For those who are unsure of what one does on an artist residency, imagine yourself being invited to spend time in an unfamiliar environment where most of the usual mundane demands of your regular life are momentarily suspended so that you can pursue what is closest to your heart. My current artist residency in the town of Hyeres in France’s gorgeous Provence district has allowed me to explore, experiment and reflect. The hope is that the experience will filter through into my art in unexpected ways. Like the new mixed media work (above) inspired by the appearance of France’s tri-color flags in a lead-up to Bastille Day, France’s National Day.
I have also been inspired to paint small format portraits of some of the locals – I find French men have a lot more character in their faces than their American counterparts.
It’s also obvious that the region’s vibrant colors have radically changed my palette. How could they not…
The local artists are very laid back and mostly very friendly (speaking French does have its advantages!). Yesterday I was invited to a charming two-person show in a vine-covered courtyard garden. The two artists complimented each other very well.
JEANNE-MARIE YOU primarily paints vibrant and expressive gouache scenes en plein air (on site outdoors) and creates infinitely diverse and delightful greeting cards.
TONY FONTANA paints lush stylized paintings of Provence. He has a very unique style and a palette that captures the light in this region.
I hope to continue making breakthroughs in my work. The wonderful fresh produce and cheeses will keep me going. And the occasional pain au raisin thrown in for good measure, of course.