Thursday, April 9, 2015
Janis and I are on our way to Val-David in Quebec where we will stay at the Auberge du Vieux Foyer. We want to be ready for the arrival of the other artists tomorrow. Unfortunately, our friend and co-organizer Helene will not be able to join us due to illness. As we are driving through the countryside, I really hope for sunshine and good weather because on this grey and grey day everything just looks really muddy and uninspiring.
Friday, April 10, 2015
When we woke up this morning, it was raining cats and dogs. This meant we could take our time enjoying a delicious breakfast. I had pancakes, grilled potatoes, and bacon, yogurt with berry compote and fresh fruit, as well as a mini chocolate muffin.
To get our chores out of the way, we went shopping for the happy hour first, then continued to the tourist bureau which was unfortunately closed. As is was still raining heavily, we drove Ste. Agathe-des-Monts where the tourist information was open. Despite the rain, we drove around the Lac des Sables to see whether the area is worth coming back to on a brighter day. Along the huge lake are some of the biggest mansions I have ever seen. There were also some nice spots to paint although the high snow banks still make it hard to have a great view. We might come back if the temperatures rise and the snow continues melting.
We were back at the hotel shortly after 11am to move into the cottage Familial. There was a mix-up yesterday as the reservation for Janis and I was not written down. The cottage was not cleaned, so we each got a room in the main house as well as a four course dinner. I had smoked salmon on a bed of cucumbers, salmon steaks with grilled potatoes, and a cheesecake with mixed berry compote. I am glad I skipped the soup. It would have been much too much.
This morning, we moved into our new quarters. As we are the hosts of the daily Happy Hour where we also serve wine, we needed a bigger space than just a regular room. My friend Linda is also sharing the cottage with us. As the cottage is really cosy, especially while it was raining out of buckets, we set up a little still life with the oranges from our lunch box, yellow gerberas and a metal watering can and spent the afternoon painting indoors.
Shortly before 5:30pm the first artists came for the Happy Hour. We have a nice group of seventeen people participating in this trip. We all got to know each other and got tips from some of the group who already went to Val David a couple of years ago.
After a delicious dinner, Janis, Linda, our friend Bob, and I spent the evening talking about how each of us found our way into an arts career, and our experiences along the way.
Even though the rain has stopped, no one wanted to go into the hot tub that Janis and I really enjoyed last night. While I am typing this trip report, I can hear the wind howling. Hopefully, it pushes the bad weather system out and we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Who knows, maybe someone might even use the outdoor pool on a sunny day. It will definitely not be me. At 2 degrees Celsius it is absolutely outside of my tolerance zone even though it looks really beautiful.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
When I woke up today, I could not believe my eyes: It was snowing heavily. When I opened the door of my room, my friends told me that I had just slept until December. That was my first thought too.
Luckily, the snow stopped after breakfast and we made our way outside. However, the wind was so strong that we just took some photos of the lake across from our hotel and Park des Amoureux before we turned back to the hotel.
There, Janis and I set up our gear at the lake behind the hotel. Even though I wore a winter coat, winter boots, woolen socks, and snow pants I was frozen within one and a half hours. We warmed ourselves up in the cottage before I returned to the lake while Janis went inside the painting room to work on a still life of tulips. I followed later and also painted the tulips.
Shortly after 5pm the others came to our cottage for the daily happy hour. At that point the sun was shining brightly and the wind had died down. Hopefully, we will have a great time tomorrow. The forecast says 13 degrees Celsius and sunny. That would be wonderful.
After another delicious dinner, Charlie Spratt put our knowledge of Canadian art to the test by showing us slides of some of his favourite works from the National Gallery of Canada. Most of us had a hard time guessing the artist and even more of the title of the paintings. I guess we all should visit the general exhibitions of the National Gallery more often.
The rest of the evening we spent with some friends talking about our youth and the different gender specific responsibilities we had, and how the views have changed over the time of our lives. Another fascinating discussion.
If you would like to hear what happened during the rest of our trip, please return to this blog next Friday for Part 2.