‘La Cattie, Monbazillac’
Large size oil on canvas
approx 100 x 60 cm
©adam cope
Recently, I was asked to give an interview for Terre de Vin, France’s national glossy magazine about wine. January issue. I’m pretty pleased. I borrowed a large oil from one my collectors so as to share the ‘milliseme’. I’ve painted vines for years now.

My Clean Atelier

I cleaned up my atelier for the visit. Unbelievable! Clean enough to share with you! The pin-hole lens makes it look much larger than it is… or is it just the the lack of debris?


I think I’m fairly clean-living. LOL . I’m not very good at finishing-off stuff, so paintings tend to lay about unfinished. Piling up one on top of the other. Not as mucky as Francis Bacon, whose trashed studio is now relocated at the Hugh Lane in the Dublin City Gallery. How’s this for the all-time prize-winning creative-vortex debris!


Francis Bacon’s Studio

Now relocated at the Hugh Lane in the Dublin City Gallery

The photographer whizzed-in (great geezer on a motor bike, does all the big footie matches in SW Franc) & maybe was a little dispapointed by the cleanliness of my studio. Just look how clean my hairy little sticks were for the occasion.


Paint tubes still retaining evidence of plein-air chaos:

Worst of all, my leaky roof :

Ongoing major headache…. Next year the builders will take the roof off & put a nice warm, waterproof one back on. Last week, I was insulating the attic of the other part of the house. Not art but part of the answer to ‘How come I’ve not painted a masterpiece yet?’ & ‘Where do my days go to?’

‘The days run away like wild horses over the hills’ — Charles Bukowski


I went online to visit Judsons Art Outfitters – Home of Pochade Boxes and Plein Air Supplies since 1987, as it’s always interesting to see what’s happening ‘the other side of the water’. A fair few of the students who come to my Chateaux Painting Holidays, France come from the States, so over the years, I’ve seen close-up some of the materials that you can’t find in Europe. Here’s a little beauty that really is ‘super handy’ & has been a missing link in my kit for years.

Here’s what Judson has to say about this part of the Guerilla Painter pochade box easel:

The Hang-Up Brush Caddy:
” Super handy. Will fit in the (121.12) Brush Tray or hang off the side of your french easel and holds 10 or more brushes. Use the handle to lift it out and hang it from any of the three front edges of any size of Guerrilla Box. Also, the Palette Extension Kit (132.12) has a pre-cut slot to hold the Caddy. White enameled aluminum. “

Wow! after years of placing brushes on the ground, stepping on them & sometimes even leaving them behind… a pesky missing link that always worried me.

Here’s how I used to do it : rolled up in a brush holder. This “ol’ faithful” is ten years old.

TIP: Brushes are often damaged in transit. Their tips are fragile & sliding around inside boxes can bash their delicate tips, even oil painting hogs. I roll my brushes up in a clean clothe rag every time.

Gotta get one of those ‘guerilla hang-ups’ !!! I thought about the shipping to Europe before I loose all my brushes 😉

Here’s one I cobbled together (ML thought I had really gone funny when she saw me rushing about the house all excited about… a plastic box ). It doesn’t fit neatly ino my french easel unlike how the smart guerilla hang-up fits well into the integral guerilla system. The result of which is that my improvised hang-up hangs around extraneously & is one more bit of kit to carry (drop). You get what you pay for. One day I will have a guerilla to carry my hang-ups.

It is however bright, always an advantage when there’s hunters around.

Life is good when you’ve got hang-ups, ahhhh thanks Judsons. Now for a guerilla box… I wonder do they ship to Europe?

What’s the best way to ship gear to Europe? I’ve shipped paintings to the States before with never a worry.

It looks like a really good shop. Judsons Art Outfitters – Home of Pochade Boxes and Plein Air Supplies since 1987

A Torch for Nocturnes

By the time you’ve painted a sunset, it’s dark. You’ve got to pack up your materials, and get back to car. It’s pitch black & probably muddy. Maybe you’re a bit tired & spaced out after a hard painting session. It’s dark and you’ve got to find all your stray painting materials. So you need a torch to find your brushes & paints etc, carelessly strewn on the ground whilst in creative fever. Honestly this is an expensive & negligent habit, and it only gets worse in the dark. Brushes cost & to leave them behind in the night is ‘false expense’ to say the least.

TIP : Have a ritual for packing up your materials, which always includes one extra close look behind at the ground to see if you’ve left any thing behind.

Selection of Nocturnes 2002

‘Three Lamps’
© the artist

‘Le Pont de Bergerac’
© The Artist

‘La Maiso Peyarade, Bergerac’
©The Artist

I looked at buying a torch that can be strapped to ones head. Handy for nocturnes. Even if it might look a bit ridiculous.

WAYNE THIEBAUD with a torch…

I’ve been doing some research into WAYNE THIEBAUD recently (posting to come soon) & I came across this. Is he wearning a torch strapped to his head? In his studio? What does this mean? It’s daylight. Is it a joke?

Wayne Thiebaud in his studio at Rosebud Farm, Hood, California, c.1968
photo by Betty Jean Thiebaud, Thiebaud family collection
from “Delicious: The Life and Art of Wayne Thiebaud” 2007 by Susan Goldman Rubin.

New Label : Plein-Air Painting Materials

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my plein-air painting materials. One kind of materials = One post at a time. If you’ve got adaptations or variations with your own materials, please feel free to let us know via the comments where your post about plein-air materials is.

Plein-Air Materials 1 – Winter Boots

With snow on the ground in the northern climes, us in the southern european climes are without snow (thankfully, I hate the stuff for personal reasons). However the ground is wet & waterlogged. Great heavy clay sticking to the boots like someone increased gravity by tenfold. Stuck to the ground. I paint standing up for the most part.

Note the fur lining 🙂 It’s important to have warm feet at all times. Comfortable whilst you paint ‘en plein-air’.

A warm pair of winter boots has a tradition amongst plein-air painters. I wish Vincent had fur lined boots.

Vincent Van Gogh.
Old Boots.
37.5 X 45 cm – oil on canvas
July-September 1886

This is what The Van Gogh Museum in Holland has to say about this painting that is in its collection.

“This painting of a pair of down-at-heel shoes prompts speculation on a variety of psychological questions. They have been seen as symbolizing Van Gogh’s difficult passage through life.

A fellow student in Paris reported that Vincent bought these workman’s boots at a flea market, intending to use them in a still life. Finding them still a little too smart, however, he wore them on a long and rainy walk. Only then were they fit to be painted.

Van Gogh made a number of still lives with old shoes. To him, as to several of his contemporaries, they may have been symbolic of the hard yet picturesque life of the laborer.”