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
PURPLE CABBAGE Oil on canvas 40cms x 40cms
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!
Oil on board 12cms x15cms
It’s lovely to be back in my studio in France and for beautiful spring. As in Tuscany, the oaks are the last to put out their spring leaves, but the surrounding hillsides are scattered with wild cherry trees glorious in their white blossom. I painted this yesterday afternoon from my studio window.
Oil on canvas 20cms x 20cms
I thought we were going to France for a wonderfully quiet time, but now that we are making friends here, it’s been a whirl of dinners and exciting things to do, as well as those important things to sort after being away for a while. Three weeks hasn’t really been enough time to settle in here and get into a good work rythm.
We are now packing again to return to Tuscany this week, so I should get back to my studio on a daily regime there … I hope!
APPLE & GRAPES
Oil on board 15cms x 20cms
The temperature has been exceptionally cold here, so there’s no alternative, but to stay indoors.
Although it’s too cold, but for the hardiest painter, it is really gorgeous being out on the pretty woodland trails here for long dog walks and at the same time I’m finding lovely ideas for painting for when the weather warms up.
Oil on board 10cms x 15cms
We’ve now been back in France for about two weeks and most of the time has been spent in settling late payments for bills which have stacked up while we’ve been away in Tuscany. I am still amazed by the help and consideration that I receive from French public offices in sorting out these sorts of muddles.
However, all these duties have taken my painting time away and I had just got going when the mild weather changed to bitter freezing winds and snow! So, I’m staying firmly indoors in my lovely studio until it warms up again.