Framed: 50 x 63 x 1.5 in.
When we first moved to France, we settled into a small apartment just across the main street from a B&B called Villa Saint Louis. Five months before, our friends, Caline and Frederique de Gasquet, had taken us to a picnic in the quaint village of Lourmarin at the same Villa Saint Louis which is owned by their old friend, Bernadette Lasallette. Well, one has not lived until they have met Bernadette and seen her very special home designed by her late husband, an interior designer, who decorated it years ago in the old French style.
Once we had had that one taste of Bernadette and Lourmarin, Don and I both wanted to settle there. And so it happened that we met a charming Dutch gal, Christel Van Marlsen, that evening who had just moved to Provence and was in the house rental business. We told her we wanted to rent something right in the village and, just five months later, we got a call from her, saying that a home was for rent just across the street from Bernadette. So, who could resist. And this was the beginning of our adventure in Provence.
Bernadette was the perfect neighbor and friend for these new Americans. Always bringing us her interesting clients, especially those who had not mastered the French language, introducing us to all the village activities, taking me on these incredible bicycle rides through the countryside on roads I would never have found myself; she also generously allowed me to paint interiors of her beautiful sixteenth century mas (which was the original gendarmerie) in the village. All the rooms are quaint and old and, for sure, perfect subject matter for an interesting interior. This painting is of her salle de sejour with the late afternoon sun filtering in.