Food, food glorious food!

The above photo has nothing to do with food and everything to do with the Caribbean. I thought I might remind you all of the wonderful places we are going to in 2019 with Paint Provence with Tess.

Antigua late February/early March..Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon 6th – 13th April . The Red Rocks of Roussillon in Provence. The lavender Fields of Provence both trips in June along with a visit to the Camargue.IMG_8711.jpgIMG_7677.jpgIMG_1655.jpg

Not forgetting the Charente and Norway and I am hoping to organise a trip to Budapest in the autumn. Visit my website for more details.

But for now I have reached my last night cooking for my lovely family in Saint Paul, I may have another night here or there and it has been a fabulous six weeks. I have very few photo’s to show you, but my friend Alison took a couple the other night.

The Starter.

Carrot, beetroot and ginger salad with shallots, corriander and parley with lime juice and tamari. Shaved parmesan and black truffle caviar to start.


Followed by Salmon and roasted summer veggies.


Then gluten free raspberry tart with marscepone and orange and cardomen syrup.

I am home in a few days and back in my studio so I will write again soon.

A bientôt

Cooking in Saint Paul

The photo above is not of Saint Paul but a Paint Provence lunch at home on our terrace in Lorgues. I am actually cooking for the summer months near to Saint Paul and the Colle-sur-Loup. Every year I promise myself I will take photo’s of my food and every year I forget because I get so busy and involved with what I am doing that I don’t remember that I am supposed to be taking food photo’s until I have completely cleared the kitchen. As you can imagine this is a nightly experience and has been in this particular villa for the last 19 years and in my life as a chef for the last 45 years. Other people sometimes take photos for me but they get busy too!

These are all quite old but I shall try to take some more.

Really this blog is an apology of sorts to those of you who follow me because it is rare for me to write and art blog during the summer as my mind is filled with food, shopping and menu’s.

But I have been planning my dates and destinations for 2019 and a few for 2020 so if you are interested in one of my trips please take a look and see if there is one or even two you might like to come on.

And just for fun the food below is cooked by two of our lovely chef Ruth.

pot pouri of wonderful food in provence

A bientôt!



I am in the Alpes Maritimes. Bar-sur-Loup, for my summer cooking work. I am staying with my friend Alison and this is the view from my bedroom window.IMG_2106

When everything in the world of humans seems so upside down and difficult I find strength and peace in the great beauty that is all around me.

I have been umming and ahhing about next years dates and I have finally come up with a plan for Spring and Summer 2019. I hope that they are not too late for your holiday plans. But first let me show you a few photo’s from a few of Paint Provence with Tess trips.

IMG_8335IMG_2040LRG_DSC00007Wild flower meadow so close to the lavender fields of ProvenceLook at me arnPretty pretty prettyPoppies in ProvenceOh how pretty in Provence we areAbbaye de MontmajourArtignosc sur Verdonred rocks of RoussillonIMG_8416Lavender to infinityForever in ProvenceValensole en ProvenceLavender to infinityAnd a few photos of the food our chef’s have served.

pot pouri of wonderful food in provence

Dates and Destinations Spring/Summer 2019

Lake Powell. Arizona/Utah  March 23rd-30th

I am very happy to be taking Paint Provence to Lake Powell. It is an area of great beauty and a wonderful watercolour workshop destination. Imagine painting this!

Later on in May, Paint Provence will be going back to Roussillon to discover more amazing villages and landscapes.

Roussillon, Gordes, Bonnieux and Aix en Provence. May 18th – 25th

Lavender Fields of Valensole, Provence June 8th – 15th and June 22nd – 29th

I have decided to run two workshops in the lavender fields next year. It is so magical and peaceful there. Honey bees humming, butterflies flitting, birds singing, breezes blowing. Idyllic. We also visit beautiful villages, to the healing springs of Greoux les Bains, the Lac Sainte Croix, Tourtour and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

Montbeouf, Charentes. 6th – 13th July

It is very hot down south in July and August so Paint Provence with Tess is off to my dear friend Janet’s house in the Charente. Rolling green hills and pretty woods. Near to Bordeaux and Limoges we will have plenty to paint here.

Norway 3rd – 10th August.

I have a lovely Norwegian student called Victoria who has painted on two of my workshops now and who has suggested I take Paint Provence to Norway. Her family own cabins on the sea front in Northern Norway and looks absolutey stunning. Victoria is sending me more information and photographs soon.

By next week I will have all my trip dates, destinations and prices on my site Paint Provence with Tess. If you have any questions please email me on


Many thanks and À Bientôt

Valensole en Provence

I close my eyes and I see endless fields of lavender, deep purple lavender swaying rythmically to the humming of the honey bees. It seems all of natures intentions are directed to the lavender even the mass of dark clouds looming low over the mountains are offering the lavender an even deeper shade of purple. the sun forcing it’s rays through the rain make the wheat fields dazzle apple green and bounce brightly off the lavender until it collides with the mountains and sky and drops again as rain.

Art in the rain in Provence


Lavender to infinityThe plateau gives itself willingly to the lavender, take me I am yours. There is something quite mystical about it. The butterflies don’t flutter by when I pass. Time stands still and still we hum.

Pretty pretty in ProvenceBeew a buzzing in Provencewho am I in Provence

A few of Lee and Mellissa’s paintings of the fields some of the paintings are unfinished.


Lee and Melissa deep in concentration.


A bientôt

Lavender of Provence

Just as we were settling into our paintings the dream worthy vision above of three horses, their riders chatting away and two huge dogs came walking over the horizon and into view.

Lavender fields of Provence

Just a little north of the beautiful lake of Sainte-Croix-de-Verdon is the plateau of Valensole. The largest lavender growing area in all Provence. We are so lucky to live so near to it.

Concentrating in Provence

catch me if you can

Love the lavender

Lavender in Provence

Love it even more

A demain

Roman Aqueducts and Les Baux de Provence

Monday was Arles and Tuesday was spectacular. We left our little house in the olive grove quite early and made our way towards Saint-Remy-de-Provence. We passed through the commune of Fontvielle where I once many moons ago spent two months of the summer cooking for Ala ( daughter of Sunny von Bülow, the American Heiress. Hers is a fascinating and tragic story) Ala, Ralph and their children were such lovely people I cooked for them many years in a row. They took me with them on their trips out to Saint Remy, to Glanum and the Roman Aquaduct. So for me taking Sandra and Chris out and about in the area was a walk down memory lane from 25 years ago.

roman aquaduct 3Roman aqueductsArles and Barbegal (France) The city of Arles, ARELATE, set up as a romancolony for veterans of Caesar’s 6th legion on a low hill on the left bank of the Rhône near the river mouth, grew out to be one of the most important cities in the Western Roman empire, known as “Gallula Roma”, the Rome of Gaul.’

We were lucky enough to over hear a guide tell his guests about the aquaduct and that the water came from an underground spring that was plentiful. They built two aquaducts side by side, one to go to town and supply all the towns folk and the other to irrigate the fields.

IMG_8510 2.jpg

It is a stunning peice of engineering. We didn’t stop to paint but we did take a lot of photographs.

On our way we went to paint in the foot hills of Les Baux.

We had our picnic in an olive grove and painted for hours. Somehow I seem to have lost Sandra’s painting but here is Chris’s great painting.

Les Alpilles de Provence

Painting over we set of on our way home, only to be beckoned by a rather posh Chateau. Chateau Estoublon, famous for it’s olive oil and indeed it’s wine. We made our merry way towards the Abbey of Montmajour, which is extra-ordinary and whose history actually deserves a blog all to itself, so in due course I will write one. In the meantime here are a few photo’s to entice you to visit it one day, perhaps.

Feeling full to the brim with love for this area and  a warm and contented feeling of fulfillment we headed our way home. We did so much and saw so much and yet felt so good at the end of the day.

Wednesday  and Thursday we spent painting the Flamingos.

And Friday we went in search of the lavender fields.

And now we are on a new trip in a new place with dear friends. A place of endless woods and wild flower meadows of a setting sun who stains the mountains purple and fire up the sky in burnt orange and blasts of light blazing through the clouds casting angular shadows and mesmorising skies. I look and this and think who is to say there is no creator?IMG_8623IMG_8625IMG_8638IMG_8667IMG_8652

We will be painting in the lavender fields tomorrow. I am sure you will hear from me soon.

A bientôt.

Perfectly eclectic Provence

Hello there, well it has been a while and my promise to myself that I will write a blog twice a week never seems to work out. I do want to write about the last trip as it was amazing, fun, interesting and a very different trip to my others. I found a sweet place just minutes from Arles, surrounded by an olive grove and acres of freshly cut hay. Ponies in the fields and a view way over to the Alpilles. Apart from a few too many flies it was idyllic. I have taught in and around Roussillon I have taught in the Camargue and this trip was a mixture of many locations. The olive grove and garden sung happily to the sway of the poppies, the hush of the breeze teasing the leaves and the songs of the birds feasting on the ripened fruit of the ancient and laden mulberry tree. There was no question that our first day should be spent in the garden practising tecniques and painting poppies.

Just a few of our poppies.

Being so close to Arles it would have been foolish not to go the Van Gogh foundation and stand on the walled banks of the Rhone river and indeed stroll along to the Roman Arena still mostly intact.

I wasn’t over impressed with the art on display at the foundation and having been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam there was an under whelming display of Vincent’s work. My favourite little piece hanging there was the one below.


I love it, it is so different from his other work and I am not sure why I found it so moving but I do. Something about trains, trains especially older trains seem to have so much character. They seem to know so much and yet it is hard to tell why. They seem so happy when they are roaring through country and towns. They have such a folorn expression when left alone for too long or simply forgotton. They just wait patiently for someone to come and make them roar again.

Back to the exhibition. UM. There were a few rather dreadful Picasso paintings, I think Picasso would have faired better had they not put any up at all. Then many many Paul Nash paintings all of which I would be happy never to see again. But. Sigmar Polke. Whose work I knew vaguely caught my attenetion and I loved what I saw, so much so I bought a rather huge book on his life and work. Really very interesting, playful, diverse.  Using every media I know of and loads I don’t. A joyful madness. Described as ‘One of the most ferociously experimental and influential artists of the post war period” ..’His irreverant wit and his promiscuous intelligence underlay punishing critiques of the conventions of art history and social behaviour’. I would like to see more of his paintings, the real ones of course. As we went around the exhibition each one of us liked different artists and different paintings and no one but me liked Polke, So it just goes to show, beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.


The blue one, untitled, I think reminds me of Orpheus in the Underworld.

Gosh it seems I am still in Arles and it is time to make dinner. I will write part two after supper.



Pont de Crau

Here we are Paint Provencing  just a few minutes from Arles. I was delighted to find our rental villa is right in the middle of farm country. Wheat and barley fields and hedgerows filled with wild flowers. A long view to the Alpilles and of course the Van Gogh Museum is just 8 minutes away. I picked my guests up yesterday from Marseille who are as delightful and enthusiastic as the poppies in the fields and the breeze swirling it’s way joyfully through the trees and tickling the grasses. I think we are off to a good week.

We went for a lovely walk through the fields last night and met some very friendly minature ponies. With punk like hair.



Our villa is set in an olive grove and so far everything is perfect. I have taught colour and technique this morning and this afternoon. Well of course we will be painting poppies.

How sprightly are we. Paint Provence with Tess

Tomorrow will be raining. So we shall go to the Van Gogh Museum and to the Roman Arena in Arles and sketch and in the afternoon come back to paint.


So A demain!