A June postcard

The months are flying by rapidly and we’ve already sent off  6 postcards of 13, almost halfway through. For this card to Martin, I decided on the vineyards here in Correze…our specialty wines, Vin paillé, meaning straw wine. The grapes are semi dried on straw beds and then pressed.

…on his envelope…

gouache on brown paper envelope

…and the post card… vin paillé of Correze

pen and watercolor on watercolor paper

Two bales of hay in oil and a gallery.

I love the bales of hay standing all around the countryside at this time of year, soon to be stored for the winter. The days are hot and the evenings linger long before the starry nights set in. Perfect summer days. Today was one of those days. The temperature stood a 41 degrees C(105 degrees F) when  I took my oil paints just down the hill to capture the hay balls before they’re stored away. I used an old flop painting and started painting over it. Don’t think I’ll do it again, I felt distracted by the already painted scene on the board.

…three bales of hay study

oil on board,

I have a new project this summer. I woke up one day a few weeks ago and decided I want a little gallery/atelier in Beaulieu. After searching and asking around, I came upon a tiny location, right in the medieval center of Beaulieu sur dordogne, opposite the beautiful old church. I hastened to get my things in order…what things?…drove up to Montlouis to fetch “stuff” to fill my gallery with, drove back 5 hours, offloaded, had a glass of champagne to celebrate this new”craze”, went to bed and unlocked my tiny gallery/atelier the next morning to welcome my first visitors..oh no sorry…clients? Lo and behold, I sold quite a few things!

Et voici mon gallerie/atelier.

…arrival and downloading…

Changes I’ve made: I have an olive tree in a big pot instead of the two small pots, because people nick my stones and use the pots as ash trays…imagine!!

…just finished offloading…

I have postcards made of my artwork and bookmarks and edition prints. People can also browse through watercolors and drawings…which sell very good. And most of all, people enjoy fiddling through the sketchbooks and many want to buy, but of course the sketchbooks aren’t for sale. Next thing that interest them, is to buy a sketchbook and some materials for themselves, because they are inspired by it all. That is so exciting and now I’m preparing small “sketch kits” that people can buy for their holiday or as a gift with my own small handmade sketchbooks.

..opening the first day…

…entrance…

Since taking these photos, I’ve made a lot of changes:

The kids’ corner is bigger with their own little gallery against the wall. they LOVE this and the gallery is already filled up with their dawings: the principle is that they do a drawing for me and they can choose a lollipop from Pierrot Gourmand(see photo below) I provide all the paper and crayons and aprons, all they have to do, is make a drawing/painting).

…kid’s corner..

My goal is probably not to get rich from this little gallery, but to make people aware of art and the fact that art doesn’t have to be expensive or for an exclusive part of the population. I want to show that a gallery doesn’t have to be boring, but can be fun and there can be something for everyone. I would like to have people feel the joy of buying a handmade postcard rather than a boring mass produced postcard from a tourist stall.  I work in the gallery while people are browsing and talking to me and asking questions and so far, it seems as though they are enjoying the ambiance and feel of my little gallery, me working there included. Many have made comments on the nice smells of the citrus solvent I use, they enjoy touching and picking up, looking from up close. they even enjoy my music, which is mostly Edith Piaf and the poems of George Brassens and Léo Ferré.

…inside…

…working space…

I also have a theme each week or so, focusing on an artist, putting out books and info on this artist, what he did, images, reading material etc. This is still tough for people and most walk by, but there is the odd one who stops and reads.

Will I succeed in bringing art to the common man on the street?  If I can reach only one person, then yes, I’ve succeeded.

…exhibition…

Two oil paintings and a gouache.

My last post on Painting in Provence. Two oils and one gouache.All three were halfway done in the field and completed afterwards. they were all done at about three in the afternoon on hot days with the cigales singing in my ears, which was typical and I have no complaints about that. But the ants are at their most active at three in the afternoon too! Or so it felt! I got bitten the  second I dare stand still and at some point I started feeling like I was knee deep in the movie “The Mummy”!

..red sandstone cliff…

oil on canvas paper

…afternoon vinyeards and broom…

oil on canvas paper…

…mont ventoux on a cloudy afternoon…

…gouache on paper…

And some images from my four days…for more photos,  see “Provence” under Beauty of la France at Myfrenchkitchen.

More paintings from Provence.

Our first outing was to this lovely spot and we planned on all doing gouache. Except for me – I had a real bad hair day and nothing worked that day…Robyn gave me such encouragement and comfort that day…she’s very special. The gouache you see here, was done here in Correze from the little watercolor I did on the spot. It isn’t quite what would normally make me jump in the air from joy, but seeing that it came from an already hesitant little watercolor, I think I  will now yield and validate it as OK.

…vineyard and cherry orchard…

gouache on paper.

 

…the original watercolor sketch, vineyards and cherry orchard..

…pen and watercolor in sketchbook…

Our first outing all three together and we painted the same spot.  Sarah hadn’t arrived yet, so you can see mine and Robyn’s at the bottom with Katherine’s to the right.(mine in watercolor and the other two in gouache…see them on ‘Four go painting in Provence.‘)

Sarah’s painting of the same spot a few days later is on her post Farm and cherry orchard afternoon.

This was very early…6:30 in the morning. Sunrise. But it actually works more as a sunset painting!

…sunrise, sunset…

watercolor on Fabriano watercolor paper

So I tried again here in my gallery to get a more early morning feel, which wasn’t a success either. But I learned in this process and that is important. I learned a LOT on this very short trip…maybe I will share it later…

...sunrise…

watercolor on Fabriano watercolor paper

And to finish off…a sketch of a terrace in the little village Bédoin, while having a diabolo cassis at the  café opposite.

…a terrace in Bédoin…

pencil and watercolor  in sketchbook

To follow: Oil and gouache studies.

Paintings from Provence

My week in Provence ended far too soon and it went by far too quick. I managed to do a few, not nearly as much as I planned, because typically Ronell, I forgot half of my art stuff at home. I left my very important oil canvases, boards and large watercolor pads by the door to pack them last and that’s where they still were while I as in Provence. Finding an art store proved to be harder than imagined  and so I ended up borrowing two canvas papers from Katherine…can one borrow a paper/canvas…?

To start off with: all of the following are sketches done around Les Couguieux, where we stayed.

…the blue shutters of les couguieux…

watercolor and pen on watercolor paper

…hameau des couguieux

pen and wash on watercolor paper

…the terrace at les couguieux…

pen and wash on watercolor paper

…still life with cups and lemon…

pen and wash on watercolor paper

To follow: landscapes in watercolor and gouache

 

Africantapestry is off to Provence for a crazy painting experience!

Yes, I’m off to Provence this coming weekend for a crazy painting time with 3 friends for one of three weeks in total.

...africantapestry is off to provence…

sketch in pen and watercolor

Katherine needs no introduction,; if you don’t know about the role she plays in the virtual art world, then shame on you…go and read about her!! And who doesn’t know Robyn and her biggest fan Dermott(or is he??)…? And about Sarah, well I don’t have to say another word, because a professional painter of her standard doesn’t need any introduction!

So there you are, four nutty women off to Provence to paint….mostly paint…and then also feast on Provencal foods…and wines….drive around….get lost….dance to wild music…chat, chat, and chat….laugh, laugh and laugh(we all four have an overly developed sense 0f humor)…swim….cycle… and eveything else one does in Provence?

We’ll be staying in the Vaucluse home of well known painter of Postcards from Provence, Julian Merrow Smith and his wife Ruth Philips, while they will be in England where Ruth will be playing cello at the Garsington festival.

We even have our own blog, Four go painting in Provence and you’re invited to follow us every step of the way on this trip. and Sarah saw to us having our own logo, which you will see on television and on Oprah…oh no, sorry Oprah isn’t any more…oh, well, we’ll probably just get our own show…

four go painting in provence

…sketch done by Sarah…

Seriously though, we’re planning on doing a lot of painting…all of us will be doing aquarelle, some gouache, some will do oils(I’m one and I know for sure Sarah is another) and then there will be coloured pencils, charcoal, inks and pens. We will of course leave Provence with cases full of sketches, a lot of plein air paintings and drawings well do in the evenings after the dishes. We will also post regularly on Four go painting in Provence to pin down our daily experiences.

So please drop by and please join us and who knows, our fun might lead to you doing the same in Provence next year. I think we might be in Prague next year…or Sicilia…or Marocco…anyhow, we’ll be somewhere! But for now…move over Cezanne, here come the four mad hatters!

A May postcard.

My postcard to Liz in Australia was a challenge and one I really enjoyed. Liz is an avid tea drinker and she is on a quest to try out all the different flavors on the market. I’m not a tea drinker, but I can handle my coffee quite well. So the logical choice for a post card to Liz was of course…an early morning french coffee and a croissant!

…a French coffee and croissant…

Pen and watercolor on watercolor paper.

…and a hint on the envelope…

Pen and gouache on brown envelope