Susan's sketchbook log: Tuscany


next doorI love where I live...

but the place next door doesn't inspire me to paint like this beauty (left). Despite the grandeur, it was just another apartment building. VIve la différence!

In between the apartment and this one was a little shop selling an odd mix of fishing nets, bait, cold drinks and old postcards. I buy the latter for the elegant handwriting, cool postmarks and stamps of 80 years ago to put in collages (below).

I passed on the bait, but bought a few old cards, and owner Jean-Luc checked each one out as he removed their plastic protector envelopes. A few were views of Marseille and he looked at me speculatively.

"Vous êtes de la région?" he asked. Am I from around here? I stared at him, bug-eyed with incredulity that he could ask such a thing even as a joke, much less with such a straight face.

"Non, " we answered decisively as one, both grinning

"Marseille est la plus belle ville du monde," he instructed. From what I'd seen of Marseille en route to Cassis, I was far from convinced that Marseille was the most beautiful city in France much less the world, but I bowed to his Provençal pride.

"Bien sûr," I agreed diplomatically. Of course.

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