Au revoir, Auvillar

View from a lookout above Auvillar looks like an 18th century French landscape painting.

My time at the VCCA artist residency in Auvillar is sadly coming to a close. There will be much to miss. Roasted chestnuts/bedding airing on windowsills framed by blue shutters/ children who pass you in the street and greet you politely with a Bonjour, madame/the accordion music that drifts out of the house by the bend in the road/the long, silent hours of uninterrupted writing/the sharing of creative trials and tribulations/the weekly communal meals/the telling of time by the tolling of church bells rather than the screen of an iPhone.

And of course, the gorgeous countryside. I sometimes feel like I am on the set of a French version of Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun. Come and join me on the bike ride I took this morning and you’ll see what I mean. Allons-y!

I had a very productive writing residency here, and I also completed a labor-intensive painting, entitled Les murs, The Walls. Walls in medieval villages like Auvillar speak of the passage of time. They reveal glimpses of centuries gone by, the marks of masons and artisans long gone who added to existing layers rather than destroy what came before. In this painting, I have left traces of multiple layers in the hopes of creating a textured, timeless piece. The result pleasingly resembled a fresco – another wall association!


Oh, and if you’re headed this way tomorrow night, please drop in on our literary salon:

Please join us this Monday, October 30th at 18h30
at La Maison Vieilhescaze at le Moulin à Nef
16 Esplanade du Port, Auvillar

Artist and writer Lilianne MILGROM will introduce the project that she is working on while in residence. She will show us the artwork by Gustave COURBET that has inspired her writing and then read an extract of her novel in French and in English.

Lilianne Milgrom says “My life revolves around art – creating art, looking at art and writing about art. My work can be found in both private and institutional collections worldwide.”
“The current residency in Auvillar is the first residency in which I am concentrating primarily on writing rather than painting. I am working on a novel, inspired by Gustave Courbet.”
Poet Kathryn LEVY will introduce her work in French then read several of her poems in English as well as a couple in French. 
Kathryn LEVY is author of the poetry collections Losing the Moon and Reports, a finalist for the 2014 Midwest Book Award. Her work has appeared in various journals including Slate, Hanging Loose and Seattle Review, among many others. Her numerous writing fellowships include awards from Yaddo, MacDowell and VCCA.

Au revoir, Auvillar. I hope to be back!

9 thoughts on “Au revoir, Auvillar

  1. Lenore new Walsh October 29, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Bravo…..not sure how you can bear to return to Fairfax…….what an experience this has been for you. Picture is so YOU.

  2. Sharon Victor October 29, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing trip! and love the photo. you look very – French!!!

  3. 1kurtsi1 October 29, 2017 / 10:58 pm


  4. Ruth Jacoby October 30, 2017 / 8:56 am

    Oh my….looks gorgeous! Sounds like it’s been an amazing time. I’m so happy for you. Can’t wait to read that book!!
    Talk soon
    Ru. Xxxx

  5. Joni October 30, 2017 / 11:43 am

    Wow! Your passion is inspirational!

  6. Cheryl Fortier October 30, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    A la prochaine Lilianne! We hope that you will return soon!

  7. Bianca November 1, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    tres bien, maman! je t’aime xx

  8. Lawrence Langner January 21, 2018 / 2:06 pm

    …..yes..I see what you mean….and when you pass through Paris please come to join me on a another ride …the passage of’s been too long….

    • liliannemilgrom January 21, 2018 / 2:33 pm

      Beautifully expressed, Larry. Hope to see you, L

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