Thursday, October 9, 2014

Plein air painting in France, Holland, and Belgium - Summer 2014

This summer I spent 3 weeks in Europe with my wife.  As expected, there was no shortage of painting inspiration.  We rented apartments along the way and rented a car from Amsterdam. This was our first trip with a rental car and it allowed us far more freedom to explore back roads than a train ever could.  Aside from being glorious fun, it was a very productive trip and my goal was to paint at least 1-2 paintings a day.

boat study near our apartment in Amsterdam

painting a section of the Afgifte Goederen mansion in Amsterdam

Afgifte Goederen - 6" x 9" oil on canvas board

door sketch
   quick windmill study outside the IJ brewery in Amsterdam - it was pretty wind and rainy that day so I did what I could and left it as a sketch

6" x 9" oil on canvas board - Amsterdam, Holland

sketching a section of the Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam

my 30 minute night painting attempt on a canal in Amsterdam. 

Early Morning in Amsterdam - 24cm x 33cm oil on canvas board

rainy day fig study - Amsterdam

small audience in Antwerp, Belgium

Painting some lavender near Chateaurenard, France.  The owners of the farm I was painting in front of liked the painting and bought it on the spot!  

Happy customers

St. Remy Market - Provence, France

Dinner time after a long day in Chateurenard, France

The sun was going down pretty quickly, so I decided to sketch the underpainting for these platanus trees and finish the rest the next day

second layer the next day

Platanus trees - Chateaurenard, France

vineyard near our apartment

my wife painting the same field in watercolors

french vineyard 8" x 10" oil on linen canvas board

early morning painting 

Painting in Provence at the  Réserve Naturelle Nationale de la Plaine des Maures on the way to St. Tropez

Parasol Pines - 22cm x 33cm oil on canvas board

St. Tropez, France

afternoon study in St. Tropez

The Coast of St. Tropez - 5" x 7" oil on canvas board

Port de Saint Tropez - 6" x 9" oil on canvas board

Midi- Pyrenees - 6" x 9" - oil on cnavas board

quick study outside of Toulouse, France

Sunflowers and poplar trees outside of Monclar de Quercy, France

30 minute sunflower field study around Albi, France

  Before Europe, I flew back to the U.S to visit family and friends.  Here are a few sketches I made from California and Florida.

statue sketch in San Francisco

statue sketch in San Francisco

quick oil painting of my wife at the beach in Sarasota, FL

quick nude study in charcoal - Lakeland, FL


  1. Phil,

    I too finished college, briefly went into a different career, and came back to art. I am now at a classically-driven school.

    Your contrast and likeness of your subjects is inspiring. Do you have any suggestions (advice, books, websites, et al.) you might recommend? Though I am progressing, I still feel behind.

  2. I've been looking at your work on DPW for the last year and finally stopped by your blog this morning. So glad I did. Your work is terrific and thank you for publishing the photos as you plein air around Europe. Inspiring!!