Summer; found at last!!!
It has been warm enough here in Sarlat to go in short sleeves, from morning through the evening. We’ve been eating on the patio. It’s delightful; as is our gite, two down two up, plus a bathroom and toilet. It’s that interesting French custom of separating the toilet area completely from the shower/bath facility. We have the windows and doors open and, as in Chambray, the only sounds are occasional conversations and birdsong . . . lots of birdsong.
Today we painted plein air for the first time . . . well, I did. Paul had painted plein air at Chambray, but I was set up inside because the rain was too constant a companion and my pastels too hard to move quickly.
I’ve been experimenting some, trying to put into practice what I’ve been absorbing of the impressionists and post-impressionists; playing with color; painting fast; and not trying for too much detail or exactness. I’m fascinated by van Gogh, but have not yet tried to capture with pastels what he did with oils. When we visited Auvers sur Oise we visited the statue of van Gogh, done by the sculptor, Ossip Zadkine. What is most amazing about this sculpture is that Zadkine did capture in bronze what van Gogh did with oil paint.
We brought along the David Dunlop DVD series, Landscapes Through Time, and have watched several of the episodes relevant to the areas where we’ve stayed. It’s a thoughtful series, full of painting insights and art history, with just the right combination of each. I love the series and have learned a lot from it. But when it comes to van Gogh, I don’t think Dunlop got it right. I see van Gogh paintings and what I observe is a very careful use of paint to create daunting emotion; the energy in his paintings coruscates across the canvas, but I don’t think he splashed on the paint in the same way that Monet splashed paints on his canvas. Van Gogh was much more deliberate.
Below are a few recent pictures and some of my recent paintings.
Au revoir . . .