Nestled among the vineyards of Provence I live in a humble apartment that was once part of a wealthy family’s mansion, located in a small valley town called Apt, in the heart of the Luberon. The town was built by the Romans and their fingerprints are still visible as part of everyday life. I live here, more than I’ve truly lived anywhere, and above all, I create with the life I’ve found:
(#MyEverydayProvenceObjects // #MyProvenceSelfPortraitSeries)
This approach to living caught the attention of Sophie Peyrard who interviewed me for Grazia. Being that it’s in French I have no idea what it says but that remains to be true for how I’ve been getting by in France this past year anyway. I talk about my home, the incredible hand painted plaster ceiling of a royal wedding crest I wake up under each morning. The evening fires that are a constant in the autumn and winter. My terrace and garden that is a daily reminder of the passage of time. Then, and perhaps most importantly, my Provencal kitchen and heart of life here. I told her about how much I love my bike rides on the Calavon bike trail away from cars and noise while leading you through vineyards, orchards, lavender fields and amazing historic sites such as Pont Julien, a 2,000 year old Roman bridge.
I shared with their readers some of my favorite spots I’ve discovered in the South of France for those of you who want to visit this place and taste the life of Provence. This includes Villa La Coste, Lac D’Esparron, La Chassagnette, La Bastide de Marie, my daily bakery Boulangerie au Pierrot Blanc, my favorite French antique shop La Maison D’Inés, and of course, the Saturday morning market of Apt.
Here are some of the images from the feature along with the interview for those of you lucky enough to read French for a small glimpse into #My_So_Called_French_Life…
Floral dress by fountain by Zimmerman with Loeffler Randall rope sandals // Blue dress in the vineyard by Vika Gazinskaya (no longer available) with hat by Jacquemus (no longer available) // Wrap dress in the kitchen by Christy Dawn // Dress on the terrace by TEIJA as well as the dress by the fireplace // Dress with bike in vineyard by SEA
Life fell into a quiet pace. In the mornings I count the bell tolls while the angular winter light rakes across the crumpled bed covers. In the evenings the cry of the starlings marks 6pm as they dance to their symphony in the sky.
The distant sound of a person’s footsteps on the quiet ancient streets, the soft ambience of rain outside my aged glass window plane. Most days nothing is happening. The stores have closed for the season, the visitors have gone home to Paris and on many of the restaurants old signs hang saying closed until April.
I go for long walks between the towns, the vista dotted with chimney stacks dancing with smoke. A dusty blue haze settles in before each sunset, a faint reminder of richer blues skies ahead.
It’s better than I imagined, the quiet after years of thriving on noise. Life noise, street noise, work noise. Manhattan just seems to constantly hummm. I used to be afraid of silence but now I find myself in it and it is there in the void where I can paint all the worlds I dream of.
As I work in the short hours of afternoon light I watch as it scans with each passing minute through the room I photograph in. It always seems to start with such gusto and by the time it reaches the last corner before slipping away it slows to a linger like taking that last sip of champagne.
The nights are illuminated by roaring fires and home cooked meals. For years I cursed the winter, I never knew it could actually be so warm. I watch the trees and the vines and the rosebushes rest… and I rest… because with spring awaits new wonders to discover .
I like the soft and dreamy and romantic. Sometimes I make believe it, but always, I look for it in everyday life. A French afternoon dappled in light, a glowing wine glass. Smudgy and dreamy, never completely clear or harsh. The world is harsh enough, don’t you just want to live in a dream? I know I do…
When I set foot in Provence early last autumn I started myself on a new journey. Self discovery and reawakening my vision. I just wanted to experience something entirely new. I wanted to fulfill a dream to live in France. I wanted to find new challenges, new inspiration, a new way to see life. I’ve seen it through the eyes of the girl who grew up in Texas, then I saw it through the adult eyes of the woman who worked in New York. Much like the landscape outside my window, I let each chapter change me as the seasons change the vines and I hope, with spring’s new awakening, something even greater blooms.
Here are a collection of photographs from autumn in Provence~
Continue reading “Autumn in Provence” →
If there is one thing to do in Provence it is to eat. The food and especially the ingredients in the south of France, combined with the nearby wine regions both here and in Italy, are insanely good. After being here this past May I swore I could never eat strawberries from anywhere else in the world again. It was a transformative experience and made me rethink the power of good food.
The farmer’s market… NYC vs. Provence
Continue reading “A Provencal Holiday Party with Ecco Domani Wine” →