Letters from France

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you today from Chateau d’Orquevaux in rural northeast France. The chateau sits atop a hill overlooking a pond filled by crystal clear water from a canal that runs along the edge of the little village of Orquevaux. There are perhaps only 80 people in the village, plus the 20 or so artists that come every month to the chateau to work.

It is ridiculously beautiful. This is the view from the front steps of the chateau.

The View.

The aim of any artist residency is to pluck you out of your everyday life and give you both the mental and physical space in which to focus solely on art. Some residencies offer solitude, but at Chateau d’Orquevaux, the community is part of the experience. There are twenty artists here from around the world plus the owner and director, and all of the amazing staff that makes this place run.

Last night we had an “Artists’ Journey” night where we each took five minutes to tell a story of ourselves as artists and what brought us here. It was such a beautiful time of sharing and connection and I should have brought some tissues.

Listen carefully: All of us, whether we are artists or not, carry with us the wounds of our lives and of our ancestors. We are all trying to figure out this life, trying to find meaning and connection. Be gentle with one another. Especially in this Holy Week, consider the wounds of our fellow human. Wash feet. Pray for your beloveds and for your supposed enemies. There is so much beauty in each of us. Treasure it.

A Little Walk

Yesterday, I took a little walk through town and took a few pictures along the way. It was a crisp, cool spring day, but the sun was warm and brightened the sky, which was such a gift after so many grey cloudy days in Paris and London. (I am still digesting that whirlwind trip from last week!)

Here are a few of the pictures I took. Follow me @SarahHI on Instagram for more!


A figurative sculptor for over 20 years, Sarah tells monumental stories in clay, bronze, and stone.

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