Daily Review: Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands
April 23, 2018
The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…
Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes.
What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.
Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago.
Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.
Drawing Lessons is tantalizing! Author Patricia Sands paints exquisite word pictures that take her readers through the emotional journey of Arianna’s life. She has lived a fabulous life up until the last few years when her husband & soulmate Ben developed dementia.
She once was an accomplished artist and she decides to take a class in France to renew her interest and hopefully renew her spirits as well. She is joined together with other artists who are craving to improve their craft under the careful tutelage of several gifted artists.
The group is very diversified with people from the US, Canada, and England and they all have very different backgrounds for their art skills. Sands takes readers on a phenomenal adventure as she tells the stories of these artists coming together, finding common ground, encouraging one another and forging friendships for a lifetime!
They begin to see how the gorgeous areas of France – the flora, fauna, food, culture, history, and people – influence art past and present. Sands’ superlative descriptions will have you feeling as though you’re seeing the breathtaking sights of flamingos flying over iridescent marshes, seeing the beautiful old buildings and natural scenery that Van Gogh painted and tasting all of the gastronomic delights at each meal or snack.
By Susan Schleicher
Oh my gosh, reading Drawing Lessons took me to the South of France where I was in seventh heaven—enjoying the food, wine, friendships, art, and the absolute beauty of the area. The words the author wrote were so descriptive and beautifully written that I felt like I was there. I truly savoured those words as I soaked up the experience.
Arianna travels to Provence to escape her life for just a mere two weeks, as she tries to reconnect with herself. Her love of art has been put aside all these years as she fulfilled her life’s duties as wife and mother. What she finds is a house full of strangers who have come together because of their love of art, strangers who quickly become friends.
I appreciated the fact that the author made Arianna a woman of a mature age, dealing with issues common to that age. Her life experiences and the situation she finds herself in are different from what a 20-something would be dealing with and as a more mature reader, I found myself relating to her and her life.
Drawing Lessons is the first book by Patricia Sands that I have read but it will not be my last. I fell in love with her prose and descriptive passages. I became totally immersed in the story and loved my trip to the South of France. I found myself thinking about the characters and the setting when I wasn’t reading the story and couldn’t wait to go back there.
Thank you, Patricia, for the wonderful little vacation that I was able to take without leaving my couch.
Please click HERE to find Drawing Lessons on Amazon.