Pruniers, Gascogne

‘Pruniers, Gascogne’

oil on canvas
62,5 x 50 cm (approx 24 3/4 x 19 “/4 inches)
© The Artist.
pruniers (fr) = plum trees (en)
Medium sized oil, which might need an odd retouch here or there.

The Lot & Garonne is well known for its prunes. This orchard stands on the heights of Dropt Valley. On the other bank, the blue distances roll away into Guyenne & Gasconny, the old provinces & principalities of the South West of France.

This is the second year in a row that the plum crops have been bad. The neighbours are beginning to dread next year as three bad years on the trot can really hurt a farmer.Soon they will be grubbing out the prune trees that once made the region famous ‘pruneaux d’agen’.. importing them from argentina now i believe.

Here’s a 30 x 40 of the plum blossom two spring-times ago, during ‘La Lune Rousse’, the red moon.

‘La Lune Rousse’
30 x 40 cm
Oil on Panel
©The Artist

Four paintings by Adam Cope starring the Moon


‘Le Noyer’
87 x 70 cm
Oil on Canvas
© The Artist.


73 x 54 cm
Oil on Canvas
© The Artist
‘La Lune Rousse’
30 x 40 cm
oil on panel
© the artist

‘Landorre, Quercy’
6 figure (41 x 33 cm)
oil on panel
© the artist


Coleridge talking about the looking at moon & symbolic language

In looking at objects of Nature while I am thinking, as at yonder moon dim-glimmering through the dewy window-pane, I seem rather to be seeking, as it were asking for, a symbolical language for something within me that already and for ever exists, than observing anything new. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge . April14 1805.



Plum Blossom _ Ruskin on Imagination

‘Plum Blossom’

Oil on Canvas
61 X 31 cm
© The Artist.

Ruskin on Imagination :

Wholly in proportion to the intensity of feeling which you bring to the subject you have chosen, will be the depth and justice of your perception of its character (16.370) Modern PaintersThere is reciprocal action between the intensity of moral feeling and the power of imagination; for, on the one hand, those who have keenest sympathy are those who look closest and pierce deepest, and hold securest; and on the other, those who have so pierced and seen the melancholy deeps of things are filled with the most intense passion and gentleness of sympathy”(4.257). Modern Painters

The virtue of the Imagination is its reaching, by intuition and intensity of gaze (not by reasoning, but by its authoritative opening and revealing power), a more essential truth than is seen at the surface of things (4.284). Modern Painters


Three Cherry Trees & Autumn Vines

three cheries trees - red oil painting  france fauve colours

‘Three Cherry Trees & Autumn Vines’
oil on panel
30 x 40 cm
© The Artist.
alla prima = done in one session , with very little or no retouching back in the studio
I left this painting behind last autumn, whilst on a painting tour in Quercy, & recently sold it… this painting seems to wishes to avoid all my best efforts to make it fit in with my system of documentation etc!

Oil paint on oil-based primer on MDF panel

Report that the colours have settled well. Oil paint on oil-based primer on MDF panel ages well.The colours are bright & there is little sign of sinking in or drying out.
MDF = medium density fibre board, thefrench have stopped calling it ‘issorelle’

Nature in Dordogne – St Brigids Day

‘Lac de la Nette – After St Brigids Day’
oil on panel
6 F ( 31 x 44 cm)
© The Artist.
300 € – paypal

Nature in Dordogne

OK, carrying on with a short amble about nature in the Dordogne. This painting was made ‘en plein air’ besides ‘ le lac de la Nette’ which is behind Issigeac. It’s a very beautiful lake of 27 hectacres. Man-made, it serves to feed the Dropt river & provide vital irrigation for agriculture. The ducks & artists like it too. The SW of France is a green & fertile part of the world, not so dry & rocky like the South East of France (Provence). But like most of southern Europe, we suffer from seasonal drought. And so most of the heads of the little streams are dammed up to make feeder reservoirs, so what was once a swampy marshy landscape now tends to be beautiful lakes with large trees going down to the winter water table.

St Brigids Day or Candlemas or Imbolc

The spot in above painting really caught my eye… ‘ghosty’ trees as my son called them, wierdly lit in the evening sun-light. Something strange. The sun is now strong again, now we have passed St Brigids Day (or Candlemas or Imbolc). THE RETURN OF THE LIGHT. To see bare winter trees in springtime in the strong southern light is something still surprising to nothern born eyes, breed on the milky soft light of Hampshire, England. Still, even in England, having passed St.Brigids Day is something important to a plein-air painter, who works in the light of day.
“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.” – Scottish Gaelic Proverb
Luckily no three foot of snow in the Dordogne, just snow drops & celandines but hard frosts each morning, somewhat worryingly.

Nature in Dordogne – Homage aux Ronces

‘Les Ronces’
6 F ( 41 x 33 cm)
Oil on Panel
© The Artist.300 € – PayPal

The are still pockets of land unexploitated & ‘in abandon’ ( ‘frisch’) here in the Dordogne. The birds love them, & so too the wild life & the hunters. ‘Les Ronces’ (brambles) grow in profusion in this particular pocket. It was a bright sunny early spring day & I even saw a pale clouded yellow fly by. Personally I love brambles, as they are vigorous & great colonisers. They shelter much fauna & quickly become impenetrable. I realise this runs contrary to the philosophy of ‘improvement’, of maximum rentability & land use, & ‘man over nature’. Gardens, not nature.I myself too have waged war against bramble patches. Burnt them, cut them, slashed them, poisoned them. etc. It’s a joke of mine that the english have strimmers, whilst the rest of the world have manly bush-cutters.

Whilst I painted this, I counted ten different types of birds. Here will no doubt be a great place to listen to nightingales. My village used to have nightingales up until only recently but alot of the hedgerows have been recently cut down & grubbed out. ‘remembrement’. They are now sadly less frequent, though they occasionally sing in my garden, where I now have a bramble patch.

‘Les Genets Fleuris’
Oil on Canvas
12 Figure ( 61 x50 cm – 24″ x 19,7″)
© The Artist.
A VENDRE – contactez moi pour le prix

Les Genets Fleuris = Broom in Flower.

Plantagenets in southwest France

Maybe you know the the story of the name of the Plantagenet (Plantagenêt) dynasty? They were named after the broom plant, la plante genet.
The Plantagenets were the Dukes & Duchesses of Aquitaine (here, in south-west France). Eleanor (Aliénor in Occitain, Eleonore in French, Eleanor in English) married the King of France, divorced him & then married the King of England, thus founding the Plantagenet dynasty (Richard the Lionheart was her son). Thus began The Hundred Years War (which actually must be seen in context of the Capetian ambition to subjugate all provinces of France to direct Parisian domination, starting with the Albigenian ‘Crusuade’ aka the first Inquisition in Europe & the annexation of Provence). Most of the towns & fortified castles around here date from this period.

Even in the woods the human history of the area speaks.

Broom grows well on sandy soil. The orange red earth on the left-hand bottom is ‘la terre rouge’, which I spoke about in

A path through the woods is a subject I greatly enjoy. The symbolism of a path speaks to me. Wildwood, tanglewood, fangorn, findhorn, deep forests . A place where there is still space for nature… for the time being.

‘Le Chemin sur La Causse’
Oil on Canvas
12 Figure ( 61 x50 cm – 24″ x 19,7″)
© The Artist.

Trees – 1995

99 x 48,2 cm (39 x19 inches)
© The Artist.

Absent from posting these two weeks. I did however get this down from the attic, whilst battling with the leaking roof.

Knowing when to stop working on a painting…

There’s a whole backlog of unphotographed paintings up there. I did the odd retouch here & there, just correcting the glaring faults in technical matters. What I was saying in the last post, about when one painting becomes another painting & about stopping applies to retouches as well. Even though I’ve evolved since 1995, I didn’t repaint this painting as that was where I was then.

Where am I now? Battling to find the time to paint. Restoring a house, running painting holidays & two young children under the age of four makes me less time rich than I was ten years ago. Hey-ho, things change.

What hasn’t changed is my desire to paint trees.

Pechiers des Vignes

‘Pechiers des Vignes’
Oil on panel.
30 x 40 cm
© The Artist.

‘Pechiers des Vignes’ – peach trees planted amongst the vines, except here there are three beautiful specimens planted near the church. Surprising combination against the blue shutters.

36 x 48 cm. Oil on Panel.© adam cope
contact me for price

Same landmark tree as before, this time standing in the high grass. Not dark till ten o’clock.

Note that this is 36 x 48 cm & not 30 x 40 cm. It’s a classic french format, a 8 Figure, very pleasing. 8 F was my standard small sized painting for these last five years. It’s larger & squarer. It gives a good stable centre, spacious & generous, a good visual field before you seem to be bouncing off the edges. I will be priming up another batch of the 3 x 4 proportions of ‘photographic’ format; its smaller size means that it’s quicker to lay-in the base of a plein-air painting but sometimes, the landscape does demand … the larger picture. Each set of proportions needs alot of painting before they yield up some of their secrets.