Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still Life in Provence and Antique Market

Gouache on handmade rag paper

This still life was painted in the dining room in Julian and Ruth's house, where I'm cooking dinner in their beautiful and extremely well-equipped kitchen while I write this post.

The turquoise pitcher is my new favourite object (along with two others yet to be revealed) that I found at the famous Sunday market at L'Lsle sur la Sorgue here in Provence.

I could have shopped until I dropped but I kept it within reason. Below are a couple of photos of the beautiful town.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Painting Provence

'Home' in Provence - Watercolour

Here I am living the dream in a beautiful artist/writer's house in Provence. I could stay a year and still not have time to appreciate the ambiance, the art, the books, the cats (sorry Dermott!), the terrace, the view, the mountain!

If you want to share the dream buy Ruth Phillips beautiful new book, Cherries from Chauvet's Orchard, about how she and her husband, Julian Merrow-Smith made their wonderful life here. My limited edition copy was waiting for me when I arrived. I'm reading slowly, not wanting it to end.

Quite a lot of sketching and painting is being fitted around a great deal of eating and talking with Sarah Wimperis, Katherine Tyrrell and for four delightful days, Ronell van Wyk.

There are great days and wonderful days and there are Watermelon Days....

Ochre Bluff - Watercolour

This magnificent feature is a short walk from the house. Like a little Uluru in Provence. Sadly I made it look like a wedge of watermelon.

I'm having enormous pleasure and great luck to have the opportunity to look over Sarah's shoulder as she paints a couple of oils before breakfasts, and a few watercolours before bed. Inspiring. Katherine is keeping us entertained with wonderful sketches of our restaurant meals and making a great fist of her first oil paintings - ever! All of this you can see on our group blog Four Go Painting in Provence.

The Ruin - Watercolour and pencil

If any of you are wondering how La Bianca is getting on in France - she headed straight for the nearest vineyard. Like owner like car!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Tomorrow I set out to find my artist friends in Provence. Nervous as hell!
What am I worried about? I have an Italian drivers' licence. I'm legally entitled to drive as badly as the rest of them!

So as they say, see you when I'm lookin' at you!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dream Car - Fiat 500 watercolour sketch

La Bianca - pen & watercolour

I've been wondering how I am going to get to Provence for my two week painting holiday this month. Anyone who has tried to plan a train journey from Tuscany to Avignon, France will have a fair idea of the problems. Of course I could drive, if I wasn't absolutely terrified of the Italian Autostrada and if our old Mitsibishi would make it.

Anyway, since I first laid eyes on the revamped Fiat 500 or cinquecento, as she's called here in Italy, I've been in love. Now La Bianca and I are an item.

Anyone who wants to follow us to Provence - not too closely, please - should follow the blog, Four Go Painting in Provence.

Sweet eh?
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