A sometime retired academic, I divide my time between France and Canada, and between painting and writing -- three novels, one non-fiction work.  I've painted -- not steadily -- since age 7, when my thoughtful and imaginative mother started me off during a bout of polio.

   I'm much more serious about painting now than I used to be as a young man.  It's a joy to wake up in the morning with a day's painting in prospect.  Emgrossed, I pause only to find out what my Internet painting pals are up to, view their latest work, compare their experiences and challenges with mine.

   Until last fall I could claim to be self-taught, but then began attending a weekly 'atelier' in Bordeaux run by a specialist on colour and the techniques of the Renaissance masters.  I've found her knowledge and counsel enriching and shall attend again next fall.  Painting alongside others, on an occasional basis, can be stimulating, too.