Browsed by
Category: Painting on location

The Fun Continues

The Fun Continues

Helen and I continue our journey to Sarlat, beautifully well preserved medieval town in the southwest of France.  It is an area rich with history and delicious food.  Think fois gras! (more about this in my next blog post) Since it started to rain, we found a comfortable cafe and painted in our journals and made some postcards to send to family and friends back home.  Here is the view from our cozy cafe:

Here is the postcard I painted while enjoying a warm cup of French coffee:
If you would like to join me on a painting holiday, please check out my upcoming trip to Orvieto, Italy!
A Peak Inside my Watercolor Art Journal, Italy and Croatia

A Peak Inside my Watercolor Art Journal, Italy and Croatia

Traveling to new and unusual places gives me the opportunity to paint in my watercolor art journal. I am always on the lookout for some fun and creative ideas. Sometimes I sit in little alleyways to paint on location, and sometimes I finish my paintings in my journals in the evenings with a glass of wine. The painting of the little church below is of a Church that my husband and I hike to while on a recent boat trip to 3 islands near Dubrovnik, Croatia, This lovely Church was built over 1,000 years ago!  It had a tiny door.  I  guess people were smaller back then.   If you are interested in painting with me and learning about keeping a watercolor journal,  I am teaching four different classes at the Seattle Create art retreat  There are several seats still available in each class.

A Windy Day to Paint in Roussillon

A Windy Day to Paint in Roussillon

The famous Mistral winds of Provence has followed us to the east as we explore and paint plein air in the little town of Roussillon.  Roussillon is known for its colorful buildings of reds, ocres, and yellows mined from the nearby rocks.  It is also designated as on of France’s Plus Beaux Village de France!  The Mistral has pushed away all the rain and the clouds so that we have a beautiful, sparkling day to paint, if you can stand the gusty wind.  Several of us walk to the outskirts of town to paint the village while others paint in the cute, colorful streets of the village.

I learn that the bell tower of a lot of the hilltop villages are open to allow the mistral to pass through.


Colorful red buildings are found throughout the town.


We explore.


Great view of the town


Barbara and Liz find a sunny spot to paint.


JoAnn shows her beautiful painting in progress.


Ice cream shops are plentiful!
I buy this little ceramic chicken made from the nearby colorful clay.
I visit my favorite store that sells pure pigment in little jars.


More colors of pigment.

Would you like to learn the joys of keeping a watercolor journal?  We are now taking reservations for painting in Umbria, Italy, May 10-17, 2019, Painting in Provence with

Watercolor Painting In the Small Villages of Provence

Watercolor Painting In the Small Villages of Provence

Even though I have left the sunny, warm days of southern France and making my way home, I am still holding on to the essence of Provence.  I already miss the rich morning coffees, the happy faces of the students in the workshop, the lyrical “Bonjours”, the scent of lavender in the air and the friendly smiles of all we meet.  Our last couple of days of the workshop were spent in some very off-the-beaten tourist paths and quiet painting sites.
This morning, instead of my brisk walk to St. Remy de Provence for a fresh baguette, I drove down a six lane highway in search of a good cup of coffee.  I am currently in Poughkeepsie, New York for a very special event.  My oldest daughter is graduating from Vassar College tomorrow and I have joined my family here to celebrate this joyous occasion.  It is always bittersweet to leave France!

Having fun exporing mixed media journaling

Painting in the quite hilltop village of Egalieres

Looking towards Les Alpilles

A friendly guy takes our photo and cleverly gets in it too

The cute Roman chapel, St. Sixte, built in the 12th Century

Very cozy French restaurant, La Pitchoune


Painting in a vineyard with an beautiful backdrop
Exploring the Luberon

Exploring the Luberon

First thing – Coffee!
This day is absolutely gorgeous!  Today we visited two of France’s Plus Beaux Village (most beautiful villages) of which there are 141.   Before we left the hotel, I demo one of my favorite ways to do quick on-the-go painting sketches.

Our first stop was Gordes where we found a wonderful place to stop to take photos.
Gordes is a very beautiful old village, perched on the southern edge of the high Plateau de Vaucluse. The stone buildings built in tight against the base of the cliffs and those perched on the rocks above, including the 12th-century castle, are made of an beige stone that glows orange in the morning sun. The view from the village is a southern panorama out across fields and forests and small perched villages to the Montagne du Luberon.

 Our first stop is the lavender factory.  We learn about the different kinds of lavender.

We stop here to take photos of Gordes, one of France’s most beautiful village

We arrive at Roussillon, famous for it’s red ochre with its red rocks, red stone buildings and red tile roofs.  We spent several hours here painting.

Mary Ann, Kendra, Sharon, Helen and myself with Roussillon in the background

  We buy little jars of the mined local pigments.  We also get gum Arabic so we can mix the powders to make our own watercolors.  How cool is that!
I can not resist a “boule” of lavender ice cream!

It is fun to see all the colorful baskets.  Everything here has a glow of red that bounces off the stone walls.  I feel like I could spend 100 days here painting!

Painting in our Journals

Painting in our Journals

Sharon’s Poppies!

Kendra’s Paintings-on-the-go!

The View from our painting spot under the wisteria at the Hotel du Soleil

Helen’s water reflections

Sharon painted this in less than an hour!  What a colorful spontaneous feel to this field of poppies.

First day of our workshop!  The sun is shining and we walk to the Place Favier in St. Remy de Provence to paint on-site.  It is a lovely town square with dappled light and the fountain is trickling and sure enough the town drunk is here too.  He has stationed himself at his favorite park bench and his bottle of rose wine is more than half gone and it is 10:00 a.m.  He was here 1 1/2 years ago when I brought my other group to paint and so I warn my students that it is best to stay away from him because the little bit of English that he can utter is not very pleasant.  We, though, pass a very pleasant morning working on our paintings-on-the-go.  I had the students put a watercolor wash on their sketchbook page prior to venturing out, so that we were ready to sketch on top of that on location.