La Bonne Etoile Artists Retreat was specifically developed to assist artists and writers who would benefit from an experience in another culture, along with a time of seclusion and solitude. But through the years it has developed into more....a community of friends. La Bonne Etoile Blog has been designed to expand the richness of that community by continuing the quest to create and recreate together.

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La Bonne Etoile workshops are ALL-INCLUSIVE, starting and ending with hospitality shuttles to and from any Paris airport. Our workshop instructors are well known for quality, patient instruction for all levels of students. contact kristina@labonneetoile.com for full information. Be sure to visit the individual websites of the artists, you will find links to La Bonne Etoile workshop information there as well.

The Secret Garden

Peggy Prugh artist and author from Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Peggy Prugh artist and author from Jackson Hole, Wyoming

While on our way to La Bonne Etoile, our driver and host, Jerome, was posed this question: “Why did you choose this place?”  He politely responded with a  “You will know the answer after you see La Bonne Etoile”.  We drove up onto the sidewalk in front of a high, ivied wall and a green gate and stopped.  The gate swung open and before us lay a movie-set, out of which could have strode Pierre Aumont or Brigit Bardot, in apron and broom in hand, of course.  But this was’t just any setting, it was Kippy and Jerome’s home, lovingly reconstructed beam to wattle to flooring.  Let me show you around before dinner is served.  Imagine a large crushed stone courtyard: to the left a flower-edged 2-story home, to the right a large ivy covered barn and straight ahead an expanse of lawn, laced by daisies and blue bonnets, stretching into a deep dark green bank of trees.  A white bench and chairs on the right invite guests to warm in the sun with a chilled wine.  Through the door to the white country kitchen, one senses a step back into mid-century comfort, closeness and beauty.  Photos of the kitchen and over-flowing living room look like old dutch Masters, the light diffused the decorations authentic finds from the nearby brocante.  The dining table is laid with full formal settings and the fireplace throws a light over all, inviting guests into the life of a French/American  family.  Up stairs the bedrooms each welcome with washed and hand-ironed sheets and duvets by Madame Delahaye and open windows  let the garden inside, From there one can see the barn/studio across the courtyard.  The entire loft was made into a studio where riotous pastels reside on those shelves, objects of white over there, easels stand at attention in that corner, frames askew line the walls, paintings lean on this and that stand, and perhaps a table of towering potted flowers balance  in the middle of the vast room waiting to be admired and painted, a cad red poppy there, a fountain of permanent rose petals flow this way, a scattering of cobalt purples hide behind the stems.  Wine anyone?  The glasses are in that armoire, the music switch is here, raise your baton brushes and go for it!   Time passes as it must.  Paintings are created.  Conversations late at night are enjoyed.  The two weeks are over, the goodbyes are said and I take one last look at the secret garden as the gate closes gently.  Jerome, I know the answer.

visit Peggy’s website http://www.peggyprugh.com

About the Artist

“The thing to remember is that this moment will never come again.”  —
                                                                              Emily Dickenson

“An idea remembered in prose, a moment captured in painting, both are a part of a fleeting instant that gives great joy.  A painter brushes a canvas with color and the story lives on.  I paint to capture that beauty of light, the patterns of shadow, the tilt of a sail, the earthy profile of a Masaai warrior, the slash of blue hills against dark pines. My paintings tell the story of my life in God’s exquisite world.  It is my way of never forgetting.”

A graduate of Florida State University, Peggy Prugh taught English to American service men in the SS officers’ barracks at Dachau, Germany. Later she moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with her husband and continued English instruction to high school students, assigning illustrated journals in order to interpret prose and poetry.  It was a love affair, matching art with literature, so much so that when Peggy retired, she traveled extensively to study painting with masters such as Albert Handell, Richard McKinley, Tim Lawson, and Skip Whitcomb.  Today she lives in Jackson Hole with her husband and continues to paint landscapes and man-made settings.

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