Jardin de Petrarque

There’s a reason this Provençal town is called Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. This fountain is a spring, the source of the Sorgue River which flows out of the mountain, bubbling and gushing it’s way through the town. You can read on Wikipedia, like I did, about how much water flows from this biggest spring in France, but what no photo or website prepares you for is the sound of the rushing water. It is at times deafening. I can hear it outside my window when I wake up in the morning because a stream runs right through our hotel. I ate dinner last night at a restaurant next to the river and could hardly hear the waiter because of the waterfalls below our table. It’s also what makes Petrarch garden so special and why I’ve spent so much time there these past two days.

The poet Petrarch lived and wrote in this town in the 14th century, so there are many things named after him, including our hotel. There’s also a small museum and a splendid garden with many shady spots for painting the rushing water. Yesterday I sketched but it was so peaceful I came back today. In three or four hours I churned (no pun intended) out three quarter sheet paintings from different spots in the park.

The first one was from a spot where I could see the blue damsel flies landing on the reeds in the shallow pools of water, which is absolutely clear and an unearthly shade of green.

The second one was looking at the museum which was supposed to open in the afternoon but never did. Glad that man dipped his feet in the water at the right time!

And the final quick one was looking upstream at the river. I set my easel up in the shade of a wide fig tree and enjoyed the cold breezes coming off the water as I painted.

20 Comments on “Jardin de Petrarque”

  1. Diane Dean says:

    Shari, I’m wondering what First encouraged you to make such bold marks in mark making? I really admire that style but am so unsure of how I would learn to do it.
    Have been enjoying all of the pieces from your trip:)


    • Hi Diane. I’m not sure I have an answer for that. I don’t think too much about the marks themselves. I usually just have an idea of how the painting should look and then I fill it in with washes.


  2. hyllaevans says:

    What a fabulous gift you’ve given today! I feel transported to France all the way from Atlanta!

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  3. Bravo for your description and your wonderful watercolors. This place is one of my favorite. You chose well. I always look and read anything you publish. What a treat for me !

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  4. Alison says:

    Wow Shari. You are doing some amazing work. It looks most inspired. Your treatment of the water is mesmerizing. I can tell you are really enjoying yourself!


  5. gaelle1947 says:

    Triple WOW!!! Your vivid sketches and descriptions gave me a real sense of being there too!!


  6. Judy Sopher says:

    I must add my thanks for these paintings and your explanations. What a wonderful place to visit. As always, I enjoy your paintings. Have a safe trip home.


  7. Tracey Mardon says:

    Have you tried counting all the fountains yet😄 we tried when we were there on a cycle trip last year but try as we might we couldn’t find all of them! Lovely little town. So nice to revisit it in your postings! Tracey


  8. Barb Chandler says:

    These are stunning, Shari! The location obviously inspired you–it shows in your work. Just wanted to say how very much I have enjoyed your blog over the years. Finding a new missive from you in my inbox always makes my day–not only seeing your beautiful paintings, but also reading your well-chosen words. You are a wonderful writer, too! I never reply/comment, but I just wanted you to know how greatly valued and appreciated your journal entries and art are! Barb Diltz Chandler



  9. Jess T. says:

    This is beautiful work 🙂 You captured the motion of the waves perfectly!


  10. Gil Zarins says:

    Stunning brushwork and colors!


  11. jansiking says:

    Wonderful sketches, Shari!


  12. bonniejohnson says:

    Love the colors.


  13. You are a wonder! How you can produce all this in a single afternoon is unbelievable!


  14. Jean says:

    Thank you for these lovely paintings. We have been having a late June-early July heatwave from Winnipeg East to Montreal. Looking at your paintings is a way to relive cooling breezes and shady retreats with you.


  15. TonyU says:

    What a challenge and what stunning results! You’re obviously in your element. And another week to go!


  16. […] I believe Petrarch Park and Petrarch Garden are modelled on traditional Tuscan gardens, as Petrarch grew up near Florence. I could easily find out whether this is true, but couldn’t stand the disappointment of possessing a fact. Besides, the Petrarch Museum is closed every time I rattle its gates. A different and better view of Petrarch Park, painted by Shari Blaukopf. […]


  17. electrofork says:

    These are so cool, breezy, and graphic! The combination of loose with detail-oriented, sharp moments is always effective, and you’ve done it with aplomb, and with a brilliant palette. Really lovely to look at 🙂


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