Painting in Tarascon and Ussat

 In my last entry in this diary I was writing about a painting day in Saint-Lizier. Our next destination on our trip back home to Spain through Andorra was planned to be the famous town of Foix, but as we crossed it, we were unable to find a place to park. We went on and on, so far that eventually we were far away from Foix and we both didn’t fancy going back and searching again. I was very frustrated, I must admit, as what I had seen from the town was fabulous, and I really wanted to paint it. Well, this will be for another time…

So we drove a little bit further and arrived to Tarascon sur Ariège, which we found nice enough to have a stop , sketch a little bit and spend the night.

We parked the Boomobile in a nice place along the river and rode to the town.  Tarascon is formed by the union of the lower city – at the confluence of the Ariège and Vicdessos – and an upper town, once fortified, which leans against a hill surmounted by a tower. So of course we had to leave the bikes at the bottom, as, even worse for me than to climb a hill on a bike, is pulling a bike up the hill. Being quite small, it is not really easy…

I remember an incredibly lovely and very old lady, in the centre of the upper town. As I was drinking water from the fountain in the middle of the square, she called me and explained to me with many smiles where everything was to look at, and how to go there. She really made my day, and I thought how much I wished to be like her when I am really old, all smiley and open to everything new.

Next morning first thing, the sun was so beautifully shining and the region seem so lovely that we decided to have a little bike ride before heading to Spain. We originally wanted to follow the path along the river, being quite sure there wouldn’t be hills to go up. I don’t like hills  when I am on my bike. Not that I am lazy, in fact I do love physical challenge and efforts, and I am quite fit, but there  is something about climbing a hill on a bike which seems to be too hard for my little heart. Anyway somehow we lost the river and the path and ended climbing up a hill to the little town of Ussat.

We stopped a little while there, the time used for me to rest from the climbing effort, and to make some pencil sketches in my watercolour travel pad. As usual I would add the colours later on in the Boomobile, somehow trying to remember how it looked like there but most likely letting myself be carried away from realistic colours!

Looking at these two paintings, I would say that my taste that day was quite pinky… I doubt the house there were really pink, but does it really matter? It looks nice to me!

We then left the town, rolling down the hill, towards the lower part of Ussat, called Ussat-Les-Bains. A nice place with amazingly much activity. Curious, I just had a little look about it in the Wikipedia

“…From 1771 , Ornolac Ussat-Les-Bains is known for its beneficial water sources. But it is the Baron Louis de Ornolac fraxin develops thermal activity in Ussat-les-Bains. Great personalities will visit Ussat to cures the King of Holland, Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon 1st and the poet Lamartine.

In 1845, Ussat-les-Bains know a large crowd and the Great Baths classified today become a very busy place. The baths are the property of the Hospices de Pamiers until 1982 . Today, private owners try to revive the thermal activity…”

I wished I had known all that when I was there, I certainly would have felt emotional about it…

Anyway, we rode a little bit further away, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and finally rode back home along the river. We then had a well-deserved milk coffee in the Boomobile, and then we had to leave, this time seriously heading toward Andorra without any more stops between.

These land- and townscapes from Tarascon and Ussat, 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)


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