The price of freedom: My $9k dream vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Inspiration, Relationships, Travel 12 Comments

Running away from home for a 10-day painting vacation in France came with a price — $9,079.80, to be exact. But it’s what I wanted to do. I had a great time. Plus, I learned the value of letting go. “Me first” is my new mantra! Everything was new. I’d never gone on a vacation by myself before. Never went …

My day of creative reckoning

betty ming liu Art, Relationships, Travel 14 Comments

This 10-day painting trip to France is more than a tra-la-la fun vacation. I say this because we just went through the first critique of our work — and it felt like a deep therapy session. As you know from my daily postings about this adventure, our instructor Frank O’Cain, a master teacher with laser vision. Even though I barely know …

Honfleur offers 12th century charm & more

betty ming liu Art, Travel 6 Comments

Just arrived in Honfleur! It’s easy to see why the Impressionist painters loved it here. Between the ancient architecture and gorgeous light, I’m inspired too. This seaside town is located along the Seine at the point where it meets the ocean. Honfleur is tiny; the tourism board says the population is only 8,500. But 3.5 million people visit annually to …

Second day in Giverny

betty ming liu Art, Travel 3 Comments

Just got back from the much-anticipated visit to Monet’s garden. We had two hours to paint there, which was special — and, overwhelming. This property is hallowed ground for anyone who loves art and/or gardening. Strolling through Claude Monet’s cute little house made him more real as a person. I knew he loved Japanese art and had tons of it. …