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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

French Ambience

Years ago in the early days of the Art Students League of Denver, the director and some of the instructors traveled to Southern France and stayed in a little town on the river in Provence. We painted everyday and got to know the people of the town with community dinners and activities including our own art show. As I look at this painting now it brings back wonderful memories of the enchanting sunlight, charming french architecture, and most of all the delightful french people living in that little town. For this painting I was attracted to the old stone masonry and all the flowers with their rich colors so I found a bench where I could setup. It started sprinkling while I was painting and I huddled over my artwork in an attempt to finish. Suddenly the door opened and a little frenchman ran out and handed me an umbrella and then ran back inside. What a delightful surprise. The town was full of scenes like this and what a thrill it was to be surrounded by so much interesting subject matter. The faded blue door was the perfect backdrop for all the rich colors in the flowers and the wooden weathered shutters were a nice warm touch against the cooler masonry. The flowers stand out nicely not only because of their rich colors but also because they are surrounded by deep darks. The entire facade of the house was interesting but I only painted part of it because I wanted the flowers and doorway to dominate the composition and also because I was working on a small plein air painting. When I returned to the states I did a larger painting of this same scene.

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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