Sunday, July 15, 2018

Aprés Vacances

The Road to Soumensac. 12x16 oil

It's been a long while with no posts, and no painting, either.  Blame it on the vacation to Greece and the south of France.  The above painting is my first attempt since returning.  The view is from the property of my friends where we stayed for a couple of weeks, waking each morning to a glorious pastoral view of 180 degrees which will fuel some efforts over the coming weeks.  The group of buildings on the right is Les Boissieres, a working farm and vineyard that is the only close neighbor.

Our trip began in Athens, with the requisite visits to the Parthenon and museum.  But we did manage to head to the beach north of Athens for dinner with a cousin.

Then we were off to Zakynthos, an island in the Ionian Sea south of Corfu.  There were the classic postcard images, like this one below:

But my preference was for the quiet interior, undisturbed by the tourists who stuck close to the beaches.  The vast groves of olive trees (1.8 million on this island), the cicadas, the sleepy villages were all more foreign to our American eyes than were the crowds of Brits swarming the tavernas.

After flying to Bordeaux, we rented our car and drove due east to the Lot et Garonne, where our good friends have lived for the past seventeen years.  The visit centered on the social, the family connections, the cooking and eating and drinking, but the landscape was like yet another welcoming friend: it is perhaps my most favorite landscape in the world, with rolling hills of vineyards and wheat fields, small woods harboring wild boar, old hamlets with ancient churches, and narrow roads ideal for wandering.

My family stayed in the guest house of our hosts, and rose each morning to breakfast on the terrace overlooking this view:

Now that we are back, my intention is to get caught up on household and business issues quickly and then keep those brushes wet.

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