It was Friday, April 24th, 2009:

Doorway Garden, Villeneuve, France

Over a year has passed since Jane swept me away to France where we explored the narrow streets of Villeneuve for two days before embarking on a journey aboard the Viking Burgundy that took us from Avignon south to Arles then north to Chalon sur Saone.  It has taken all these months to fulfill prior commitments of painting commissions, exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops.  Most importantly, it has taken this long to re-evaluate the direction of my painting and to come up with a plan that allows me to focus on my personal growth as an artist rather than the marketing of my work and my teaching.

The sketches above are the first of several for the large oil painting that will hang in Jane’s new home in South Carolina where she recently moved to enjoy a life immersed in the arts, surrounded by fascinating and inspiring people.  I will miss her company.

There is a wire, perhaps a phone wire or television cable, that runs from the upper right corner down into the climbing roses that cover the balcony.  For me, it was an important part of the composition when I took the photo.  I realize that it will be considered an unpleasant and unnecessary intrusion by some.  I thought, momentarily, of eliminating it.  For two reasons, I opted to include it.  Primarily, I need it to work with the other two vertical lines on either side of the bottom of the painting ( the edges of window and door frames ) to echo the grouping of three window shapes.  Second, it is a documentation of the times, the year 2009 when wires are part of the world we live in whether we are in a small village in France that was built in the 13th century or we are in New York City.