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!
There’s nothing like a long bout of ill health to make you feel amazingly perky and energetic at the end of it.
All painting and blogging came to an abrupt end towards the last week of June, when I raced around the local supermarket and got my left foot trapped in a new cabinet thing which sent me flying to the floor while frantically trying to keep my right hand in the air as I thought, “Oh no! My painting!!!”
I lay on the floor with a friend saying “Don’t move!” while slightly amazed shoppers edged around me. Very quickly I was picked up and carried off by four handsome firemen to the local hospital, where my leg was operated on the following morning and there I stayed for 8 days while being wonderfully looked after in a private room.
So, no week long holiday, painting in Provence with favourite friends, no more working in my studio which is up a flight of steep twisty stairs and all in all, a rather painfully long 6 weeks to follow. But now all is well and I’m back on stream … thank goodness! And the “new cabinet thing” was apparently hastily removed from the shop 🙂
In this last week, since I was still a bit wobbly, I decided to concentrate on framing my small paintings for my London exhibition in October 24th-29th. The frames are really nice and made locally by a great intiative for teaching handicapped youngsters a trade, which in this case is woodwork and they are overseen by a delightful older artisan. They’re in plain wood, then I paint and varnish them to suit the painting. All of this I’m now doing in the spare bedroom so I can keep my studio free for painting … it seems I’m really taking over the whole house!
SHEEP TREE Oil on canvas 40cmsx50cms
In early May, I had three very enjoyable consecutive mornings painting in fields near Civita Castellana, Italy and the sheep came everyday to shelter under these two trees making a really lovely addition to my painting and kept me company. I have developed this larger painting from the three small studies I made on board at the time.
SHEEP TREE 1 Oil on board 20cmsx25cms
SHEEP TREE 2 Oil on board 20cmsx24cms
SHEEP TREE 3 Oil on board 20cmsx24cms
THE OLD MILL
Oil on linen canvas 30cms x 30cms
Here in France, there are beautiful views over the golden hills that I have been wanting to paint, but I’ve been finding that it’s far too hot and when the flies came buzzing in I rushed down to the nearby river. It’s beautifully fresh there without another soul, except for an occasional fisherman and there is the wonderful possibilty of jumping into the cool waters and float downstream when it all gets too much!
I now have a happy routine of setting off down there with my hot dog, throwing her into the water after a quick walk and she settles down nicely beside me. I am finding it quite a challenge since the light changes not only on the landscape, but moves rapidly over the water at a rate I can hardly keep up with. However, until cooler days, I am hoping for more river painting.
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!