Postcard from Provence

Provence

“Postcard from Provence”, Linda Beach, pastel 11.5×15.5

The Red Valerian plants caught my attention as I looked out over the view from the ruins of the chateau at Chateauneuf-du Pape in Provence. This painting is my first of the new year and decade. When I observed this scene last spring, and saw the red shutters and the red or rose flowers of the foreground, I knew that I must paint the image. I like the contrast of red and green which are complimentary colors. The arrangement of tile roofs as they go off in the distance towards the Rhone River also added interest.

Artist notes:
Sennelier La Carte card with various pastels (Rembrandt, Sennelier, Terry Ludwig, Unison), and Conte pastel pencils.

I Brake For Sheep

Sheep (detail), watercolor

Sheep (detail), watercolor

On the road to the iconic Mont- St.- Michel, the island monastery off the coast of Normandy , the traffic came to an abrupt halt while we were on a family trip a few years ago.  We got out of our rental car as we saw others exiting the tour buses.  To our surprise it was not a car accident, but a flock of muddy sheep strolling across the ridge of the causeway to the abundant grazing land on the far side.

The moment that I saw the image in the camera, I knew that it was to be a future painting.  I did a study for a more detailed watercolor on an 11x 15 sheet of Arches paper.  I can see that the composition would be improved if I raise the horizon to the top third of the paper.  Also, I plan to add more details to the foreground puddles of water.  The water could also be improved by saving the lighter values for highlights. The color and the mist didn’t photograph well, but will also be strengthened. The sheep which are the main focus, could also be improved with attention to the details of the legs and facial features. Additional sheep on the right will also be included in the final painting. Can you tell that I am fond of sheep?

Sheep at Mont-St.- Michel, watercolor, 11x15( study)

Sheep at Mont-St.- Michel, watercolor, 11×15,(study)