|'A Good Year for Wildflowers' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I wasn't expecting it. I was going to Provence in July to see the lavender in bloom. Somehow it never occurred to me that there would be other flowers! We had just missed the poppies although there were still some poppies hanging on. Of course the lavender was glorious....but for me the other wildflowers just about stole the show. They were everywhere! And as the days grew warmer the wildflowers put on an ever increasing grand performance.
On our first evening we met a lovely woman at the fete. She was from the neighboring village of Rousillon. We talked about my paintings and I showed her some of my work online. ( a lot of wildflower paintings!) Her face lit up as she excitedly talked about the wildflowers we would see. She told us it was a great year for the wildflowers. The were happy and the were blooming everywhere. I couldn't wait to discover them for myself! And I did!
|In the middle of the Mother Lode field of Queen Anne's Lace|
A few days into our stay we made the drive to Avignon for a day trip. Along the drive I knew we would be passing a lavender fields and olive groves. I was ready with my camera to snap a few driveway shots. This day it was early in the morning and the light was amazing. The lavender looked so different in the glow of the early morning light. And then we passed something that took my breath away. It was a huge field filled with Queen Anne's Lace....as far as the eye could see! The flowers were glowing with sunlight and dancing in the morning breeze. It was a fleeting glance and I wanted to stop but we had a long day ahead. We all agreed to return to the field another early morning to catch the light on the flowers.
A week later we returned. And it was even more glorious than before. We first pulled into a side road near the lavender field. It was amazingly beautiful. We were speechless as we snapped photos by the roadside. I spotted some Queen Anne's Lace growing right next to the lavender and wanted to get a photo. Respectful of the farmer I looked for signs. There were none nor was there any fence or wires as we had seen in other lavender fields. I took a few steps off the road and snapped a couple of photos. But it was too late. We were in trouble! Down the lane a women was out shouting something in French! We quickly called out our apologies and left. I can only imagine how many tourists she has to deal with. I will cherish my photo which was the inspiration for today's painting.
|The lavender in the early morning light|
We continued down the road to the spot where we had seen the masses of Queen Anne's Lace. Fortunately there was a spot to pull off the road. The reality of the field was even more awesome. Not only was it full of QA Lace in bloom but it was also filled with the delicate blue blooms of chicory. The combination was almost overwhelming to this wildflower lover! I am not sure the hundred photos I took do it all justice. I do know I will be painting this field many times!
|Flowers emerging from the shadows|
|Thick in the Queen Anne's Lace|
Be sure to go directly to my blog to read the previous installments to my trip report. www.karenmargulis.com