Mystical couple working on new book

Writer Ron Steed and his wife, artist Roxanne Steed.

Mystic Residents Roxanne and Ron Steed have just returned from an intensive artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux, France, where they worked on a book together.

“Being an artist-in-residence in France has been one of the most transformative experiences I’ve had for my art,” said Roxanne. “We were there for the whole month of July, with a motley mix of other artists; Painters, writers, dancers, filmmakers and musicians from Denmark, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States.”

Chateau Orquevaux offers two-week and full-month residencies from Spring through Fall. Founder Ziggy Attias and Artist Residency Director Beulah van Rensburg took on this project hoping to create a community and home for artists of all mediums, backgrounds and stages in their journey. The international residency has grown remarkably over the years and has hosted artists from over 85 countries. Only about 15% of applicants are invited.

Focal Points in France aims to combine Roxanne’s beautiful watercolor paintings with Ron’s lyrical prose. They named the book for the focal point in their images, the part that draws the eye to the point of greatest contrast between light and shadow, and the place of greatest detail and clarity.

“The focal point metaphor is that practices that bring more peace are also the places of greatest contrast between peace and violence today and are points of clarity,” Ron said. “We also hope that the themes of the book will emerge as we work, one focus at a time… and they did!”

Watercolor painting by Roxanne Steed by artist Alexandra Schmeling working at Chateau Orquevaux, France.

“Our practice is wonderful,” said Roxanne. “Every day we find a topic to paint and talk about what I see in the scene and Ron discusses what seems to be unfolding for him.” Ron said, “It takes a couple of hours together but we kind of manage to finish around the same time and the results have been great!”

Both mentioned that their work matured and changed over time, Roxanne found some very compelling watercolor techniques and Ron’s prose became more lyrical and poetic.

They completed the draft of the book while in France and are now editing it for publication. They hope the book will be out sometime next year.

You can read the entire series on Medium below Each section includes a watercolor by Roxanne and a haiku and meditation by Ron.

Roxanne Steed is a watercolor artist, teacher and mentor specializing in oil and watercolor painting for magazines in New England and Europe. She was the illustrator for writer Judy Benson on Nature Meditations in Word and Watercolor, which was published last year. Her website is

Rev. Ron Steed serves as Episcopal Deacon in Southeast Connecticut and has served the New London Homeless Hospitality Center in many ways. He is the author of 5-Minute Devotions for Dad: A Christian Parenting Book for Strength and Calm. He writes haiku and lyrical prose that he hopes will help others put their minds and hearts in the right relationship.

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