from French countryside to urban London

8 February 2011

I met Audrey about 4 years ago and we became friends almost immediately. Since then we have spent many days talking about our ideas and evenings with our husbands over many glasses of wine. Two years ago Audrey decided to move back to France, to live and work in a typical little French village near to Toulouse. As much as I loved visiting her and spending time at their farm and gite I was really excited when they decided to come back to UK. They live just 2 miles from us and now we can enjoy all those long walk and chats again. Ye!

I have always been interested in other peoples lives, perhaps because I moved countries myself, I love the differences between cultures,habits and here is bit of Audrey's life...
all photos are taken by Audrey ( photos of her paintings and her home in France)
How long did you live in your home in France and tell me about it...
I spent the last 2 years in France, to work on a holiday property called "La Maison Vieille" and to renovate our place. It's a little cottage, at least 500 years old with 80cm thick stone walls.
Colourwise, it's all white, with a bit of beige/grey here and there. I find myself in a continuous phase of decorating and moving furniture around. 
I love our Ikea kitchen and those really easy sliding drawers, the sky window above our shower and our woodburning stove which heats the whole house.
Since January, we are back in our flat in London and I am still playing around to make our place homely! 
What are the best and worst things about living in UK and France?
One of the good thing about living in UK is the traditional Sunday Roast lunch, in a cosy pub just after a long walk in the English countryside... some Yorkshire pudding and a pint of dry cider ... then a yummy sticky toffee pudding...
you just have to enjoy and relax!
and another good thing is London, of course! because it's such a unique place.
Worst thing in UK: Parking spaces! I used to park my car 10 mins away from my flat! Now, i don't have a car anymore! and it's a lot better!!!
The good things about France: The sun and the food! I come from South-West France and the area is well known for that.
Bad things:... tough one... probably has to be the weekly strikes that are officially the country's favourite past time. 
I remember one morning, I turned on the radio to get the latest news of the current strikes on retirement age, and guess what... the radio station was on strike!
3 favourite things in your life
that i can communicate a bit in English...
dinners with friends
my roots
Have you got any dreams? 

I would love a job involving lots of travelling all over the world. I could live in hotels. I just love their breakfasts. 
And at least to be happy in my life.
Audrey is also a very talented artist and she has just open  Etsy shop with her painting and drawings. You might have noticed that I  own one of her painting  and love it, so a bit about her creativity...
When did you start painting, creating? 
My parents are always telling people that when I was a little girl I was always asking them for paints and crayons. So, that's around 26 years ago then! 
And funnily enough, I've now got a degree in Contemporary Art.  

Where do you work on your art ? home, studio?
I still have an Art studio in France. Here in London, our second bedroom has become my little work place! And our flat, the display gallery.

Where or how do you get inspired for your artwork?
"I am particularly fascinated by the whole process of human memory, and I continuously explore this in my oil paintings by transforming the subject with blurring, shadow and pure light.
Most of the time my inspiration comes from photographs which I come across along with material from my own collection, especially portraits and the feminine figure. 
I am heavily influenced by artists such as Philippe
Cognée, Richter, Boltanski, Hammershoi ... and more. The emotions which come out of much of their work is simply beautiful and profound at the same time."
What do you like to do in spare time if not painting?
Taking pictures of everyday life, walking a lot, and reading pretty much everything... books, news, Homes magazines, blogs, exhibition reviews...

any plans in near future?
Always a lot of plans, (at least 3 new ideas a day :) I like to do a lot of things, too many sometimes), so you will just have to follow my blog!

Picture 1
 and there she is back in London...and by the way Audrey now runs a giveaway on her blog, so would you like to help her and win one of her posters

Audrey's blog , shop, website 

hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved preparing it. I'd like  to make this into a regular feature, so if are you an artist, crafter, have a small or big business or moved countries or continents? I would love to hear from you... 
have a good day everyone!


  1. Oh my, what a wonderful post... Such beautiful pictures; loving that bathroom shot with the tiled wall - yours? Very nicely done.

  2. Oh, I wish... thats; Audrey's bathroom in their French home...:)

  3. This a lovely post and the photographs are beautiful. I love that kitchen/dining room - so light and airy. I look forward to reading more of your features - Di.


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