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Provence

OCTOBER 1999

Because this web site is being set up before the Itinerant Artist Project starts, the travel art section currently features a sampling of work I did during an itinerancy trial run last fall.  In scale and treatment, the paintings shown are similar to work I expect to do during my travels through the US this year.

I went back to southern France after 18 years away to visit the family I had lived with for a college term abroad--and to re-acquaint myself with the landscape north of Arles.  The Roullets live in the town of Fontvieille.  The nearby hills are full of olive groves, cypress rows and scrub growth.  In many places, wild herbs, such as rosemary and lavender, sparsely cover the ground, giving off a wonderful fragrance when  walked through. 

"The Dancing Tree" is a view from the Roullet's side porch.  It is painted on a panel primed with black gesso, a ground I often prefer to use. 

The view of Arles is from the road that leads into town from Fontvieille.  Looking over rice fields and hedgerows toward Arles, I made a quick ballpoint pen sketch then painted the scene to the best of my recollection later in the day.  I often work from memory:  it simplifies things, sometimes distills a mood effectively and is sometimes necessary.  The final sunset, for example, is a scene from my last walk of my visit.  The hills sheltered hordes of mosquitoes that came out when the wind and light were low.  They were so bad I couldn't even finish a 15-second sketch on location...  

Images shown:
1. The Dancing Tree, 1999, oil on panel (black gesso), 5" x 8",  $550
2. View of Arles, 1999, oil on panel, 5" x 8",  $450
3. San Gabriel Chapel, 1999, pencil sketch, 6" x 10"
4. Ground Plants, 1999, journal sketch detail (ballpoint pen)
5. Farewell to Provence, 1999, oil on panel, 5" x 8",  $550

 

 

 

 

 

 

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