Some days ago I published a first travel diary about my last painting trip in the Pyrenees. I will go on today with the first real painting session I had there, painting in Saint Bertrand de Comminges. As I wrote in my first post, my original intention was to paint the Pyrenees around Tarbes, but life decided otherwise, I had many other things to do and also the weather was bad. When we finally left Tarbes, I had only a few days to enjoy in the region, but slowly heading back to Spain where I had a business appointment. Firstly, we decided to drive South-Easterly, through the Haute-Garonne and the Ariège, and we would cross the border later that week in Andorra.
So, here we go, eventually! After a beautiful, sunny drive through the wonderful Pyreneean countryside, with the mountains in the background, we arrived in the late afternoon to the French town called Saint Bertrand de Comminges.
Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“The Most Beautiful Villages of France”) association. It is also historically an important place and became used by pilgrims as a stage on the route to Santiago de Compostela. I had never been before, but I was full of touristic trepidation, expecting wall to wall people and no room or authorization to park the “Boomobile”, our atelier and music studio on wheels. But oh quelle surprise, there was an immense, nearly empty parking at the foot of the upper town, with a majestic view to the monastery and landscapes around. No local 5 star hotel could have a better view!
I was so amazed: I mean, that town is such a tourist attraction, and nobody was there! And the sun was even shining! We were wondering if this was a clue to the financial crisis in Europe.. we see so many clues to that crisis when we travel around, and in such different ways, depending on the countries. It is is not always in your face, but when you start seeing and understanding it, it is really painful…
Anyway, it was quite late as we arrived there and we decided to relax for the rest of the day, and start exploring the town and the surroundings on the next day. I got my paints, brushes and papers out, mounted my painting table by the Boomobile and started sketching. Such a delight again!
Remember, it was already the second half of September, and autumn had already started in this region, with its gorgeous stains of yellows and browns and reds and oranges everywhere in the trees! Leaving in my Andalusian desert, I hardly know anymore what autumn is, and honestly, I am missing it. Missing not only all these warm flamboyant colours, but also the nostalgia they spread. But even more honestly: I wouldn’t change for what happened in the night and the next day: tons of water was falling from the skies! Meaning that all our plans had to be cancelled, and we just succeeded in having a walk up the hill to the upper town and around, getting back to the Boomobile totally rain-soaked through.
We both hate umbrellas… Kevin says: they do not look rock’n roll! Nevertheless: I wished we had one that day! Having said that, we saw a shop in the town, an umbrella makers! We probably missed the occasion to get a rock’n roll umbrella. In fact I just had a look on the net and found the website of the umbrellas factory: they might not be rock’n roll, but I wouldn’t mind having one of them, they do look fantastic, and what a great idea for a special gift! I wonder if Monsieur François would be so gracious to send me a free umbrella for the great advertising I am doing for him here? If so, I choose the one with the newspapers printed on it, probably the red, unisex, folding one. 🙂 Now I really wished I had entered that shop that day and bought it: with such an umbrella, even rain is fun.
Anyway I found some places to partly protect myself from the rain in the town and managed doing some very fast townscapes, with ink or pencil outlines, adding the colours later in the Boomobile.
By the way, back in the Boomobile, I painted an “Impression” of Saint-Bertrand de Comminges. This is an exercise I sometimes do to exercise my memory and my loose hand. I just try to visualise in front of my inner eye what I have seen and translate it into a painting. For viewers it might have nothing to do with the subject itself, but somehow, for me, it must have, and it is certainly the best way to reproduce the subjective impression of a town. So here it is.
Probably meant to represent rain and sun at the same time, the rain for the reality, the sun for the wishes… and no idea what the big rain stain on the left side is… a fallen umbrella perhaps? Or thrown away by the people walking down the street and hurrying to M. Francois ‘s shop? Any interpretation is welcome!
I will go on in my next post with some more words and pictures about painting in Saint Bertrand de Comminges, with, in particular, a lovely painting of a shepherd under his umbrella….
These land- and townscapes, as well as many others from France, are currently available as Giclee prints in different dimensions, on paper,canvas and metal, as well as greeting cards. Just click on the painting above to access my shop online.
The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.
I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.
Poster Price: 50 euros.
They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.
(the price does not include packing&shipping)