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Jacqueline shares her story and love of France on the eve of her French painting trip

Firstly thanks to David and Sharon for the opportunity to share my paintings and story with you. I first spent time in France when I took myself off to the Lot District in 2003 for the European winter. To spend 3 months painting in a small French village, lugging wood for the fire each day, exploring the countryside in the fog and glistening white frosts and still wanting more, I think, says it all!

That was the end of my Sydney life as I knew it – France absolutely captivated me and from then on I knew I was destined to keep going back. Since 2003, I’ve returned to France for a few months each year. I have spent spring and summer in the Lot, inspired by the beautiful honey coloured stone villages, the narrow roads meandering through the forests and the River Lot with small villages perched above its banks. The different seasons opened up a whole new world of painting – not only villages and landscapes but flowers like poppies, wisteria, irises and roses everywhere!

I am now about to realise my dream by heading off to join my partner in the Languedoc for most of 2008, painting, exploring and taking photos. Our intention is to spend 9 months in France and 3 months in Sydney each year. I’m excited to be able to live in and explore a whole new region of France. The Languedoc has a wide range of landscapes, giving me great painting material: rugged hilltop villages, medieval towns, coastal areas lined with canals and colourful seaside villages.

During my visits, I’ve stayed in some lovely places gathering inspiration. I try to capture the essence of buildings, villages, markets and countryside and have painted in Provence, the Loire, Limousin and fishing villages in Normandy. I hope my paintings on French desire’s wonderful website allow you to share the beauty and atmosphere of these places. This year I look forward to exploring new areas of France, including the villages in which Sharon and David have their houses – I will keep them and you updated regularly on French life with new paintings to match!

Jacqueline Sherwood

To view Jacqueline's paintings, click here.

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