Hello Friends, I’m back from France and have just downloaded my pictures of the country and the Pastels en Perigord Salon. When we drove into town, we found that the streets were festooned with rows of plastic flowers everywhere! Really amazing. It had to do with a 50 year celebration of l’Occitane. But there were also banners for the show and an upcoming music festival this weekend. It’s a small town but quite amazing. We arrived last Friday night as they were finishing with the show hanging. Philippe Caillat (aka Pastels Philippe) is the person who seems to manage it all. He had created a small scale model of the show and had attached small versions of the paintings to each wall in the model. Sorry I didn’t get an image of this! The show is a maze of white walls. Each artist has 3 paintings and each painting has a light above it. The glass is a real problem, however, particularly for pictures. When they were done we all went behind one of the walls and feasted on melon with prosciutto, pate and bread, pizzas, cheeses, and ice cream bars, washed down with a sweet strawberry wine! Quite French.
The quality of the show is very high, from the featured artist–Tony Allain of Cornwall–to the jurors and other invited artists. The juried artists were also very good and I was pleased with our selections. There were many different styles, from the very loose and gestural, to the very tight and realistic. I think my two favorites were Tony Allain (gestural) and Aurelio Rodriguez (amazingly realistic!). I will include a selection of paintings from the show in this post and will include Aurelio’s Sunday morning demo in the next.
As a landscape painter who loves France, I was surprised at how few landscapes there were of the French countryside. Having just looked at my 560+ photos and seeing MANY possibilities, I’m amazed that the French artists don’t do more with it. I guess the Impressionists did it all??? Still …
So here are some of the paintings. The Achard is very loose, the Gaben-Laurie is left unfinished (ignore the light spots from the glass!) and the Rodriguez is hyper-realism! I could never do that plastic wrap!!! But I decided that if I wanted to be more like anyone in the show it would probably be Allain. I loved the way he was able to put in a bright piece of orange to say light on a roof, and a few pieces of white for the clothes on the line. His strokes are perfect.
After the “vernisage” (opening) many of the artists, jurors, and their spouses all went to Aubeterre sur Dronne for dinner outside under the stars. John and I quickly got a table, which became the anglophon table! We had Irish, English, and Americans all able to converse. It was quite lovely.