and to my beautiful cottage and studio in the hamlet of Le Mas, near the medieval village of Roquecor.
First, Brooke and I traveled from London to Paris, and had such a wonderful time absorbing the sites and sounds of the city of Love.
Our hotel was near the Eiffel Tower so we could walk over and look at it anytime we wanted, it became the theme of our
visit there. Brooke took lots of photos of it in every possible light. I will be posting those soon.
We took a great bike tour of Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours,it was good exercise and a great way to see the sites.
At the famous Paris marche' aux puces (flea market) we searched and found some special tokens to take home with us and enjoyed cafe' au lait often while people watching in the sidewalk cafe's. We walked for miles.
We hated to leave Paris but alas, we boarded the train to Agen and toward the SW Region to the Cottage. The views of the country side was amazing, colors of fall and patterns made in the earth by the plows were speaking to me constantly.
We arrive at the cottage during a rain storm that lasted for 3 days,it made it easy to relax and reflect on our trip together. Reading and card playing with a great glass of local red wine became our routine. Great memories!!

When Brooke left for home, I attended a wonderful art school , Atelier Montmiral ,,
in another medieval town called Castelnau de Montmiral not far from Toulouse. A beautiful area with views that took my breath away and inspired my collection of prints.
My teachers , Bunny and Mick Newth , were gracious and talented artists from England. My classmates, also English, were from all walks of life and we created lasting friendships as we learned to translate our visions using the printmaking processes of drypoint and etching.
It was truly a turning point in my art process and my work is evolving from the images that flooded my vision during my in time in Montmiral.

But more about that later,


Friday, August 04, 2006



As the days click by, Brooke ( my beautiful and talented daughter) and I finalize our travel plans.
The Artist and the photographer make their way over the Atlantic Ocean.
Our flights are coordinate,lodgings are booked and yes...
"THE SCHMIDT GIRLS", will be running the streets of London and Paris!!

Because we both love trains, we have chosen the Eurostar rail service for our Intra-European travel , we are in no rush and want to see as much of France as possible together. This will also give us a way to travel to some of the vineyards.
One of these areas is Cahors, known for it's excellent fine wines and spectacular views.
Check out this link from French Wine a day by Jean-Marc Espinasse

Now don't get the wrong idea, there will be tons of artistic endeavors going on also.
I will be dancing with the muse, looking deep inside for a new art direction.
Brooke, an excellent photographer, will be working on her portfolio.

We will post a glimpse of the progress as we travel together down the creative path.

So the next entry in this travel journal will be from over there,
keep an eye out!!!

A' Bientot


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Le français le Lanuage d'Amour

Bonjour Amis,
May I introduce Sweet Marie and Beau Luc...They are my newest Limited Edition prints.
There is a small romantic story and purchase information on my website

Each day as I prepare for my art sabbatical to France,I get more and more excited.
Preparing myself with the language is my greatest challenge.
As I français d'étude (study french) I have found several wonderful tools.
One of these is "French Word A Day'
Todays word is :
bousculer-to jostle, push, shove; to bump into or against;
to rush, hurry up, to shake or liven up
Which is exactly what I needed to know.
Anyway,I have added this link for those of you who want to learn French with me...
we could écrivez et parlez le français together and that would help me loads.

I also added a link for your email addresses receive these blogs from time to time.

Stay tuned, there is plus pour venir( more to come)
au revoir à plus tard

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nouveaux Développement (new developments)

Well all of the reservations are made and deposits sent, so things are moving as planned.
I practice my French everyday and study once a week with my French tutor Mme. Michele Klinge.
The language is finally melding with my brain, I do understand more and more but my conversation is rough.
Each step is an adventure, but I am leaving a lot to chance as I believe all will work as it should.
Planning for my art supplies is my next phase, as I am sure there are great art stores there. It will be exciting to see what is different there and how I will use it to express myself and this wonderful life experience.
The attached photo is of the converted barn next to my cottage that I will use as a painting studio was once owned by an artist who was friends with the niece of Virgina Wolf. I am sure the energy and spirit of these talented women will inspire me while I am in that space.

Check back next month for le chapitre suivant (the next chapter.)
à bientôt

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Bonjour mes amis,
As I continue to prepare for my voyage to another land, I have begun to paint the series " Sur ma Voie" (On My Way). These small paintings are all collage on canvas, 16'' x 20 ''or 20'' x 20'', utilizing my handprinted fabrics, blockprints, paint and other mixed media. This collection is similar in style to my larger paintings and all are ready for hanging.

Priced at $500.00 each + S& H. They can be hung individually or in groups.

Let me know which ones you would like to add to your collection.
and in advance,

Merci Beaucoup!!


Stay tuned for more new artwork !

Wednesday, March 15, 2006



This fall I have the wonderful opportunity to visit France and paint there for two months! I have found my beautiful little cottage and art studio in the south west of France near Toulouse. Lots of space and light. And so... I have begun a series of paintings to sell exclusively on this blog site to help get me there.Great Art at a Great Price, Oui, Oui !!
Please stay tuned as I will be posting my many exciting adventures and creations here.

Au revoir my friends!