This morning a silver van pulled into the village square and disgorged about a dozen people carrying easels, boxes, backpacks, and other gear. There was no mistaking artists on a plein air outing. They spread out around town, each picking their spot. When all seemed to be settled I grabbed my camera and wandered around to say hello and see what they were doing. It turned out to be a group of pastel painters in a class under the guidance of Richard McKinley! I quickly returned to the studio to tell Jean. We didn’t want to intrude on their 2 hour session in our village, but did chat with several of the artists and offered Richard directions to St. Avit for a possible plein air site. It was great fun to see all these folks drawing quick and detailed field sketches. The day was tricky due to big clouds moving over. The light would change from warm and bright to cool and dim in a matter of seconds. They all seemed to rise to the challenge and enjoyed Montcabrier. One of the artists, Theri Dufour, gave me her website where she features her quilting art and has a link to her pastels.
On Sunday I joined our friends Sally and Amy to go to an art show. A large manor a few miles away hosts art shows in their remodeled barn. Two of the present artists are Sally and Amy’s friends Pierrette Vergne and Brian Plews. Pierrette does beautiful paper art with wonderful textures and rich colors. She uses unique papers from Japan and Nepal and superb German inks. A series of three caught my eye – each a different tree – oaks, olives, and pines. You can see them on her website if you click on her name. Brian designs posters. Part of his display included a room of his rock and roll posters from 1969-70. That sure took me back in time! Those were done with screen printing, but today he works on a computer and had some current posters on display as well.
Over the past few days we also did some exploring of the Lot Valley. Autumn is defintely in the air. Temps have cooled and we have had rain often. Hikers stayed at Atelier de la Rose a couple more nights, giving us the opportunity to practice our French. They are so patient with us! Due to the cool evenings we are no longer eating on the terrace, but have moved into Sally’s kitchen. It’s a very welcoming place where we enjoy good food, good wine, and terrific company.
On one trip we returned to Chateau Nozieres for more of their great red Cahors wine. This little family vineyard in the town of Vire-sur-lot is a gem! While there we met a family from Great Britain and shared tasting with them, talked about our art adventures, and heard about their travels. Pierrette, one of the owners, graciously poured for us and chatted with all. We left with our case of red to explore the valley.
After the winery we took a meandering route through many small villages in a circle back to Montcabrier. There are so many beautiful scenes to paint it would take a lifetime to make a dent. Therefore, we took lots of photos and will be painting the Lot Valley for a long time to come.
In four days we move on to Provence!