In last week’s brief post from France, I mentioned the mixed blessings of the remoteness of our location and its consequent lack of phone signals or wi-fi and such like. Here’s a very quick video that I hope might give some flavour of the splendour of the location, and also why getting a signal was quite tricky. Oh, please excuse the mess and clutter around the pitch. If I’d have known that I was going to be showing guests around, I would have tried to tidy up a little!
I checked back to my equivalent post from a similar time last year when, for my inspiration and edification, I took on holiday with me Joseph Zbukvic’s brilliant book, Mastering Atmosphere and Mood in Watercolour:
As you will probably have seen from last week’s post, and the video above, this year I took David Taylor and Ron Ranson’s great book, Solving the Mystery of Watercolour:
I’m not entirely sure that I’ve solved the mystery of watercolour quite yet but it’s an enjoyable read, very informative and packed full of David Taylor’s inspiring paintings.
So, armed with expert guidance, great weather and my favourite sketching kit, here’re some pages from my 2018 holiday sketchbook:
As you can probably tell, I developed an almost unhealthy fascination with French farms, sheds, cottages, barns all nestled beautifully into the landscape. I felt like I could keep painting these over and over again and never tire of them!
Alongside these sketches I also managed to take lots of photographs too so I should have plenty of material to keep me busy for quite a while – and to keep the feeling of my holiday alive for as long as possible!
Oh, as a nice little aside, the sketch that I posted last week of market day in Perigueux didn’t actually make it back home with me!
As I painted this, I was being observed by one of my ‘neighbours’ at the campsite. A few days later, I was approached by the said neighbour and he enquired about how much I sell my work for, and would I sell the painting he’d seen me do? I deliberated on it overnight as I don’t really like to sell sketches, and would prefer to work this up into a finished piece for sale. I did, however, understand that the connection with a ‘finished’ work would be entirely different. I also didn’t feel I could ‘sell’ the sketch.
As a compromise, I exchanged the sketch for a delicious barbeque and a guided tour of Bruges in Belgium. It’s a city I’ve always wanted to visit – and to paint! – and now have even more of an incentive to plan a trip! I still intend to work this sketch up into a larger painting but it’s great to know that this sketch made a connection, made someone happy and that it’s settling into its new home in Bruges. Who know’s, I may even get to see it again when we visit!