This scene was painted onsite at our hotel in Vence, France. Inside the window is where we had breakfast every morning. Most days we took our food outside and sat under shaded umbrellas and trees.
I still have numerous journal paintings to post before heading to my next adventure - China. I'm really looking forward to that trip as it will be a totally new experience. I've never visited mainland China before. Stay tuned.
We stayed in a wonderful town called Vence (pronounced Vaance). Our hotel was up on a hill that had view of the mountains and on a clear day you could see all the way to the Mediterranean. The owner of the hotel was into gardening and had many plant vignettes, old trees etc. to paint. On several occasions before we'd leave for our daily outing adventures we'd sit around the property, drink coffee and paint little scenes. This was one of those days. I loved the cracks in the old pot holding the geraniums.
This was an interesting town. They are the Violet capital. Every year there's a huge violet festival where the entire town is decked out in fresh violets. I bought violet bath soap which you cannot find anywhere else in the country. Love the subtle fragrance. Also bought violet candy made with fresh violets which are dried into a semi-hard candy. Very tasty. Beautiful little town off the beaten path.
This was a fun paint out day. This castle was located in a small medieval town in Cagnes-sur-Mer. I was happily squatting on someones front door step painting away when a guy on a motorcycle pulled right up and parked in front of my face. I could reach the back of his bike from where I was sitting. Yikes. I politely asked him to park somewhere else (in English) he politely replied there wasn't anywhere else left in town to park (in French). I was almost done anyway but that ended my painting session. Later I discovered he worked in a little shop where I went to buy something. He was so embarrassed and probably afraid I'd give him a tongue lashing, he couldn't look me in the face. Guess I'm pretty scary.
One of our side trips was to Renoir's home and garden. He bought many acres of land to save ancient olive trees, most over a thousand years old. Not only was his home massive and beautiful, it sat on a hill that had a view all the way to the Mediterranean. I sat outside and sketched this ancient olive tree loving all the textures and knotted wood.
I forgot to post this from my previous France/Italy/Monaco adventure. This is a sketch of the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo where they've filmed numerous James Bond scenes. During the day it's pretty slow but you can't walk thru the door without thinking about Bond. There was a big billboard right inside the door advertising Buddy Guy coming soon to play at the casino. Small world.
Another little sketch from San Remo, Italy. We are actually sitting by the waters edge. While everyone else was painting boats I decided to do the hillside across from the water. Below is a painting of some morning glories. We were walking to the beach and these babies were growing along a fence. I stopped and took a pic and painted them later that night in our hotel room. This is my last post for awhile. I'm off to France today!! Oh boy!!!
This is another beach town on the coast of Southern Italy. The downtown area was pretty active with good food and shopping, so we picked a spot (in the shade of course) and I did a little street scene. Another beautiful day!
I am sitting on set of steps in the shade of another big church looking at this scene. While I was painting they had a church service. Everyone nicely walked right by me, some stopped to comment and say HI and then went along their business. They didn't speak English and I didn't speak Italian, but it really didn't make any difference. We communicated just fine.
We are sitting inside a covered tunnel like structure looking at an outside cafe that hasn't opened yet. This location not only provided a unique view in this medieval city, but also protected us from the hot sun.
We also stopped and had lunch at a wonderful cafe. These paintings show the cover of their menu as well as the steps leading up to the cafe. Once we were up the steps and down a little hallway, we were surprised to see a tree covered patio with a view of the ocean. Delightful place.
We visited a medieval city in Cervo where many painters in our group set up in areas along the streets. I think so many artists paint in France and Italy, the locals just take us in stride. While I'm painting in this direction, there were 3 other painters on the other side of the street painting behind me. It was a fun day.
Wow, it's been too long since I posted and here I am ready to head back to France in just over a week. I've still got journal paintings to share from the last trip, so I'm going to blast them out before I leave again. This was a morning plein air painting of a little beach area in Imperial, Italy. We about fried our brains out sitting in the hot sun painting. (Forgot my hat - and got a pretty good sunburn.) Right before I finished my sketch, the beach was covered with people swimming and sunbathing.
Another journal entry from a small seaside town in Italy. Can't even remember the name of the town. Very bad! But I do remember shopping with my friend Lynda and buying a cashmere/wool wrap that I just love. Ha
Since my last post there were holidays and a funeral. Time flies at the end of the year! This is a sketch of some flowers at the Nice Flower Market. We spend the whole day wandering thru beautiful flowers, fresh fruits and selected gifts at this market. It's a place you don't want to miss if you visit Nice.
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After a lifetime of doing everything but art, I have now put my love of painting as a first priority. I wanted to major in art in college, but was quickly talked out of it by my father who said I'd never make a living with an art degree. So, scared that I might starve, I majored in business but squeezed in as many art electives as possible. Upon graduation I immediately went to work and never stopped. Never painted either!!
I now devote several days per week to pure painting time and enjoy the company of many local painters. Current art memberships include: Austin Plein Air, Waterloo Watercolor Group and Austin Pastel Society.
Juried Exhibitions include:
AUSTIN PASTEL SOCIETY Minature Show (2009) Won First in Show, Juror: Susan Kemner Reed
WATERCOLOR ART SOCIETY-HOUSTON 31st International Exhibition - Juror: Stephen Quiller (2008); WATERLOO WATERCOLOR GROUP FALL EXHIBITION - Juror: Christopher Shinck (2008);
WATERLOO WATERCOLOR GROUP ANNUAL EXHIBITION - Juror: Joe Fettingis (2007)
1ST PLACE WINNER - Waterloo Watercolor Society Fall Challenge (2007)