Saturday, June 29, 2013

Je Ne Sais Quoi and Nancy Franke



From Dictionary.com :

je ne sais quoi

  [zhuhnuh se kwa]  
French.
an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one: She has a certain je ne sais quoi that charms everybody.

I just returned home from a wonderful 2 day workshop with artist Nancy Franke.  It was a much needed retreat for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I had very high expectations because of all that I've heard and read from other artists that have attended her workshops, and I was not disappointed at all.  Nancy is a passionate workshop teacher and everyone loves her.  

I told everyone I was thinking about producing a "Nancy Franke Dictionary."  She was retelling something I had said to her in one of her demonstrations and used the term "je ne sais quoi."  When she got done I had to tell everyone that I did not use that term when I was speaking to her :)  I was showing my ignorance of French words for sure.  I was surprised that I found it on Dictionary.com... and I would say the sample sentence above defines Nancy....  "She has a certain je na sais quoi that charms everybody."  But along with "charms" I would add "encourages".  By the way, I had no problem understanding her "Yee Haws."

The workshop was coordinated by artist and teacher Anita Elder from her home studio, The Art Loft.  What a wonderful place for a workshop in Dahlonega, Georgia.  I had never been to this city and it was beautiful.  Anita is a great hostess and fed us gourmet breakfasts and lunches both days (which I had not expected at all!!!)  We'd eat the lunches on her wrap around porch... so lovely!!!

Another bonus is I made 13 new friends.  We all got along so well and laughed and learned a little about each other.  Below is a group shot we took just before we left.  

The above painting was done at the workshop.  It was my final painting.  Nancy sat down with me before I even began painting and really expressed how she wanted me to feel the hydrangeas... the weight of them... the Southern beauty of them... and then translate that feeling into my painting.  I think that's why I connect with her art so much, because she must do that with every painting.  

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful painting and so glad you got to take from one of my favorite folks- the amazing Nancy Franke! She is just strong and true like her paintings- and a truly giving teacher to boot! Yay for you!!

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    1. She is amazing, Kathy. She has a way of making one feel that they've always known her. Thanks for the kind comment :)

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  2. Your painting is wonderful! Great composition and beautiful job on the flowers. Lucky you to have this experience. I could use a shot of Nancy about now.

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    1. It was a blessing for sure. Like that "shot of Nancy!" She asked me if I knew you (said you were so nice) and I told her through online, but not in person.... surely we'll cross paths one day :)

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  3. Wonderful painting! I love your painting and the hydrangeas. Those are not easy to paint. Nancy is a great teacher and Anita a wonderful host. Sounds like a great experience and fun.

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    1. Thanks so much, Christine. It was a much needed retreat for me. (Wish I was going back this weekend!!!)

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