Winter is a time for quietly laying the foundations and intentions for the rest of the year at Puy Vidal. For the first time since our arrival to France, life has slowed down and the grey day and low temperatures beckon us to go inside, sit by a fire, introspect and review two years of very hard work. We have had time to plan ahead with a better understanding of what is needed and perhaps what to expect. The dormant months prove to be essential in the ebb and flow of creating a future life filled with workshops, events and guests at the Chateau. We seem to be naturally falling into place with the seasons and the role they play in the rhythms of living in France, to our great benefit, a more balanced existence for us. This, in many ways, is new to us, since in California we easily forgot the time of the year, and in New York, work never stops.
This time of quiet has upped our focus in the development of the website for The Lady of the Chateau, a task that was started many months ago but can be only properly rendered during long periods of uninterrupted time. At long last, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our beautiful website.
Creating the virtual site that captures not only the beauty of this Chateau but also how we experience it, has required months of living, learning, researching and envisioning, no small endeavor for the creators of this website, Julia and Carolina. Watching them create this site has been a learning experience for me, who explores the internet from one website to the next without any understanding of why some sites seem relatable and easy to navigate, in other words a pleasure to explore, and others are a journey filled with frustration and dead-ends that leave me feeling old and incompetent.
Witnessing the weeks and months of focused work and intense effort, I have come to understand the complexity of the job and why businesses invest large sums into website creation. Laying down the conceptual design with an intuitive layout, a user friendly navigation system and a beautiful artistic presentation are the first of many daunting tasks for any designer.
Then there are the invisible tasks that affect the viewer as much as visual presentation, such as the responsiveness of the site, the adaptability of the site to the multiple browsers and screen sizes. From my perspective, every time they sat to work on the Website, Carolina and Julia each would disappear into a rabbit hole, where the rules seem illogical as in Wonderland, and did not make sense to me or even them at times. With this website launch, we are reaching a major milestone, one that opens a cyber door that will connect us to a world of possibilities and speak on our behalf.
The dream is shaping into a reality, a dream in which we share The Lady of the Chateau with Chateau lovers. Our vision of bringing visionaries, artists and creatives and connecting them with kindred spirits to feed the soul is now one step closer to a reality . So it is with great joy and anticipation that we announce the launch of our Lady of the Chateau website, may it inform you and delight you with its beauty and ease.
Another exciting announcement is our 2023 Art Workshop called "Retreat to the Château" scheduled for September 2nd-9th, 2023 with master painter Joanna Spinks. Joanna is an accomplished artist with over 25 years of experience as an artist and instructor. Added to all these accolades, and most importantly to me, she is a huge Chateau enthusiast. Her goal with this retreat is to try to capture the ever-present Spirit of the Chateau, the same one we have named "The Lady of The Chateau”.
She understands, like we did, that connecting with this spirit is not a thing of times gone by or a fairy-tale fantasy but rather a choice we can make to focus our attention. A choice to lead our lives by. In our meetings with her I have been excited to hear how she was going to orchestrate this itinerary for artists participating in the workshop. The Chateau would be something much more than a beautiful backdrop for painting- it would be an active subject, a participant.
The Chateau is the inspiration of the whole workshop and each day will be focused around one aspect of Chateau life. Together, Joanna and Chateau team, will work to create an experience that integrates a special combination of both an artist workshop and a retreat.\
To me, this is the best of all worlds- travel at its best, time to contemplate and feel intimate with your environment, time to create and produce what you have taken in, and finally a supportive community of kindred spirits.
How does it get any better?
This in my opinion, is a magnificent way to try and capture the Spirit of the Chateau. I am so impressed with the caliber and soulfulness of the instructors that we are meeting and offering in our workshops. Please join us at any level of your craft from beginner to advanced and creating in whatever medium you prefer, Joanna is most accommodating of and deeply cares to make the whole experience one of profound satisfaction. So as you see, winter, dark days, low temperatures are proving to most helpful in producing the flower and the fruits that will be our future workshops.
We hope you too are taking time to explore the possibilities of your lives and that they bring inspiration and renewal for your plans for this coming year. Warm wishes from us at Puy Vidal to all of you.