Friday, September 7, 2018

painting in Provence

I've just returned from teaching a plein air workshop in Provence, France, and I'm still jet-lagged. And, somewhat disappointed that no one brought me fresh croissants when I woke up this morning in Pennsylvania.
Mas de la Boheme in Arles, Provence, France.
Our trip was absolutely amazing. Our tour operator, Mathieu of Provence Art Experience took care of every every need and desire. We walked in the footsteps of the great French Impressionist painters, and painted the scenes and views that they made famous.
Ochre hills of Rousillon
Every day was a new adventure of painting, shopping, eating, and more.
painting the mountain behind Cezanne's studio, using the Cezanne watercolor paper from Hahnemuhle.
There was so much to see, and so much to do! I spent 10 days in Provence with my students, and could have spent 10 years. 

the Roman amphitheater in Arles at night
We stayed at Mas de la Boheme, a beautiful 18th century guesthouse nestled in the countryside just outside of Arles. Turns out, the owner and his son were members of the famous band, Gipsy Kings...


And, to top it all off, I ran into Yves-marie from Sennelier while my group and I were painting in the streets of Rousillon. We weren't even going to paint in Rousillon that day. We went there in the morning to tour the ochre sites and shop in the local market, but we loved it so much we stayed to paint in the afternoon. Yves-marie lives on the other side of the country, and had just flown in for the day to visit the exhibit of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. So it was pure serendipity that he just happened to walk by on the same street that I was painting, and recognized me. Although we have known each other for at least a decade, we had never actually met in person. Many years ago, I helped Yves-marie test and formulate the new line of watercolors for Sennelier, and we've been friends ever since.
Yves-marie Salanson of Sennelier and Annie Strack in Provence
So, I will be going back to France in 2020 to teach another plein air painting workshop with Provence Art Experience, and we will be collaborating with Sennelier to paint in the Brittany region so we can visit the factory and include Sennelier in our project.


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