Thursday, 5 June 2014

INSPIRATION and other things...

St. Agnes, Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur, 12 x 16 in., oil on board, £1,250.00

 It’s already June!  Where has the time gone!?!  I’ve been struggling lately with my choices, I’ve also been driven to keep painting; it’s an interesting conundrum!  I’m living in a gentle, rolling paradise, in a 16th Century Bretton house – every artist’s dream.  But, the landscape doesn’t inspire me – it doesn’t get in my way either.  And, I knew when I moved here for 5 months that I WASN’T inspired.  I knew it wouldn’t get in my way either.  And, it hasn’t!  But what has stymied me more than anything is the IDEA that I’m not inspired by my very environment.  I paint from my photos and sketches of other places – mostly from my journeys to the South of France, or back to Scotland. 

I’ve just finished a lovely little piece from Le Pouldu, a coastal town south of here, just to prove this wrong.  I CAN be inspired, but I’ve got to travel to get to it, rather than stepping out my door.  As I look at my photos from my journeys , I realize that I literally was able to step out my door and feel inspired – I often am inspired by the view from Le Rouret,  across the city covered plains to the ocean in the distance,  or out the door in Glenfinnan  across the fields and eternal mists and rain to the hills, and feel inspired.  Yet here, in this gentle place, I am not.  I am grateful because my beloved old mare, Dancer, has settled in nicely, so the distraction and worry of my “little sister’s” difficult transition from Glenfinnan to France has gone.  However, I’m now able to focus on what is working for me and what is not. 

Le Pouldu, Brittany, 11 x 14 in., oil on board, £1,000.00

It’s never easy for an artist, to live with uncertainty; yet, it’s part and parcel of our very lives.  I had imagined being able to travel across and explore France during my time here; and I’m not able to.  I have to scramble so very hard just to keep food on my table, and petrol in my car that any thoughts of exploring further – to the Perigord (one of my dreams to see the caves at Lascaux – rather the duplicates since people are no longer able to go inside in order to protect them), a mere 4 hour drive from here; to explore other parts of the Southern French coasts, and on down to the Cote d’Azur to the rugged hills above Nice and Menton, to again live in and capture the famous Provencal light.  I am painting that light, but from my photos, from my sketches, from my memory, and at the moment under the influence of an energy saving, daylight (really???) bulb, because the best light comes into the studio in the evening, and my best work happens in the morning....  Always, always, there is the need to adjust, to work with what is in front of me!! 

Auribeau sur Siagne, 11 x 14 in., oil on board, £1,000.00

I’ve more exploring to do though.  I hear there are beautiful rose colored rocks just an hour north of here (though not the deep red of the Corniche), and I’m saving my pennies (now THAT’S a euphemism!!!  Saving – I have to just make the decision to fill the tank and not pay something else, or pay a card, and use that just paid balance to fill the tank, etc., etc.  This is the OTHER side of a very blessed and romantic life as a painter!!), and will make the journey.  Red rocks – visions of my desert home return to me, making me more homesick than ever, but inspiring nonetheless, as they meet the blue ocean. 

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