France, Part 4: Brittany and Normandy

France is a country I fell in love with during my first visit two decades ago. Since then, my adoration for it has only grown. This past September, my friend Lauren and I decided to take a trip there, but to a region we both had not explored. We had both been to Paris and the south of France, so we picked the North, an area with an incredibly rich past, which included the second World War. This was a subject we were both interested in and the D-Day beaches of Normandy were a definite place we wanted to visit. We plotted out trip going from the tip of Normandy, in Etrétrat, with its glorious and majestic cliffs, then worked our way east and south to Brittany, touching on quaint and beautiful villages along the way. To say this was a life-changing trip would be an under statement. At several places, I was able to record impressions of the landscape and medieval resonance of this magical area through drawings. Seeing the same scene as Monet did was a marvel in itself and I started to understand the premise of Impressionism, and tried to embrace it in some of my drawings. I saw what he and other artists did when they looked at the myriad colors in the water, sky, land.
Here are my "impressions" by the region we visited.

The white-chalk cliffs of Etrétat are in the Seine-Maritime district of Normandy along what's called the Côte d’Albâtre, (the Alabaster Coast)

Le Falaise d'Amont, one of 2 cliffs that embraces the English Channel in this part of Etrétat,
making the waters serene and lovely to swim in.

Impression of the cliff

Le falaise d'Amont and the tiny church on the hilltop, Chapelle Notre Dame de la Garde.
See link to article concerning the fate of this historic mariner's church. 

The chapel, back view, with le falaise d'Aval to the left

This is Charles, the nosy seagull of Etrétat, who wanted to either
eat my crayons or draw with them

Le Falaise d'Aval and the famous "Needle" from a distance, protruding out
from the water like a giant white fin

Sunset on le falaise d'Aval



Next: Honfleur


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