Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream
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Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Who hasn't had the fanthasy of leaving his or her old life behind to start over? What would happen if you gave up your job, city, state, and routine to move to another part of the world? Critically acclaimed writer and aspiring painter James Morgan does just that. Risking everything, he and his wife shed their old, settled life in a lovingly restored house in Little Rock,...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Atria Books (first published March 29th 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 111)
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Traveling in the footsteps of his hero, the author and his wife live the dream of a year's journey in France, chasing light, color, and insight into this great artist.
Aug 12, 2008 Marian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Travellers/Artists
Loved this book. I read it just before going abroad in July 08. While in Nice, I traced some of the steps the author took in researching Matisse.
Meredith Henning
This one was good, I love reading about people and their travel experiences, especially in France.
Janet Hulstrand
Wow, I am amazed at some of the negative reviews of this wonderful book.

I think perhaps some readers are not giving the author credit for writing the book promised in the title. While those who are interested in Matisse's life will learn many interesting things about him, the book is not really supposed to be about Matisse, but about the writer's love of his work, and the way that love inspired him to leave behind a perfectly satisfactory life in Arkansas to find an even better one in France.

This is essentially someone's journal. I really wanted to like this book since I too love Matisse,France and foreign adventures. There was also the added bonus of the author living in my hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. As I read I found it jumped around too much from Matisse, to the author's whining about his life. He kept saying he was a writer but then he was a painter. I understand having multiple passions but I found the transitions between his varying interest, his wife's work, the peopl...more
Wannabe artist gets a book deal to spend a year traveling around France visiting the sites where Matisse painted writes a boring travel journal. If he was a more interesting writer or more interesting things happened on his journey it might have been worth publishing. The only interesting portions of the book are direct quotes from Hilary Spurling's books on Matisse. Actually this whole book is based on her books. Although he occasionally describes his attempts at sketching and painting in Franc...more
James Morgan taps into a universal dream--the urge to freedom, the yearning to do what you want, free of schedules, responsibilities, constraints, dictation. His vehicle is Matisse, and he and his wife travel through France looking for the key to the artist's ability to live a full artistic life, hoping it will provide the inspiration and courage to realize their own escape from convention.

Though it held my interest, it seem basically to be in the vein of uplifting self-help writing: How To Chan...more
I enjoyed the format.. part travel journal, part art book. I liked the author's writing style.. it felt personal and it brought me in.

The 'adventure' was a bit tame for me, and WAY too high-end (i'm more of a backpacking hostel type), but really.. he DID get to actually STAY for almost a week in one of Matisse's studios! In the SAME room that Matisse slept and created art! That is simply mind boggling to me and had me in tears.. such an incredible experience!
James tried painting as a midlife exercise. He becomes entranced with Matisse's work and dreams of chucking it all in, selling the house and moving to France. His wife buys into the dream. They do it. And there the story begins.
They don't buy or rent a house. They move every few weeks and months. Adventures happen. But more importantly, James paints. He paints a lot. He follows Matisse's painting career all over. And throughly enjoys it.
Living the dream.
R. Patrick
An entertaining memoir. Chasing Matisse is also about chasing your own dreams.
Makes me want to go back to the South of France, especially St. Paul de Vence and Nice.
A little bit about Matisse is interesting if you want to know where he lived. The prose is pretty boring and standard.
Susan Springer
I read this because part of it takes place in our town in France.
However, the writing is just O.K. and from the author's sketches
I had a hard time believing he's really an artist.
Feb 22, 2008 Dad rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Two stars say it all- not a bad book, and it did make me want to go to France, but I wanted to anyway. He's obviously a Matisse lover, and makes following the artists life interesting.
great idea but authors were so rude and selfish; all about themselves and their gimmick, not about the soul of Matisse. They chased,didn't search, so didn't find.
Great summer read... about a couple re-tracing Matisse's footsteps in France.
B.B. Scott
A fun book to read about enjoying life.
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