Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A trip to Provence in 2013, two years later.

I had a very quick, but wonderful trip to Provence with mon chéri a few days ago. He spoiled me with lovely dinners and a lot of patience when I did some sketches. I tried to be as quick as I can with pencil and left the ink lines until the very end so I could change to some neater linework where necessary. In some sketches I went in directly with watercolor and added the pen line work afterwards..maybe you'll be able to notice that?
all sketches done in watercolor block, HP, 18X26cm.
This sketch took me the longest. It was the first one of our trip and I was still very careful in getting it "right". And mon chéri was ever so patient. I then decided, I can't spend all of our very short trip on such long then I sped up in the sketching, trying to get down just a little ambiance of the trip.

..Provence 1 ..
..Provence 2..

I am a "corner" person. I love little corners or scenes, or little vignettes. So it is usually a little interesting corner or a large scene that attracts my eye.

..Provence 3..

The lavender fields are stunning, stunning, stunning and there is no way I can do justice to them..of course had to attempt a field against a backdrop of this lovely mas. There are so many paintings everywhere to be found in Provence, depicting the lavender fields and the olive groves..sadly, I found them all the same, interpreted in the same manner. It makes me even more reluctant to try and paint it. But of all the other painters, I will paint it!

..Provence 4..

I am also fascinated by staircases and uneven walls, foliage growing out of nowhere, of which there is an abundance in the south.

..Provence 5..

A corner of the facade of Le mas de la Mateliére where we stayed.
..Provence 6..

The rooftops, the streetlamps, the worn walls, the trees blown by the mistral...the charm of La Provence.

..Provence 7..

It seems I always nobly get to Provence on these 'quick' trips. But I have decided this is it. No more "quick" trips when it comes to Provence. My next trip will be nothing shorter than 8 days. I will also plan better in terms of subject matter so as not to be all over the place. Also do real paintings, and not only sketches, so the oils will go along. Provence is filled with huge painting opportunities and so, my goal is to spend my time making full use of the opportunities. 
I cross posted this also on my own blog, Africantapestry and photos of my trip to La Vaucluse will soon be posted on Myfrenchkitchen.
à bientôt

Monday, 29 October 2012

From sketch to commissioned drawing

One of the nice things which has happened to me since our visit to Provence is that I've been commissioned to convert one of my sketches into a proper drawing.

So what started out as a lovely lunch and afternoon's sketching has now become a drawing despatched as a present to a cyclist in the USA.  He stayed at the hill top hotel in Crillon Le Brave where I had lunch - and climbed Monet Ventoux three times in one day on his bike - hence this view has a special meaning for him!

Mont Ventoux from the Hotel Crillon Le Brave
12" x 16", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I had a great time reliving a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon on 12th June 2011 when I had a wonderful lunch followed by a delightful afternoon of sketching the view of Mont Ventoux from the terrace.  (see Sunday lunch and sketching at Hotel Crillon Le Brave)

If anybody else would like a drawing from one of my sketches you can contact me via my website

Monday, 18 June 2012

A Year On

It is a year since we were all painting in Provence. It never fails to amaze me what can happen in just a year. The most dramatic thing must be that the beautiful house that we all enjoyed, Ruth and Juliens home, burnt down in November. Happily now it is habitable again. I am now a grandmother, little Poppy is just 6 months, I think she disapproves of me already!! I have, in the last year begun to sell my work in volumes that mean I can count it as my main source of income. I am still illustrating but only lovely commissions for "real" books, one in particular that is still secret, is very exciting. I am working more for the gallery that I sell my work through, in fact I have a title development manager! We are doing more art fairs, all across Britain. In fact life is very buisy and exciting. But I would love to be waking up in Provence, with nothing to do but paint, breathe in the lavender scented air and think about what we would have for supper. So come on, the rest of you, what has happened to you in a year?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Les Couguieux

Ruth has created a set of photos of Les Couguieux on Flickr - which she has compiled for the New York Times.... Sounds like there might be another article in the offing!

In the meantime see photos of the BEFORE and AFTER of where we ate, played, painted, bathed and slept back in June.  I still think of it - a lot!  However those autumn colours are to die for!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Seat In The Shade

oil on canvas 120 x 80 cm or 47 x 31.5 inches
I had to post something else up on this blog as the picture that Katherine posted of me, night painting, really began to annoy me as it popped up in the side bar of my blog!  
This is a big studio piece that I did for my recent exhibition at Beside The Wave.  Obviously larger studio works are done from photographs and I know that many people see that as "cheating" somehow.  Personally I know that many many artists use photographs but very few admit to it, it seems to be a bit of a naughty secret.  I don't see anything wrong with using as much information gathering media that you can lay your hands on.  I know one artist, Paul Lewin, who makes soundscapes which enhance his work and put him into the "zone" to work on his studio based paintings.  Another, Miles Heseltine,who takes very deliberately rubbish videos of the place he wants to paint and plays them over and over while he paints. 
 I do think that if you are going to use photographs then it is vital that you also work outside, en plein air, or draw and sketch as much as you can.  This practise really helps you use the photo properly, lets you control what you put in your painting and avoids a slavish copy.  We look and see very differently to the way a camera does, we are interested and stimulated by strange things while a camera sees and records all.  You need to make yourself aware of how you "see" before working with a photograph.
Anyway the exhibition went very well, my work sold well.  I was pleased by what sold and surprised by what didn't sell, some of the strongest peices didn't sell which only goes to show that there really is no way of predicting what makes somebody buy a painting!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A little night painting

Now I'm back home I've started to load all my photos into a Flickr Collection - Provence 2011 - for all to see - minus a few which will only be shared with those who visited Provence!

I thought I'd post a few of these to the blog so you can see what you would have seen while we were there if we hadn't had the lightning strike.

The first is to show you that Sarah not only produces lots of paintings - but also that she does it at all times of the day and night!

Here's a photo of her night painting on the night when we had the total eclipse of the moon.  That's as in plein air oil painting at night!

Sarah Wimperis - plein air oil painting at night

Friday, 8 July 2011

How Much Paint?

How much paint does a painter paint when a painter paints Provence?
Well this may tell you:
In two weeks I did 59 paintings.  13 small oils and 13 bigger ones, 11 larger watercolours, 11 medium watercolours and 11 tiny gouaches.
This is a picture of my oils just before I packed them to go home:
I wont bore you with the list of colours but they were all brand new when I arrived, white was finished and Paynes Grey and Vandyke Brown were unopened.  Interestingly taking them on the plane home was no problem. They were packed in my bag for the hold.  I had my old watercolour box in my hand luggage but that only caused the customs guy to talk about painting for a while, he was a keen amateur artist!
Here are some images to give you an idea of the various sizes of paintings done while Painting in Provence.

So to sum it all up, the average number of paintings done per day was 5, don't count the days arriving or leaving.  I have a lot of work for follow up paintings, some work for exhibition in August.  I took too many clothes.  Didn't drink enough wine.  Met two very lovely people Robyn and Ronelle.  Got to rather like scorpions and felt "energised" by lightening.  Didn't miss the tyranny of the Internet when we lost it, in fact it has made me think about how I use it.  Wished that I had had a car but was quite glad that I didn't, I wouldn't have liked the long drive home that everyone else had and I would have brought far too much "brocante" at the antiques market.  Best of all I fell in love with Provence.