Into the Morning Light of the Camargue, is photo #897, one of the first of my horse series in Camargue. It was taken on a crisp, almost cold early Spring morning...
It’s the light in Camargue…. Its glow radiates in the atmospheric dust, which sort of acts as a natural filter. And then, it gleams hues of cerulean, cobalt, and a hint of lilac. What’s more, the intensity of the tints shift as the light makes its soft passage throughout the day. And that is the backdrop to the rest of the beauty in this place.
I came here for the white horses. Their beauty, history, and life in this nature, like the force of a magnet, called to me. I had only one mission, to experience being in their midst; to touch them with my fingers, and lose myself in their eyes, to observe their interactions with each other, and with man, to have a better understanding of their way of life, their resiliency in this harsh environment of salty water, cold Mistral north winds, and vicious mosquitos.
Notwithstanding being a beautiful specimen of a horse, I am drawn to the Camargue for it’s unknown origins, for being one of the oldest breeds on this earth, and for its semi-feral existence. This horse, has the essence of time gone by, an antiquated charm, a concept that I, as an artist, am naturally drawn to.
I love to paint the Camargue horses. And though I’ve only touched the surface of their essence, I see myself in them, in their spirits, and their resiliency. And now, my connection to them has been heightened to a new level. My only hope, is that my work reflects the emotions I experienced in Camargue, and that in the end, the light that filled my soul in this magical place, radiates through my art, and in my life.
Being in this moment,
To feel, to breathe, emotions spring forth life in my soul.
Could there be a better gift to offer myself?
No, none better, or more valuable,
And certainly not any more true.
Being in this moment,
In waiting, for the light—the sun to hoist up one more day.
For this life to wake, to stretch, and to sing.
While observing all that stirs around, I become aware of what stirs inside.
The murmurs of my soul, the voice of me,
Too often silenced in the business of life, is simple again.
Being in this moment,
To accept this beautiful invitation,
Bearing witness with my own eyes, the azure atmosphere, the burgeoning foliage,
Inhaling with each deep breath, the fresh, the crisp aromas of life,
Touching with my real fingers, the green grasses, the sandy soil, the animal and his moist sweat.
Being in the moment,
Living, loving this nature, and this special place.
Documenting with my eyes, body, spirit, and lungs.
Loving blue, loving green, loving water, loving the white horses.
Being in the moment,
Welcoming the solitude, the space between myself and the bustle.
The empty vessel that I have become,
Can once more, fill itself with the simple love and the beauty that is here just for me.
It was in May of 2015 that I began my research and study into what would become my Breaking Through collection. I painted Breaking Through during my extended sojourn on the Sonoma Coast in the Winter of 2016. The collection was going to focus on nature, wildlife, horses, stags, trees, some reliefs, and perhaps some collages. I would paint only what I felt called to emulate, this alone, being my sole requirement. In the end, my work did include all that was on my initial focus list, yet a predominant theme evolved; the Camargue horses.
I first developed a fascination with the Camargue horses upon coming across beautiful pictures of them for my subject research prior to leaving. I collected the images and stuffed them in a file called HORSES intended for future use. That was back in the summer of 2015, nearly two years ago. Having never painted the actual Camargue horses before, it was their movement, gesticulation, and energy that resonated in me when I worked their likeness in my paintings, and kept me coming back for more. The landscape that dressed their backdrop was evocative of my favorite place in the world, Point Reyes. And all the while I painted, their story became my mantra, and the land they inhabited beckoned to me.
The Camargue horses became my flagship paintings from that Sonoma Collection. They were well received in every exhibit I showed at; I never sold more paintings than in 2016. I continued my research on these beautiful creatures and the region they come from, the Rhone river delta, in South France. The more I learned, the deeper my obsession became, the more I felt the need to experience their essence, their nature, their movement and herd mentality. Ever since my return from Sonoma, I have been painting the Camargue over and over again. Six months ago though, I decided that it was time to experience them for myself, to be in their setting, to breath their air, and wet my feet in the marshes they run in. I want the pictures I paint from to be my own, to derive from the experience I have with these animals. So I pulled the trigger.
I leave for Arles, and the Camargue in just over 3 weeks. I will be journaling my days in Facebook, so please follow me on https://www.facebook.com/IsabelleTruchonArt/
I want to photograph everything; to touch and feel the energy of the captivating herds through the salty marshes, the wild bulls, and pink flamingos in the neighboring Parc Ornithologique, other wildlife and migrating bird species, and the beautiful Rhone delta, where the salt and fresh water converge. I can’t wait to share it all with you!
Let’s be clear: My love affair with wine has always existed, but it grew to epic proportions once I met the inspiring Sébastien Marquet. Being from Burgundy has something to do with it, no doubt. The wine culture runs deep through the veins of those born there. Wine is a natural part of the Burgundy lifestyle entrenched with wholesome food, warm family, and good friends.
On my first ever trip to Burgundy back in 2010, all my five senses were engaged as I experienced one of the most memorable experiences of my life. However, as a visual artist, the scenic views are what struck me most of all. The front stage of the most famous wine region in the world was as nothing I had seen before in a wine country region – a tapestry of textures and colors is how I describe the miles upon miles of vineyards clustered together along La Cote d’Or.
The quaint backstage experiences were remarkable. Fine wine tastings in tiny cramped cellars; frolicking forever along rows of vast, never-ending vineyards; my fingers touching the rich soils; hearing the stories of the people who cultivate the vines and vinified the wines — These are just a few examples of the special human moments I was so fortunate to experience while in Burgundy.
Observing is one of my favorite pastimes, and observe I did in Burgundy: A cooper skillfully creating a barrel. The town Marchés with their piles of cheese wheels, olives, and sausages organized in large wicker baskets. The white Charolaises in the green countryside fields, the medieval structures, and the stones that make up the sacred Abbeys. These were life-changing observations to one degree or another.
As I organize our next tour, I reminisce on the great memories of our past experiences. I journal just about everything I do, and Burgundy is no different. Flipping through my old journal pages and seeing my sketches and visuals invites that Burgundy feeling to possess my spirit.
And I think … This is a Lifestyle Worth Sharing! And tonight is a good time to open that fantastic bottle of Volnay 1e Cru 2008 with my love, Sébastien.
If you are interested in joining us, there are just a few open spaces left on our upcoming tour, which runs June 25 through July 2, 2017. Sébastien and I enjoy nothing more than sharing the history, culture, and good wine of his homeland with like-minded people.
I invite you to join us and visit Burgundy not as a tourist, but as part of our family. To find out more, visit www.BurgundyX.com
What began as a project I had dreamed up 9 months prior, turned out to be one of the greatest, most rewarding gifts I have ever given myself; the gift of time, alone, with my solitude, and my creative process. Leaving my other life obligations behind, and focusing on my art practice, yoga, and meditation, restored and energized my being-- a resurrection of sorts.