Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Armchair Tourist...Roussillon

Rouissillon, Provence, France

I bought S a big framed world map for Christmas and we stuck pins in all the places we've been to together and separately - even though I thought we were quite well travelled, it turns out we've hardly made a dent. 

We have been lucky enough up until now, to enjoy annual summer holidays somewhere hot and sunny as well as city breaks in the winter but, now that we have the dogs, the type of holiday we go on will change immensely - obviously our trip to New York and Mexico was the mother of all trips as it was for our wedding, which was planned before the dogs came along, but now there will be no more fortnights lying by the pool like beached whales.

Nope, from now on it will be holidays where the dogs can come too.  Inevitably this will mean camping or caravanning or perhaps renting a cottage where pets are allowed, mostly within the UK but perhaps we'll make it to France or Spain as they have great campsites there apparently.

Anyway, you are no doubt wondering what in the name of Toulouse-Lautrec this has to do with art? Nothing really, except that as I won't be getting to do any actual travelling too far afield for the foreseeable future (apart from my birthday trip to the Isle of Skye - more about that later in the week!), I thought maybe I could be an armchair tourist of sorts instead - if I can't actually visit in real life maybe I can  paint pictures of all the places I would love to go and learn about them on the internet instead!

The illustration of this post is a painting I did for the Sketchbook Project from a photo taken by Franklin from the Paint my Photo website .  It is a village called Roussillon in Provence, France and somewhere that, now I've painted this picture, I was intrigued to find out more about.

Credit: Franklin at

Things I learnt about Roussillon from the internet (the usual disclaimer applies for any inaccurate info herein!!)

  • It is famous for its Ochre mines below the village the colours of which are mirrored in the old houses and buildings. 

  • It is apparently one of the most beautiful villages in France

  • There is a natural park of jagged cliffs of ochre near the village called the Giants' Causeway (Sentier des ocres) - which is a funny coincidence as Northern Ireland's most famous natural landmark is also called the Giant's Causeway!!

  • The Irish Nobel-prize-winning writer-poet Samuel Beckett lived in Roussillon from 1942-1945 and the village gets a mention in his book 'Waiting for Godot' (see another Irish link - surely a sign I need to visit this lovely little French village!)

  • There is 1 campsite here so we could potentially visit en famille and go hiking in the mountains in which the village is situated as well as touring round all the other little villages in the vicinity.

One of the descriptions I came across said that this village has seduced many artists - perhaps some day I will be one of them?


  1. Beautiful and whimsical! My 7 year old and I plan to learn French together when she's a teen and take a trip to Paris to celebrate ;)

  2. Your artwork and projects inspire me to no end! I love that you take visual trips to quaint little towns all over the world via the Internet (and take us with you). :)

    Maybe we can all go on a field trip to Roussillon with you one of these days! ;)

  3. Drama Mama - that's a great idea and a good incentive for both of you to learn! I only went to Paris many years ago as part of a school trip but I'd love to go again now as an adult and see it through grown up eyes!

    Lulu, how brilliant would it be if we could take just such a field trip!! Roussillon could be responsible for seducing blogging artists from all over the world at the same time! Maybe you could send me a photo of a nice part of miami - that I could attempt to paint as that is somewhere that is also on my wish list of travels!!


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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