Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunlit landscape


There's a stunning sense of perspective and distance in this painting by Richard Moisan: a landscape unfolding that gives a visual equivalent of the feeling you have at the beginning of a holiday when the time stretches ahead and gives you time to breathe in warmth and sunshine.

I like the way he paints with thick strokes of the palette knife, so that the floor of the valley has texture and a hint of real shadow under the smooth, perfectly blue sky. Vibrant colours are a vital component of Moisan’s paintings, encapsulating the joy of sunlight on the rolling hills, perched villages and isolated farmsteads. In this case there is no artistic exaggeration: those fields of yellow and blue are the sunflowers and lavender of Provence, together in life as in art.

            Sunflowers had tossed up golden heads in sumptuous contrast to the palette of blues. The bands of yellow ochre sang with stinging clarity between ropes of indigo on the tilting fields.
           
            In other areas where lavender rose upon lavender in a hundred shades of mauve, twilight brought a deep unreal violet to the plateau. One evening in late July, I watched transfixed as the undulations merged into a mysterious landscape where no boundaries were definable between flower and sky, between falling shadow and the darkening blue. For an hour or more perspective ceased to exist.

                                                               from The Lantern

The title of the picture is Hameaux et Garrigues, which translates rather prosaically as ‘hamlets and scrublands’ as we don’t have a word for the sweet-scented open countryside where herbs and pungent shrubs grow wild on dry ground that is so redolent of the south of France.

A writer as well as an artist, Richard Moisan had galleries at Vallauris, close to Antibes, and at Cannes. He is now semi-retired but still exhibits a few of his paintings at the artists' village of Biot. Alongside his paintings of the Riviera coast and its bays and rocks, many of the works depict the Luberon region in his distinctive style.

For more shafts of sunshine, click here for his website and more information in English, and here for more pictures and a link to his blog in French.

30 comments:

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

A amazing composition ! I love, the lines, the colors, the scene... Full of joy and beauty. A perfect representation of "hameaux" and "garrigues" ;) All the spirit of Provence. Thanks for sharing.

joanny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joanny said...

Deborah:

Richard's painting is both vivid and subtle,like himself he is a man of many contrasts. The painting is a visual pleasure, full of warmth and romance.

Your blog is a joy to read, and such lovely images. I could get lost here for hours.

Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog, I became a follower of yours.

joanny

vanessafrance said...

You write so well, Deborah. I'm green with envy! The Lantern is going to be a real treat - I can't wait for it to come out.

bookspersonally said...

So gorgeous. What a lovely picture to see first thing in the morning- especially here where we are so tired of winter!

Lynne Rees said...

Hi Deborah
The perspective is quite amazing - it gives a real feeling of standing and looking at a view, rather than at a painting of a view, maybe because the foreground feels so close?

Sue Roebuck said...

How beautiful, Deborah. You can feel the warmth radiating from the painting. I'd love to buy a copy so I can hang it in my bedroom to feel good every day.

Love your blog,

Sue

Bunched Undies said...

It takes great skill to brandish the palette knife with such delicate control. Thanks for sharing this Deborah.

V. Furnas said...

Deborah,
Beautiful painting. The style reminds me of Georgia O'Keeffe with the broad strokes and similar pallet. The perspective is revealing and interesting. Thank you for sharing it with us.

And thank you for stopping by my site. :)

Lisa Erin said...

The palette knife is not an easy thing to wield. His usage is both delicate and bold. I love the color. Really lovely.

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Super gorgeous..a wonderful piece!! Stunning!
Victoria~

Gabrielle said...

Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you had a wonderful day, as lovely as many of the pictures you showcase here.

Gabrielle
http://gbisset.blogspot.com/

Rafia Shujaat said...

Oh this is such an amazing painting. The composition, colors, everything looks so beautiful

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

The painting is as lovely and vibrant as your writing. Thanks for sharing both. :)

✿ ♥ France ✿ ✿ said...

Bonjour c'est magnifique et j'adore ces couleurs chez toi
Bonne journée

litlove said...

Oh I love this - so clean and sharp. How wonderful to be surrounded by so many amazing artists in your area, of which you are one, and so generous of you to share their work with us.

BonjourRomance said...

What a beautiful painting, you have captured the strokes of his palette knife perfectly with your words. I'm heading off now to visit his site.
Thank you for coming by this morning. Hey, nothing wrong with sitting cross-legged on the floor - the wardrobe sounds perfect!
à bientôt,
Mimi

Adiante said...

My eyes were seized by the perspective even before reading your article. It is a pleasure to read some sentences of your book but I am not rather good in English!

Helen Smith said...

Wow! That's a beautiful painting. Thanks for posting the excerpt from The Lantern, too.

ravenousreader said...

The perspective in the painting is stunning - it propels the viewer directly across the landscape. It must be amazing in "real life"! The excerpt from your book was well chosen.

It is a treat to visit here - I'm so glad I met you on She Writes blog hop :)

josina.kamerling said...

love the colours in this miserable northern european winter! following your suggestion am reading provencal pierre magnan, and enjoying his use of language (i wonder how the neglish translation fares as his french is very idomatic!) his descriptions and scenary reflect the light and smells emanating from this painting

Paintdancer said...

I am very happy that you found my art blog as now I have also found your blog and am anxiously looking forward to your book. This painting is too luscious for words, as is your beautiful website and blog! You have a beautiful writing style! By the way, I also use a palette knife and am fond of painting Provence! You can visit my website at http://www.maryannejacobsen.com and click on Paintings of Europe and beyond.

Mari Carmen said...

Hi, Deborah! I love everything about Provence, so I am very happy reading your blog. The painting is really marvellous! I love it!

Greetings from Madrid.

Fi said...

That is a stunning painting and matches your writing excellently.

I've only recently found your blog and have awarded you the 'One Lovely Blog Award' - http://fionajphillips.blogspot.com/2011/02/ive-won-award.html

Cathy Kozak said...

Very evocative. You are a painter with your words!

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. I know Richard is as delighted by your reaction as I am.

For Sue and others who have mentioned buying copies - there are various sites selling poster versions of (some) Richard Moisan paintings. Allposters (com and co.uk) seems to have the biggest selection. Hope that's helpful.

Blue Muse said...

Hi Deborah!
I followed you home from your visit to my blog and I am so very glad that I did! I now have another gorgeous haunt to peruse and visit. I'm a follower!
Thank you for your kind words and visit. I would love to see that book when it comes out!
xo Isa

RICHARD MOISAN said...

Merci pour tout, Deborah!
Un gros bisou.

Virginia said...

Well consider me hooked on your wonderful blog and I will eagerly await your book!
V

Gill Edwards said...

stunning painting, such lovely colours

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