top left…is a street scene in Uzes. The buildings come right out to the cobble road with just a curb to keep the elements from the doorways. So much stone, quarried from the nearby hills hundreds of years ago. The pinks and yellows in the stone are natural and the chips and stains come from centuries of seasons.
top right…Abbey Senanque, with a heavy dose of imagination for the blooming lavender fields. We were there in early spring when only that little lollipop almond tree was actually blooming. I feel like I was able to keep my brush strokes loose and the chroma in the flowers high. We wandered around the grounds in late afternoon, just seeing glimpses of this lovely place.
bottom left…is a "work in progress" of a little alley in the hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence, a very picturesque village in the Alpilles mountains. Mainly it is a major tour bus stop with lots of gift and art shops, but the ruins remain and are still filled with secrets and mysteries. Imagine a feudal fortress in the middle ages, now crumbling and overgrown with vines and foliage.
bottom middle…Aix en Provence is a small city where our daughter attended University of Marseille for a semester. There are numerous narrow cobblestone streets in the Old Town district, lined with small shops, patisseries, and cafes. This scene is from a photo we took when we spotted three ladies on a coffee break in that chilly afternoon. The Uzes painting was my first attempt at a street scene with multiple buildings and windows. I thought this one turned out a little better, a little looser with more confident brush strokes. I still have much to learn about light, color, and edges.
bottom right…a little flower shop in Arles, too sweet to not take a picture of…and paint! It sat at the end of the rabbit warren of narrow, cobbly lanes, nearly undriveable, although we gave it a great try with mixed results. The modern and trendy little shop was a counterpoint to the ancient stone structure all around. I just loved the funky neon sign above the boxes and carts of flowers.
My plein air painting experiences of this year contrast with the need to paint from photos of our travels. If only my super power was to slow time and be able to stay all day in one place painting and still see and paint in four more places on the same day! But I still have so much fun painting places and moments and experiences; I can see that you might think I'm attached and possessive of each piece, but surprisingly, No! I would love to send them out to new homes…maybe yours?