Friday, June 26, 2009

Le Domaine de Rhodes

Beyond a doubt, the most amazing rooms we found on our trip were at Le Domaine de Rhodes in Avignon. It was quaintness personified. The charming Bed & Breakfast has been fully renovated by the owners, Françoise and Paco and is situated on Barthelasse island, the largest river island in Europe.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay with Françoise and Paco for three nights, enjoying warm, down-to-earth conversations each morning over breakfast. Rose petal jam? Yes please!

The grounds of the property are beautiful and meticulously cared for... but not to the point of being overdone. It had the perfect balance of natural and refined. And the rooms!

The pace was slow, relaxed and magical… the perfect time and place for some sketching!

I would return to Le Domaine De Rhodes in an instant!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Coast – New ACEOs

One of the most amazing and inspiring moments while in France was having lunch on the cliffs along the coast of the Mediterranean. The color! Oh dear the blue! Dare I say azure? The contrast of the cliffs, green hillsides, beach, sky and water were unreal. Top that off with a big ol' bottle of rosé, fresh fruit, cheese and baguette from the morning's market in Arles...

Needless to say this landscape made a huge impression on me (the rosé had nothing to do with it, I swear!). It was one of the first things I wanted to paint when I got home. I'm starting small, with some ACEOs but plan to work on some larger pieces soon. I added the first series to my shop last night.

Instead of painting the photos directly, I wanted to capture my feelings of being there. The sparkling sun, winding roads, overwhelming blue and ethereal horizon. With some whimsy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Lubéron

I'm working on several paintings at the moment, all of which are in one way or another inspired by our trip to France. The landscape of southern France, the ever-lovely Provence region (and yes, I'm a huge fan of Peter Mayle's witty books), was especially inspiring. In particular, I was taken by the Lubéron region, which is a lush, hilly green oasis in the midst of a much drier, flatter region.

I have not traditionally tackled landscapes as a subject matter, so the below sketch was challenging and done very quickly over a mineral water at an amazing hill-side overlook café.

I will share my new pieces and more photos/inspiration soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Giveaway at A Beautiful Party

One of my current favorite artists, Ann Flowers, over at A Beautiful Party is having an Etsy One-Year Anniversary Give-away! You should really go check it out and read more about the print-making graduate student.

As for which of her current pieces are my favorite, I think it's a toss-up between the following 2 pieces...

Both pieces have such amazing depth. I am partial to layering (in music and art!) and these pieces abound with rich layers of texture, color and form giving them a complexity that builds a narrative.

But, enough "artspeak"... these 2 ROCK!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sketching Paris

It has been far too long since I've had anything art-related to share, but for a good reason.

May was a whirlwind month of planning, prepping and getting ahead on design work. Why, you may ask? Well, for 2 weeks at the end of May and beginning of June, my husband and I along with his super sweet and travel-savvy parents were enjoying a journey around France.

We began in Paris where we stayed with family, (hello Caty, Frederic, Mione and Juliette!) which was wonderful. I don't want to go into too many details, but I do want to share a few photos and sketches from the journey.

I had the best intentions to sketch and paint the entire trip, but that is easier said than done when there is just SO MUCH to experience. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the sites, sounds, history, people and art... not to mention the food! I've come home inspired and ready to create.

I'll be sharing more sketches and images, thoughts and inspiration in the days ahead.

Au revoir!