A painting between contractors- St. Cirq La Popie, France

Well, I've stopped fooling myself that I'm going to get away any time soon to work on larger oil paintings. Setting these kinds of impossible goals when we've scheduled back to back contractors for the new studio (painters, hvac, electrician/lighting) just sets me up for frustration. So the last time I stopped by my temporary painting space, I grabbed my watercolors and a few drawing supplies for a little painting at the "kitchen table studio". It's been some time since I've done any watercolor work, so it took me a while to get a feel for it.  But it sure is nice to focus on something other than lighting fixtures, and the great thing about these kinds of pieces is that I can always later develop these compositions into larger oil paintings down the road:

France landscape painting St. Cirq La Popie

"Private Garden, St. Cirq Lapopie" 9x12", Watercolor and Conte Crayon


I had the thrill of driving to the beautiful village of St. Cirq Lapopie (St. Cirq is pronounced something like "San Seer") at the tail end of my trip earlier this year to the Lot and Dordogne in southwestern France. It was a thrill because it was a breathtakingly beautiful location; but as well because my rental car felt not that much bigger (or safer) than a tin can, and  the winding road that leads to the village hugs the cliffside that drops a few hundred feet to the Lot River below. This is a view of the village from the overlook near the parking lot:

St. Cirq Lapopie 

Even though the hike down the near-shoulderless road was also treacherous, I'd have to say it was all well worth the risk. It's a touristed village,  but with good reason. Wonderfully preserved 13th to 16th century Quercy buildings with pitched rooves line narrow streets overflowing with flowers.  Perched high above the ambling Lot river, its "picture-book prettiness" has earned it the well deserved designation of one of France's most beautiful villages. To be sure, I'll be posting more paintings of this village (watercolors and eventually oils) in the days ahead.