‘Le Cingle de Limeuil’

Cingle = meander in the river Dordogne at Limeuil.

‘Le Cingle de Limeuil’

Oil on canvas 65 x 54cm (approx 26 x 22 inches).
© The Artist.
The above painting is plein-air, painted on location, on the spot


looking down from the steep scape slope, buzzards flying up on the thermals…

Limeuil is the name of the town build on the hill at the confluence of the Dordogne & Vezérè.
I was ‘artist in residence’ in the beautiful parc panoramorique during
summer 2005. Here’s few of the images of that lovely long hot blue summer 🙂

plein air painting

plein air painting in the heat & light, i loved every minute of it, the sky was white blue wih heat – just great!
painting on location, on the spot, watercolours or oils
looking down  the valley , up the river
river of hope
oil painting
©adam cope

WIP : Le Cingle de Limeuil, Dordogne

‘Le Cingle de Limeuil, Dordogne’
ETAPE …. En Progres …

Oil on Canvas
65 x 54cm (approx 25,5 x 21,5 inches).
© The Artist.

Le cingle = the meander of the dordogne at Limeuil




Too much  like Cézanne? Ahh maitre Cézanne, you who have given me so much? It sometimes seems to me  that even the farmers plough their fields  as if by your hand,. Your vision has helped shape  the vision of many artists, including myself,  who followed on behind you. It was by looking at some your many ‘half-finished’ paintings – works in progress – that I partly leant to oil paint.


Cezanne - WIP

Work in progress by Cézanne


bright spring yellows – Matisse on shock

‘Printemps, Dropt’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
12 paysage format francais
© The Artist.
Incredible rebirth of the leaves, yellow gold in the bright white sunlight.
The thing is just how do you use colour ?
Here’s another painting of the same scene a few weeks earlier, just before the leaves opened, dating from 2007:

‘Berges du Dropt’
Oil on MDF Panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.

“The essential thing is to spring forth, to express the bolt of lightning one senses upon contact with a thing. The function of the artist is not to translate an observation but to express the shock of the object on his nature; the shock, with the original reaction.” – Matisse


‘Ilots, La Dordogne à Lalinde’
Medium Size Oil on canvas
x 40cm (approx 30 x 14 inches).
© The Artist


I was born in a country of brooks and rivers, in a corner of Champagne, called le Vallage for the great number of its valleys. The most beautiful of its places for me was the hollow of a valley by the side of fresh water, in the shade of willows…

My pleasure still is to follow the stream, to walk along its banks in the right direction, in the direction of the flowing water, the water that leads life towards the next village…

But our native country is less an expanse of territory than a substance; it’s a rock or a soil or an aridity or a water or a light. It’s the place where our dreams materialize; it’s through that place that our dreams take on their proper form….Dreaming beside the river, I gave my imagination to the water, the green, clear water, the water that makes the meadows green. I can’t sit beside a brook without falling into a deep reverie, without seeing once again my happiness….The stream doesn’t have to be ours; the water doesn’t have to be ours. The anonymous water knows all my secrets. And the same memory issues from every spring.

– L’Eau et les Rêves. Essai sur l’imagination de la matière. Gaston Bachelard.


La Dordogne à Lalinde 1

‘La Dordogne à Lalinde 1’
Medium Size Oil on canvas
65 x 54 cm
© adam cope
The same little islands – ‘îlots’ en francais – as in these paintings down from the opposite bank.

‘ Îlots, Pontours 1’
Medium size oil on canvas
46 x 38 cm
© adam cope

‘ Îlots, Pontours 2’
Medium size oil on canvas
70 x 33 cm
© adam cope



Oil on MDF panel
41 x 33 cm (approx 12,5 x 17 inches)
© Adam Cope


Oil on MDF panel
41 x 33 cm (approx 12,5 x 17 inches)
© Adam Cope

A session in the studio repainting this plein-air piece. Red & blue, no?

Ronces (fr) = brambles (en)

I like brambles a lot for their vigour & pioneering life-force. This was an over-grown patch by an abandoned house, rich & melodious in bird song.

Path at the End of Winter

path in winter - cornus - pianting

‘Chemin, Cornus – Fin de Hiver’

Medium Size Oil on Canvas
61 x 45 cm (approx 24 x 18 inches).
© The Artist

cornus = dogwood

This path at the end of winter, lined with oaks. Red dogwood suckers. Life surging back into the landscape.
painted this in one session, reduced me to tears… all prima large oil painting in plein-air, yeaa!
alla prima = first take

Karst Landscape – finished state

oil painting of karst limestone landscape

‘Karst Landscape’ (St.Avit de Senieur, Dordogne)
Finished state
Oil on Canvas

large oil painting…



The bright spring sunlight has returned. Seeing it again gave me the prompt that I needed to finish off this large oil canvas fom last year. Sometimes a painting needs a year or two (even more sometimes) before it arrives at completion.

See the work in progress & some commentary in the post : Karst Landscape at the End of Winter (in the category rocks or WIP)

“Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst

Read about painting & rocks:
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part one
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part two
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part three
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part four
  • Cliff in the Vezérè Valley – ‘Sous Le Ruth, No.1’
  • Rock Formations – John Ruskin – Prehistoric Shelters in the Dordogne
  • Caves in art – Ruskin

Oil on two canvas
each 64 x 55 cm (approx 21,5 x 25 inches)
© adam cope

“Here, by the riverside, the motifs multiply, the same subject seen from different angle offers a subject for study of the greatest interest, and so varied that iI think I can keep myself busy for months without shifting my position, inclining sometimes more to the right, sometimes more to the left.” – Cézanne, to his son Paul, Aix, sept 8 1906
More about Ditypches & Parallax in Painting

Here’s a reference photo, at dusk, as I imagine there’s possibly a few of you who might not know what misteltoe looks like (it’s the round clumps in the trees).


Mistletoe is a parasitic shrubs that grows in trees, living of the host-tree’s sap. Mysterious plant I love it & have four clumps in my garden. We used to celebrate New Year with it in my southern english home town of Winchester.

“Mistletoe bears fruit at the time of the Winter Solstice, the birth of the new year, and may have been used in solstitial rites in Druidic Britain as a symbol of immortality. In Celtic mythology and in druid rituals, it was considered a remedy for barrenness in animals and an antidote to poison[11], although the fruits of many mistletoes are actually poisonous if ingested as they contain viscotoxins.” Mistletoe-WIKI


Landscape as the Mirror of the Soul

‘Misteltoe 2’
Part of a diptych
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
65 x 54 cm (approx 21 x 26 inches)
© adam cope
‘Meaning’ is often conferred to the landscape by us humans. Certainly, us artists find ‘meaning’…. us image makers, who weave our lives in & out of both inner & outer worlds, trying to mesh them together into images. When image becomes ‘Image’. Landscape as the mirror of the Soul.Van Gogh’s letters show him finding ‘meaning’ in the stars. Mondrian’s early landscapes are visible expressions of his search for Theosophical meaning in the world. Do we look for something that doesn’t exist ? Doesn’t exist outside of our imaginations? Outside of our busy mental lives?

Maybe the artist should stay silent about his images. Leave the interpretation to the onlooker.

The artists’ vision arises at the same time as she finds meaning… there are so many technically perfect paintings of landscapes but they don’t speak to me of the mirror of the soul, nor particularly much about the place, the lanscape either. I feel taht the artist has taken herself to much out of the equation & her visionis diminished.


detail of ‘Misteltoe 2’

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” – Rumi

“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley


Oil on Panel
30 x 40 cm
© adam cope

Another painting about looking through a (veil) screen of trees to a view of hills the other side :



La Taillus’
43 x 39 cm
Oil on canvas
© adam cope