24. 02. 08. Sunday. A rather dull overcast morning but must press on. Did a sort of abstract landscape which I quite like –Pic St Loup yet again using very thin paint pushed around with brush, paper towel and fingers – works quite well. Did a couple of monoprints of Les Platanes and started a painting of the same. Also coloured two monoprints using very thin oils and turps . These both look quite good. I think I will colour one of the Platanes tomorrow. Am wondering how saleable coloured monoprints might be. Busy day but very satisfying.
25. 02. 08. Monday. Dull drizzly morning. Met Erland, Elisabeth’s husband, in the supermarket. After getting back coloured in monoprint of Stones on a wall and the began a painting of Le pont sur la rue de la grenouille which I finished in the afternoon. Used very thin layers of paint thinned with turps brushed on with a fairly dry brush. The effect is enhanced but not priming the canvas with gesso. I just put a thin wash of ground colour which allows the canvas to be more porous and shows the brush strokes well too. Also finished painting of La platane – a strange composition but there is something I like about it. Also coloured a monoprint of La platane. I think that there is something about coloured monoprints that I like – an 18th century feel to them. I want to experiment with coloured pencils too with perhaps a wash. Lots to learn. Thinking of doing small monoprints (postcard size) but on heavier paper when I’m in the UK next month or I could just do the drawings there and print them when I get back to Clermont in April.
26. 02. 08. Tuesday. Did a drawing of the Chateau Montferrand – quite complex and detailed and then di a couple of monoprints from it – one using a brush and the other using only a Q tip which gives the drawing a lot more energy and vitality. Need to find some Chinese pens or something to make different sized marks. Had an e mail from Graham Pilsworth telling me about a Peter Doig show currently at the Tate. Hopefully it will still be on when I get over there. Jacques phones to say that he has and still has the flu which is I guess why I haven’t heard from him. Anyway he has set up a meeting for me with someone from Midi-Libre tomorrow morning so that should be interesting.
27. 02. 08. Wednesday. Sunny morning again at last! Dominique arrived at 9. Ex Parisienne who moved here a while ago does freelance stuff for Midi-Libre, the mairie, writes local history etc./ We chatted for about half an hour and I realized that it was going to be a general pieces rather than an arts review, which was fine. After she had left, drove into Montpellier to Claire’s place. After a cup of tea we went to several Decathlons checking out various step machines as Claire is interested in buying one. After lunch at Claire’s we went for a walk in the Parc Meric which is very close to where she lives. It was once the home of Frédéric Bazille the artist and his house is still there empty waiting for the town to turn it into a museum. We walked along the Lez which is where he often painted. Drove home after the walk and began a monoprint of Le Pic St Loup autour les vignes. In the evening had a long talk with Julia.
28. 02. 08. Thursday. Bought the Midi-Libre and read the piece on me. Not sure what it will mean but useful for the cv. Had an early phone call from Jacques inviting me to lunch. Printed monoprint of Le Pic St Loup autour des vignes and also drew another plate of a single vine. Picked up a bottle of wine and gassed up the scooter en route to Jacques’. Had a very civilized lunch with cold salmon, chicken and a dessert with mixed berries. I have now officially joined the Vendemiaires – 12 euros! Nicole asked me if I would be interested in a co-op artist thing with 5 or 6 other artists for 2 weeks at the end of September. Had to say I was busy (Merrickville), but e mailed Jon, Alan and Maryann to see if any of them would be interested. In the evening, went with Jacques to visit a sculptor called Robert Rocca – he had just won a commission for the town of Montpellier for a piece in bronze and steel which is 11 meters high. Interesting work – quite organic even Moore-ish with slightly eigious overtones – great house too which he had designed. Thinking abut doing some big paintings in the same style of the monoprints.
29. 02. 08 Friday. Up early as I had to do two trips back to Clermont, one for the clothes and painting stuff and the second for the paintings and prints. Left at 8 am the first time and was back in St Mathieu by 10. 30. Cleaned up the house and then Jacques came round and picked the monoprint of the Pic St Loup from the mairie for the municipal collection then I left at 12.30 again for Clermont with the second load. Spent the rest of the day doing washing and getting organized here.