Buoux: A Memory in Stone

Well, I finally finished my current work in progress Wednesday of this past week. As mentioned before, the piece is a little larger than some of my other more recent pieces and getting back into painting on a large canvas is going to take some getting used to again! All in all, about 25 hours’ worth of work involved for this piece, which felt like a lot but I’m glad I allowed myself to work through as inspiration found me. There were a few times during the past three weeks that I had to give myself a break and walk away from it for a few days before coming back to paint again. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s never to force creative work when you’re not feeling inspired. Sometimes you have to depending on the circumstances, but the results are usually not of the same quality and I myself have been disappointed with prior works when forced to work this way. I guess what I’m saying is – I’m glad I took my time, trusted my instincts and let it evolve. I think it shows.

As mentioned in my article from February 29th, my inspiration for this piece came from one of my many trips to Europe. I have gotten to explore the Gorges du Verdon (also known as the “Grand Canyon of France,”) in Provence multiple times from horseback. High, high up in the cliffs of these gorges are the ruins of a fort called Buoux. What is left of the medieval fortress itself is actually built on top of ancient Roman ruins and has been used since prehistoric time, so what is left to explore is quite the collage of time and stone. The ruined remains of a bell tower, a 13th century church and even older grain silos and ancient sarcophagi are just some of the archaeological wonders that can be found here. I can remember being completely awestruck by the beauty of both man-made and nature in perfect harmony together. The ruins go on and on up the cliff (I still have yet to see where they end), and time stands completely still here. The wind races through the cut rock and downward to meet you as you explore, begging you to go farther. I always leave here with a yearning to come back and discover more of the secrets buried in the rock. Even though I am eventually forced to return back to modern life, the essence of that beauty always stays with me long afterwards, reminding me of where true inspiration comes from.

I hope you enjoy!

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