Flower Market, Nyons, 2010
7 in x 9 in : 17.8 cm x 22.9 cm
Posted in the France gallery
This town is very close to where I lived in France and one of my good friends’ parents live there. It is situated between the Rhone and the Alps and boasts a Romanesque bridge with a unique 43m (approx. 140 ft) arched passageway.
Like in every French town there is a weekly market catering to the local community. I have been to this market countless times getting everything from cheese, produce and local honey. Yes, I am a honey addict! I especially love sunflower honey which I am desperately trying to find here in the US. No luck so far…
Street scenes are always tricky to do because of the extreme light range inside narrow streets and alleys. Photographs are almost useless as a reference unless you take a picture of the shadowy parts and another one of the sunny parts. I started doing that and with the help of a value sketch it is quite possible to recreate a version of the scene in the studio. Of course, it would have been even better to paint at the market, but that’s unfortunately not always possible. Another challenge is to simplify the scene, since you cannot possibly put everything in you see! I wanted to convey the feel of the alley on market day without actually painting flowers or people! I used a brush to spatter clean water diffusing the shadows some more.
In my opinion, it is important to always focus on mood and atmosphere in painting or else you run the risk of doing illustration instead of art.