Drawing Lessons

Drawing Lessons

by Patricia Sands
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Overview

Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542045872
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 516,257
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, but her heart’s other home is the South of France. An avid traveler, she spends part of each year on the Côte d’Azur and occasionally leads groups of women on tours of the Riviera and Provence. Her award-winning 2010 debut novel, The Bridge Club, is a book-group favorite, and The Promise of Provence, which launched her three-part Love in Provence series (followed by Promises to Keep and I Promise You This), was a finalist for a 2013 USA Best Book Award and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Award, was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013, and was a 2015 nominee for a #RBRT Golden Rose award in the category of romance. Sands also contributes to such Francophile websites as The Good Life France and Perfectly Provence, and she appears as a public speaker for women’s groups. Visit her online at www.patriciasandsauthor.com.

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Drawing Lessons 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Patricia Sands instantly brings the reader into Arianna’s story, an older woman with a wonderful marriage and family, and a terrible dilemma. Her beloved husband has been slowly slipping away from her with a diagnosis of dementia. As many of her generation did, perhaps with not as much success, her own life has been enmeshed in her love for him, their love for one another, and their family. She’s truly struggling with her own what now moments, and the guilt that comes with her actually wondering what will happen after Ben is no longer with her. How will she exist? Who will she be after years of beloved wife and mother? Can she redefine herself, accounting for the what was in this new what is? An artist’s retreat to Arles, in the Provence region of France is a gift from her family: the place that inspired so much of Van Gogh’s work just might allow her to relax and find some peace, while rediscovering her artistic side. And here is where the magic of place, and the singular purpose of ‘seeing’ what is around you, even when everything else in your ‘real life’ is in tumult takes hold. Arianna finds herself relaxing and hopeful, two unknowns in her recent past, as the food, the landscape and even the other artists’ quiet friendships and encouragement allow those first tentative steps to rediscovering her own potential purpose in life. Sands does so many things right in this book: Arianna is compelling and easy to relate to as she shares her confusion, her guilt and the loss. It’s easy to imagine (even if one hasn’t experienced it) the soul-deep despair while watching the person you know best start to forget you, your special moments, and even your name. As the magic of Provence work around, and then finally on her as she starts to lose herself in the process, and her thoughts are not consumed with what will happen, as she learns to see the now: drawing inspiration from the landscape as interest and hope start to grow for her. Sands brings the place, scents, tastes and magic of Provence to your fingertips, spurring you on for your own sojurn to the south of France. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
martha_martisima 3 months ago
Be ready for a magical trip that will take you “to find new light that old ties cannot give”, as promised in the epigraph. Be ready to go to distant places where you will find new friends, but, most important, your true self. This is what Arianna, the protagonist of Drawing Lessons, sets out to do. It is not an easy journey, and there are ups and downs – to be expected – but in all, it is a rewarding experience for her and for her readers. The train is a powerful symbol, as I takes her stage by stage, but inexorably, to a new landscape and to new beginnings – from Toronto, Canada, to Arles, France; from her old and known life to a new unknown future; from love and sadness to discovery and joy; from having lived in black and white to adding colors to her life; from her home and family to fellow artists at a retreat. She also noticed that “the window beside her was wide and surprisingly clear” – which echoes her current bittersweet feelings. And it is in the train when Arianna starts to draw again, tentatively, until by the end of her artistic journey, and with the help of her new artist friends and new surroundings, she finds her voice and her true vocation. After all, as Jacques de Villeneuve, a crucial new character, tells the students, “There is no doubt that art is therapeutic for the spirit.” We see everything through the protagonist’s eyes, as she is learning how to really ` see. Along with the drawing lessons at the retreat, Arianna helps us “taste colors”; watch unbelievably sunsets and landscapes that offer a kaleidoscope of color; sounds that are comforting songs and gentle buzzes of bees; earthy smells of the herbs and the freshness of the air. And let us not forget the superb food, described is such detail it makes us urgently hungry. All this adds up to a true orchestration of the senses. We get to know all the secondary characters – her fellow artists and the their teacher – in depth, and they add to our delight as we read about their adventures together. Her new friends also help Arianna on this voyage, on her new endeavour. They and the places depicted are all linked by their joy of painting and drawing, and by their reverence for Vincent van Gogh, a “ghost” who haunts the landscape where he had lived, painted, and became sick. His paintings become alive in our eyes. We are there too, with them, enjoying this wonderful adventure, for which we have to give the author, Patricia Sands, our heartfelt thanks!
DianeD54 More than 1 year ago
Travel the South of France on an educational and emotional journey. This book hit me personally in so many ways. It is one of those books that totally engulfs you and when that last page is read, you have to just sit for a moment. I know I will be reading this book again and also looking for more books by Patricia Sands. This one is definitely a keeper.
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
(I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility) Read 9/23-10/3 review postponed until 10/12 as part of Le FrenchBook Tour ( I recieved this advanced copy from NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review it. ) “The gifts we give each other at Thanksgiving are priceless,” Ben reminded Arianna now. “The best kind—love, laughter, and lots of delicious things to eat.” Ben and Arianna have been part of a wonderful community, running a welcoming family restaurant and raising a multi generational family. And then, Ben is slapped with a terminal diagnosis. And the world changes as Arianna steps forward to become the head of her family.Watching Ben deteriorate by inches as he retreats into himself is devestating. Her family and friends are supportive but this is a trail Arianna must forge herself. Coming across a travel opportunity she joins a group of artists varied in their experience but all converging in Provence to learn more about van Gough and have some interesting experiences most tourists don’t get. Each participant brings their own lives with them, and adds to the bouillabaisse of the splendid table. Arianna becomes stronger and more open as her life begins to reopen. Every day of the trip is a reminder that life goes on, and it’s Fall can be as wonderful as its Spring. But for that to happen, her closed in soul must find its own way back to the “...love, laughter and good things to eat” This is a story about the invasion of an impeding death and how it affects the rest of life. It is a hopeful understanding of an attempt at mindfulness and the courage to “soldier on”. However, it is a lovely saying “goodbye” to your love and turning towards a hope filled future. As a minister and elder advocate, I applaud Ms.Sands treats these subjects with tenderness. Having red almost everything she has written, I am in awe of the mirror she holds up to the human psyche. I cried myway through the beginning of this well researched situation, and cried my way through the long goodbye that ends it. The tears in the middle were sweet and full of life, color and life. This is a book to be cherished. 5+ Stars and a spot on my list of the best books of 2017.
alyslinn More than 1 year ago
I've read Ms. Sands' book Promise of Provence and quite enjoyed it, so I was excited to be able to read and review Drawing Lessons as well. Her descriptions of France and of her characters are so vivid that I find it quite easy to bring them all to life in my mind. Of course, it also makes me wish I could be there with them! In this case, in Arles, creating art. I really felt for Arianna in this novel as Ms. Sands skilfully took me through her everyday life, and the difficulties and sadness that she was experiencing. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. Dementia of a loved one is a tough challenge to meet, especially when it progresses to the point that your loved one remembers little to nothing of their family and friends. This book was on the quieter, introspective side, and it was just what I was looking for.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Drawing Lessons is my first introduction to Patricia Sands' writing. What a great story! She does a fabulous job keeping my interest throughout. She is such a talented author knowing how to play with the reader's emotions. I could just feel Arianna's anxiety, grief, and heart ache. I love that the book does not deal with a younger character but with an older woman in her 60s. A woman who has lived a wonderful life with the love of her life. However, she learned she still needs new experiences to get through her breaking heart. What's a better way to do that than traveling to the French countryside? Again, the author's talent shows through with her vivid descriptions showing the beauty of the area. I felt like I was right there with Arianna. Drawing Lessons is not a light read by no means. It deals with some heavy issues. It is so well written and has become one of my favorites of the year. I want to read more from Patricia Sands in the future. Most definitely a must read. Highly recommended. 100 stars. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
lauriesophee More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written novel taking place in France. Arianna now in her sixties has been caring for her terminally ill husband who has been diagnosed with Pick's disease a form of dementia. Devastating for all involved.. Arianna's children encourage their mother to find her own peace as she is also slowly wearing away. They plan a trip for her. She goes to France to try to recconect and find herself after this long journey with her husband ,Ben. What she finds in France is more than she could imagine and I highly recommend this book for anyone who is in the throes of being a caregiver to a loved one. Patricia Sands has done an amazing job of helping us to realize that as Arianna's friend said: "Grab opportunities when they present themselves." The description of France is something nobody will want to miss!
teachlz More than 1 year ago
Member Review Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands Pub Date 01 Oct 2017 Review by Linda Z, Reviewer Last updated on 13 Sep 2017 I Recommend This Book Strongly MY REVIEW OF "DRAWING LESSONS" by Patricia Sands I just had an emotional journey as I finish "Drawing Lessons" by Patricia Sands. The genres of this novel are Fiction and Women's Fiction, with a touch of Romance. The story takes place in Canada and in the South of France, where the author provides a detailed view of the gorgeous colorful landscape and scenery, and provides a sensory image of the feel, taste, touch, smell and sights of the region. It is a perfect place for an artist or painter to enjoy the spectacular views. The timeline of the story is in the present. The characters are described as sensitive, creative, loving, and caring.The situations that the characters face are complicated, complex and distressing. Ariana faces each day as if looking at a blank canvas, and sees everything in black, gray and white. Ariana, now 62 once had the passion to be an artist. As she watches her beloved husband Ben, slip into the cruel world of dementia, Ariana hopelessly stands by. Her family encourages Ariana to go to the Southern part of France, and found herself through Art. Ariana does meet new friends, and has new experiences, and as the short time passes is in the process of creating and accepting a new life for herself. I appreciate that the author describes dementia, and how devastating at first it is to the patient, and family members. How incredibly frustrating and sad it is to see the person you love physically be present, but no longer emotionally aware, I also love the way the author discusses the importance of family support, friends, love, and hope. I also like the way the author describes individual growth and acceptance to live life. I would recommend this story for readers who look to see the positive in life, when there is negative. I received a copy of this ARC for my honest review.
LGHudson More than 1 year ago
TANTALIZING!! Drawing Lessons is tantalizing! Author Patricia Sands paints exquisite word pictures that takes 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. I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.