In the summer of the year 2000, I spent six weeks with Michel and Marie-Rose Creutzer in Aix-en-Provence while taking classes at the Leo Marchutz School of Drawing and Painting. The Marchutz School, conducted under the auspices of the Institute for American Universities, provides a wonderful art education within the very environment where artists such as Cézanne and Van Gogh created most of their work. To see what I drew and painted at the Marchutz School, visit my art gallery.
During the course of the Marchutz School, we took field trips to the Vaucluse region to study medieval architecture, as well as to Arles, Montmajour and St.-Rémy to learn about the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. I also took some weekend trips to the Mediterranean resort town of Cassis.
As soon as the Marchutz Schools final exposition wrapped up, I caught a ride back to the Gare St. Charles in Marseille, where I took the overnight train across the border to Barcelona. Thanks to my missionary friends Dave and Penny Gallaugher, I was able to stay for four days at IBSTE, the Spanish Bible Institute, when I wasnt out wandering the streets of the city.
Once thoroughly impressed with Barcelonas architecture, I headed back to France. I spent the first afternoon and night in Carcassonne, reputedly the best-preserved medieval city in Europe. From there I took the TGV express train back to Paris, where I spent a miserable afternoon trying to find lodgings before I was able to enjoy three glorious days walking around one of the worlds most fascinating cities.
By early August I was penniless, yet far richer than I was when I began the trip. I flew back to Seattle and caught another plane the very next morning for a family trip to California.