Les Couleurs des Cévennes

The Colours of the Cévennes.

The Cévennes are at the south end of the Massif Central, the backbone of mountains that run from the centre (north-south) of France

Well, I say “backbone” – it’s not quite that linear, as you can see from the image. The image below shows the relative positions of Clermont Ferrand and where we were staying, at the edge of Cévennes Noir. If you want to know where we live, it’s between Thiers and Roanne, both of which are marked on the map.

While we were away I wanted to do a bit of painting, so I took my new acrylics with me – still experimenting. There was nothing I wanted to paint “from life” so on Saturday afternoon, I just tried to paint the colours that I’d seen through the week, idly inspired by the forested hillside opposite me.

Once I got home I went through a tourist leaflet from the area, tearing out words or images that spoke to me; finally using my trusty, colourful Gudrun Sjoden catalogue for other colours and images. (click to biggify)

This part has the colours of the rocks by the dry river beds, and the yellow of the diseased box hedges – there were lots of these. Mireille (our guide) explained that this disease was caused/ spread (not sure which) by the caterpillar of a tiny moth.

With this next part I tried to capture the green from the trees – it was very forested. I’m not sure I quite got some of the darkness. In places the forestation was very deep…but in other places (our walk by the river) the shade was green and dappled.

With this part I wanted to show the bamboo, so I cut out some “stalks” from the catalogue, plus some pictures of leaves (I actually think they’re palm, but they’re close enough!) There are some other images too that we saw around the area – ruined castles, for example. The river is the centre is the river we paddled across – limpid bluey-green.

The final part takes more images  from the tourist brochure that spoke to me- the flowers and bees from our walk around Nimes-le-Vieux, and also the lilies in the Bambouseraie; a guided walk, “Dites oui” (Say Yes) – to being open, relaxed, to enjoying the moment.

It’s not exactly a great work of art, but I’m satisfied by it.

2 thoughts on “Les Couleurs des Cévennes

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