We're having a rather mild February, it's was about 60°F today.  

I decided to take a little drive around Porchiano del Monte.  It's such a treat to go back to the same places I painted during the summer and notice radical color changes.

This is a perfect place for the Spring & Summer Workshop.

Daisy is always trying to get in the photo!

Here is the view of Monte Cimino in Lazio.  
The morning winter sky has such delicate colors.

The view towards Cesi. 

Have you ever been in Umbria?  
Where?  I'd love to know. 

I flew into the Marseille Airport early in the morning on Ryan Air, one of Europe's budget airlines.  It's about an hour flight from Rome.

 Avignon is about 45 minutes away from the airport so I had a nice stroll around the historical center of the city. This is the main square, so beautiful in the chilly morning light.

 After driving about an hour inland  I stopped off at Odile Bigand's workshop.  She makes cushions and fills them with lavender, buckwheat and other natural materials.  They're beautifully crafted and fragrant.
I really enjoy meeting local people and discovering local artisans.  
You can have a look at her site here: http://www.coussinsvegetaux-lacoussiniere-26.fr

Getting in a little sketching here.  The weather was much too cold to paint outside, freezing temperatures and snow flurries.  It was just too much for this California girl to handle!

Luckily the weather cleared one afternoon and I went to Vaison-la-Romaine, this is the main square.This area of France is called La  Drome Provencal and is particularly famous  for its lavender, aromatic plants, olives  and wine.  

It had torrentially rained in the previous days as you can tell from the river.
The Roman ruins.  

The landscape around Bas Monguers near Buis le Baronnies between one rainy day and another.

I drove up to those snowy mountains you can see in the background . . . 

. . . and discovered the beauty of the lavender fields in winter.  When the sky is cloudy you really get to see all sorts of nuances of color.  I can just imagine what this must be like in springtime.

A little lavender plant braving the winter cold.

The drive back down to Monguers.

When is your next trip to Provence?

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