Category Archives: the elephant goes French

come with the elephant to southern France for an art retreat

A rainy day and some good photos are the best precondition to a productive day…

I woke up kind of early with the urge of painting that one particular photo I took two days ago. So I started the day without a tea or a coffee and sneaked up the stairs to the studio, trying to not wake up anyone- partly because out of fear, I would be held up again to bring the painting out to life before the day actually starts.

And voy la, it almost automatically came out on the white canvas, like saying, hey, why did I have to wait for you so long…
The bike with the flowers made their way into this or better my world…


After breakfast I started another painting, using one of the most valuable instruction I learned during this retreat from Carol, saying, everything is under painting until the painting is finished. And the second equally important sentence: don’t keep it if you do not like it.  So I took the blue painting I did two evenings ago and completely over draw it. Now I feel so much more happy with it,  I actually love it.I


The last painting this evening, after having had a delicious lunch in one of the very small villages around here, I did off of one of my photographs I took some days before.It is very challenging to paint on such a small canvas and yet, I think it is a great training to learn how to place color and perhaps even some texture….
Thankfully it was raining almost the whole day, who knows where else these paintings would have ended up…


searching and creating your creative path


painting is a series of experiments and the response to it, you do it to become more conscious. – Painting is a spiritual practice –

The time here in France is like a real break out of all the old boundaries. I do not expect, that they will be all gone when I am back home, but I have the hope and somehow also the confidence that I can slowly overcome them. This experience shows me more and more, that the boundaries are self made, created by my own anxiety, my own self limitation and by the deadly habit of criticizing myself.

Letting the inner Damon go on and on about our not being worthy, not being god enough, not being talented, clever, smart or something enough makes us small and the wall of boundaries higher.
It is quite interesting, that there is a seemingly common sense, that art as a profession is not what one is allowed to do, let alone being successful by doing art on a professional level… “Weekend art” is what is not only tolerated by the society, but also sold to us as the smart way to go.

Crazy to think what our world would look like if all the other artists before us would not have overcome theses boundaries.
Imagine a world without music, paintings, movies, books…

On our tour through the country, visiting Berry at his most amazing French cottage, he read us the following note, he had found somewhere in a book:

The artists commitment,
I promise to always remember my power, love and intelligence as an artist and the vital role that artists have played in every culture and time. I will never again invalidate any artist, including myself or any work of art, but rather allow myself with all artists to end our (…) oppression and enthusiastically encourage the creativity of every human.



what I can see…

When I wake up and open my eyes, I can this….


stepping out the door and walking for two minutes, I can see this…


taking a drive for 10 min. my eyes are looking at this…


comming home after having seen many many more things and my camera having taken hundreds of more photos, I walk upstairs into the studio and look out the window, seeing this….


finally putting in my work, doing what I came here for, trying to indulge in the colors, express the part in me which wants to be heard more. At the end of the day, I can see this…


I am not a copy machine, I am a story teller


With all the impressions from the morning at the market my head is full with all this images. It feels like having read a book full of powerful poems.
Back at the canvas I now have to figure out how to translate this, how to tell my story, do my interpretation of what I have taken in.

And I experience, that no matter what I do, it always will become my story, my interpretation. In the beginning we wish it would come out a different way, the way we think we want to have it look like.
But when we stay truthful to ourselfe, giving us the freedom of expression without judging we will learn to accept our own story, ourselves with who we are. Allowing us to slowly get to know a new facett of who we are.

the morning at a French market square – or getting lost in beauty

Second morning, waking up, drinking tee and than off to one of the most beautiful villages farmers markets I have visited. Coming from Germany I know quite a lot of nice markets, but this one, just leaves even me speechless and with a feeling of being drunk from all the most beautiful impressions around me.

Probably the french characters is what captures me and makes me feel like in one of the romantic roadmovies see know from Hollywood. For a couple of hours I am getting lost in the voices, noises, smells and melodies of a Saturday morning in a French village square – this could be a movie…..

And now, let’s go on with painting….getting out what I have breathed in this morning.







the first morning session


Waking up early surprised that I would not be more tired than I was, I got quietly up to take some photos of my most beautiful room.
After that writing some few words and going outside to take a shower.
Breakfast is, sitting on the table having just a tee to than later go to the little, only four stands sized farmers marked in this tiny village.

The quality of its food and produces is not in any relation to the size, but ratherquality than quantity.
And than finally- painting!!!
Carol giving some introduction and than just let yourself go and do it….

A little paint, a small canvas, some time and a heavenly joy wraps around your body, your brain and your heart- love art-

the first evening


I have to write, even though I am dead and wished I could just put my head on the pillow.

I am here here in the right place, everything seems to be the way it should be, from the first moment I arrived.

The dinner with Carol, Gail, Nicky and Leo is a real kick of to my stay here. Every sentence, every topic talked, shared and discussed tonight is filled with names and words of artists, of art of all the things my heart flows over with joy and my heart feels home.

It is heaven, a heaven of the love I feel for life and art. It is soo surrealistic and yet it is so real. This live does exist, these thoughts and works of and with art do exist. People do live with and from art, as their jobs. It is real and I have the luck of being part of it, at least this evening, right now. It does not matter how long it will last, there are no expectations, just the now is what counts.

I will soak myself in the fullness of art here in this house, here with these people.
Thank you creative Devine for letting me be part of art.