This is the first painting completed in Nice France. December 2009, I went to Nice during the Christmas holiday and spent time with my friend and also artist, Paul. He had just obtained a gallery, 6 Place Vieille, in Vieux Nice, and this location was the beginning of my two years as an artist in the south of France.
Paul and I shared the gallery and expenses for the gallery until life inevitably took us into two different directions.
The gallery was raw and unfinished. An architect's paradise for me. But later it was finished into something that I was able to exhibit regularily and display my work for a few "Vernissage" 's. This is a picture of me and my blank canvas, with my make shift easel, and a wood plank for a palette. I had to use acrylic paints.
They were readily available and less expensive for me to set up my color palette- the Blues. I wasn't pleased with my skill in acrylic, but I gave the medium a try. I have been a painter working in Oils for more than 25 years. The texture, the flow of paint, and blending was very very different with acrylic than with the oil paints that have been customary for me.
This is the sketch I created for my first painting. One night uninterested in a movie that we were watching, I got out my charcoals and used some paper that I had found in a rented apartment. I did a series of sketches, liberating my creative energy, and created an interesting body of work that evening. Many of my paintings begin with a sketch. I use charcoal as a medium that is quick to free ideas on paper before applying to a larger canvas.
The gallery began as a place of good energy, for neighbors to visit, to sit outside, offer wine to guests. It has a lot of good memories for dreams that were hopeful for success.... and for me, most importantly, a place of my own where I could just be a painter. A place where I could focus on being an artist for 10-14 days, and liberate myself from the every day routine of work in Indiana.