04 October 2013

two very small paintings


                          T. Coffey

                       Alan Roberts

I recently visited the studio of Alan Roberts who runs the Leo Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence. He brought out two small paintings (maybe 15cm across each) which we had both painted side by side. I had, of course, forgotten them. It was so long ago when we used to go out into the landscape and paint together in the Vaucluse (pre-Peter Mayle). Looking at them together we realized that they must have been done around 1976, winter probably. Its amazing to me how similar they feel yet different, like twins of the same womb but from separate eggs. They smell of "French Impressionism" because we were both so heavily influenced by Cezanne, Pissaro, Monet, Sisley, and Van Gogh... And why not? They were such great teachers. We also had the advantage of working in their own backyards far beyond the pages of an art history book. We went into the landscape of Provence and hoped to learn something about painting. Seeing these small things side by side evokes such memories for me... How fast it all goes by!.... what is there to show for it all?.... et pourtant,... maybe a few paintings in the end... But looking at them together, I confess that I like Alan's more than my own.

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