Rear View

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Summer Bliss, Bavaria. 12×16. Stebner oil on linen. Price on Request

These first six months in my Hereford studio have been productive and happy. Scarcely a day slips by without a painting session. New students have found their way to the door. It’s a lovely life-rythmn.

Falling leaves finally turned to snowflakes as we had last week. The beauty of studio painting is that I can be in any place in any season with the scroll of the computer mouse. Taking position in front of the easel, I might as well be in the boarding line at the airport and lifting a brush is a safe landing anywhere I want to be.

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Wellies and Wheelbarrow, 16×20 Stebner oil on linen, price on request

This week was a time to revisit favorite memories while welcoming students and a favorite client, returning for new Stebner’s for his collection and gift giving.

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Afternoon Aperitif, 12×16 Stebner oil on linen. Price on Request

Snowy January afternoon warming by the fire on a farm in the Auvergne. A sunny June on the bavarian Chiemsee. Strolls in a walled secret garden in Burgundy. Or watching a Burgundian gardener.

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Paisley, Peonies and Iris. 16×20 Stebner oil on linen. Price on Request

Finishing the second of these two garden folk, I realized something was going. I’d painted two out of three of the subjects from the back. I first questioned my inner world for doing so, but then realized it’s the mystery of what isn’t seen as much as what is that draws in the viewer. You can follow these gardeners safely into their private worlds without being confronted face to face. You can look through their eyes rather than into them. That’s another subject for another season.

Who dares follow me to Burgundy or Provence to see France through my eyes in June? Time is running out!  Click here or contact me directly to open the door.

 

 

My Kind of Middle-earth

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I awoke to a world of Tolkien wonder. Melting snow rose into mystical fog that continued throughout our day trip to the southeast. With my trusty guide. Guerit, in our little white Fiat, I felt like a cross between Don Quixote and Sancho and two knights from the round table on an epic search of some sort or other. Ours was simple enough. Yesterday morning as I brought my breakfast dishes downstairs to the kitchen, Geurit exclaimed with childlike glee that I had to put down my tray before he could tell me the fortune ahead. Indeed, today was the biggest flea market of the region where treasures could be had for pennies, if not euros. The concern would be the weather.

But by morning the roads looked clear, so off we went in search of our holy grail, which I must say, proved not to disappoint. I’d ask you to guess what I found, but as much as I love you all, I realize from the lack of response to my first riddle about my French facelift, not to hope for a reply. Perhaps someone might be bold enough, though, to tell me what they hope I found for them!

In any case, it’s my last day in the Auvergne, and as much as I felt like Alice in Wonderland upon arrival, I’m not keen on leaving. After today, I realize I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of the bucolic treasures around every turn in the lane. And the innocent kindness of strangers never ceases to humble me. But for now, I must pack my treasures and prepare for a trip westward, to old friends in the Limousin, where I can paint the lake from my bedroom if it’s cold and scout more French Brocantes, regardless. It’s not to late to place your orders!

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Pan de Bois

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Two days in Bourges have delivered a winter’s feast of gothic splendor. Palaces of Bourbon kings, museums of medieval and modern art as well as streets on former Roman ramparts, now lined with pan de bois houses from centuries later. My feet and ankles ache from walking miles on granite cobbles.

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In less than an hour, I’ll don my shoes and saddle my bags to head to the Europcar office to pick up my little steed which I’ll ride to my next destination in the Auvergne countryside, where no trains approach.

Still no idea what my facelift story could be?

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