By Susan Keefe
Deep in the Sarthe countryside near the beautiful town of Le Fleche lives a very talented artist, Ann Pollard.
Now Ann is not an easy lady to get hold of, because she is Managing Director of Davan Exhibitions Limited, and Davex organises two arts/craft, and two lifestyle exhibitions in Middleton Hall in the UK. However, one afternoon recently she kindly took time out of her busy schedule and we had coffee.
Back in 2009, Ann, and her motoring journalist husband of 29 years Dave, moved over to France after originally buying their property as a holiday home. The couple are an inspiration for others who wish to live and work where they want by taking advantage of the internet, and the opportunities the modern ages worldwide communication networks afford them. Ann happily arranges the events via the internet and takes advantage of her telephone package, which means all UK calls are free. As an expat living in France it is necessary for her to register under the French system as an autoentrepreneur working for Davex.
Ann had French lessons for six years in the UK and has continued to have them since her move in 2009, both with a private teacher and at a weekly conversation class at nearby La Fleche. As testament to her hard work in learning the language, (and we all know how hard that is), she says that most of her friends here are French.
It wasn’t until she moved here, that Ann had the opportunity to find the time to rekindle her childhood loves of painting and drawing.
When she discovered that Carole Gaia ran an art class in nearby Bauge, she joined. Refreshing previously learnt techniques, and learning new ones, with the added challenge of the class being in French, sharpened her talents, and now she has a website http://sarthe-art.com/index.html where her painting are available to buy.
Ann says that she prefers realism, whether pet portraits, animals or still life’s, and so of course, I had to ask, does she have a favourite medium she prefers to work in? Her reply “I love them all, and my favourite is normally the one I am working with at the time.
She usually works in oils and pastels, although she does use acrylic for a lighter and ‘freer’ style such as the Barmy Birds, which can be seen on her site http://sarthe-art.com/barmy-birds.html.
She offers a pet portrait service which is very popular, and she was working on a commission when I visited. She has sold quite a few of her pieces of art through her website, in France at exhibitions, and also at her exhibitions in the UK.
Sipping my coffee in their lovely home surrounded by beautiful countryside I could not help but think Ann and Dave have their work/lifestyle balance just perfect!