Me, standing on a wall in St Agnes with the Riviera and the Mediterranean as a beautiful back drop.
I promised to tell you a little about the people in St Agnes. I have already told you about my friends. Then came the elders in particular Simone the village matriach who shunned me to start with and who without knowing me always seemed to know my business! I gathered that if Simone liked me then the whole village would accept me as one of their own and indeed this is what happened and I felt very grateful that I had a nosy neighbour. I had been very ill and had not been out and it was Simone who came basket in hand full of veggies from her garden to see if I was OK, she hadn’t seen me out and about for four days and was anxious.
I was soon invited to take part in all the Fetes, of course we had La Fete de Mimosa, La Fete de Lavande, la fete des citrons la fete des mamans, la fete de grand mere, grand pere. We were always busy having a fete and I felt more at home in St Agnes than I think I have ever felt anywhere, except for now of course with my darling David.
So what has this post have to do with nudes. Whilst living in St Agnes I went back to studying art and at the Centre D’Art Vaas in Vence a young artist called Bret Rhode Neal was teaching art classes. Nudes, I went twice a week, 25 minutes down the mountain to get to the motorway and up to what was Dubuffet’s old studio. He had built it so that the light was perfect for painting north east. I loved painting here, the view was stunning and we looked over to the Matisse Chapel. Art everywhere, a Chagall mosaic in the church. I started to inhale art.
Me with some of my very brightly coloured nudes at an exhibition we had at Cap Trois Milles, which seems like centuries ago now!
I was cooking in New York every fall and every spring at this time and on my days off I studied at the Arts Students League on 57th Street. We had a japanese teacher, I cannot remember his name. It was a water colour class and the poses last one to two minutes maximum. I always came away from these classes feeling slightly agitated, there was no respites!
It has taken me a long time to temper my colours, I see things in bright colours but my teachers don’t seem to see them the same way!!
Nude abstraction in Tourettes-sur-Loup.
And voila Sunny in charcoal at the Slade in London. Enough of nudes for now. I am back to painting roses this afternoon and planning the Antigua trip which I am very excited about now. I am looking forward to seeing you on one of my paint provence trips. A bientôt!.