Because this web site is being set up before the
Itinerant Artist Project starts, the travel art section currently
features a sampling of work I did during an itinerancy trial run last
fall. In scale and treatment, the paintings shown are similar to
work I expect to do during my travels through the US this year.
I went back to southern France after 18 years away
to visit the family I had lived with for a college term abroad--and to
re-acquaint myself with the landscape north of Arles.
The Roullets live in the town of Fontvieille. The nearby hills are full of olive groves, cypress rows and
scrub growth. In many
places, wild herbs, such as rosemary and lavender, sparsely cover the
ground, giving off a wonderful fragrance when
"The Dancing Tree" is a view from the
Roullet's side porch. It is
painted on a panel primed with black gesso, a ground I often prefer to
The view of Arles is from the road that leads into
town from Fontvieille. Looking
over rice fields and hedgerows toward Arles, I made a quick ballpoint
pen sketch then painted the scene to the best of my recollection later
in the day. I often work
from memory: it simplifies
things, sometimes distills a mood effectively and is sometimes
necessary. The final
sunset, for example, is a scene from my last walk of my visit.
The hills sheltered hordes of mosquitoes that came out when the
wind and light were low. They
were so bad I couldn't even finish a 15-second sketch on location...
1. The Dancing Tree, 1999, oil on panel (black gesso), 5" x
2. View of Arles, 1999, oil on panel, 5" x 8",
3. San Gabriel Chapel, 1999, pencil sketch, 6" x 10"
4. Ground Plants, 1999, journal sketch detail (ballpoint pen)
5. Farewell to Provence, 1999, oil on panel, 5" x 8",