Outside the studio

Outside the studio

18th of january.

After weeks of rain the sun has come out. After lunch I got myself organised to work outside the studio in my village of Catus.

Catus place de la poste

place de la poste.20×20 oil on board.

I loved doing this little painting in Catus: the view from the car park in front of La Poste.

It was the trees with their higher branches gold in the low light of the sun which attracted me. I’d often looked at this little scene and thought it would be interesting to paint. I hadn’t considered that when the sun was low enough to shine directly on the branches of the trees that I would automatically be in the shade, and freezing. There is always something I forget when I paint outside, this time it was a warm jumper.

I began this oil as I have on all the small ‘daily painting’  squares so far, with a wiped out layer of wet oil colour. (salmon coloured in this painting).  This process of working on a slippery groud is new to me. Because the underneath wet paint can mix with the brush strokes, it forces one to paint more decisively, to put down a stroke and leave it.

I was concerned about how to deal with the fine branches using this methord without fiddling, or too much detail . In the end I went back to a small hog brush which scratches into the paint surface allowing the ground to come through.


datail of trees.



19th of January.

Catus. Plein air.

Winter fields. 30×30. Oil on canvas

The next afternoon I went out looking for another subject. It was close to raining all afternoon and there was little strong contrast in the light and the shadows but painting outside is so different from working from a photo.

I suppose I started the painting attracted by the line of poplars which were so muted and greyed that they are hardly evident. The colours were surprising, I was particularly intrigued by the greens.



21st of january.

Still very little sun, but the rain held off. This was painted at the end of the lane, 30 metres from the house. I nearly gave up before I’d begun, deciding that this would be too difficult.  I think it did get rather fussy. At first there were some patches of light falling on the poplars and on the ploughed field behind the stream, but then the the clouds covered the sun.

The experience of working outside is pure joy. Being out in the landscape, studying it in this way reminds me of the pleasure I first felt when I moved here to Catus. Keeping to this small scale allows me to respond in a much more direct way.

At the moment I’m loving these daily paintings.

Cours de dessin Cahors.

The valley looking south. 30×30. Oil on board.









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