Hello, My name is Susie Hunt and I’m an Artist and Tutor based in Aberdeenshire. I’ve been doing a lot of painting outside recently and as I’m sure you can imagine, painting outside where I live in Scotland is generally more unpredictable than in the warmer south. Those of you lucky enough to be painting outside with me in the French countryside at L’Age Baston this summer will be facing the problems of finding enough shade or deciding which sunflower field is the best rather than fighting the wind and rain.
The weather is excited here today. I set out with my painting kit in spring sunshine with a brisk breeze accompaniment. We are heading for woodland where some sheltered spots have been identified; we – that is Maybell, Matilda (my dogs) and Me – are well dressed with warm coats and a bit of waterproofing. I find that the walk to a place to paint is full of anticipation; seeing the world around me with eyes open for interesting subject matter. Looking for something that strikes a personal chord, colours that can be softened or heightened and, most important in my opinion, looking for the elements to create a strong composition. Did anyone watch the Great British Painting Challenge? This was an entertaining and not too serious search for most talented amateur artist and the consistent failing amongst some very skillful paintwork was the composition. From dull to dreadful!
So here I am settled in amongst the fresh spring growth and starting to paint. The First hurdle is that Maybell eats Dogs Mercury and makes herself ill. Mattie gets bored and wanders off so I have to go calling. Then a friend appears and takes pictures as she is thinking I look amusing! Then when I have lost my head back in the painting Maybell sneaks off to find her and her dogs. After that it starts to hail – which is less of a problem than rain for outside Painters because hail bounces off without wetting the page!
Painting outside at L’Age Baston is something I am very much looking forward to. It’s a beautiful house set up for artists in a wonderful part of France. The food and hospitality come highly recommended and, according to my sources, at Chateau L’Age Baston yesterday at 5.30pm the official temperature in sunny windless downtown La Rochefoucaud was 30°C! That’s warm enough to shed a few layers and see different colours.
I’m looking forward to having no chores to do except the tutoring that I so much enjoy. You’ll have no chores to do except to paint as much as you like and learn as much as you want. Sounds good to me but they say a picture is worth a thousand words…….
See you soon – Susie 🙂