Wednesday, March 11, 2015

AHA Blog Talk Radio session by Sharon Lynn Williams

"French Countryside", 12 x 12" plein air oil painting
$575 beautifully framed

I am about to relive my trip to France in June of last year - Please join me on Artists Helping Artists Blog Talk Radio (AHA Radio) as my travelling buddy Brenda Pinnick and I recount our wild adventures heading off into the French countryside looking for adventure and wonderful painting spots. We will cover what it takes to 'just do it', what to take, what to do, and how to do it. Heading off on an adventure with someone you have only met online, to places you have never been, in a foreign country, with only a cursory knowledge of the language -some might say crazy, but we say 'what a ride!'

Above is the first painting I did on our 3 day trip, just outside Toulouse. We each painted facing in different directions, which was what we tended to do. Great that we could find places that inspired both of us!

I thought I would share some of my paintings from that journey as well as some photos I took along the way, just to whet your appetite to jump in and do it yourself.

Driving around in a rented car with a stick shift (I hadn't driven one in 30 years) with one eye on the GPS and the other on the surrounding gorgeous landscape was an adventure in itself. As soon as we spied something paint worthy, I would slam on the brakes and find a way to get to a spot we could park the car and set up. Once Brenda freed her fingernails from the dash, we jumped at the chance to capture the wonderful French light for posterity. This is me with my set-up.

And, you guessed it, this is Brenda. Did I mention that there are no shoulders on the back roads in France? So we parked the car in some precarious places. You should have seen the look on the faces of drivers passing by!

"Just Around The Corner", 12 x 12" plein air oil
$575 beautifully framed

This is the scene I was painting in the photo above, taken as I was completing the underpainting.

When we planned this adventure I just picked a central place that was equidistant from Albi (home of the Toulouse museum) and other places that I had heard were interesting sites. I chose a small hotel in a small town called Castres, and had very small expections. You can imagine our delighted surprise when the GPS led us onto old cobblestone streets leading to our hotel, with this view! I didn't then know that Castres is called the Venice of France, with good reason. Our hotel was wonderful as was the town, and we felt very safe wandering the streets at night.

I could have taken a thousand photos just like this one! We both have impressive stashes of paintable photos that would last a lifetime,  IF we never went out another day in our lives.

I had to show you my set-up from the front - palette by Open Box M, umbrella by Best Brella, carbon fibre tripod by Benro, breathable nitrile gloves (Atlas Nitrile Touch 370S -the BEST gloves for painting IMHO) and painting shirt from my hubby!

"Ferrieres, France", 12 x 12" plein air oil

This was painted on our last painting day of the trip, a small town in the middle of a VERY hilly circle tour we were on at the recommendation of our hotellier. Now I know why the French are very good at racecar driving on narrow twisty and steep roads!

On our last night in Castres we splurged for a special dinner at a wonderful little restaurant. The presentation of the meal was art in itself and the taste was even better. And the wine...

So many wonderful memories! Be sure to tune in to hear the show which will be archived at the link above to hear more with the lovely Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry, the hosts of the show.


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Marcela Strasdas said...

Love what you did, heading over to the AHA show right now to hear your adventures! Good for you!

Diane Klettke said...

You need a "like" button. I like this.

Susan Richardson said...

I so enjoyed listening to your interview on AHA, thank you so much for sharing it. I enjoyed reading your blog post and have added you to my list on feedly. I am looking forward to seeing more of your work.

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Thank you Marcela and Susan for looking at my blog, and for listening to the interview! Welcome

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Dianne: there is a Google plus like button at the bottom of the post! And thank you for liking it๐Ÿ˜˜

Carol Josefiak said...

Thank you for sharing your adventure in France. I loved your comments about the painting and the food. The tips were great.

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment Carol!

Jan J. said...

I found one of your paintings on Pinterest and am so enjoying your blog and your work! I have never Plein Air painted, and this has inspired me to get around to it! Such a beautiful place.