Vine Paintings from France

'Côtes de Duras' oil painting of vines


‘Côtes de Duras’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.
Golden days in the autumn vines, the leaves singing in the wind. Plein air. Don’t forget to smile at the landscape when you leave, not always as evident as when you arrive.

It was windy and the leaves were shaking.

Painting of Peach Trees

‘Pêchers des Vignes 1’
30 x 40 cm
Oil on Canvas Board
© Adam Cope
150 € via PayPal, P&P included

Painting of Peach Trees

These peach trees are typical of south west France, where traditionally they are planted alongside the vines. They fruit at the same time as the vines but are even more susceptible to mildew rot than the vines themselves, and thus act as an early warning alarm for the wine growers.In the above painting, they are planted in an orchard of prune trees. I guess they like shelter as they are vulnerable to frosts & winds, being a ‘Tree of the Warm South’. In autumn they have the most glowing colours.

Here’s a painting from 2007:

‘Deux Pêchers des Vignes’
Oil on MDF Panel
30 x 40 cm ( approx 12 x 16 inches)
©Adam Cope

Fichier:Peches de vigne.JPG
photo – wiki

Les autres noms de la pêche et du Pêcher -En latin : Prunus persica, anglais : Peach tree, allemand : Pfirsichbaum , en Arabe : Khawkh,
en Danois : Fersken, en Espagnol : Melocoton, en Hollandais : Perzikboom, en Italien : Persico,
en Suédois : Persiketräd, en Russe : Piersika, en Flamand : Perzikbomen


Plum Blossom

‘Pruniers 4’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.
300 €uros via PayPal – see sidebar for details

Plum Blossom

The recent sunny weather broke yesterday evening with a grey rainfront edging in from the Atlantic.These two plum trees were the last in the orchard to bloom; all the rest are now in leaf. These two face west, towards the Atlantic, from whence two fearful storms have come these last ten years, ‘La Grande Tempete, 27 Dec 1999’ et ‘Tempete Klaus, 24 Jan 2009’. Many of the trees on the west side have been storm damaged. Gaps in the orchard. These two, however, still resist. Two survivors. Two black, ripped-up, old prune trees. The white blossom of youth makes a great contrast that gives me hope.

Black trunks, white blossom.

Plum Trees in Blossom

‘Pruniers 3’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© adam cope
Same plum orchard as before. Painted a week later this year than previous years. Let’s hope there’s no frost during this moon cycle – ‘la Lune Rousse’ – the ‘red moon’ because of the risk of frosts, which can burn the blossoms & new leaves, thus turning them red. There’s been bad harvests for the last two years on the trot for plums & prunes.

‘Pruniers #1’
30 x 40 cm. Oil on Panel.
tous droits reservées

Fauvist Barns 3 : Red in Landscape Painting

‘Sechoir à Tabac 2’ (Tobacco Drying Barn)
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
©adam cope
for sale

Red in landscape painting acts as a magnet

Red in a landscape acts as a magnet for my eye. The red oxide corrigated tin door catches my eye every time I drive past. Red barn & red oxide earth, blue sky, black shadows. I go for compositions that prioritise colour, though not I don’t systemmatically heighten every colour.
Heightened colour = where the colour is pushed back to the most saturated, most intense. Back to ‘pure’ colour straight from the tube, the ‘mother’ colour of the mixes.

Same barn as in ‘Sechoir à Tabac 1’. Same issues. Muted colour (‘anti-fauve barn’) or heightened ‘fauve’ colour:

…paint a rusty barn & keep it browny rust , rather than let it go over into heightened colour RED. –  Adam in the post  Fauvist Barns 1 : Muted Red & not Heightened Colour

..trying to keep a barn door rusty brownish red, rather than letting it slip into heighten, saturated colour RED. With a painter’s confession – there’s always apart of me that wishes to paint all bright & fauve. Or least prioritise colour in a composition.  – Adam in the post Fauvist barns, heightened colour…Vlaminck & Kandinsky

‘Sechoir à Tabac 1’
30 x 40 cm.
Oil on Panel.
© The Artist.
150 euros via PayPal

POST-SCRIPTUM : well…. why not? I  want red? I’ll give myself red. Here’s one of my painting that’s red, primary red & with no subtle deviations…

‘Three Cherry Trees’
30 x 40 cm
oil on board
© the artist

2017: POST SCRIPTUM … Here’s a green barn. A tobacco drying barn with planking painted green. Fun!


Fauvist Barns 1 : Muted Red & not Heightened RED
Fauvist Barns 2 : Fauvist Barns, Heightened Colour…Vlaminck & Kandinsky
Fauvist Barns 3 : Red in Landscape Painting

‘Le Pont de Begerac 7 ‘
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (16 x 12 inches).
© The Artist.

La Rivière Dordogne à Bergerac – painting of a bridge over a river

The river Dordogne flows fast at the town of Bergerac. The waters swirl & shimmer. Glint & have deep dark thoughts, where the waters hide black depths. The bridge has six arches, only three of which are depicted above. The river is wide & carries a strong current. Down stream less than a kilometre there’s a hydroelectric power station. This acts powerfully on the surface pattern of ripples as the water is sucked in & the flow becomes variable. There’s a quite time, when the turbines are turned off & the surface becomes still. BUT Only for a moment, as winds play up & down the river making ripples & swirls, ever changing. Ever changing.Quiet river from opposite bank :

‘Bergerac Waterfront 1’
Oil on MDF panel
31 x 43 cm (approx 12 x 17 inches), ex frame.
© the artist
available for sale

Same view looking upstream to bridge but positioned lower down waterfront.

‘Bergerac Waterfront 2’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40 cm (approx 12 x 16 inches)
© the artist


Sunset 2 Jan

‘Sunset 2-1-2009’
Oil on Panel
30 x 40m (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.
150 € via Paypal

Sunset 31 Dec – after session in the field and two retouching sessions in the studio
30 x 40 cm – approx12 x 16 inches
oil on panel
Sunset 31 Dec – after first session in the field
30 x 40 cm – approx12 x 16 inches
oil on panel

Photographing Paintings

Look at the difference betweeen these two photos.
It’s dificult to know which one is the closest to the orginal painting if you don’t know the the orinal painting. However, to the eye with some experience in photographing paintings, IMO, I reckon that it’s possible to identify a photo that is poor. That’s to say :

  • badly exposed
  • has a wonky colour cast
  • that has been overly-distorted in photoshop etc
  • that a crazy discordance with the colour profile of your computer screen

I miss two photgraphic lamps (it’s a bit early in the year for letters to Santa Claus isn’t it 😉

Taking photos in daylight means taking photos in variable light, which is not always (rarely!) the optimum 55 K & thus gives wild colour casts… unless you wait for the right light. But then you can forget about real-time blogging.

Which one of the above paintings seems to you about right, given that you don’t know the original painting?

Retouching Plein-Air Paintings

Look at the above two paintings.

  • Can you see the retouching?
  • Has it improved the painting?
  • Which one seems the most ‘real’?
  • Which one has a unifying ‘illuminant’ (coherent set of ligh/colour conditions)?
  • Which one keeps closest to the artist’s to the orginal impression of the scene? Does it express the orginal seduction, the thing that me you want to paint the scene in the first place?
  • Which one works best as a picture?
  • Should a plein-air piece be finished on the spot or can it be developed at a later date in the studio & allowed to evolve into something different?
  • Need a plein-air piece have ‘finish’ or can it exist/be exhibited as a kind of sketch with ‘rough’ finish?

How much you retouch/develop plein-air paintings is a debate central to plein-airism.

I consider the above painting as ‘finished’, especially as it’s part of a recent series of sunsets – Five to date, three more to be blogged over the next few days. Stay tuned.


Sunset on 2008 – Review of my Year 2008

‘Sunset 31 December’
30 x 40 cm ( approx 16 x 12 inches)
© The Artist.
150 euros

Review: My Year in 2008

  • First off …. I can’t seem to take good photos of my paintings with my underexposing camera cannon EOS 400D & the burnt our screen of my seven year old iMac.
  • Managed to do some painting, though other years have been more productive. I’m less time-rich than previous years.  The leaking roof of our house has to be replaced next year in 2009 & I’m also a part-time house-dad of two young children.
  • I did however manage to paint in 2008 one medium size oil painting which I am genuinely pleased with. One of those paintings that challenge the painter to go even higher, even futher , even better. One of those paintings I look at & wonder will I ever been able to paint as well as that again? Good to have that challenge.
  • I ditched the 30 x 40 small size oils (see ‘my blog project’) for a good while in 2008 but now want to pick it up again. The 30 x 40 small size paintings at a small price for sale via Paypal haven’t soldnone at all via internet from this blog but sold OK in the exhibitions. I enjoyed doing them anyhow so I don’t think it was ‘sunk & lost’ time.
  • Small formats are good for plein-air as they can be painted within the three to four hour time slot (excluding packing, cleaning & travel… & retouching). I really enjoy my core practise which is plein-air painting. I love doing it but…something….what?….a little voice in the quiet of the night….it’s just that I want to take my vision of what I want from plein-air painting further into new territory. I realise that this means that I must work harder so as to push my plein-air further.
  • Watercolours were less prioritised in 2008. 2007 was a good year for watercolour. Watercolour is my first love. I remember being amazed by ‘wc’ when I was sixteen, which is coming on thirty years ago. I dream of ‘the natural way’ of wc painting… & maybe there were some signs of this in 2008. Don’t however confuse ‘natural’ with ‘easy’. A trap which many fall into & end up painting glib, formulaic wc’s, which is fine if that’s what you want. Something however bucks inside of me that this & I realise I must follow this little voice, even if it means… I digress. Lovely watercolour.
    • In 2008 I worked a lot on sketching, especially ‘moving targets’ sketched whilst they were in motion ‘on the hoof’ ‘Sur la Vif’ like my children (see blog label) moving about & musicians playing. I would however like to develop these into larger works which exist outside of the sketchbook & can be exhibited/framed/sold. That will tie up all these seemingly diverse & contradictory threads I play with & get all tangled up. Still what else would I rather be doing? In some ways my musicians are my hymn to what I admire in humans : our creativity. Music is… lovely.



  • My ‘How to Paint’ book developed slowly in 2008. This ‘book’ has been growing out from both my painting practice & my teaching notes over the last ten years. Offline & not here on online in this blog. I want to start publishing in 2009 via the ‘how to paint’ press. It includes the painting techniques & tips that I pass on whilst teaching (& occassionally here whilst blogging – see the painting & drawing : techniques & tips label).
  • Good painting workshops & day teaching in 2008. Good teaching is a learning experience for the teacher as well. I really enjoy teaching. You get to meet lots of interesting people & ‘put your heads together’ to find the answer. Yes, they was good painting, good learning & good fun.
  • Our painting holidays team developed a new venue : Chateau de Beduer in the Lot. It was a roaring success & everybody was most pleased. We had a student return rate of over fifty percent 🙂
  • Some good invitations to exhibit in 2009, including a good commercial gallery in St. Emillon (yes thanks) & another from a prestigious but bad commercial gallery in Paris near Le Pompidou (no thanks).
  • A good year followed by a bad year tax-wise is crippling as the taxes are paid retrospectively ie I pay for 2008 in 2009. I pay taxes & social charges as artists are legally obliged to do so here in France … Health cover is important…. but perpetual money worries are dehabilitating. You’ve got to earn it to pay it.
  • I fear the recession & the collapse of sterling will hurt me badly in 2009. I fear we are all up for wounding/low revenues/debt/possibilty of insolvency in 2009.
  • I worry for mankind, the next generation & my children. In my little way, see my blog category artists & ecology. But then again painting isn’t politics is it? Nero’s fiddling away whilst Rome burns?

  • well developed & SEO placed. Recent paintings need to updated however.
  • Coming soon to : the return of my Carnet de Voyage en Egypte – an online sketch book dating from 2001 but updated in 2009 after a visit to the Egyptian dept. in the Louvre – read it in this blog somewhere or other.
  • ‘Dordogne Painting Days’ blog – I enjoy it but is it a waste of time? That Robinsoe Crusoe feeling of hours wasted on the type pad… painting = don’t talk about it, do it!
  • This blog’s blog stats growing at 15 percent per month. Seth GODIN : art blogs tend to generate attention but not revenue.
  • Decided to get out, read, inter-react & meet other blogging artists, even if that too is a waste of time in terms of money. But I enjoy these meetings as they makes me feel less isolated. I need to talk through/clarifying the tangle that is my brain as well as take great care of my creativity & my painting practice. Thanks blog readers & internet friends 🙂


Huts 1

Oil on Panel
30 x 40 cm
©adam cope

for sale

Huts in my village of St.Dizier on the banks of the river Dropt.

Hut -o-logy = the study of huttery? Irony is that my current attraction to igenious & idiosynicratic huts, if some delipated, has for it’s background my ongoing worries with the leaking & uninsolated roof in my own house. Or should I say hut?

Anyway, here’s a hut with standing… 30 000 years of ‘inhutation’ (inhabitation) 😉

hut ,not hab…

‘La Gravette’
oil on canvas
8 paysage
© adam cope