Shifting Light on the Dordogne

New painting:

  "Shifting Light on the Dordogne" Oil on Linen, 30x40"   ©Jennifer Young

"Shifting Light on the Dordogne" Oil on Linen, 30x40"  ©Jennifer Young

One of the remarkable features about the landscape in this corner of France was the dramatic way the light would shift. You could be driving in a valley covered by enormous, low-lying clouds, and drive over a hill to the next valley filled with brilliant sunshine. If I had to describe in one word the weather of this region (at least in the spring when I was there) it would be "changeable." You basically had to dress in layers ("Wear fleece" was the prudent advice), and be prepared for fog, chill, rain and blazing sun, often throughout the course of one morning.

It could be quite a challenge for the plein air painter, but it did make for some amazing skies and cloud shadows--kind of like the things you see in a nature film that uses time-lapse photography. This is what I was trying to capture in this birds-eye view painting looking down on the Dordogne river and valley. It is one of several stunning vistas I saw from the top of the Chateau de Beynac.