Oil painting

A few days ago I painted this corner of the Loire in oil.  Unfortunately I fiddled with it afterwards while it was standing on the easel in the atelier to dry, resulting in losing some great first strokes and giving the water this almost “swimming pool” colour. Knowing well I have this addiction, I normally hang a painting immediately on the wall when done and then I don’t touch it…on the easel however, I always see something that needs fixing!

…ombre et lumiére..

ombre-et-lumiere1oil on canvas, 30×30 cm (11.8×11.8 in)

I am leaving for Coin Perdu in Correze for about three weeks, which will be sort of a solitary retreat. And since I’m leaning towards oil painting for now, I’ve decided to pack all my oil stuff for some plein air painting for which the opportunities and subjects there are boundless. So I had a stack of boards, in different sizes, cut at my hardware store, and prepared them at home with  first  a coat of acrylic primer, then a coat of mixed gesso and modeling paste and lastly a coat of gesso. (after the method by David Curtis).

Some years ago I played around with modeling paste on canvases and several other surfaces, as can be seen in the next two paintings. Given a coat of gesso or acrylic primer, it provides a nice textured surface for some expressive work in oil  and other mixed media.

…urn 1, mixed media on canvas…


…detail of texture(with modeling paste)..


…urn 2, mixed media on paper…


…detail of texture(with modeling paste)




oil on canvas, 30×30 cm.

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)…


A mountain house called Coin Perdu.

A few weeks ago we did the final signing for a little house, Coin Perdu, in the mountains in Corréze. It dates from the 1880’s, was built by the farmer himself, then handed down to the son and we bought it from the granddaughter, who inherited it from her brother. Complicated. Like all French administration.

We’ll be doing some restoration, keeping the spirit of the house with all the fixtures and just adding some modern day comfort and running water. I’ll keep a journal of this whole process, as we’ll be rolling up our own sleeves, climbing the ladders ourselves and stacking the stones ourselves.

We were down there this past week to meet the  mayor: an interesting woman with a charming accent and an obvious love for chatting. We asked permission to buy a stretch of  “municipal road” that goes through our propery. (for peace of mind) Nobody sees a road, it is somewhere in the brush, but because it is shown on the map, it does exist. Therefore it has to be put before the community of 200-something inhabitants of Puy d’Arnac, to contest should they “need the road”. Complicated. French freedom.

…coin Perdu…


…pig house at Coin Perdu…


Sketches done in moleskine, with pen and watercolour.