View to the courtyard

View to the courtyard

Julian's painting gear, in full use

Julian’s painting gear, in full use

The lower garden

The lower garden

The courtyard at La Madelene and view beyond

The courtyard at La Madelene and view beyond

This was a wonderful painting workshop with Julian Merrow Smith- – to paint directly from the subject, outdoors( and indoors with still life). But the main feature was painting SMALL with a limited range of colours. Some of these were quick drying alkyd oil paints so the painting was almost dry at the finish. I hadn’t done this before and it was the area of painting I most wanted to learn how to do. Julian was a brilliant teacher, as well as a great painter and made it all so straightforward. Oils outside can be a logistical nightmare, not just for a beginner. But here, it was so well organised. Some knowledge of colour mixing and paint handling was essential, but here in Provence, the action was LOOKING at the subject and painting directly with colour.  The painting boards were small, postcard size, about 20cm by 15 cm or smaller. A ‘Postcard from Provence’. The small boards, without relatively large areas to cover, made such a difference and one could easily do at least 2 paintings a day, if not more. The countryside in this area of Provence was very beautiful and unfamiliar which added to the enjoyment. Cherry orchards, wheat fields, huge poplars, a beautiful river and of course, the lovely quality of the  light. The food, accommodation at La Madalene (a restored monastery),the company of fellow painters and the weather were also excellent. It was a great learning experience. So, now I am trying to do one a week ( or month) not one a day as Julian does! see  http://www.shiftinglight.com

Some paintings from my trip the France

Cherry orchard Provence Courtyard 2 Provence Wheatfield with poplar shadows