Friday, July 31, 2015

Part 4 The Haunted Manor

'Laundry at the Manor'            6x8             pastel              ©Karen Margulis
It would be our home for the week. It was better than any grand hotel. Maybe it was a little rough around the edges but it oozed character. The Manoir St. Paul will forever remain in my memory....for many reasons. Manoir St Paul is a large manor home constructed in the 18th century. It was large enough to comfortably house all of the artists in our Painter's Passport group with room to spare.

The Manoir St Paul. My room is the window on the top left
The house was full of nooks and crannies. The nooks and crannies were filled with an odd assortment os stuff....a military hat collection. Old trunks full of costumes. Bookshelves filled with books in French of course. China cabinets with very old china. Lots of stuff to explore. 

The house was old and it looked as though it had seen a lot. The stone steps were well worn. I imagined the many footsteps that went up and down these stairs. There were 38 steps. I know because my roommate Elinros counted them. We were on the third floor....up these stone steps and some very creaky wooden steps. It was always a good idea to bring everything needed for the day down to breakfast!

The back of the manor opens up to a large field and pastures
The house was interesting to say the least and the grounds were even more interesting. There was a large courtyard filled with roses and calla lilies. There was a greenhouse and and a big garage full of more odd things. And there was a wonderful little laundry house. I'm not sure what it was used for originally  but it now housed the washer and dryer. I found this little house to be most interesting. Especially in the late afternoon light. (which by the way happened around 9:00 pm!)  This little house just glowed. I chose to paint this little building a few times.

The best thing about Manoir St. Paul was it's location in the wonderful little town called Meuvaines. Meuvaines is in Lower Normandy. It has a church. That's about all. There are a some homes and lots of pastures full of cows (and bulls). All is surrounded by wheat fields. Miles of wheat fields. I loved Meuvaines!

Welcome to Meuvaines!

The view of Meuvaines from one of the wheat fields. 
 There is something else about our home. We weren't the only ones living at the Manoir St. Paul. In the beginning of the week we joked about it. It sure looked and felt like it could be haunted. But as the week progressed it became clear to many of us. We were not alone.

We heard her several times. Elinros heard her one night. She told me she spoke to her and that the spirit was a good spirit. The next night I hear humming.  Everyone was sleeping though. Pastels were moved mysteriously and window shutters slammed shut with no wind. Oddly I wasn't afraid ... even up in the attic room. Perhaps she was an artist.

Staying in a haunted manor certainly added to my experience in France. It was a great week here and I will share some of our adventures in the next installment. And by the way, this would not be my last brush with spirits on this trip.

The only photo I have of my room. One of the artists checks out our view.

The view from our room. In the distance we could see the sea...the English Channel.
 If you would like to see my video tour of our manor home, check out my Youtube video. Click here.

Today's painting is 6x8 on watercolor paper with orange toned pumice surface.

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