I’ve just returned from a number of weeks painting landscapes across France. The other paintings will be posted in the coming weeks, but I wanted to single out the work from the Gers region as it’s not an area that I’ve ever heard mentioned for landscape painting. Which is a shame, because it’s pretty great.
We were hosted by the Plieux Art Association, which organizes workshops and exhibitions in the small village of Plieux, about 15 minutes from the town of Lectoure. The workshops are terrific as the location is beautiful and the hostess is an amazing cook. The students stay in various lodgings in the village. On this course, everyone was French and I had to teach in French.
The area around Lectoure is one of the best I’ve seen for plein air painting. It’s all rolling hills, with a choice of valley and hill size, so the artists can pick longer or shorter views. It’s mostly smaller farming, so it’s not one endless field, but many smaller ones with varying crops. There isn’t much livestock, so no fences to keep artists out. A lot of the fields are either wheat or sunflowers, two very popular subjects with artists. Unfortunately we missed wheat season, as the harvest is in June.
All of France has great trees for landscape painting. They clearly get enough water, and haven’t cut the larger ones down. The Gers is no exception.
The towns as well are really picturesque. Not overly pretty, but not marred by too much new construction. They also don’t get the crazy tourism you see elsewhere in Europe these days, so it’s mostly locals, and you don’t have to pay for parking.
I also did a few larger plein air landscapes:
All of these paintings are for an exhibition next July at the Plieux Art Association. I hope to see you there.
Update: For higher resolution images, please see my Flickr Album.