Jardin de PetrarquePosted: July 2, 2018
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.