Monday, October 4, 2010

Cote d Azur and En plein air

I have just come back from a trip to the South of France where I had been invited by a friend to come along to see Provence and paint a little.
I had always heard that the light was so special in the region, and I have to say for once all such statements were indeed fact. It took me a day or so to get my eyes set just right. What a beautiful place to paint in 30+ degrees, outstanding.
I really was going to confine my works to the coast, marinas and boats, but I found the small narrow streets of ancient French villages an absolute draw as well. The polished cobbles and narrow walls of three and four story hilltop village houses were very impressive with old paint peeling shutters and not a plumb wall in sight. Some of the streets I stood in with outstretched arms, I was able to touch the buildings upon either side. It was crazy, but true, and life has gone on in these places for hundreds of years. They are beautiful places and so steeped in history too.
I did not leave out the coastal areas, indeed they also featured prominently during my 11 days of painting, from St Maxime to Cannes.  I painted scenes looking toward St Tropez though never actually reached that huge city, and sadly never made it to Antibe where Monet painted so many scenes of the many bays there. Another trip will have to be arranged next season for sure.

 This was the first painting that I managed to complete on the afternoon of my arrival. I hope the residents of Callian felt that I managed to do the rear steps of their church justice as I sat under a parasol sipping red wine and eating bread and cheese.The panel is a 12" x 8" oil and took around 1.5 hours to complete. The light was fantastic I am really pleased with the way this one came out.

This next one was a 4" x 12" oil on panel of the beach at St Rafael I just liked the mountain in the background for this painting.  It took around the 1 hour or so to finish, after which I hit the med for a quick swim.

I will add more of the new paintings over the next few days.

I am now back in the studio and full of exciting ideas for new works. Watch this space.....

1 comment:

  1. i love them both ! THIS is part of the reason i love the continent so much , these are my favourites of yours , cant wait to see them for real .


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