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
Opens daily 10.00pm
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!
From Mirabel Bridge, Oil on canvas 40cmsx40cms
Not such a very small painting, but I realise it’s quite a long time since I made a post here.
In the heat of this summer, I continuously enjoyed painting and drawing down at the river and although a I found a great place to paint, I felt that I wanted to find another viewpoint and went a little further away, to a bridge over the river at Mirabel. I was attracted to this view of the river since I am fairly obsessed with views from above, as if I were flying.
At the end of this hot, perfect summer’s day, a large flock of sheep suddenly appeared hurrying down to the water’s edge to quench their thirst. It seemed to me to be exactly what the river scene had been missing and I hurriedly took a few photos before they vanished!
I had a half-started painting, some scrappy sketches and a few fuzzy photos to finish this one and it’s really not been very easy.
MILK JUG Oil on canvas 20cmsx20cms
After unusual weeks of winter sunshine, it has become very grey and rainy here, so it seemed like a good idea to think about some still-life. But even that’s been difficult with shifting light; brilliant flashes of sunshine with long moments of gloom
CITROUILLE Oil on canvas 20cms x 20cms
I love the summer, but I also love autumn and the inevitable approach of winter for the different and wonderful vegetables in our local market, for being cosily tucked up in my studio with a very brilliant wood-burner for company. However, this year has, altogether, been amazingly warm and the sun is still shining with a temperature of about 12°C, which isn’t bad for this winter-chilly area we live in.
My new (2nd-hand) stove
So, this is a time for still-life since I am certainly not going to set up my easel in the open country and it’s lovely to come back from the market with something fun to paint. Pumpkins are a favourite of mine for still-life and for the delicious soup to be made from them. Here, in SW France they are known as “citrouille”, which makes me immediately think of Cinderella and her pumpkin coach.
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.
It’s very difficult to remember that we had a week of snow here 10 days ago, as the weather has been so gently warm and sunny this last week. An old neighbour said to me, when I remarked on this, “Don’t be too sure. There’s more cold and snow to come yet!” I suppose he’s right, especially with the present dotty nature of our poor climate, that so few politicians seem to worry about.
Anyway, here’s another small painting I did in the snowy days. I could have been painting outside now, but I then started a rather involved large still-life in my studio while the weather was a bit miserable.
Oil on board 20cms x 25cms
Oil on board 20cms x 25cms
We’ve had snow here for about a week and I’ve been loving it. I’ve been having the most wonderful walks with my dog, discovering new trails and both of us enjoying the perfect powder snow. We have this view just around the corner from our new house in SW France and I’ve been nipping out regularly to sketch, make notes and photographs. This little painting is the culmination of all of that and is of the first snowy morning, a week ago last Sunday, when the weather was amazingly unsettled.
Since I am working for my next London exhibition in 2016 (sounds a long way off, but it isn’t!), I am now collecting my paintings together. However, from time to time, I will continue to make some small paintings available for sale.
Oil on board 20cms x 25cms
Snowy, chill weather has kept me indoors, except for dashing out to walk the dog and also make a few quick sketches as the skies have been wondrous. I am hoping that some small oils will come out of these, but meantime, it’s very lovely to be indoors in a warm well lit studio; first time ever!
GLASS AND LEMONS
Oil on board 14cms x 20cms
I’ve also added this October photograph of our house especially for frenchimmersion where you will find a delightful blog called “My husband drives a lemon!” This blog is always very amusing and is written by someone who has jumped straight into French life; work, language and all.
Oil on canvas 24cms x 30cms
With the recent wonderful weather I wanted to get outside and paint in the countryside, but I was rather hampered by only having a bicycle. I loaded it impressively, but found it far too wobbly and unstable to ride, so instead I just used it like a donkey to carry my heavy load.
We are having a wonderful spring here in SW France and all the colours of emerging foliage are dazzling.