Monday, October 26, 2015

"Tiny White House, Limoux", 7x5" (study)

 "Tiny White House, Limoux", 7x5"  oil on linen

"Early Fall, Vineyards of Limoux", 7x5", oil on linen

Painting in the vineyards near Limoux was so easy with the help of our hosts at Montfaucon.  Penny and Nicolina knew which vineyard to visit in the morning, and which in the evening, because the light was best at those times of day.  They made arrangements with the landowners for us to set up amongst the vines, and plopped us down in the most incredibly picturesque areas we could imagine.  From there, we would hike about and eventually settle on the view that spoke to each one of us.

These two studies were painted on the spot, and I'll be using them to develop some larger paintings.  I tried to capture the feeling of the light hitting the vineyards in the foreground and the misty foothills in the back.

More to come, mes chers amis!  Next, I'll tell you about painting in a secret garden...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Limoux, France

Hello Everyone, I am safely back from my painting trip to France.  Our group was led by Jeff Legg, the extraordinary artist from Estes Park, Colorado.  Before I tell you about our painting experiences, I thought I'd give you a sense of where we were based.  The photo above shows you the bridge that leads into the town of Limoux, and if you step out of our backdoor, this is pretty much the scene that greets you everyday.

We would cross the bridge to shop, take photos, or have lunch in the town square and people watch.  I kept going back to the same little bistro that made a lasagna with fluffy white French cheese and a huge salad on the side.  The waiter there knew that I wanted a Coke as soon as I sat down, and that we wouldn't be staying for the typical 2.5 hour French lunch.  We were here to WORK!  (Ah, typical Americans, I can hear him thinking).

Here is the view from our bedroom window at Montfaucon, the name of our house.  It was originally used as a toll house for boats coming down the river.  

One French tradition that I adapted to very quickly was having blanquette, a bubbly wine made from the grapes in the region before every meal, along with a selection of cheeses from the market and sweet jams.  

And then came DINNER.  Here is the dining room in our house, where we often sat for our three hour, many coursed dinner.  After the first couple of nights where we squirmed in our seats and eyed the door, we settled in to the dining experience and actually enjoyed chatting with friends and our hosts.  I thought we would run out of things to talk about, but that never happened!  Silence always descended upon us when dessert was served.  Our focus was turned elsewhere during that course!

Here we all are, with Jean Francois, our chef.  Do we look happy?  Oh you betcha!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blue Bowl With Pears, 9x12"

This is a palette knife painting that I just completed for the "Uncorked" event benefitting Breast Cancer Research at the Citadelle Gallery in South Barrington, Illinois.  I will be there tomorrow evening from 5:30 to 9:00 with a new group of paintings.  If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by to say hello!

The display at the Citadelle Gallery