Another plein air from France; Market Day in Cahors

It's hard to single out just one favorite day from this French plein air painting trip, but at the top of the list was a visit to the large open air market in the town of Cahors.

drawing sketch of french market

This town had a fabulous "true" market, not overrun with souvenir vendors hawking chatchkeys. There were linens and other household items (table cloths and such--I indulged in a couple of these!) But this market, while lively and bustling (and quite extensive) was largely there to service the residents of the city. The air was full of all kinds of armoas from the display carts of  meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, veggies oils, soaps and herbs. And oh the flowers!

Being a fool for color, I set up in front of a vibrant flower stand set against the backdrop of a lovely old church. We only had about an hour once we set up and started painting, so I just tried as best I could to put down notes of color and value patterns as I saw them. By the time we had to pack up to leave, I'd gotten much of the work done. Here it is, nearly finished, once I got back to the studio:

french flower market plein air painting "The Flower Stand, Cahors Market, (France)" Oil on Multimedia ArtBoard


I will work on this just a little more, perhaps to resolve the group of buildings to the right (perhaps!) Surprisingly the most difficult part of this painting for me was the little dog (lower right). I'm not sure why, but he kept turning out looking like a furry blonde pig, so I may try to adjust him somewhat as well. Meanwhile, contact me if you have an interest in knowing more about this piece.

Like the first painting I posted from this little travel log, this was another challenging scene to paint, not only because of the complicated and constantly moving subject matter, but because folks really wanted to chat. Again, we as a group attracted many onlookers and inquisitors. It's always hard to talk, focus, think and paint at the same time, but to do that while also struggling to communicate intelligently with my schoolgirl French doubled the challenge!

Any way, it was fun. And while I may not have been able to finish this painting on site, the experience of talking and laughing with these lovely people while they welcomed us graciously and appreciated our paintings more than made up for that. It was another wonderful memory that was well worth the trade-off.