There’s an incredible ochre mine in the Vaucluse region of Provence. On a recent trip, fellow workshop attendees and I walked around Roussillon and marveled at the color of the soil. The earthen cliffs in late afternoon sun are a solar flare of orange against foliage and sky.
Many of the buildings in the village are burnt orange or red, instead of the usual Provence beige or gray stucco. At a distance, the color of the architecture looks as though Roussillon sprouted from the soil. It’s a lovely nod towards their ochre mining history.
Shops sell linen table cloths, printed in bold patterns with olives, vines and the summertime singers – provencal cicada bugs. The cicadas are also sold as clay or bronze figurines to perch in your garden for good luck, or lavender oil infused soaps. A few small stores offer jars of dry pigment, with instructions for mixing the powders with mediums to use as watercolors, acrylics or oil paints.
Travel to foreign places, whether for a workshop, or exploration, gives two immediate gifts; the immersion in a world of unfamiliar, and the distant view perspective of life back at home. After traveling, I return with observations about my life as it is now, seen through the lens of a backwards telescope. This trip fueled me for the rest of the year with inspiration, perspective and goals.
What impact does travel and exploration have on your studio and art-making mojo?
Thanks for visiting today, and I’ll see you in the next post –
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May we never let the things we can’t have, or don’t have, or shouldn’t have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it.
For one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.