Thursday, July 4, 2013

French Workshop 1

A Sighting in France

We had help on our French workshop from an unexpected guest, masquerading as a student.

You can well imagine our surprise when we realized who it really was!

Not Stalling
On another note, please rest assured that I'll blog about the French Workshop when I've come to my senses, and when all the photos are in.

À la recherche du temps perdu

I expect you know all those booklets which direct the reader to the actual places where particular paintings were painted by long-dead painters. In the spirit of that, although I'm feeling quite alive, I searched out where I made some drawings in 1995, near where our recent workshop was centered.

The first was not terribly difficult to find.

Were I to come across this spot now, in 2013, I wouldn't have given it a second look, and there wouldn't have been a drawing.

It's always curious to me how the moment and the mood combine to make one choose a specific place to stop and draw. Ultimately I made a 30 x 60" (76x152 cm) painting of this which subsequently found a home in Pennsylvania.

Here's another search-and-find success. We had inquired at the boulangerie in the town where I knew this to be situated, hoping to get directions to this place, le lieu dit 'Vauvre'. The boulanger had no idea where it might be. After buying a map and doing some searching, we found the place...not two miles from the baker's shop.

The place is much the same, though they've somehow re-directed the stream. The buildings are pretty similar from this side, but from the other side they are all gentrified and have lost their charm.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the whole thing in my photo.

This is the same line of buildings from a different angle.

I clearly was tired when I made this drawing. Even though the angle in the photo is somewhat different, I don't seem to have taken much care with the buildings. Then again, I wasn't making a drawing from which to build a replica. In this drawing, and the next, I clearly thought the shed roof facing me was talking too much, and I made it much smaller.


Here's another pair from a place that has all become overgrown.

I wish I'd had the book of drawings with me so that I might have taken photos from more correct angles.  But you'll get the idea.

Last is a drawing from the Chateau de Sarzay.

I've enjoyed putting all these photos with the places I drew, eighteen years later. All of these drawings became paintings, mostly quite large. The one immediately above was probably 36"x60" (91x152 cm).

The other enjoyable part is thinking of you checking out my accuracy, and clucking about the choices I made. Have fun.


  1. Hmm, the poetry is, of course, of far more interest than the "accuracy".. ..what I like is your ability to see possibilties in apparently fairly unpromising subjects. The workshop was great - I'll say it again.

  2. You definitely have a talent for improving on reality and the paintings were probably a further leap towards romantic perfection. Would it be possible to see some of the paintings?