Fields of Rapeseed in Southern France

Fields of Rapeseed in Southern France

Having had only five days to prepare for my trip to France and having a seat in the center section of the plane made it difficult to experience the transition from one continent to another.  The Paris airport was unusual in its tubular construction, but gave me little sense of being in France other than the language of the signs and the crowds of people.  The train station is connected to the airport.  Thus, my first view of the landscape of France was the almost hallucinogenic brilliance of the rapeseed fields as the train emerged from the airport’s underground tunnel.  Never have I seen such a cool, lemony, chartreuse color that glowed as if the plants held within their blossoms a source of illumination.  No wonder the Impressionist painters were inspired by the light and land of Provence, France.

Rapeseed fields along the Saone River, France

Rapeseed fields along the Saone River, France

As I traveled south in the train I wondered if this new, yellow color would find its way into my paintings as the warm yellow/orange of Northern Portugal in March  had become an important part of my palette.  I don’t think so.  Though the color took my breath away, it feels too cool a color to become part of my heartbeat.  Nice accent though, and a reminder to be bold with wide brushstrokes of color.  One day I will return to Provence to see the fields of lavender in bloom.

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