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Thursday
Aug112011

40 in France

This year I turned 40, and to celebrate I planned a month of landscape painting in France, something I have wanted to do since I first visited France at age 16. I chose the Dordogne region in the south-west of France because of it’s reputation for beautiful, varied landscape: rolling green hills, cliff towns, winding rivers, forests, and most important…… castles!!

Chateau Feyrac, 9x12, oil on paper

We rented a house in the gorgeous little town of Beynac-et-Cazenac, which is a network of steep cobblestoned streets and adorable stone houses crowned with a 12th century castle at the top.

Veiw of Chateau Beynac from the Dordogne, 9x12, oil in paper

I decided to paint on paper for a portable, lightweight material perfect for plein air sketches. Before the trip I cut sheets of Rives BFK printing paper in various tones into standard sizes, mostly 5x7 and 9x12. Then I primed the paper with 2 coats of Golden Acrylic Medium. Each day I just taped a piece of paper to a foamcore backing and mounted it on my Open Box M setup. It was a wonderful surface to paint on!

See my previous blog post post describing my plein air setup

As it turned out, it ended up raining for 2 of the 4 weeks we were in Beynac, so I did not get to paint nearly as much as I’d planned. But instead we hung out with visiting friends and family who shared our rental house and rented other houses in the same village.

Chateau Castelnaud, 9x12, oil on paperAt the very end of the trip the rain cleared and I got one last painting day in. I found a beautiful quiet spot next to a field of corn with a view of neighboring Chateau Castelnaud. The day was warm and lazy, and the #1 BEST thing about painting in France is….. NO MOSQUITOS!!!!

To see all of my paintings from France this summer:

Picasa Google+ Album: France Plein Air 2011

Facebook Album: France Plein Air 2011

See my photos of Paris, Beynac, and the Dirdgne region of France:

Facebook Album: Artsy Shots of France 2011

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Reader Comments (8)

very beautifull painting!
C'est beau la France!

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Champelovier

Sadie,
These paintings are beautiful! I love the loose, painterly quality, but most of all the sense of being there.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Commette

Wonderful work and bon anniversaire....love the blue hues to the river. You've done spectaculary in landscapes!

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNINA

Happy birthday Sadie! I really admire your artwork and paintings. It's really inspirational. These plein air sketches are amazing! I love them!

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjd minchen

Art painting is an art that how u design and how it looks like really its really wonderful work and you done it perfectly
i appreciate your work....

August 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHouse Painting Toronto

Looks like a great present to give to yourself! Thanks for sharing the process and the results, which are beautiful.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark Heng

Oh my goodness Sadie...these are stunning works! I love them all...your plein air style is breathtaking. Will you be selling any of these or are they for your personal collection?

Also, I apologize for the rain...so unusual for July. I'm sure the locals told you that though...it's inexplicable! I feel like weather in general is fickle. Here in Seattle our Summer began mid-July and ended this past Monday. Six weeks of sun and the rest rain? No thanks.

What a breath of fresh air this post was! Thank you for sharing Sadie.

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

A wonderful birthday present - going to France! I envy you a little bit. It's been my wish to go there since forever.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
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