Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Painting, Poppies and Provence

I have recently returned from France, painting in Provence, and have to say that I had a fabulous time. No big surprise! I had hoped to post what I was doing while there, but unfortunately I encountered technical difficulties uploading pictures. So that allowed me some time to reflect on the experience and painting there, and that is what I can now share.
This was my second time to Les Bassacs taking a course at Arts in Provence, and so I had a better I idea of what to expect. As primarily a ‘studio painter’ I found plein air painting to be quite challenging two years ago. Returning to some of the same village locations meant that I knew what view I would paint (so didn’t waste time being indecisive and wandering around), and using water colour, gouache, and paper were more manageable than acrylics and canvas. The other difference was the instructor, Terry Thompson and the focus of the course which was  ‘abstracting the landscape’ (something that continually intrigues).  Days divided themselves into painting on location, and then working in the studio, either completing work, or doing a series of studies abstracting our morning imagery through colour.

Our first outing was to the grounds of the nearby Chateau de Bourgane, open to the public on Sundays. I was delighted to go there again, and quickly decided to paint a view looking across the grounds towards the hills… which I have tried before without any luck. Here is the view I first saw and the painting I started in situ, and worked on later that evening, adding gouache and pastel……

Before leaving the grounds that afternoon I walked further and saw the magnificent field of poppies in front of the house - and this view became the subject of numerous paintings done in the studio later in the week - stay tuned!

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