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Thursday, March 9, 2017

French Village - around the Church

The Rectory, 20x16, oil on panel
We were doing a river cruise of our own making along the Yonne River in Burgundy, France. The Yonne River has locks. We had rented a small yacht that slept 8 for this river trip. One day we got behind schedule and knew we  would miss the last lock of our day. (The lock keepers are government employees and having lived in France as children, my sister and I knew that the locks would close down on time, if not earlier!) Instead of risking it, we 'docked' in a small village called Gurgy sur l'Yonne. We only spent one night there but I have painted now at least 4 paintings from that pit stop I was so taken by it. We had River Fog that night; there was a dinghy docked in front of us; the town was so quaint, as if time had passed it by. I know most people will not relate to this subject but it is so the France of my youth.

I started this piece close to 9 years ago. It is a simple subject but it has been hard for me to get it to a place I liked. I never thought it 'bad' just not as interesting as I would have preferred. When my husband walked into my studio the other day and exclaimed what a cool painting, I knew I had finally arrived. He has never been to France and so the painting was liked for itself and not his relation to it as he had none!

Why was it so hard to make interesting? Trying to get the brownish grey stucco of the buildings to be more than than just that; I kept trying to think of how to layer and what to layer to make it more of itself. There are so many layers on this painting now the stucco looks real enough.

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