Feb 15, 2011

Muser art to be featured on online gallery...

 Send us your art! La Muse is looking for art created at La Muse for an online gallery to be featured on our new website. It's still a work-in-progress, created by John our resident e-marketing and Internet optimization guru.

John's gives workshops to attendees about creating one's own website and blog, and how to use social networking tools to get their stuff out there, up there, and seen. Our new site is a good example of how to use those tools... Type in "writer retreat France" and we come up first out of more than 6 million websites!

Please email your images to getaway@lamuseinn.com by April 1, if possible. We'd like to have the gallery completed in time for our TENTH ANNIVERSARY in May.

We love this work by Marilyn Gaffney, an Irish artist at La Muse in November...

Marilyn Gaffney created several other amazing works during her stay here.

Feb 12, 2011

Life in Labastide

The beautiful thing about winter is that all that chimney smoke makes everything soft. I plan to do a pencil drawing of the above landscape, and maybe a painting of the village in late afternoon sunlight. Someday, when I have the time...

For the first time in our ten years of doing La Muse (yes, it'll be ten years in May) we decided to close for the month of February. Now, that doesn't mean we're sleeping until 11 and reading books by the fire all day. It doesn't really mean we're on vacation. But it does mean we do have more time together and we do have our weekends free. And so this afternoon, we went for a long and lazy walk to the rocks.

Feb 10, 2011

Life in Labastide

Umbilicus rupestris (navelwort, penny-pies, wall pennywort). A yummy succulent for winter salads
After getting Seamus and Fionn from the mini school bus the other evening we relished the warm winter sun (temps well into the 60s) on a walk with Gloria to the spring for some fresh source water. It was Seamus's idea to stop on the way to pick some fresh nombrils de Venus (which translates beautifully to "Venus bellybuttons") for that night's salad.
Seamus and Fionn pick greens.
Still-life Bounty: someone's gotta paint these
Fionn and Seamus love to gather wild food

Penny-pies (as they are called in English) grow all over our village in late autumn and winter on the walls, stone steps, and along the base of houses (avoid if within reach of dog wee).  They taste like sprouts, great with a garlicky lemon mustard seed dressing.
They also have a medicinal use -- applied topically, their juice is used by locals to banish warts.
Gloria learning young to live off the land

A fresh finish to split pea fritters, red pepper relish and tahini dressing

Stay tuned for more "Life in Labastide" entries... the reasons we love living where we do, and part of what makes La Muse an amazing experience.

Feb 9, 2011

Madrid shops hire graffiti artists

How cool is Madrid...

On Sunday they got a load of graffiti artists - over 130 from all over Europe, from Bristol to Milan - to paint their shop shutters. They did 140 shop shutters. Classic...

Here's the article in AFP.

Feb 8, 2011

Google Doodle

Love the animation Google put up today.

It's inspired by the French science fiction writer Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea).

He would have been 183 today...

Feb 7, 2011

Michael Cunningham: A life trying to "burrow into these little bastards' minds and hearts..."

There's a good article in The Guardian: Michael Cunningham: A life in writing...

Here's what he has to say about the novel. Particularly like the bolded bit below:
"Never more so than in 2011, I feel like a certain interiority is what the novel can offer that no other medium can. I love movies, I love television, I love narratives of all kinds. The novel remains the most effective means of telling a reader what it's like to be somebody else. You can burrow into these little bastards' minds and hearts. And I often find novels that don't do that to be a little unsatisfying. Why would I read a book that doesn't take me some place that otherwise I couldn't go? Watch The Wire. Watch The Sopranos."
 And here's another nice line on Madame Bovary:
"Flaubert took this shitty, shallow little person, and looked at her so intently that he made her a great figure of literature."
Or this one:
"One of the great things about the novel – and one of the terrible things about writing a novel – is that it takes so long. It's so much about going sentence, by sentence, by sentence."

Feb 4, 2011

Inspirational Indian writer and the death of the book?

Just read this short article on Main street.

Here's a bit of the second paragraph:
Consumers will purchase 381 million e-books by 2013 – quadruple the total purchases made in 2010 – and bring total revenue to $2.7 billion that year, according to the report. Calling this “the next big gold rush,” researchers project that e-book sales will grow at an even faster rate than mobile apps over the same period.

And in another story an Indian doctor and writer has donated his award money to encouraging other writers.

Dhruba Jyoti Borah, who lives in the North Eastern state of Assam in India, has donated his entire Sahitya Akademi Award money and the royalties received from his award-winning book Katha Rantnakar for instituting awards to encourage young Assamese writers. 

Fair play to him!

Feb 3, 2011

Apple making more money from Books...

The opening paragraph of an article in the LA Times about Apple's Apps:

The New York Times set off a flurry of stories over the past couple of days when it reported that Apple had stopped Sony from selling e-books in the Sony Reader iPhone app. Apple instructed Sony and other app developers to stop steering users to their websites to buy products. Instead, they were told to make sales directly through the apps -- where Apple would be entitled to a 30% cut. 
So, there's an uproar about this? I understand but don't we have to first ask the questions like one of the commentators left at the end of the article:
Can you buy from anyone but Amazon on a Kindle? No. Can you buy from anyone other than Sony on a Reader? No. From anyone but B&N with a Nook? Negative. And the FTC is going to come down on Apple? I don't think so... 

Feb 2, 2011

American artists wins at Angouleme

Comic book artist Art Spiegelman just won the top prize for his work at France's Angouleme world comic strip festival.

He's best known as the creator of "Maus," left, a fable of his Jewish father Vladek's experiences in the Holocaust. Hitler and the Germans are drawn as cats and the Holocaust victims as mice. It's the only comic book to ever win a Pulitzer Prize.

R. Crumb is the only other American to win the French prize.

The grand jury prize also went to another American, David Mazzucchelli, for his graphic novel "Asterios Polyp".

Mazzucchelli is best known for his Daredevil and Batman illustrations, working with writer Frank Miller.

Feb 1, 2011

StreetView for Art!

Ok, Google gave us StreetView, but now they're doing the same for art?:

Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.

Here's their promo:

Isn't that cool. To see just how amazing it is you can check out their website Art Project or play the video below to see what we mean:

Here are the galleries/places they've done it with... how fun...

Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin - Germany
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC - USA
The Frick Collection, NYC - USA
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin - Germany
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC - USA
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC - USA
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid - Spain
Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza, Madrid - Spain
Museum Kampa, Prague - Czech Republic
The National Gallery, London - UK
Palace of Versailles - France
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg - Russia
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow - Russia
Tate Britain, London - UK
Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Italy
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - The Netherlands