There's a stunning sense of perspective and distance in this painting by Richard Moisan: a landscape unfolding that gives a visual equivalent of the feeling you have at the beginning of a holiday when the time stretches ahead and gives you time to breathe in warmth and sunshine.
I like the way he paints with thick strokes of the palette knife, so that the floor of the valley has texture and a hint of real shadow under the smooth, perfectly blue sky. Vibrant colours are a vital component of Moisan’s paintings, encapsulating the joy of sunlight on the rolling hills, perched villages and isolated farmsteads. In this case there is no artistic exaggeration: those fields of yellow and blue are the sunflowers and lavender of
, together in life as in art. Provence
Sunflowers had tossed up golden heads in sumptuous contrast to the palette of blues. The bands of yellow ochre sang with stinging clarity between ropes of indigo on the tilting fields.
In other areas where lavender rose upon lavender in a hundred shades of mauve, twilight brought a deep unreal violet to the plateau. One evening in late July, I watched transfixed as the undulations merged into a mysterious landscape where no boundaries were definable between flower and sky, between falling shadow and the darkening blue. For an hour or more perspective ceased to exist.
from The Lantern
The title of the picture is Hameaux et Garrigues, which translates rather prosaically as ‘hamlets and scrublands’ as we don’t have a word for the sweet-scented open countryside where herbs and pungent shrubs grow wild on dry ground that is so redolent of the south of France.
A writer as well as an artist, Richard Moisan had galleries at Vallauris, close to
. He is now semi-retired but still exhibits a few of his paintings at the artists' village of Biot. Alongside his paintings of the Antibes, and at Cannes coast and its bays and rocks, many of the works depict the Luberon region in his distinctive style. Riviera