Monday, May 09, 2005

Fresh each day 

The past couple of weeks, I haven't have much time to read blogs - or, obviously, to write much here. The rest of my life has been busy, and in good ways. Now I just have to figure our how to have a busy life, read the blogs I love, and write here regularly.

On days when I have little time to spend in the blogosphere, there are two blogs that I almost always visit, because they provide such lovely small treats for the eyes.

Postcard from Provence is the daily painting blog of Julian Merrow-Smith, a British (really, didn't the name tell you?) painter living in Crillon-le-Brave, Provence with his wife, cellist Ruth Phillips, and their two cats. Since February 16, Julian has been painting, and posting, a small oil painting each day on this blog. His still lives - often one piece of luscious local fruit such as those shown here - are mouth-watering; his landscapes sketches capture in gesture the qualities of light, shade and shadow on the buildings and trees of Provence. Julian writes:
The idea for this site germinated over the winter of 2004/2005, in no small measure due to the arrival of ADSL in the provençal countryside, my interest in webdesign, webstandards and blogging and finally, stumbling across the enormously successful site of one Duane Keiser.

I first learned of painter Duane Keiser's blog, A Painting a Day, from a post of Ruth's. It has become a daily "read" as well. Duane, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, says this about his blog:
For this blog I'm going to try to make a painting each day (starting 12/10/2004.) Most of the paintings on this blog will be postcard-sized oil sketches (I call them Postcard Paintings.) I paint them on site, using a modified cigar box as an easel.

Duane paints small still lives, not only of small, ovoid foods, but of flowers, fishing lures, even the proverbial silver spoon (shown out of mouth). Yesterday, he posted the sweet, light-filled 'Backyard (for Mom)'. Duane has a great short movie showing him painting a small object. How long did it take you to figure out what he was painting?

Were it not for Ruth, who somehow found Music and Cats and wrote to me, I would probably not know of either of these painting blogs, nor would I know of her own thoughtful, lyrical, beautifully written blog, meanwhile, here in france... Many thanks, Ruth.