Flower market – Nyons, France

Flower market, Nyons - 2010 by frankeberFlower 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.

value sketchIn 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.


6 thoughts on “Flower market – Nyons, France

  1. lesliepaints

    Awesome. Don Andrews spoke of this very thing in the workshop I took this summer. I like how you handled everything fading out above the street as it was hit by the bright light. It enhanced drawing me down to the marketplace where splashes and dashes enhance the busy trade that takes place there, Frank. Thank-you for sharing your value sketch! A two for one today! I think I can hear the rustling of bags, murmurs of trade, and footsteps on the pavement!

    1. frankeber Post author

      Great comment, Leslie! You are a gifted writer as well as a great painter… I got a bit lucky with the crowd of people in this one. There are some happy accidents, if you know what I mean 🙂
      The thing is though, you have to be relaxed and let these things happen and not try to control every single brush stroke. Very hard…

  2. Ollie

    Nice work dude! It’s about time all your hard work and perseverance paid off. Love the picture of the flower market in Nyons. Its a shame you not still around here though as we all miss you. Keep up the good work and come back to France soon.

    1. frankeber Post author

      Ollie, thanks for the nice comments. We miss you guys terribly…planning on coming back soon though! I’ll give a call soon, give my love to Jess and the kids!

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