Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Provence workshop, a continuation

"Silver-tinged Olive Grove"
Near Croagnes, Provence, France

Jury duty has kept me from writing more about my trip to Provence, France, for an art workshop. A few more days and my civic responsibilities will be done. Meanwhile, I find that like the trip, I don't want the writing to end either! So what you get today is our final morning of plein air painting. Yet to come is our show on Friday evening and our departure to Ireland on Saturday morning.

For years I have done daily exercise, which I believe (along with luck) has resulted in my ability to remain active in retirement. So Joan and I would rise very early each morning and take a long walk before breakfast. There were several narrow unpaved roads to choose from, but we identified this walk as our favorite.

The beginning of our favorite walk

We would exit our home for the week and go around the back to this tiny road between village walls. Les Bassacs is on a hill, so we walked down into a small valley filled with vineyards and orchards.

Across the valley the small village of Croagnes was perched on a hill. The town is made up of a church and a few wonderful stone houses with a cemetery on the hillside. We understand the residents don't appreciate artists with easels, but no one complained about our walks.

The town of Croagnes with its pretty church as seen from the valley below Les Bassacs

Another fork in the road had this view of our home as we looked back from the dirt road. This memory is begging to be painted.

Our home in the early morning light

Friday was our final day of the workshop. David drove the van a few miles to an olive grove just past Croagnes. Maggie said this grove would be a challenge in painting greens. I thought, whoa, this IS a challenge. Maggie said not to think green, think blue/purple or yellow/orange. I actually got so literal on my paintings that what you see isn't green. We also would be doing two paintings simultaneously as the sun came and went behind clouds. The painting at the top of this post is my cloudy sky painting. You can compare it to my sunny sky painting here. What you will see is less warm color in the cloudy painting, especially in the foreground. Mostly we had sun, so I had about 25 minutes to work on the cloudy sky painting.

The two paintings rest on the easel in the olive grove

My view for the cloudy sky painting

Here is Joan's painting done in oils -- really lovely. Joan was painting about 20 feet away from me.

The olive grove
(c) Joan Kendall

I was happy with what I had accomplished this morning and in the workshop. David came in the van to take us to our final lunch together as a group. We relaxed and then it was into the studio for individual conferences with Maggie, cleanup, and preparation for our evening "Vernisagge."


AutumnLeaves said...

Wow, Mary! This is my favorite yet from this wonderful trip. You've perfectly captured that dry and dusty silvery green I've seen in the olive groves in Spain. Just beautiful!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Your "home" definitely begs to be painted. I love the silvery olive trees. I'm amazed at all you accomplished during that workshop week. What great memories and inspiration for paintings you must have.

Barb Sailor said...

I agree that your "home" is begging to be painted. Your paintings are beautiful - what an inspirational trip.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, I'm still travelling along with you on this wonderful adventure. It's beautiful. and your writings along with the paintings are so inspiring. Thank you Mary for 'taking me along '.
Barbra Joan

hmuxo said...

Beautiful painting!!

Mary Paquet said...

Friends, so nice to hear from you. I've been on jury duty so I am just beginning to catch up with daily life.

Sherry, thanks for the encouragement.

Hallie, I was very happy with the results of this workshop and the venue was perfect.

Barb, thanks for continuing to give me positive strokes!

Barbra Joan, you are a dear. I will continue to take you along.

Hilda, thanks!