Ventabren, France in Provence | workaway Jan. ’18 | idyllic town, castle ruins | architectural & textile beauty

A number of weeks after my trip to the New Delhhi airport and back to Frankfurt, during a number of days in limbo in a vacant office building over Christmas in a town not far from Frankfurt, I made a plan. I had warmth, electricity and internet access.  I arranged to go to a workaway in Heuchlingen, German, a work exchange in a village not too far from Stuttgart where I did some outdoor work as well as cooking. I realized my ex beau lived not far from there and visited him in Germany as well.  I documented the trip with lots of photos https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/new-beginnings-germany-a-workaway-in-heuchlingen-december-2017/

I had already begun arranging the  workaway in Ventabren, France in Provence to follow the one in Germany. It was January 2018. Ventabren is a village not far from Aix-en-Provence, which is a gorgeous city. That’s where I met my host and her son, A Russian woman Vicka and her son Maxim.

I visited Aix-en-Provence and took pictures in an earlier hitch to Nice from Montpellier, France to visit my sister. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/hitchabout-nice-antibes-aix-en-provence-arles-and-back-to-a-redefined-montpellier-home/

Aix-en-Provence France Sept. 2017

After having visited Aix-en-Provence and taken the pictures in Sept. 23, 2017, I was now back there in Jan. 2018 about to meet my hosts of the workaway. I happened upon Rue du 4 Septembre in Aix-en-Provence where I took lots of pictures. This was the nearest city to the village where I would do my workaway in Ventabren.

In Aix-en-Provence, I was particularly drawn to the rue du quatre de septembre, because that’s the anniversary of my father’s death in 2012. That’s why I made an album specifically of these signs of rue du 4 Septembre. I had to look up the significance of this date in France. The significance of the date in France is that on the 4th of September, 1870 a new republic was declared.

4th of September France

The 4th of September has personal significance. My father died on the 4th of September, 2012.

On the road leaving Aix-en-Provence en route to the hilled town of Ventabren, this aqueduct was pointed out. Are you kidding me?

Roquefavour Aqueduct, Ventabren, France, Provence, travel, beauty, craftsmanship

Roquefavour Aqueduct near Ventabren France in Provence

Ventabren is a fairy tale, idyllic hilled, once-fortressed town with the ruins of a castle – Château of Queen Jeanne – at the town’s peak.

Ventabren, France, Provence, travel,

Ventabren in Provence, France

Here are the numerous pictures that I took during my stay in Ventabren, France. I was absolutely delighted with the fairy tale landscape and history and the craftsmanship of stone walls, streets, stairs and architecture. The home I resided in is particularly elegant, a breathtakingly gorgeous home with a tailored choice of fine materials; tiles, slate, ceramic, wood. It has beautifully crafted tiles, colors and fabrics and a gorgeous layout of space. Windows look over narrow streets and copper tiled roofs. One doesn’t need to occupy a huge square footage to demonstrate taste and elegance.

Ventabren, workaway, Provence, France

Ventabren in Provence, France 2018

workaway in Ventabren, France, Provence, art, architecture

Ventabren town and interiors in Provence, France 2018

Ultimately, this workaway, in this idyllic town was where circumstances lead me to decide not to continue on the path that I had intended, to organize one after another workaway on a farm or whatever kind of property in France. My VISA had expired. I didn’t want to be informed that i could not return to the country that I love. I also realized that although most of these properties are quite gorgeous and interesting, and i particularly would seek out places with animals, I decided that most are by their nature, remote. It was after that first ‘weekend’ in this idyllic town of Ventabren, that I realized, there wasn’t really any communal place to go to, no night life. I didn’t know anyone other than this family. This would be the same case in most of the other workaways. I had spent the 6 months in Montpellier, a town with multiple universities and tourist town. I could promenade along a street with hundreds of people passing by, go to one among a hundreds of bars and cafés, and found places to dance. I bicycled everywhere in that hilly town, Mont means mountain, so a mt. bike was necessary to adequately peruse the streets.

As you see in Ventabren, my room was adopted by the house cat Croquette. I was very happy about that.

house cat Croquette

house cat Croquette

my room

Ventabren

my room in Ventabren

hanging clothes to get the hitchhiking travel wrinkles out

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Autumn Colors Progression

I bicycled over to the Swan Point cemetery to check out the trees. I sat down as groups of wild turkeys wandered around. I completed this on a second sitting, November 8th.

Pictures of the latest painting progression

 

glue flower petals, bicycle

glue flower petals and leaves on bicycle

carola catrina, Day of the Dead

tiger paint
endangered species

 

 

as la catrina Day of the Dead

Black Oak Paper Birch Trees and Sunlight Progression | Swan Point Cemetery

Using Faber Castell watercolor pencils, I sketched and painted at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island…among the living & the dead

Black Oak Paper Birch SwanPoint

Black Oak Paper Birch Swan Point Cemetery Faber Castell Watercolor pencils

 

 

Black Oak Paper Birch Swan Point cemetery – skipped the tomb stones,  just focused on the trees.

 

Trees and Sunlight

Trees and Sunlight

 

skipped the tomb stones and just focused on the trees.

Black Oak Paper Birch Tree Progression , Trees and Sunlight , art, painting, Faber Castell Watercolor pencils, Carol Keiter

Black Oak Paper Birch
This has since been transferred to a Google Photos Album

 

 

Definitely more concerned about the living people than the dead ones I might come across there. Though I respect their place of rest, it is full of life. Almost every tree there is meticulously labeled to appreciate what kind it is.

Black Oak Paper Birch Tree Progression , Trees and Sunlight , art, painting, Faber Castell Watercolor pencils, Carol Keiter

Black Oak Paper Birch – Swan Point Cemetery
Faber Castell Watercolor Art Progression Sept. 18, ’18

 

 

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blogger, portrait drawer, painter, photographer, musician, composer

Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils Painting | European Beech Tree | Swan Point Cemetery

Here’s a new Faber Castell watercolor pencil painting I did of this lovely
European Beech Tree at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, Rhode Island

Flickr European Beech Tree, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island

Flickr European Beech Tree

Faber Castell watercolor pencil, painting, European Beech Tree

Faber Castell watercolor pencil painting European Beech Tree

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Carol sitting under the trees

Carol sitting under the trees

Sunsets Swans & Clouds

Photographs of Sunsets Swans & Clouds Providence, Rhode Island July 2018

Sunsets Swans & Clouds Providence Rhode Island July 2018

Sunsets Swans & Clouds
Providence Rhode Island July 2018

I ride bicycle but also have been slowing down to walk, particularly along streets with really old majestic trees, properties that value their foliage, and light up the graceful branches of bushes and trees, because obviously they are of HUGE value. I slow down to take it all in, and love especially to here the cricket chorus.

I’ve found a few places that I just absolutely love the trees that the people have kept in their grandiose properties. So glad that I listen and smell and pay attention to details.

So glad that I tune in to this, rather than a phone.

Social Hazard | Cellphone Compulsion Chalk Series | Cellphonitis

itis suffix state of mind compared to dis ease

itis suffix state of mind compared to dis ease

 

Sure, I have a cell phone, although to save money, I don’t have a plan, and only get internet access when I know the password of a local site where I happen to be.

I use the internet and look at Facebook, where I read articles, comments and post things, and typically turn FB off when I’m working on writing. By the way, work for which I do not get paid.

 

However, I see an extraordinary amount of people, mostly in their 20’s (although there is by no means an age limit) walking around the College Hill area by Brown University looking down at their phones. If they aren’t, they have headphones on. Many have blue tooth speakers in their ears. Invariably I rarely see anyone who isn’t walking ALWAYS with a phone in their hand.

What? Always wired? Never simply present in the moment with one’s own thoughts and sensing the world around them? Most joggers also are adjusting their pockets where their phone bounces or are running with the phone in their hand. I heard a long time ago that one should not run listening to music with headphones; not because of the danger of not being aware of one’s surroundings, but because the blood is pumping harder while running and loud music could damage ear drums.

Anyway, here’s the beginning of my series.

ideas about cell phone compulsion

ideas about cell phone compulsion

Paper and chalk images of people looking down at their glowing blue phone with blue bluetooth speaker.

cellphonitis series on paper

cellphonitis series on paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some more.

 

downtown_shavedheadgirl

downtown_shavedheadgirl

downtown_post naked woman beneath

downtown_post naked woman beneath

 

cellphonitis series on paper oblivious to surroundings

cellphonitis series on paper oblivious to surroundings

 

 

 

My idea was to do something along this line.

cellphonitis series on paper oblivious to surroundings

cellphonitis series on paper oblivious to surroundings

evolution of man

evolution of man

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unplug Turn It Off Tune In

Unplug Turn It Off Tune In

 

 

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Carol sitting under the trees

Carol sitting under the trees

I’ll be continually adding images.

Have you Heard of Global Warming? | Apparently 60% of Providence Hasn’t | Simple Solutions | Turn off Your Idling Engines

Make America Cool Again

Make America Cool Again

You know that Facebook post in which the kid in the car seat is sobbing about the fact that people are killing animals and causing harm, well I’m feeling that way, except that the emotional devastation is being channelled into anger.

Although I had already heard that various oil companies had known of the dangers of extracting and burning petroleum…it wasn’t until I read this article two days ago
Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” By Nathaniel Rich
Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz
….that laid it all out so clearly, that I feel fully incensed.

As I bicycle by idling cars continually and witness the complete disconnect – lack of awareness among the people, I realize that they are completely unaware.

My feeling of exasperation is not going away.

In fact, after talking to a German woman I overhead speaking German today on the sidewalk, walking with her three kids produced clearly through marriage of mixed race, that of course, Germans do not leave their engines idling, they are aware of how their individual and thus collective actions affect the environment.

It occurred to me today that the reason I came here was to encounter this. Coming from the outside and looking in, after having lived in several European cultures in which walking and gathering in public outside of their cars, is extremely more common. Americans are isolationists. They are spoiled. They feel entitled. They seem to be clueless. The technologies (which I use for contact) are pulling them away from an awareness of their connectedness to their immediate present environment. I see students passing by in the neighborhood housing the Ivy League Brown university walking around with heads buried in their cell phones. Incapable of walking without it being in their hand to perpetually be connected to FB or whatever.

This blog is born however from witnessing the exorbitant number of people I pass by sitting in their cars with their engines idling. I’ve asked individuals, have you heard of global warming? 1% respond with recognition. I don’t think that I’m exaggerating.

United States of Addiction, United States of Avoidance

How many times do people reach for their cell phone to avoid eye contact? Inconclusive at this point, but clearly apparent. What about rates of food, drug and alcohol addiction?

With reference to the media or governments’ lack of response, talk about betrayal. The article is long, yet methodically lays out the facts of recognition and then a series of doing nothing, if anything, exacerbating the problem by denying that it exists, discovered over one hundred and fifty years ago.

It was fully understood and undeniably something to act on through diligent awareness, but put aside for business as usual.

US Govts Misleading Public 50 years

US Government administrationss Misleading Public over 50 years regarding the connection between petroleum extraction and burning and subsequent climate catastrophe

in addition to polluting the immediate environment, idling cars and indiscriminate use of plastics are collectively suffocating the planet

This is the letter that I am still attempting to send within the ‘form within the RI governor’s office website’, which doesn’t allow specific characters – like email addresses – to be incorporated in the body of the automated system.

Climate change is real, enforce laws against idling engines to generate income.

This article should be required reading for someone running a US State government office. I have been riding bicycle every day and night for the last 13 weeks throughout the city of Providence, RI. I have discovered that no matter where I go – regardless of age, gender, race, socio economic class (in fact it seems to be more pronounced among middle class professionals), 60% to 80% or more of the population are habitually sitting in their cars with their engines idling. This is not for a quick pickup, but for sustained periods, leaving their engines running. I encounter, regardless of district or neighborhood, a startling number of cars, per block, per minute, with people sitting in their cars, or on top of their cars, or walking away from their vehicles, with their engine left idling. Perpetually running engines. I feel the heat as I cycle by and smell the fumes.

There appears to be a complete unawareness among the population of the fact

1) That global warming exists at all, and is happening all over the planet, today, every minute.
2) And that people in Providence (collectively), indeed affect the air quality of not only other people and animals (if they still exist) in the immediate vicinity of their vehicle as well as what is happening ecologically on other parts of the globe, where warming has already been apparent for the last decade.

What is going on?

• 31 other US states have anti-idling legislation; either statewide or in a particular municipality or county
• The NYC metropolitan area have $2,000 fines per bus if caught idling.
• Citizens in Germany and Scandinavian countries turn off their engines, ALWAYS, some even during red lights. They are completely cognizant of the ecological emergency and climate crisis, with which the United States is perpetually not dealing with, regardless of the fact that we are the primary perpetrators of this crime to humanity and to all other life forms and systems that also inherited the planet.

What are you going to do about it?

It is unconscionable that this is happening and no one is doing anything (except for the scientists and individuals aware who are perhaps silently suffering in the understanding of continued political deadlocks and misinformation due to participating in an economic system based on perpetual growth and profit that has already killed 87% of the other species and will have large swaths of the US turned into a dustbowl and submerge most coastal cities under water.

This is not an economic issue, this is above economics or the Gross Domestic Product.

This is about whether we want to take steps ourselves, together, to do what our federal government has not been able to achieve, and in fact submerges, suppresses and turns a blind eye.

Human actions are creating an inhospitable planet for most other life forms through blind, headlong consumption and a complete disconnection with the natural world and blind faith in advertising and manipulation.

We are destroying the habitats of most life forms on the planet, and simply turning a blind eye. It is your responsibility as a leader, to take measures to impose legislations that will raise the awareness of idling and censure the actions of your populace.

https://sustainableamerica.org/blog/anti-idling-laws-around-the-nation/

https://www.edf.org/attention-drivers-turn-your-idling-engines

http://ksltv.com/394228/students-test-ozone-levels-cars-idle-schools/?

Officially the population of Providence is 179,300. 60 to 70 percent of the people who are in their vehicles, leave their engine on. Let’s say 60% of the inhabitants regularly sit in their vehicles with their engines idling = that’s about 107,500 people.

A fine to cars for idling of $50 x 107,500 residents = $5,375,000. That’s 5 million. Fines to diesel engines – city, state and independent contractors caught idling could be $200 + per vehicle. Fines for cutting down trees, $1,000, for endangering other creatures’ habitats through negligence or pollutants, ranging from $300 per individual to $10,000’s per business.

If nothing else, imposing fines would be a deterrent, and would immediately alert and inform people of their participation in increasing global temperatures and carbon monoxide levels, contributing to the continued increase CO2 levels and global temperatures rising to levels that in 30 years could prohibit human life. If citizens are not informed of this through education or the media outlets, it is your responsibility as a leader to recognize the crisis, and to enforce education and implementation of penalties as deterrents. Ecocide and homicide continues to take place, by ignoring the issue. Fines to coal and petroleum companies, could be in the $100, millions.

India planted 1.5 Million trees in 12 hours, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-plant-66-million-trees-12-hours-environment-campaign-madhya-pradesh-global-warming-climate-a7820416.html by creating the possibility and enforcing it, certainly in a manner that brought people together to do something that will benefit each.

We could have many simple solutions through seemingly small actions, in steps that could make an enormous difference. Such as;

asking people to turn off their air conditioning units (except for hospitals and care facilities) – 3 days of the week – as a starter.
To attempt car pooling, public transportation, bicycling or walking several days of the week
To authorize penalties to the use of plastics
Create jobs for people to educate people about plastics
To inform people about how their participation in using plastics and idling cars are collectively suffocating the planet in addition to polluting the immediate environment

Measures could be taken globally to do this together as the human race, instead of being in competition with one another in terms of a race to increase the GDP.

With the fines, you could use the money to pay a fleet of bicycle cops to enforce the law and establish a safe bicycle infrastructure in various municipalities and between them as well as money to invest in public transportation.

After approaching people individually, talking to the mayor, sending a letter to the mayor’s office, talking to someone in a state legislative office to convey the message about the need to enact legislation to raise peoples awareness, I find it necessary to contact the governor.

Let’s do this together and make America a global leader in dealing with a crisis that we have alone caused, instead of turning a blind eye.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/peoples-climate-march-in-nyc-ww-september-21st-2014-flood-wall-street/

Rising Tide of Awareness, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, NYC Climate March 2014

Rising Tide of Awareness blogger talking about Great Pacific Garbage Patch at NYC Climate March 2014

Portrait of a guy

Here’s a portrait of a guy I drew in about 15 minutes, after we did an even shorter portrait exchange. It was an evening when I needed to quickly make some money and brought my sketchbook with me. We not only laughed and had fun, drawing one another and then doodling more, but I made the money I needed to as well.

portrait of a guy

portrait of a guy


subject of portrait

subject of portrait

he drew an ink portrait of his cat and dog merging from the middle

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition.

Carol sitting under the trees

Carol sitting under the trees

The Flowing Tree | Roger Williams Park | Beauty & Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils

I love trees so much, so they become my subjects of engagement. This is the most recent watercolor pencil painting I’ve done.

The Flowing Tree

Faber Castell Water color Pencils 

July Roger Williams park in Providence, Rhode Island

The Flowing Tree, flickr link, art progression

The Flowing Tree

The Flowing Tree Roger Williams Park art progression

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol sitting under the trees

Carol sitting under the trees

Japanese Garden & The Bridge | 2 Versions | Faber Castell Watercolor Progression | Providence, RI

I realized months later that I wish to reveal each of these paintings from the same view, separately, as the singular processes that each were.

Japanese Garden – Faber Castell watercolor pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Japanese Garden – Faber Castell watercolor pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Bridge – Faber Castell watercolor 2nd version same view – pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Bridge – Faber Castell watercolor 2nd version same view – pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

japanese_tea_garden

1_japanese_tea_garden

2_japanese_tea_garden

3_japanese_tea_garden_camera

3_japanese_tea_garden_camera

 

 

 

 

The first rendition, was this one

the Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden – Faber Castell watercolor pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Japanese Garden – Faber Castell watercolor pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

When I returned to complete this one, I merely added some last details for shadows.

I decided right away to start a new one

 

By the time I finished this one, I decided to never sit there for a painting again.It was really close to the carousal, and the music of the carousal remained in my head – after sitting there this second 5 hours or so – later into the evening.

bridge 1st sketch

bridge 1st sketch

bridge proceeding

bridge_4

 

 

 

 

the Bridge

Bridge – Faber Castell watercolor 2nd version same view – pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

Bridge – Faber Castell watercolor 2nd version same view – pencil progression of the Japanese Tea Garden in Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island

 

loving it

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition