Painting Blog > Painting > Provence Paintings

Provence Paintings

Originally posted on April, 13, 2009

"Walk to the Ventoux" oil on mat board, 20cm x 16cm, 2009
"Walk to the Ventoux" oil on mat board specifically prepared for oil, 20cm x 16cm, 2009

With the explosion of visual images over the last one hundred and fifty years it is as if our brains moved from the cortex to the receptors in our eyes. Like it or not the holographic reality that we live in is created visually. From cradle to grave we are nurtured in a way so seductive we gladly give our all to it. Long live the zietgeist!

I can remember clearly as a young boy the time and place this state of affairs became evident to me. This occurred in a very personal and intimate way. It changed my life and I have not been the same since. I was 4 months past my 13th birthday. Certain areas in Provence around Mount Ventoux trigger the emotions associated with this understanding. It is a very comfortable mental place for me. As I get a better grasp of its meaning I become even more comfortable. And so it goes.

My apologies for the rather ecliptic manner of expressing these thoughts; it is unfortunate that in this area our limitations in verbal expression become most acute. Visually I’m slowly approaching these feelings, very slowly. Expressing this in terms of paint will no doubt involve much work and certainly some grace from the powers that be. Please wish me well.

Each year in March, my wife Françoise and I head south. The last three years we went to Picasso country on the Midi. Going and coming there we would stop for a couple of days close to the Mount Ventoux. This year we spent 3 weeks there. Even though the weather could have been more cooperative I came back with a lot small paintings, sketches and photographs which will help me develop some themes I have begun working on. I have found that for me it takes a long time before I do a good work motivated by a particular area. (It is just like that for me, but this is a subject for another time.) In the coming weeks I’ll share some of the paintings. The one shown here is quite small. I have found that if you are going to stretch your creativity one of the best way to do it is to work either much smaller or larger than your normal “comfortable? sizes. It forces you to both look and work differently. For me it is all about finding that fine edge between reflection and experience. As we better understand the relationship between things we understand that our painting has little to do with these things. It is about relationships.

Published in french as Peintures de Provence

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