Sketching in Bretenoux, France

I was dropped off at the market in Bretenoux, about 30 minutes drive from Coin Perdu, early this morning. After doing my market shopping…olives and saucisson and tomatoes and peaches and berries….oh, and salad… I had time left while waiting to be picked up. Took out my sketchbook, walked around, sketched two market scenes and the “eglise”, opposite the market. My ride showed up and I had just enough time to blotch the church. A quaint little town in the department of Lot…see the link above for some nice reading on Bretenoux. But I still prefer the much quieter and rustic Correze where we have our little hide away…

…le marché à Bretenoux – baskets galore…

…colorful umbrellas on a sunny day at the market…

…l’eglise à Bretenoux…

Oil painting- sunflowers.

Sunflowers look so easy to paint, but it is everything but easy! One can either paint it too stiff and controlled, depleting it of all character, or it can be painted sloppy, in which case it looks as if you didn’t know what you were doing. I think I fall in the second category. But it sure is fun to paint! Robyn made the remark that sunflowers remind her of happy people. While  painting these, even when scraping off and starting over, even when throwing sunflowers 2 out the barn door and picked it up afterwards and finally completed it… I was happy. The colours, the shapes, the smell of the oils, the touch of the sunflowers, the buzzing bee around the paints and flowers, the leaves wilting and drying and taking on shapes of their own….I was happy. Still am.

…sunflowers 2…

oil on canvas, 41x33cm (16,1″x12,9″)

I did struggle a bit with sunflowers 1…he composition gave me trouble and I overworked it completely. It actually had a stage where it was perfect…sort of undone, half finished, a slight background with an attractive unfinished look. And I just had to add a touch here and there, which eventually turned into a completely different painting and I lost that “unfinished” stage forever. Fortunately , there is always the next one.

…sunflowers 1

oil on cotton, 38x46cm (14,9″x18,1″)