In a recent post I wrote about landscape painting in the Gers region of France. Here are the paintings from the rest of our summer trip. We bounced around quite a bit of the country as we had to be here and there for workshops and to work towards future exhibitions.
After the Gers, we traveled over to Bordeaux for a few days, then down to the coast between Sète and Agde for a week on the beach.
After the Gers, we traveled over to Bordeaux for a few days, then down to the coast between Sète and Agde for a week on the beach. Next we had to head up north for a workshop near Laon, so we stopped for a few days in the Loire Valley.
In Laon we had a workshop, so I didn’t get much of my own work done. We were on a beautiful property though, so I tried to paint as often as I could.
After Laon we had a couple of days to kill so we headed over to Normandy to paint in Honfleur. I’m always trying to find places where my favorite artists worked, and Boudin, Seago, Jongkind and Monet (among others) all painted in and around the small port there.
From Normandy we drove back down to the Dordogne, to paint local scenes for the V&A gallery in Sarlat-la-Canéda.
These are most of the paintings but the full summer’s oeuvre was posted at the time to my Instagram account.
Overall it was a great trip. The painting locations across France are varied and stunning, the food was amazing, and the people were wonderful and welcoming. We’ll be back again in the summer of 2020 as we have an exhibition and a couple of workshops.
The English painter Edward Seago did some of his best paintings there of the Thames barges. Since I spend a lot of time talking to other plein air painters, and Seago is seen as one of the best plein air painters of the 20th century, I assumed everyone in England had heard of Pin Mill, and that it was something of an English Giverny. So I was surprised when I called my studio painter friends in England to brag about going to paint at Pin Mill and no one had heard of the place. Then, at the B&B where I stayed up the road, they had never heard of Edward Seago.
Grey Morning, Pin Mill. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.
The place should be more well-known. It is one of the more picturesque quarter miles anywhere in the world. The Thames sailing barges that Seago painted are still there, and often have their sails up still.
Unfortunately, when we were there the barges were all up at the nearby town of Woodbridge for a maritime weekend. We drove there to try to paint them on the last day, but they had just left to go back to Pin Mill.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, (though I did have the text checked by my lawyers).
In the ‘Blossoms’ post below I had wanted to add my favorite example, Primavera by Adolfo Tommasi in the Galleria di Arte Moderna in Florence. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a decent image online. The Italian Culture website has a small, terrible image of the painting with watermarks all over it from a private company which controls the image databases of Italian museums. It begs the question: Who is this for? The tagline on the government website is ‘a patrimony to explore’, and in the charter of most museums there is something about their job being to disseminate the works to the public. But the online images are often small, cropped, and covered with watermarks, rendering them all but useless except as ads for the database company. For important paintings, a quick Google-search produces high-resolution images in abundance, but for lesser-know paintings there is no way to get an image from an Italian museum online. I contacted the archive company representing the museum’s collection, Scala Archives, but they want €120 for a 600 pixel, 72dpi blog-ready digital image.
It got me wondering though: Who owns this image?
Adolfo Tommasi died in 1933, so the painting is in the public domain. Yet in this case, and in museum collections worldwide, archiving services such as Scala have photographed the work, and now claim a new copyright exists on the photograph of the painting.