This painting was featured at the “Direct from France” Solo Exhibition at Hagen Fine Art in Charleston, SC, USA on May 5th from 5-8 pm.
We purchased our new/old (1843) mas, or farmhouse, in April of 2015. And, even two months before, I couldn’t keep my hands out of the garden. With permission from the previous owners, I started designing, planting, pruning and movin’ and grovin’ three months before we actually owned the place.
Don would tell you I became obsessed. As I would head over on my bike in the early days from our place in Lourmarin and stay all day getting Provencial terre under my fingernails. Then, after the French finally OK’ed our purchase three months later, we moved into the cuisine d’ete (or summer pool house) sans salle debain, mind you, and lived there until the renovation was completed almost four months later.
Now, it has been a little over a year and a half since I began. And I can honestly say, I have never been happier.
There was this tree…a weeping cypress… I guess about 45 years old, that totally obscured the house from the pool, and the pool, garden, and those beautiful, pale violet blue mountains in the distance from the house. The realtor told us not to say we didn’t like said tree or the owner would not sell us his house. So, we didn’t… But it was the first thing to come down after we signed!
And in its place, I designed a parterre with gravel paths to get to and from the house and pool, and plenty of herbs de Provence … lavender, rosemary, sage, santolina, along with euphorbias, roses, plumbagos, agapanthus and boxwood to make it look good both winter and summer. But, also, to furnish subject matter for a canvas now and then.