My copy of Postcard from Provence - paintings by Julian Merrow Smith
...not to mention figs, peaches, plums and the changes in seasonal colours in the country lanes and Côtes du Ventoux vineyards of rural Provence.
For the last five years a Postcard from Provence from Julian Merrow Smith has popped up in my inbox on a regular basis. It's a little less frequent than the daily postcard I used to receive at the beginning but it still perks up my day.
This week, instead of an email, my signed copy of Postcard from Provence - the book - arrived instead and it's simply luscious! It includes many of my favourites such as Chemin Tournant.
I'd normally review books on Making A Mark reviews but since Postcard from Provence has a special place in the life of this blog (see links at the end) I'm doing it over here instead!
Julian's book is essentially a catalogue or picture book. It takes the form of a notional year. In making his choice of the 140 paintings to include in the book, Julian was able to draw on more than 1,300 paintings which he had completed since February 2005 when he started Postcard from Provence.
The book also includes a six page interview with Julian by Michael Gitlitz, the current director of the Marlborough Gallery, New York which provides behind the scenes perspective on how he came to be a painter, being a painter in Provence and how the project has impacted on his life.
I love the fact that virtually all the images of the postcard paintings are 'lifesize' giving one a much better feel of what it must actually feel like to receive an airmail package containing one of his paintings on acrylic primed cardboard.
What I found interesting looking through the images chosen for the book was that it very much reminded me of the thoughts I'd had at the time I received the original emails.
20cm x 13cm (8"x5½"), oil on gessoed card
- Julian can paint French cheese so well that I always feel like I can smell and taste it. More paintings of cheese please!
- I particularly look forward to his paintings of fruits with a soft skin - and the nuances and subtleties of the colours he employs
- I very much enjoy the way his palette always changes with the seasons and the weather- and how much I look forward to his paintings of spring and autumn in Provence
You can order a copy of the book from Julian's website where you can also see a preview of the book which allows you to read the Preface and the Introduction.
Alternatively stockists currently include John Sandoe in Chelsea, 'The Book House' in Thame, Oxfordshire and the RHS Bookshop at Wisley. Or click on the following link if you prefer to order from Amazon UK - Postcard from Provence: Paintings by Julian Merrow-Smith
Postcard from Provence on Making A Mark
I've followed Julian's endeavours closely over the years and below, so if you've not read them before, these are my posts celebrating Julian's very impressive project ably supported by Ruth and the cats! The first one below also features an interview with Julian.
- The 1000th Postcard from Provence 17 Oct 2008
Congratulations to Julian Merrow Smith - today's the day of the 1000th Postcard from Provence! I've got an interview with Julian in this blog post, but first let's recap on what's happened during the last 999 paintings. (In which Julian talks about the book proposal)
- "Postcard from Provence" - new in site auction system 26 Feb 2007
This is what Julian had to say this morning to the c.4,000 members of his mailing list . "February marks the second anniversary of 'Postcard from Provence'. In the two years since it's inception shiftinglight.com has received a quarter of a million visitors and nearly 2 million page views and the mailing list has nearly 4000 members, a success beyond our wildest dreams."
- Postcard from Provence: two years on 16 Feb 2007
I've been getting a Postcard from Provence in my inbox for over a year but today is the second anniversary of the very first post (of an oil painting of an oyster on a postcard) by Julian Merrow Smith on his extremely popular and very successful painting a day blog.
- Making A Mark: Blogging Art in 2006 - The Making A Mark Awards 30 December 2006 (Julian shared the Painting a Day Stickability Prize)
- Making A Mark: Blogging Art in 2006 - The Making A Mark Awards Part 2 30 December 2006 (in which his wife Ruth won the "Tales from the Frontline" Mention in Dispatches award for being my favourite blog by somebody who lives with an artist).
- Postcard from Provence 21 Feb 2006
One of my very favourite blogs - and probably the reason why I started getting into blogging - is "Postcard from Provence", a diary in paintings. Julian Merrow-Smith has lived in Provence for the last 8 years or so in a tiny village called Crillon le Brave. (written 2 days before the profile in the New York Times)
The best was the day of the New York Times article in February 2006. I still had forty paintings from the first year unsold and then it went bananas. Ruth and I were putting up red dots faster than we could type and keeping track of the emails and purchases was quite a feat. I sold everything that I had hanging around in the studio in two crazy hours.Links: Postcard from Provence: Paintings by Julian Merrow-Smith [Softback; 160 pages; ISBN:978-2-9534500-0-2 RRP $34.95 (€25.00/£22.50) ]
Julian Merrow Smith