Friday, November 11, 2016

Seventeen Shades Of Red And Gold

You might think that I am describing autumn in the title of today's post, but actually I'm describing the pigments available from the ochre mining in a small town in Province called Roussillon. Artists like Monet and Cezanne painted with paints made using these shades of red ochre and yellow ochre. Here Katherine and I stand in the lower part of Roussillon in front of some of the rock formations that are mined for the various ochres.

As far as inspiration for future painting, it was the my most favorite place of the trip. Around every corner there was another potential painting. All of the buildings and much of the mortar on the buildings are colored with one of those seventeen shades and since all those shades are mined from the surrounding hills, they go very well together.

It is rare to see such harmonious vistas when it comes to buildings, but most of the town seems to have been build in similar ways, using local materials, too. Some buildings had mortar with different shades, perhaps because of repairs at a different time than when the original mortar was applied.

 I love all of the different designs of the lanterns and the shades of blue and green on the shutters, plus the amazing doors.

There is a church tower with bell

and lots of interesting alleys and arches.

 The light the day we were there was golden and added to the painterly effect.

In the late morning (we are, after all on vacation!) we drove over there. 

After a short walk in the lower area of Roussillon, we found a cafe that had outdoor seating in the shade and had a delightful lunch.

I had a refreshing salad with chicken and tomatoes and avocado that would have been right at home in California, so no photo. The others had dishes with cheese, like the salad with warm goat cheese that Katherine had.

 Another dish that would fit right on the menu of California restaurants. After lunch we wandered around town. 

I probably annoyed everyone else eventually since every time they turned around I had stopped to take more photos of future painting scenes. Heavenly for me!

This one, of a couple taking a seat in the shade, might make an interesting painting.

On the way back to St. Sat we took a turnoff that took us into the mountains near Fillol Javon. It is a popular area for cycling and hiking enthusiasts and quite beautiful.

That evening we had dinner at a local restaurant, but I think I should save that for another post.

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