Sunday, May 14, 2017

Samoens, France-Canadian Rockies

We live in the Canadian Rockies.. Last year friends of ours moved to Samoen, France, for the year. They asked us to come over to visit so we made the journey last July, 2016. Located an hour by car from Geneva, this ancient village, famed for its stonemasons, is part of the Grand Massif ski domain.
When we drove into this beautiful valley in the French Alps, this mountain village in Haute-Savoie resembled our home in Banff. Towering above the town is Les Criou, a beautiful mountain that resembles Mt. Rundle that flanks the town of Banff, Alberta where we live.

Every morning we would bike to the local baker to get fresh croissants and baguette. As we cycled back thru the narrow streets, the view in front of us was the local clock tower with Les Criou towering above. When they were back home our friends said that landscape was their favorite in Samoen....I promised myself I would paint that for them.

Fast forward nine months. Nancy said she had invited our friends over for dinner......a belated thank you for the great time in France. Time to do the painting! This is one of the larger pieces I have worked on....24" x 30".

I first penciled in an outline of the landscape, and once that was completed used a masking fluid to separate mountain from sky, roof tops from mountain. The goal is to keep colors from blending into each other and keep lines crisp. Once that was done, I blended a mixture of cobalt and cerulean blue for the sky. I wanted to create a feeling of clouds, so before the paint dried I dabbed the sky with kleenex, pulling off some color. Next I used a light layer of payne's grey for the mountain walls and the road winding thru the town. I put a layer of light vermilion green on the upper slopes of the mountain. Then, to replicate the trees up high, I dabbed bubble pack into phthalo green and pressed this onto the green slopes. My trees were done!

It's a very special journey with this painting. Each brush stroke takes me back to the fabulous trip we had in France. A special time together as a family and time with friends.
Next I will finish the mountains and work on the roof tops of the village.

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