An American in Provence (Simon Element, 2022) by Jamie Beck engages all of the senses with its captivating commentary, authentic South of France lifestyle, and breathtaking photography. While so many beautiful design and art books serve as pleasing companions, this one feels set apart. More of an invitation to companion with the artist. And I’m more than happy to tag along with Jamie in the light of the French countryside!
An American In Provence by Jamie Beck
While I fully expected pages of scenic French country splendor, I did not imagine this book would offer such vulnerable, life-giving depth. Who among us could not benefit from more life-giving depth in the life-draining 2020s?
An American in Provence is uncommonly luminous and soulful. As the author imperfectly moves through the seasons of a new landscape, her work transforms.
Jamie Beck in Her Provence Studio
What a treat to see inside the place she calls home!
Jamie is wise, honest, and brave and seems to draw from a well of generosity, wholeheartedness, and hospitality as she weaves together stories, art, and natural Provence wonder.
You may be surprised to learn the artist shares photography tips, recipes, and even a French glossary in the book alongside breathtaking photographs and self-portraits.
Thank goodness the photographer awakened to the beauty of self-portraiture so that we could behold her glow on these pages.
Before moving to Provence, Jamie was a busy New York commercial photographer living what she terms a “perfect aspirational lifestyle.”
What she discovered in France is contentment with her daily life in the present, contentment within herself, and contentment with the enoughness of a four-hundred-square-foot apartment.
Jamie Beck’s Inspirational Book Will Stir You
An American in Provence touches on so many topics dear to me. What constitutes beauty, and how does it heal us?
In fact, Jamie Beck’s book has awakened something new in me. A creative spark that has been missing for some time.
This morning, I showed up.
I challenged myself to see nature and my surroundings through a fresh lens.
Finding Beauty in Slower Living
Isn’t that always what the artist’s journey or the spiritual journey is truly about anyway?
I studied the romance of the willow in our backyard which joins a nature preserve and hiking trails.
Then I noticed the new growth on the hedge of white lilacs…a fortress defining a hidden courtyard with cracked up cement we’ll address next spring.
I noticed the height of the basil growing in the Southern light of my kitchen window sill.
Potatoes bought from a neighbor’s garden stand were peeled, sliced, and roasted to deliciousness for tonight’s casserole as October light danced on our reflective countertop.
Ideas about happiness, striving, and life simply unfolding without the pressures of productivity stuck with me as I chopped herbs and bacon to add to the potato casserole.
How many casseroles have I baked in this pan over the years?
Why do I find such pleasure in these collected objects that work so hard?
When the casserole was tucked into the oven, I returned to the backyard where the breeze stirred yellow leaves.
I noticed the non-conforming single white hydrangea, resisting the rosy glow of its sisters.
As I snapped these photos, I thought about Jamie Beck’s journey to see beauty with fresh eyes.
And I lovingly gazed upon fading hostas, approaching the end of their seasonal glory yet beautiful just the same.
Don’t miss the opportunity to fall in love with: this book, putting on a new mind, and creative freedom.
AN AMERICAN IN PROVENCE launches November 8th, and you can preorder your copy now!
Peace to you right where you are.
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Lovely post! Love the non-conforming white hydrangea pic!! 🤗We planted six different kinds of hydrangeas (White Wedding, Invincible Wee White, Little Lime, BOBO, Semmes Beauty, & Tara) in our new beds, and I so enjoyed seeing how they go from green to white to shades of pink and even red …all the changes so lovely & fun to watch as they happen throughout the season!
Your hydrangea buffet sounds wonderful! It’s wonderful to have an abundance of thriving blooms! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Amy.