I began with a careful drawing. But even a drawing such as this is in realty quite complex. The scene in front of me was a small town. But I had to restrict my drawing to a small portion of it. Thats not easy. So as the painting progressed I began to get restless. The bottom half reflects this.
But for me the thing about plein air is the memory of being there and doing it. The actual painting is only part of the storey. The events that took place at the time are all part of my collective memory of the day.
This is a round-about in Saint-Pons-de-Thomières. Quite a nice round-about.
I liked the way the background trees threw the stone monoliths into stark relief. This gave the scene a nice simplicity. I'm always drawn to a 'simple' scene as it's rarely ever simple to paint. There's always a vast amount of subtlety when you start looking. The red car drove past in a flash. I took a photo of it and then used the camera to include it in the scene.
You see only a painting. But for me this image brings back a flood of memories of fellow painters and passers-by. 'Pardon monsieur, I ne parla pas Francais'.