Poppies, called “coquelicots” in French, bloom in Provence, in May. They seem to grow everywhere - singly and in small clumps along the roads, and in masses, appearing as great swaths of red in near and distant fields. In an earlier post I mentioned a wonderful view of such a poppy field on the grounds of the Chateau de Bourgane, where we spent an afternoon painting.
|Poppy Field I - watercolour|
This image became one that I returned to during my week, when not plein air painting elsewhere. My work in the studio started with a traditional monochromatic painting based on an earlier drawing.
Then it became the basis for experimentation and abstraction, simplifying shapes, adding surface detail and pattern, playing with perspective and expressive colour.
|Poppy Field II - watercolour|
|Poppy Field III - gouache|
|Poppy Field V - watercolor & gouache|
I found working this way - with one basic image/theme, very satisfying creatively. Each one led to the next in a logical way. If I had not run out of time in that physical and mental space - I wonder how many paintings I would have done. Perhaps I will look for another view or image this summer and see what happens.