Painting in Progress

For the past couple of days I have been working on the view of Vidauban from our terrace. It is a wonderful view, with the church cradled in the middle of the village which is surrounded by hills. In the background are distant mountains, their colours ranging from green blue to blue to violet depending on the light. I am looking forward to painting this scene many times at different times of day and in different seasons. Initial drawing of Vidauban, ProvencePainting in Progress of Vidauban, Provence

This particular painting is of Vidauban mid-morning. The sun has warmed up the buildings and is catching the tree tops on the hillsides. The predominant colours are cream, terracotta, blue and greens. Unusually for me I painted the canvas with an undercoat of terracotta to cover up an earlier composition. (I had run out of canvases – this was the only one available.) However, I think the undercoat works well in contrasting with the greens. I struggled a bit to begin with in the placing of the colours and I felt rather down but I think they are beginning to come together now. If a painting doesn’t seem to be working I do get very depressed about it and doubt my ability even more than usual. However, I am reminded of Van Gogh’s words:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘I cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

View of Vidauban, ProvenceView from Terrace to Vidauban, Provence

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Bormes les Mimosas

Bormes les Mimosas

One of my favourite place to visit in the Var department of Provence is the beautiful little hilltop village of Bormes les Mimosas. The steep old streets, many with steps, are lined with pastel coloured houses in shades of pink, cream and terracotta, overflowing with tubs and baskets of flowers. The main street , pedestrianised, is full of enticing little shops selling jewellery, clothes, bags, antique style items for the home, precious stones and an assortment of local crafts. The main road which skirts the village, never overly busy unlike on the coast only a few kilometres distant,  is bordered by magnificent tall palm trees and pavement cafes, from which there is a wonderful view of the Mediterranean.Cafe with a view over the village of Bormes les MimosasOld street in Bormes les MimosasGift Shop in Bormes les Mimosas

I think what makes Bormes special for me is the combination of colours, from the orange and cream of the buildings to the dark green of the palms and cypresses, from the bright sparkling blue of the Mediterranean to the duskier blue greens of olives. vines, and chestnut trees on the surrounding hillsides.Flowers lining the streets of BormesStreet corner in Bormes les MimosasFrench village houses, Bormes les MimosasEnjoying a glass of wine in Bormes les MimosasColourful house in Bormes les MimosasDecorative shop sign in Bormes les Mimosas

My painting of Bormes – www.french-paintings.com/#!Bormes%20les%20Mimosas/c11hw