My lovely little studio is on the bottom floor, le rez-de-chaussée, of La Cloucado. It has a high, beamed ceiling, terra cotta tile floors, a door and window that let in lovely soft light when the gray-blue shutters are open. The door opens onto the back terrace and hillside behind le Moulin à Nef. It is perfect!
The photo was taken in early August when my studio was barely set up and I had done my first few paintings. The pile of cloth on the floor is a vintage sheet that I bought at a vide-grenier (empty attic sale). The paintings on the wall were done on pieces of fabric that I found in a dark, dusty corner at the village brocante (antique dealer). Rather than canvas I've been painting on a variety of old pieces of fabrics that I have found at local brocantes and vide-greniers. I had wanted to paint on French linen but when the linen I found in the closest art store carried a 30€ per metre price tag I quickly changed my mind. I could have shopped around but was somehow drawn to the second hand store and voila! I am loving the challenge of painting on the various textures and enjoy my curiosity regarding the history of the pieces of cloth.
Towards the end of the summer there were vide-greniers and brocantes in many of the villages in our département of Tarn et Garonne including here in the port of Auvillar. I found some of my favourite pieces in a quaint little village near here called Montjoi. I also purchased a vintage slip to wear as a nightie and a lovely pillow case monogrammed in red and edged with beautiful lace, too pretty to paint on! I gesso each piece of fabric before use so that my paint will sit on the surface rather than be absorbed. The gesso was too heavy to carry from Vancouver so I ordered it as well as some paint from a French online art supply company, Géant des Beaux Arts. I brought one suitcase of art materials from home that carried my pochade box, some watercolour blocks, a couple of sketchbooks, a few drawing pencils, a selection of my favourite paintbrushes, a few painting boards, some tubes of watercolour paints, small tubes of my favourite Kroma acrylics and some palettes.
I can find everything that I need here, there are some very good online stores in France as well as art stores in various villages. All I need to do now is to lock myself in my studio!