Été; enfin trouvé!!!

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.

Pure bliss.

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 . . .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

About Jean

I am a pastel artist. See my Website for more information.
This entry was posted in Art, Jean's Posts, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Été; enfin trouvé!!!

  1. Pingback: Sarlat la Caneda | Travels With Picasso

  2. nancy greco says:


  3. Susan says:

    Jean, I was interrupted by kitchen contractors. Meant to say: Reading your blog and looking at your photos over the past few weeks was my morning joy. Susan

    • Jean says:

      Oh, Susan. Thank you so much. It’s good to know you are enjoying it. We see that people have stopped by but usually have no idea who they all were.

  4. Antoinette says:

    I’m glad you are enjoying your semester abroad, and being so productive as artists. It’s been summer in Seattle — 80 degrees for five straight days! But that’s done now. I liked your photos and paintings from Auvers sur Oise very much. That was one of my favorite day trips from Paris one year. I was very moved by the cemetery and the brothers buried next to each other. Your email said you want news from Seattle. Well, you heard about the earthquake and the hurricane on the East Coast. Karen is in Long Island trying to settle her mother’s affairs. She got the earthquake and the hurricane thrown in for good measure, but she was two blocks on the safe side of the evacuation zone and didn’t have to leave her mother’s home. I’m recovering from my periodontal surgery, and Stevan fell off a roof at Habitat. Bound to happen someday. He’s okay. Fortunately, no concussion and no broken bones, but he is very sore from landing on a concrete driveway. Have fun, and continue your artists’ feast in that magical landscape.

    • Jean says:

      Perhaps there will be a wonderful Indian Summer in Seattle this year. It has cooled a bit here today, and we expect rain late this afternoon and tomorrow.

      I had not heard about the earthquake. It must have happened while we were in Normandy. Of course, the hurricane is much in the news, not that we are connected again, however, briefly. Does Karen expect to be home soon? School must be about to start for her.

      So sorry to hear about Stevan’s mishap. He must have pretty good bones if all he has is a few bruises and soreness after falling off a roof onto concrete. Ouch. Send him our regards. Has this dampened his enthusiasm for house building?

      Have WWW been meeting? Is there a meeting planned or talk of a fall retreat?

  5. Dotti says:

    Looks like an inspiring place for artists…. and I especially like your eglise painting!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Very nice.

  7. Enjoyed your blogs. Just want to know who the old man in the kitchen is??? Your paintings are really nice Paul… You always had talent for things like that, AND others….
    Enjoy the rest of your trip. Someday, before we get to old and decrepit, we will meet again my brother… All the best…. XXX

    • Jean says:

      Thanks, Martin, for visiting. That old man . . . well not so old, but a great cook. We’d starve otherwise . . . laughing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.