I had a glorious week in the Luberon, Provence, staying with friends at the end of June who have a house near Gordes … heaven to have a week of irresponsibilty with no shopping or cooking to do 🙂
There were wonderful things to do like visit Orange and climb up to a very ancient fort, but there was still a bit of time for my sketchbook and small oil paintings. There was a lavender field just by the house and I found various ways of painting there; it was great to have a subject at hand while there were obligations to explore with my husband which I certainly didn’t want to miss out on!
Cypress trees and lavender
I wasn’t overly impressed by the scenery circling the house, but I really did enjoy making some paintings around about this old lavender field and the cypress trees.
Lavender and clouds
Funny really, since I was disappointed that it was coolish and cloudy for some of the days we were there, however it was certainly much more interesting with clouds. I had found this view a bit dull with a plain blue sky!
La Fontaine de Vaucluse
The “Fontaine de Vaucluse” is just extraordinary with its gushing clear waters speeding over the bright green weed underneath, to set the hammers working in the paper mill that is still in action there. The tourism is immense, obviously, but there are still places of quiet and wonderful shade to hide in on a hot day.
I’m tidying up my studio and trying to make space for older, as well as my new paintings within it … my space now seems a bit limited!
I feel this painting, in particular, makes little sense here in France “profonde” and it could only be someone who knows Tuscany and M.Amiata who could possibly appreciate it. So, like an early “summer sale”, this is reduced from my London price to €200 (not including P&P)
If anyone in Montisi would like it, I can bring it over in September when I come back again for a week at the end of the month.
I’ve been looking forward to our time in Provence to stay with very good friends and very excited on arrival to see the lavender fields in full bloom around the house 🙂
My first glorious morning in the lavender
Since it was our holiday there were many things we needed to do together, which meant my painting time was short and the weather also wasn’t brilliant … a very cold wind blew for a few days and it was also rather gloomily cloudy some of the time.
I had chosen very small painting boards (18cm x 25cm) so it would be possible to finish something reasonably quickly and it was heaven to stand in the midst of lavender with the perfume wafting over me, with the thrum of many, very happy bees.
LE SOLITAIRE DE LA VALLEE Oil on canvas 30cms x 30cms
Spring is coming in waves of heat and sunshine, then chill and grey. Mostly I’m concentrating on our out of control garden, but on those cooler slightly dismal days it’s lovely to pass the time in my studio and just paint.
I had found this old paperback “Le Solitaire de la Vallée” in our new French house amongst piles and piles of yellowing books and I had thought the cover was so amazing that I kept it as my possession. I’ve always liked books in still-life paintings, which is why I planned this smallish painting around it, I’m now thinking of a much larger painting!
Just to show that spring is springing and that it’s also time to think of painting outdoors again
It’s been a crazily warm and sunny winter, so it was a bit of a shock that we had a big fall of snow this past Saturday. Luckily, I happened to have a bought a very pretty purplish cabbage in the market which I was looking forward to eating, but since I wasn’t going to go outside I set it up as the main character for this still-life in my studio.
There is something delightfully pleasant about painting in the warm, with music playing, hot tea and biscuits to hand while I glance out of the window at the silently falling snow.
But it’s now all change again with a forecast for a Friday of brilliant sunshine and 20°C … crazy weather!
This is my second card for the charity postcard to raise money for children with terminal illnesses … hoping this sells and helps a bit.
I suppose, in the aftermath of Christmas, New Year, visitors, going to Italy that it was going to be quite a clear-up before I could get back into my studio. Quite crazy really and now I’m almost at the end of all that and preparing to go to London to meet our first grandchild which is exciting. I am now preparing a layout for a large still-life that I can come straight back to after the London trip and then I can paint to my heart’s content! And then it will almost be spring 🙂
I think it’s some months since I posted here and now we’re almost at the end of January and it’s just begun to snow here in SW France.
What with my November exhibition in London (UK), then Christmas with the arrival of family and friends, my studio has been rather abandoned and then after the fun of New Year’s Eve we went to our old home in Tuscany for 10 days; wonderful!
I’m busy today with postcard size watercolours for a children’s charity in Eire and have just finished this one, which I worked from a small sketch, and a photograph that I took in Trapani fish market, Sicily. Lovely memories of sea, sun, very friendly people and delicious food and wines 🙂
I have found that I still have a few of my Florentine hand-made frames by the wonderful Pier Luigi, which fit my very small oil paintings perfectly.
Since I now have quite a few large paintings for my exhibition, it will be nice to show these since they will cost a lot less than the large canvases!
Everything is a bit frantic and chaotic here as I now deal with the exhibition publicity, framing and the last touches to the large paintings … and of course, here is the question; “Will it all fit into our car?!!”… oh dear, we might well have to find a trailer or send stuff by a carrier; I think I had better do a practise car-loading next week.
FLYING Paintings from France and Italy
54 The Gallery, Shepherd Market, London W1J 7QX 25-29 October 2016