In 1960 Armand was offered an unexpected opportunity to tour the Riviera! The Keeler Foundation awarded him a $2000 European Arts Fellowship. Thrilled as he was, he had hoped to postpone the award because he worried about leaving Betty with five small children--including their latest, Aimé, who was only three months old. But, no, the scholarship could not be postponed past April 15, due to tax constraints. As always, Betty encouraged him, “Don’t worry—I could [can?] manage.” Hence just before Easter he left his family for two months and set sail for Spain. Shunning cities and museums for the countrysides and their landscapes, he traveled through Spain, the French and Italian Rivieras, Germany and the Black Forest, northern Italy, and Switzerland. Energized from the trip, he sailed home with sketch books and rolls of film filled with images ready to be put on canvas.
Despite the scholarship, financial insecurity dogged Armand throughout the 1960s, forcing him to at times put creative work on hold and again accept commissioned work such as illustrating books for the National Union of Christian Schools, an assignment he truly enjoyed. [1964 Cover of the Children’s Hymnal 1/5 page wrap around] He continued to roam the Michigan countryside and shoreline, always sketching, finding subjects to paint in moonlight, sunlit wildflowers, tumbled down shacks, wind-whipped grasses, and sand dunes, along with occasional promptings of whimsy and humor. For Armand, the Michigan landscapes and previous memories of the east coast could also provide a fountain of inspiration.