Journey to Saint Hillaire, Aude, France
This piece is from a painting holiday I, and four other artists, went on to Limoux, in the Aude department of France, in 2013.
One damp, gloomy day we took a trip to Saint Hilaire, in the Cathar region, to visit the Abbey there.
The inspiration for this painting came from that journey - which was spectacular. I was relieved not to be driving (thank you, Dora).
The steep hills were covered with vineyards and surrounded by pine trees with the occasional breathtaking view toward the Pyrenees. In fact I was drawn to the Pyrenees from the moment I spotted its peeks through the clouds as the plane came in to land: Like a child seeing the sea for the first time I was continually on the lookout for them during our stay.
I must not forget to mention the thing Saint Hillaire is known for. In 1531 the monks there discovered the first effervescent wine in the world, known as Blanquette de Limoux.
On the journey back to Limoux we stopped briefly to look at the wild Orchids growing by the side of the road.
During our stay we also visited Mirepoix, Limoux, Carcassonne, Brezilhac and my favourite, Alet-les-Bain.
Many more paintings of these memorable places to come but here are a few I've painted so far.
Fireworks at Carcassonne
Ame des Anges
France in May
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