Good Company

“Keep Good Company, that is, go to the Louvre”.

This quote is from 19th Century French painter Paul Cézanne. A man of few words who preferred the (then) remoteness of his native Provence to the glamour of Paris.
What he was referring to is this: Be careful of who you are dealing with, choose your environment and influences. Don’t waste your time and study with the masters.

Which is exactly my ambition while I am travelling in France, this week in Provence, near Aix-en-Provence where the old master was born and lived most of his life. Walking in the country side, looking at the pine and olive trees, basking in this radiant light, I feel as if I am walking in his steps, and could join him on a painting expedition. Which he would have refused, being fiercely protective of his solitude.

But I am keeping good company nevertheless, first with good friends who are sharing their passion for Provence, and I will be visiting Cézanne’s studio later this week. Having studied his life and work, it will be a moving experience to witness where it all took place. 

Meanwhile, I am drawing, the best way I know of getting acquainted with new surroundings

Louise Jalbert, Sophie’s Olive Tree, 2017, felt-marker on paper, 9 x 12 inches, and  photos of the countryside around Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt, north of Aix-en-Provence, September 2017