Paleolithic Paradise

I recently explored the southwest of France, particularlyDSCF8578-001 the Dordogne and Vezere Valley, where hundreds of paleolithic sites have been found. Our upcoming tour, “Cave Art, Castles and Cuisine” in September will be held in this area, and it was wonderful to be back again. Excellent local guides will be joining us as we visit the sites where Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal people lived. We will be visiting medieval towns and castles, as well as sampling the delicious foods and wines  of the Perigord region.











Art and personal expression is my area of study, and I am fascinated by the adornment that people wore, which we know from the finds of beads, peDSCF8594pic 36ndants, and shells. This display at Abri du Cap Blanc depicts the ways that beads were used to create head adornment. Of course, the artwork in the caves, from sculpture to painting , is remarkable. Some of it looks entirely contemporary, with its leaning toward abstracting, and communicating with a single boldly drawn line. It is particularly interesting to see how the shape of the rock was used to create compositions and dimension. Watch for more posts on Paleolithic art! Connecting to the people of the past is truly a profound experience. The September tour is full, but if you are interested in future trips to France please let us know and you will receive the information as soon as it is announced.

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Cave Art, Castles and Cuisine in Southwestern France


We hope you can join us for a trip of a lifetime!

pic 19“Cave Art, Castles and Cuisine”

 Exploring the Ancient Past and Lively Present in Southwestern France

September 18-26, 2016

Spectacular prehistoric art, fascinating history, and great food and wine form the perfect combination for a memorable trip! Join us on a tour of the Dordogne and the Lot regions, and see all of the details in the attached brochure. We hope you can join us this memorable tour!

Spectacular prehistoric art, fascinating historyDSCF1003, and great food and wine form the perfect combination for a memorable trip! Join us on a tour of the DordoDSCF0942gne and the Lot regions, where we will explore the cave paintings of people living 40,000 years ago, and see their art in its original setting. We will probe deeply into the meaning of the images, and learn about the geology and archaeology of the caves. Our days will be filled with visits to these stunning prehistoric sites, along with tours of picturesque castles that will bring medieval history alive. Every day we will enjoy culinary delights as we sample the unique and delicious foods and wines of the Perigord region. The prehistoric art is stunning, and you can also expect unique activities such as a river trip in a traditional gabarre boat as you gaze up at fortifiDSCF0979 - Copyed castles, wandering markets meeting local people, watching a farmer and his
dog find truffles, and experiencing the workings of a family run vineyard.

See the brochure here Cave Art, Castles and Cuisine


















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Rock art and Adventures Around the World

My interest in art and archaeology has been worldwide, and rock art- the images created by the first people in cultures everywhere- was one area of graduate study that deeply intrigued me. I had always been interested in this area of study, but became more intensely focused upon drawing connections and studying the images.

JOM 1st scan 051 JOM 1st scan 054  After seeing the carved stellae depicting such unusual and sophisticated images in Monte Alban, Oaxaca, I began to study rock art images in the United States. Pictographs and petroglyphs abound, particularly in the west and southwest, though they do occur all over the continent. I began by studying the rock art images around the Great Lakes, where I live. I have visited sites, and read many books describing the images and possible meanings. OF course, one thing leads to another, and the prehistoric rock art images from thousands of cultures and time periods began to occupy my research. Lucy Lippard’s book OVERLAY brought a fascinating discourse about art, prehistory and contemporary artists into play, and not only brought fresh ideas to my studies, but also affected my own artwork and exploration of concepts in my work. these are the libraries of prehistoric people, from whom we have all descended. I wanted to know all I could about what they were communicating, and of course, we can never really ascertain that we know the truth for certain.

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My travels took me to Orkney, Scotland, to several World Heritage sites, including Skara Brae, where an entire prehistoric village had been covered for thousands of years and revealed when the sand was blown off in a storm. IT was fascinating to see the way people had lived-not so unlike us today! They even had toilets built into their homes, 5,000 BC. I continued to travel around Ireland, recording the stone carvings and imagery created there during the same era. Certainly sun, moon, and stars were depicted, but the carvings go beyond that realm. Soon I’ll write about the experiences in the cairns, seeing the images as possible trance inducing languages.


I also studied in and traveled to France, and visited the caves (called grottes in French) where people even longer ago, 30,000 BC, left their hand prints,stories and images on the walls. All of these experiences led to developing tours, acting on my desire to share all I had learned with people. Which leads me to Santa Fe…where the same practice can be seen in many places. On my tour there we will visit Bandelier Monument, where amazing images have been carved, pecked or drawn on stone, and try to understand just what the ancestors were communicating.

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