The call of the countryside.

  • 6 September 2018

Autumn came. I felt the call of a more distant countryside so off to Cabrières where I know a spot away from it all on the edge of the Luberon

There, surrounded by pines, an olive grove with century-old trees awaited me. They have been cut just for me by a peasant who’s become a friend.
Salomé snapped me setting up my material.
I’m always annoyed to feel someone breathing down my neck but I agreed to her coming. She’s doing a sort of photo coverage. Sometimes we both forget why she’s there as she looks dreamily at the painting. I hope she’ll forgive me when I say “Oh Salomé! I feel you’re disturbing me!” She soon gets back to her job taking pictures.

I make a charcoal sketch for my next painting. Will it be a success ? I start to paint the sky. Salomé looks at everything with a photographer’s eye. I use my fingers to mix the right colours and she never misses the chance to snap them.

The work is coming along. I don’t think I’ve once moved my backside from the stool. The colour of the earth is a bit tricky and I find it a bit too red. But it’s a painting, not a photo ! I shouldn’t worry about that, rather think about the overall harmony. I decide to sign the painting, leaving behind me for good – at least for this one – all my research, decisions, doubts and internal struggles.
Salomé comes up with a strange idea about the picture …
The work is finished and here I am posing for posterity.
In another picture I’ll try to make the earth more yellow. But it will be different. There’s no such thing as perfection, thank goodness. And I’ll be back .

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