Painting Provence - A view to Avignon
When I was little 'Painting Provence' was pretty much a life goal. I was (and still am) a big fan of Cezanne and was in love with the idea of artists painting in the warmth and beauty of the South of France; it was just about the most desirable and romantic thing I could think of. I suppose I'm a little bit more realistic about the desire and romance these days but I still hold the area, and all it evokes artistically for me, high on a pedestal. I think this is what makes me feel so much for this painting, and the fact that I am actually happy with it... that takes a lot in my book!!!
It has captured a moment for me, sat in this very tranquil garden absorbing the view towards Avignon from the Abbaye Saint Andre. I am happy with the palette that I developed; trying to include the layers of green countryside interspersed with the pale sandiness of small villages and buildings, with those fantastically strong green Cypress trees, marked out against the range of greens around them. I'm happy with the forms and contrasts within the landscape leading up to the wide expanse of blue sky and whispy cloud textures; the air cleared by the previous day's mistral. The original premise of this work was abstract, I wanted to capture a moment that had resonated with me and I wanted to keep the painting process very relaxed with no definite outcome. I had, however, been dreaming about this view to the city of Avignon and it would seem that this is the view and the moment that was meant to appear... This is a place I would like to return to.