Sunday, October 18, 2009

Soaking Up The Colours

It is fall in Southwest France. The temperature has cooled but it is still bright and sunny. The light is amazing, casting a warm late afternoon pink glow onto everything. Yesterday as we drove the winding country roads of the Lomagne, the sight of the fields took my breath away. Acre upon acre of glowing ochre! Chunks and ridges and patterns of an ochre that is nothing like the colour that I squeeze from my tube of acrylic paint. My studio is a sampling of landscape studies of ochre, I'm trying to capture the essence of the fields of Lomagne.

This summer has been one of my brightest ever, day after day of sunshine, glowing carpets of sunflowers in July, the most amazing orange flesh of the August melons and the velvet purple grapes. The luscious red-pink of the figs picked off the backyard tree, quinacridone magenta or rose madder? Shutters, doors, storefronts and flowers, a feast for my artist eyes and soul.

The last group of VCCA fellows has left le Moulin à Nef, the season is coming to a close and it's quiet. John moves up and down the hillside on the tractor mower. I prune the plants, pick walnuts from under the tree, sweep the leaves that have gathered on the terrace all the while trying to come up with a recipe for the glowing ochre of our Saturday adventure.

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