Wonderful light & parking my car.
- Who: Ian Palmer Art & 10-44 Designs
- What: Artist/Designer
- Where: St. Jean Du Bouzet, Tarn et Garonne
Why Gascony? After twenty years of South London and a realization that we were both running faster and faster to stand still - my wife and I came to Toulouse on a quick break. I was on holiday and did at the time think it was a bit strange we were spending an awful lot of time in estate agents... and we ended up buying a derelict barn on the strength of some nice beams. So that was nice!!!
What Was Your Life Before Gascony? I was, and still am a practising graphic designer. I had realised that most of my clients did not make it to my studio in South London, and I very rarely made it to their place of work. So I therefore did not need to be paying for a hideously expensive studio. We had bought less than an hour from Toulouse airport so I could travel back for an afternoon meeting in London and be back home later that night. Initially I had planned to go back at least once a month...
'Alf' Source: Ian Palmer Art 2016
What Is Life Now? I soon found that the space and time allowed by living a more relaxed lifestyle meant that I would be able to start painting, something that I hadn't done since being at art college many years before. My first show was in Lectoure and from there I soon had a local gallery in Auvillar - one of the prettiest villages in the whole of France.
'Dragons In My Dream.' Source: Ian Palmer Art 2015
Your studio? (how has it changed life/work etc) Living here has allowed me to have a studio larger than anything I could have imagined and an office for the graphic design. That is not something that would be economically viable in South London and then of course there is the light...
Was yours a renovation project and what did you learn from the process? It was a total renovation. The first thing we had to do was ask the local farmer to move his combine harvester out of our proposed lounge. It still brings a smile out when we sit on the couch...
and what have you learnt from the process? We started the build whilst still living in London - I would fly down once a month for the day to see what the builder hadn't done... As a process it was sadly lacking. If you are not here it is very difficult. I would recommend you take the plunge straight away and get involved as much as possible. Just being here is the key.
Part of the studio. Source: Ian Palmer Art 2015
What are you most proud of your life in Gascony? My wife who has made our life here what it is, and watching my two boys flit between English and French like it is the easiest thing in the world. (They are now learning Spanish as well...)
Your perfect weekend? Watching my two boys play football for Lectoure and Nord Lomagne - and winning - in the sunshine.
What do you not miss about home? Not being able to park the car, paying a fortune to park the car, queuing for everything... All those little pleasures are sadly lacking in Gascony.