Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bonjour, Virginia!

I've arrived at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  I am so thrilled to have almost three weeks to work on the new book.  And what a quiet, secluded and inspiring place to write!  There's about twenty-five or so artists, writers, poets, composers, photographers and filmmakers here, all working away.
VCCA was built on an old farm.  
During a walk the other day, I found these cows.  We had a staring contest.  They won.

I have beautiful studio with a baby grand piano in it.  It's generally a composers studio, but I think we have more writers, than composers, so voila!  I'm certainly not complaining.  In fact, it's all very inspiring, especially since I brought my concertina and promised my teacher to practice while I'm away from home.
Here I am, working hard--that is, when I'm not posing for pictures. ;)
Truth is, VCCA is not all work and no play.  There are a few une petite fetes.  Last night, we attended Bryant Holsenbeck's open studio.  She's an amazing environmental artist who works in plastic--especially plastic cups and lids and straws.  You know, the things we throw into our ocean and countryside.  Here's the invitation she placed on our lunch table.  Tres charmant, non?
And here's the lovely Bryant in her studio.
I just adored her precious woodland creations.  In order to make this doe, Bryant used recycled materials and actually filled him with plastic.  Such a powerful metaphor for what's happening to our wilderness.
And here's one of Bryant's crows.  It seems that crows are one of the few animals that are actually adapting to the changes we're creating in the environment.
What at what cost?
Well, the eyes of the world are watching!


  1. Oh, thank you so much, Leslie! I'm writing about ooh la la. (confidence, joie de vivre, etc.) If you have any French women (from now or throughout history that you felt had a whole lot of ooh la la and you'd like to see me include them in the book, please say the word! I am excited and nervous. Hope life is treating you grand. xoxo Jamie

  2. Bonjour Chere Jamie!!
    What an exhilarating experience to work at the artist's colony!! I am so excited for you...I can't wait for your next book:)
    May you have much inspiration..
    I actually know of a beautiful French woman who has OODLES of ooh la la! She is a teacher at my daughter's French Immersion school..she's fabulous, warm, effervescent, and tres chic. Please let me know if you are interested in interviewing her! She is truly the epitome of French joie de vivre, and I am blessed to know her.
    Again, wishing you a marvelously creative stay!
    And, a very happy belated Birthday to your dear daughter:))
    - Irina

  3. Oh, Jamie, so glad to hear you are there. Wonderful. Give the place a big hug from me!

  4. Bonjour, Irina--Yes, it's so lovely here. I would love to interview your daughter's French teacher! She sounds wonderful! Could you please send her my email? I will write to her. Merci beaucoup, chere Irina! Jamie

  5. Bonjour, Denise--Yes, I will be sure to give the VCCA a big hug from you--and if I could hug the horses and cows for you too, I would!! Do you ever think of returning to Auvillar? I do! Hope life is treating you grand. xo Jamie


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