Escape to Provence! A Step by Step Demo

Over Christmas break as everything was pretty brown and exceedingly soggy outside, I decided to mine my many photos of sunnier times from my trips abroad. I will never forget my trip to Lourmarin, painting and eating my way through this beautiful part of Provence. I still long to go back, and am determined to do so, hopefully this time sharing it’s magic with my daughter. In the meantime I can always revisit the experience through paintings. So let’s get started, shall we?

“Le Printemps, Temple de Lourmarin”, Oil on linen, 24x30” ©Jennifer E Young

“Le Printemps, Temple de Lourmarin”, Oil on linen, 24x30” ©Jennifer E Young

Above is the completed work, photographed outside for correct color and no glare! This Protestant Church, Le Temple de Lourmarin, is simple and austere on the inside but it has a wonderful exterior and adds a sense of history and tradition as it sits like a sentry at the edge of town. Click through on the final image to read more or purchase this piece.

Come on Spring!

Okay, enough of winter already. I don't know about you but my winter was totally nuts. Not that spring will be less nuts but at least they will be warm ;-). Family matters have kept me from doing much painting, but here and there I have worked on this 14x18" piece, revisiting a familiar theme and experimenting with brushwork and soft edges:

"Papaveri, Val d'Orcia" Oil on linen, 14x18" ©  Jennifer E Young

"Papaveri, Val d'Orcia" Oil on linen, 14x18" © Jennifer E Young

Southern France W.I.P. resurrected

It has been 4 months since my last confession-er,  post. I realize my blogging has been extremely spotty over the past year or so, and I think it is time to 'fess up about the reason for my silence before getting to my work-in-progress. Longtime readers may recall my mention before of, in the midst of being a new mother, my struggle with some health issues. Well it got worse before it started getting better, and these two major life challenges has meant the painting has had to take a back seat. In a nutshell, I developed an autoimmune condition after the birth of my L.O., and one of the main (and most debilitating) symptoms has been chronic insomnia. Now you'd think that with insomnia I might as well get up and out to the studio and do some painting! But it hasn't worked out that way because along with the insomnia came some pretty significant muscle pain and (not surprisingly) extreme fatigue. Before motherhood, I was able to maintain a fairly steady process of work and productivity. Certainly some days were more productive than others, but overall I took my painting life seriously and showed up to work whether "the inspiration hit" or not. I still take my painting life seriously, but my recent life and health changes have thrown me for a loop. I have seen some improvement lately, so I remain optimistic that I can get this all sorted out. But it seems to be two steps forward and one step back.

Mundane tasks are manageable, but creative work simply does not happen for me on 3-4 hours (or less) of sleep for months on end; particularly when I am also taking care of a toddler. Contrary to what a lot of people think, painting is as much an intellectual process as it is an emotional one (perhaps even moreso) and it requires a lot of brain power, focus, and concentration. With plein air painting, where the concerted effort is even more heightened, there is the added need for a good deal of physical stamina as well. So if you happen to see me post a plein air painting here on the blog, you can assume that I must've been blessed with the miracle of a few good night's sleep beforehand! Okay, so enough of the old lady talk.

This painting, the very beginnings of which I wrote about in my prior post, in (ahem!) late December, is finished. Quite a bit different from the plein air study I based this on, but the study was still a good reference for the light, and helped bring back the experience of being there. Click on the image for more info:

"Path to St. Germain du Bel Air", oil on linen, 24x30" (SOLS) ©Jennifer Young

"Path to St. Germain du Bel Air", oil on linen, 24x30" (SOLS) ©Jennifer Young