Wednesday, May 25, 2011

French Escapade, Roussillon

Roussillon's ochre mines are famous the world over. No longer operating, they are now a tourist attraction bringing a boost to the local economy. The locals discovered that ocher, a blend of iron, sand and chalk, makes a permanent paint (think French cave paintings) and that was the beginning of mining here. They also used the ochre to paint their village creating a lovely "red" village loved by all who visit here.

This could be an abstract painting.

Bonnie and Linda stayed in the village while the rest of us took a trail through what was once the mine. It kind of reminds me of Bryce Canyon accept the shapes are man made instead of natural.

Here is the village of Roussillon. When the walls are in direct sun they look more of a greyish pink but in the shade they appear more redish. The last time I visited Roussillon was a couple of days after Katrina hit the US, with Sunny Reeves and her painting trip with instructor Susan Blackwood. I remember because a nice lady came out of her shop to inquire if we had families in New Orleans and were they all right, when she heard us speaking American accented English.
It rained that day and the entire village changed color, when the ochre paint gets wet it turned a much deeper red. No rain today, Jackie ordered up another perfectly sunny day.

Linda sitting looks so serious in this shot.

The other Linda and Margret perched on this narrow stairway up to the bell tower to paint. Many people snapped photos of them, but the interesting part was that most of the would be photographers asked for permission to take their picture in French. Even an American lady asked in French.

This lovely arched window was the subject of Linda's painting.

The last time I photographed this window it was raining, look at the lovely sun and shadows today.

Tourists come in all sizes and shapes, and in various states of dress and undress!

Love this tiny window in the stone wall.

Spandex reigns...everywhere we go we see people touring Provence on bicycles. These guys spoke English with a strong British accent.

old door, new lock

A quick watercolor sketch in my journal while enjoying a cold .drink and glace' under the shade of a cafe umbrella. The best part was the mister that came on every couple of minutes. Feels more like July in Provence than May.

Just another lovely day creating watercolor sketches in our journals.

1 comment:

Marleen said...

The Ochre steps photo is fabulous, love the snake-like dance it does up the hill. Waiting for the study of the bread and jam still life. Sunny days for warm, wonderful painting. Enjoy.