Provence: Oranges to Concrete

Provençal bowl with mandarins, 5x5 oil $100, unframed, $150 in a big chunky frame

One of the joys of being a traveling artist is sharing the trip with friends like you. It’s such a thrill to let you see what I see through my paintings. Some of you have stopped by to see the paintings in person; some of you have to settle for the blog entries.

But with two of the interior paintings already sold, I’ve been at the easel creating more memories of my winter in Provence.

As I paint, I’m back there, myself.

Wine and Honey Bastide, 6x8 oil, $175 unframed, $245 framed

This little landscape was done on my first day painting en plein air. I never go out painting without a visitor or two. This day, both the owner and neighbor stopped by to check out my strange outdoor studio in the snow. I wish I had photos of the silly little turquoise Ford something-or-other with door flung open, my easel next to it and me painting in my get-up at this curve in the road. But the photo-fish that really got away was the owner of this bastide. He was a marvelous, craggy character: a Belgian ex-pat. The highest compliment he paid me was saying he thought I was a foreigner as well, by my accent. Thank you! I just couldn’t destroy that moment by asking if I could take his photo.

6x8 oil. Olive Grove in Snow $175 unframed, $245, framed

Here’s a little slice on Monfort in the wintertime. The town boasts olives, wine and water. The water of Monfort is bottled commercially, at the source. But Monfort’s real claim to fame, I was told by Pierre and Fabrice, is Joseph-Louis Lambot, the inventor of ferro-cement, which led to the development of reinforced concrete. Somehow, this fact explains why Monfort’s population is stable rather than seasonal, like so many Provençal towns. Wikipedia has confirmed this French fact about cement, which I took with a polite smile and nod in the conversation for three reasons. First, I was a guest. Second, was I really understanding the drift of things and finally, as much as I love the French, they do seem to have their own inventors of everything, from electricity to… to concrete!

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