Here are my first five paintings from my recent trip to the South of France at Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt near Aix en Provence. My family and I were really lucky to be able to stay in a beautiful house owned by my sister's in-laws. I took my painting kit just in case, thinking I might do a little painting or two. Well, I ended up doing 11 paintings during my week there, and I could have painted for a full year as the views and painting subjects were endless.
I loved painting in this part of France as it made me use different mixes of colours. Everything is a bit warmer, more contrasted and more colourful than in England. For this purpose I actually prepared all my boards with a terracotta background so the whole painting would look warmer.
Below is the first painting of the trip, a view towards the vignards and distant village.
|The vignards (1) - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt 10"x8" oil on board|
|My set up|
I then decided to do a painting from the back of the house, behind the swimming pool. I felt quite brave painting in the heat while I could hear the others having a swim!
|The house behind the trees 10"x12" oil on board|
As you can see below, my tripod broke so I ended up putting the box on my lap and using the tripod to keep the lid up (any excuse to sit down really).
|Detail of the finished painting|
Below is an other painting of the house and the surrounding views. It was painted from the courtyard where we would have lunch under the trees.
|View from the courtyard - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt 14"x10" oil on board|
And below is the view towards the village 'Saint Saturnin'. It is built in that lovely warm stone. Looking at the painting, it could almost be mistaken for Bath!
|Views towards Saint-Saturnin 10"x12" oil on board|
For this painting I used a board with texture which enhanced the chalkiness of the highlights.
And finally, this was painted from one of the balconies of the house. This subject had a natural striking composition, with the path swirling between the trees and leading to the houses at the top.
|View from the balcony - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt 7"x11" oil on board|
I will post soon the remaining six paintings of the trip. But meanwhile I'm off to Norfolk later this week for a plein air painting competition/exhibition (www.abrushwiththebroads.co.uk). I hope to see some of you there!