WE BELIEVE THAT LIFE IS NOT JUST SURVIVING, IT IS A JOURNEY - A CREATIVE JOURNEY.

We have designed this retreat to give you time to absorb your experiences, to enjoy a coffee, to experience some of this beautiful country side as well as creating amazing art.

We invite you to experience the warm hospitality, passion and open heartedness of the French staying in the provincial village of Le Fillols in Southern France for 7 glorious days. It is simply the best setting to explore your creativity making mandalas, art and soul journals.

We have added the creating of a seven circuit labyrinth for you to participate in and walk to experience this ancient art. 

We bring our special cook Judy Russell who loves cooking and will prepare fresh foods in a creative way fusing some traditional cuisine with a more modern approach. If you have any food allergies please inform us so we can accommodate your special needs.

We asked local artists, farmers and village residents  to support and inspire you to venture into the world of imagination, to journey within, using the creative force to guide you.

 

Judy Russell our talented Cook has painted many mandalas her are a few of her works to get you excited...

 

Friendship Mandala – The linking of two nations

 

 

In 1998 our family had the life changing experience of living for 4 months in Villemur-sur-Tarn.  Our two young daughters attended Le Born School where we were privileged to meet many local families. A special bond formed between myself and Elysabeth Combes (Gautier) and our families and I have painted this mandala for her as a tribute to our enduring friendship and to the uniting of our two countries.

On returning to Villemur and Les Filhols on several occasions over the years, I have been fascinated by the historical significance of the pastel trade and the beauty and variety of pigeonniers scattered through the fields in the Tarn region.  They became the foundation of the mandala design.  La Croix Occitane and the golden sunflower are the heart of my tribute, linked to bouquets of our own native flowers….the golden wattle being the Australian National floral symbol.   In each corner is Australia’s most important badge - The Rising Sun – worn by our military forces as they fought alongside your countrymen as they helped defend villages across Northern France during The Great War.

In 1998 I had the honour of visiting Australian War Cemeteries in several of these villages and was overwhelmed with emotion and pride in the sacrifices that eternally link our two nations. My mandala tells a story of enduring friendships and is painted with sincerity from the heart.

 

Judy Russell

 

http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/french/index.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1998 our family had the life changing experience of living for 4 months in Villemur-sur-Tarn.  Our two young daughters attended Le Born School where we were privileged to meet many local families, with a special friendship forming between myself and Elysabeth Combes (Gautier) and her delightful family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A strong bond has formed between our families over the past 18 years, and I have painted this mandala for Elysabeth as a tribute to our enduring friendship and to the uniting of our two countries.

 

 

On returning to Villemur and Les Filhols on several occasions over the years, I have been fascinated by the historical significance of the pastel trade and the beauty and variety of pigeonniers scattered through the fields in the Tarn region.  They became the foundation of the mandala design.  La Croix Occitane and the golden sunflower are the heart of my tribute, linked to bouquets of our own native flowers….the golden wattle being the Australian National floral symbol.   In each corner is Australia’s most important badge - The Rising Sun – worn by our military forces as they fought alongside your countrymen as they helped defend villages across Northern France during The Great War.

 

In 1998 I had the honour of visiting Australian War Cemeteries in several of these villages and was overwhelmed with emotion and pride in the sacrifices that eternally link our two nations.

 

My mandala tells a story of enduring friendships and is painted with sincerity from the heart.

 

 

Judy Russell

 

 

 

http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/french/index.php

 

 

 

MORE INFORMATION:  Mandala creation, Soul Journal making and  Art workshops are held in the local Centre of the Arts , the Granary  in the ancient and most beautiful village of Villemur Sur Tarn.  Create art in the open air called Plein Air, the painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees. This was a revolutionary change in art when theImpressionists ventured out into nature to investigate and capture effects of sunlight at different times of day on a subject. It is a good opportunity to embark on ‘sightseeing’ with a difference. Enjoy a coffee in a local cafe.

Day trip to the nearby town of Albi, the birthplace of French impressionist artist, Toulouse Lautrec. See the largest collection of his works in the Palais de la Berbie,  (Bishops' Palace) one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in France. Albi was built in the Languedoc-style  of red brick and tiles. Like Villemur sur Tarn it also sits on the Tarn River.

You will have time to yourself to explore and delight in some of the best that France has to offer.

 

 

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein, The World As I See It