France | Where Beauty Is The Function

 

Jet lag is still my sidekick as I try to settle back into day-to-day life after France. These extra days of adjusting are also good for my heart and mind as I process once again the beautiful opportunity of travel. As I download photos, unpack my suitcase, wash too many loads of laundry, unwrap French treasures, and put away art supplies I am given the gift of remembering, honoring and reflecting on this time away.

 

 

 

I am a lover of learning so being a student is natural for me. I love to immerse myself into places, people and history. As much as I am most comfortable alone, with my family, making art and immersed in my books and learning… life has offered me the honor of also leading and teaching. This combination of teacher and student is the most wonderful worlds to combine.

 

 

Each person that I ever travel with teaches me more about myself, others, love, bravery, passion, second chances, fear, doing hard things and so much more. This trip to France for our Living Studio art workshop was no different. I watched beautiful marriages, watched families creating memories, watched women move on bravely, watched intentional acts of creating, watched friendships formed, watched so much joy and laughter, watched so many making art after a long hiatus, watched woman encourage one another, watched my daughter grow up before my eyes, watched people making the whole world their studio!

 

 

France taught me once again and this time it surprised me and encouraged me all in the same breath. France lavishes me and gives me a glimpse into ways I can make our day to day life more lovely just for the sake of being lovely. Maybe this is why I love France so much. I feel like the moment I land I dive into a color palette I love, live in and paint in. Each street holds a glimpse into something beautiful whether it be a doorknob or architecture. The parks announce to the world that this is a place that gathers and honors resting. The cafes bulging on every street corner beg you to stop and slow down. When you gather at a French restaurant they will never rush you so the next group of people can sit down. This table is yours for the night if you want it and if you want your bill…good luck. You may have to track down your waiter to actually get it. The art…oh, the art. It is spilling out everywhere and it may be painted along a wall in an alley, the sound of a quartet on the corner, sculptures throughout a garden or maybe the most beautiful and yummy croissant you have ever tasted.

 

After the workshop I had another five days in France with just our Madolyn. We would sleep in, walk all over Paris in the day, find good food along the way and watch movies each night. It was the most wonderful gift I have ever given each of us. This precious time of being alone and helping me see her separate from the boys will always be deeply woven in my heart.

 

 

 

 

On Easter Sunday I had ordered a picnic lunch to be picked up that morning and then we were going to take it to the green in front of the Eiffel Tower. As we unpacked our beautiful lunch, spread the blanket that was included on the ground and as I opened the wine I felt loved by this artisan that put our beautiful lunch together. They honored what they did and in their authentic way they were making the world more beautiful. I turned to Maddy and said, “This must be how women feel like when they come to our workshops.” It hit me hard. So, France also taught me that what I do is important. I am not just talking about the big things we do and the online courses but the day to day making things beautiful for myself, my family and those that gather on our land is of importance. It may not be to everyone but it is to me and I am proud of it. I also believe that when woman have gathered on our land to create art part of my gift to them is to make their time here beautiful and to put attention into the details. To help them experience beauty, rest and art if possible. France made me see that it is not just something I do but something I need to do because I love it, appreciate it and honor it. The world will be better when we each use our authentic gifts to make it just a bit more beautiful for beauties sake. Not such a bad way to function.

 

***Next week I will share more photos from the workshop and the art made***

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Last Minute Gifts From Jeanne Oliver Designs | Tomorrow Is The Last Shipping Day

 

We have been busy getting art bags and the new Living Studio Toolbox Studios shipped and out the door.

Everything single thing is out of the studio and on the way to you guys!

Thank you! That was crazy and amazing. It has just made us so much more excited about what is coming in 2017.

Tomorrow is the last day to order anything from our shop and then we are closing up shop until 2017!

If you order within 24 hours we will get it shipped out immediately.

Of course you can purchase our online courses at any time.

Here are some of the goodies that are in the shop…

The Sadie is made from the MOST gorgeous vintage fabric. Only a handful left.

The Salt + Light Devotional is ready to order and it will be shipped to you before the FREE series begins on January 4th!

We have a few vintage French linen half aprons and our exclusive artisan made artist’s journals ready to ship.

Each necklace is made from vintage treasures and is ready to ship!

Start 2017 with Wild Awakening | Painting Big With Expressive Freedom. Jeanne Oliver is teaching this fun and expressive online course.

Join me for a two week painting and mixed media course all about painting bigger, finding creative freedom, telling your story like never before, breaking out of your comfort zone and creating art that you have dreamed about creating.

When I started to honor my own story and to find the marks, symbols, palette and strokes that resonated with me I started making art that brought joy like never before.  I felt free.  It truly became a creative awakening.

I will share how I take ideas from sketches to the canvas and how to start when you don’t have any ideas at all.  I will teach how to stretch your own canvases and never be limited by the size of your art again. We will incorporate huge image transfers, collage and painting, vintage ephemera, creative substrates and projector work. We will make bold marks and let creativity lead us.

We will take all of the ideas you already have or that are just under the surface and bring them to life in a whole new way.

We will create using abstract storytelling, figures and even still life.  We will incorporate movement and marks that I know will bring new growth to your work too.

You can watch the course trailer below…

 

The next course on our creative network in 2017 is Radiant Watercolor Portraits with Christie Drahnak!

“Watercolor is a swim in the metaphysics of life… a mirror of one’s own character. Let it be unpredictable and colorful.” – anonymous

In Radiant Watercolor Portraits I will share with you my love for watercolor and painting faces.  Watercolor is a luminous and beautiful medium.  I love all of the happy surprises and magical effects you can create with a little paint and water.

We will dive head first into portrait drawing, watercolor basics, and value studies.   I will walk you through the process I use to create art that brings peace and joy to both artist and viewer.We will start at the beginners level and by the time class is over you will have the knowledge of an intermediate watercolor artist.  We will complete a minimum of 3 gorgeous watercolor portraits together.  I will share my favorite techniques and supplies.

We will have a great time splashing watercolor around in addition to upping our drawing skills.  Painting with watercolor feels like playing!  I absolutely love watercolor and that is why I love to teach and spread the watercolor happy with everyone!  Can’t wait to meet you!

You can watch the course trailer below…

 

We are so honored to create along side you and to offer beautiful artisan handmade items in our shop!  You make a difference in our family and all of those that create for our shop!

We would love to wrap up something special for yourself or someone you love!

 

 

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If Adventure, Creating and Travel Speak To You {I have something for you}

Sometimes we get to be wild explorers and travel far away, other times we can connect with other creatives not far from home and at other times we have the joy of hunkering down right where we live and creating among our day to day life.  Each one of these are life giving and creative building travels.

I love that my travels have allowed me to build beautiful new friendships, sketch among stained glass windows and old wooden pews, sip espresso as I watch the locals pass me by and learn to get out of my comfort zone and create wherever I go.

I also love that it has taught me to find the beauty in the ordinary and familiar.

Whether you are looking for adventure and creating near or far I wanted to share with you what I have coming up. I would sure love to have you join me!

June 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened up for our sold out workshop at our new studio.

To register or read more click HERE.

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August 2016

I am a speaker at HAVEN and I will be talking all about Product Launching.

To read more or to register click HERE.

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August 2016

Danielle Donaldson is our first guest artist in our new studio.

There are a few spots left.

To register or read more click HERE.

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October 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened for our sold out The Living Studio Along the Danube.  The whole ship is sold out and this is the very last spot on the river cruise.

If you would like to read more or register click HERE.

Payment would be due in full shortly after registering and this is for a upper lever level room. You have an awesome roommate and room waiting for you!

***

February 2017

Join me at Donna Downey’s studio in North Carolina! What an awesome way to kick off the new year.

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April 2017

I know it sounds crazy to be planning for 2017 but we only have a few spots left for The Living Studio Along the Seine!

To read more or to register click HERE.

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The Everyday Artist {some of our favorite supplies}

When I create I only want to be surrounded by my most trusted and favorite tools and only the tools that help me to express myself.

Too many supplies can get in the way, distract and even help you procrastinate (like any of us need any help with that one).

Each time we offer you a new supply it is because it is tried and true in my own studio. I wouldn’t offer you anything less.

I wanted to share with some of the beautiful supplies currently in the shop.

Feel free to take a peek and ask away if you have a question…

Watercolor Paper Midori Style Art Journal

I don’t leave the house without an art journal to collect ideas, patterns, for practicing and trying new techniques.  These are the most gorgeous handmade midori style art journals created by a local artist.  The journal has 3 watercolor inserts. The cover is made with sturdy fabric paper with grommets. It is paintable. Comes with elastic closure and binding system. The art journal comes in two sizes.  It has 3 inserts that are made with 140lb watercolor paper (nice and strong for layering wet mediums) folded in half. The journal opens almost flat and is easy to remove inserts to work on and then put them back. The outside edge of the watercolor paper has been distressed.

Large Vintage French Ledger Pages

While traveling to France for a recent Living Studio retreat I came across the most incredible and large vintage ledgers.  I had never found vintage ephemera so large and absolutely stunning.  I can never use all that I brought home with me and I am parting with some of the papers.  The vintage ledger pages date from 1867-1873.  You will receive 6 total pages (3 of each ledger) and each page measures 21″ x 14″.

 

 

French Linen Aprons (full and half)

We have collected vintage French linens from our travels and we have created some of the most gorgeous art and life aprons.  These linens are soft, warn and ready to have a new life.  Each apron has two generous size pockets and extra long ties so you can wrap them and tie them in the front if you please.  Some aprons will even show some of the original embroidery.

We would love to wrap up a beautiful supply that will become a part of your daily creating!

 

 

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Last Days To Get $1000 off!

******The ship has offered us $1000 off until the end of April!  If you have been on the fence about coming on The Living Studio Along the Seine I wanted to give you a reminder about the discount. The retreat is filling up and I want you to get this discount if you are wanting to join us (the price is already reflected on the prices below).  The price will go up on May 1st!.  If you have ANY questions please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com******

Ever since I have been a little girl I have been a lover of history, architecture, art and I have ALWAYS known…I would travel.

I am greatly driven by my desire to learn, explore and to discover more of this world.

My family makes choices all of the time that will make it possible for us to travel more and to have less of other things.

We want to collect adventures and memories and not just things.

I have an extremely exciting announcement to make and we have been working on it for awhile now.

For all of you lovers of adventure, history, art and travel…this is for you!

Join me in April 2017 for The Living Studio Along The Seine!

Imagine exploring and creating in France!

We will have structured art classes on the ship and then creative prompts that will encourage you to create in the cities and villages.

THIS is the heart of The Living Studio! It is my desire that you make the whole world your studio.

This is not just for painters and sketchers…this is for all of us!

If you love history, art, architecture, live music, wine tasting, cooking classes, lectures, bike tours…this is for you!

The best part is that you get to choose each day what you do or don’t do. You can participate in the classes or you can lounge by the pool…or both!

The details…

Detailed Itinerary

April 6-15th, 2017

The Living Studio Along the Seine

Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE – EMBARKATION
Arrive in Paris and embark to your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. (D)

Day 2 VERNON
Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, you will have free time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, you will visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. The ship moors overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D)

Day 3 VERNON – CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX
After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec. You will have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the “Routes des Abbayes” excursion spotlighting Normandy’s famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery. (B,L,D)

Day 4 CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX – NORMANDY BEACHES
Today, you have the choice of three different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion to the US sector. Your first stop will be the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. You will have free time to see the museums before visiting the US Cemetery and Omaha Beach at St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Your last stop is the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer before returning to the ship in Caudebec. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be the Pegasus Monument in Ranville followed by Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. You will also have the chance to visit the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s WWII museum, with a final stop at Arromanches. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’Auge and “Routes du Cidre” (the Cider Road). You will visit beautiful Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, Crevecoeur-en-Auge and Cambremer, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy. (B,L,D)

Day 5 ROUEN
Enjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own. (B,L,D)

Day 6 LES ANDELYS – CONFLANS
Depart Rouen early this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. An mid-day stroll along the river offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War. Athletically-inclined guests may enjoy hiking up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans. (B,L,D)

Day 7 CONFLANS — PARIS
Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Château Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the Château’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century, such as Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. Your “Artists’ Walk” tour will include many sites associated with their work, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening. (B,L,D)

Day 8 PARIS – DISEMBARKATION
After disembarking the ship this morning, guests participating in the post cruise extension in Paris will enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris plus a visit to one of the city’s most renowned museums, the Musée d’Orsay, built in a former railway station on the Left Bank. Its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world and includes well-known works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. After touring the museum, you will be transferred to your hotel. (B)

Day 9 PARIS
Today is yours to enjoy however you wish. Explore Paris’ multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops, or choose one of several optional tours. (B)

Day 10 DEPART PARIS
Your river cruise vacation comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

What is included in your 9 night/ 10 day stay

*7 nights deluxe cruise accommodations in an outside stateroom – most staterooms offer French balconies.
*Art classes with Jeanne Oliver
*Daily creative prompts to inspire you to create in new ways while traveling
*You will be provided with your own portable studio so you can create anywhere you go
*”Limited Edition Tours”
*Life-enriching tours with personal headset included
*Entertainment on demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library and English language TV stations
*Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
*Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
*Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
*Multiple dining venues
*Unlimited red & white wines from France’s great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
*Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
*Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner
*Transfer from the ship to the hotel in Paris
*2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris at the Pullman Montparnasse (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
*Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
*Services of professional Cruise Manager
*All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
*Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways
*All port fees, taxes, gratuities
* This does not include airfare

A peek into life on the ship…

Join me: April 6-15th, 2017 for the Living Studio Along the Seine

In US dollars: Starting at $3807.00 per person / double occupancy

These prices reflect a $1000 discount through April 30th.

To view the ship and cabin choices:

http://www.amawaterways.com/ships/amalyra

 

Deposit (non-refundable) due on contract signing $950.00

Payment Schedule:

We will set up a payment schedule just for you

If you are interested in The Living Studio | Danube River Cruise please email Jeanne Oliver at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com to answer any questions and/or to place your deposit on this once in a lifetime art retreat.

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The Living Studio Normandy {Part One}

 

Planning the Living Studio Normandy with Cat Bude was such a blast and just thinking about being back in France made all of the work completely worth it!

If I was coming to France I should probably spend a few extra days in Paris, right? I should also play and explore with my friend Junelle Jacobsen, right?

I knew you would agree!

This is the sweet and simple boutique hotel I have stayed in my past few visits.

It is simple, clean, great area and the staff is very friendly.

I love walking out the front door and having great food choices, sweet markets and I instantly feel a part of real life in Paris.

Once we landed we headed straight to the hotel to drop off our bags and head out to eat and explore.

The croque monsieur were extra yummy this time after a long trip.

It began to rain during our lunch which made it even more charming and fun. Junelle and I talked and talked and had a few espressos before heading out.

In the past I have had the sweetest street view but this time I got the smallest room they had but even a building wall looks good in Paris:-)

Our first night in Paris we met up with my friend Pam and had the best time catching up and not hiding our envy that she lives in this gorgeous city.

THIS is the view from her gorgeous apartment and I may have threatened to move in. Can you even imagine?!

This was Junelle’s first time to Paris so we HAD to go see the ol’ gal up close to make being there really real!

Our first day out and about I had the best time showing Junelle some of the highlights of Paris.

There are so many gorgeous places that you can come your whole lifetime and still not see it all.

We started with an open air bus just so she could see a little more of the layout of the city and then choose what was the most important to her.

Notre Dame was definitely on her list and I never tire of it either.

One of my favorite shops in the city is Merci and it is even fun for a beautiful and quick lunch.  I love to bring home new linen napkins each time I visit and dream about all of the furniture in the whole shop.

Doesn’t this cafe at Merci make you gasp?  So gorgeous!

We walked forever to find the new Picasso Museum and I am so sad to tell you that is was disappointing. Almost half of the museum exhibits were at other museums out of the country.

This was such a let down because it is a new museum but also because this was one of the new things I was anxious to see.

I love Picasso and his work so there were many pieces I appreciated seeing but I also didn’t think many pieces were a good representation of him or his different stages of creativity.

I wish I could have seen the whole exhibit.

(I do love the piece below though)

At least I got some really cool shots from inside the museum:-)

This would be us getting lost inside the Louvre. Truth. We almost didn’t make it out alive.

I don’t know why we are smiling.

This is what Junelle has to put up while traveling with me!

Pam was able to join us on another day for a little shopping, lunch and my favorite place in the word for a cafe au lait.

After spending way too much money at Sennelier it only felt right to head on over to Musee d’ Orsay!

We spent the whole afternoon pretty much in heaven.  Each time I come to Paris I love to come here and just soak in the beauty of the architecture and art.

While we were there we saw the most thought provoking exhibit that I have seen in a long time.  If you are in Paris I hope you take the time to see Splendour and Misery.

After three days (never enough) it was time to meet up with all of the other ladies and begin the Living Studio Normandy!

We were all picked up at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Be still my heart!  The gardens of Paris are exquisite and full of so much beauty, history and art!

There is nothing too special about the photo below but when I saw this sign I teared up.  This is an idea and a dream that I originally came up with while visiting Paris a few years ago.

To see this dream become a reality is powerful.  Thank you to Cat and Alain Bude for collaborating with me to create such a spectacular retreat!

Next week I will share more about the actual retreat!

Thank you for looking!

If you would like to join me in 2016 for in person workshops I would love to have you take a peek where I will be teaching!

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Creativity Takes Courage {Cat Bude}

***

For those of you that are new to the blog I want to tell you a little bit about the free series.

My creative network offers free videos, new online courses, live “chats” and now interviews with courageous lovelies from around the world.

Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to interview some of my favorite creative women and business owners.

You can see the talented list of interviewees over on my creative network under Creativity Takes Courage.

 

 

This month we are talking with Cat Bude all the way from Normandy, France!

I have had the absolute joy of getting to know Cat over the past three years.  I always leave my conversations with her inspired and with a smile on my face (and with another idea ready to take off).

I admire her love of family, home and faith.

She is a PNW transplant that has dived into the adventure of a lifetime and in the process saved everything that mattered to her.

Join us for an interview that will walk you through her family’s move to France, starting a business and finding her greatest voice.

Come on over and transport yourself to France!

 

To watch the video you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this series, free videos (business and art) and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

If you want to watch Cat’s video:

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Click on Creativity Takes Courage {interviews with courageous friends}

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set.

Tell your friends!

We want to create an online community where you can create, connect and be inspired.

Come on over and check out the interview!

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