Hello, I am Tess. I am new to Slow Travel Tours and this is my very first blog on the site. I have decided to take this moment to introduce myself.
I am an artist and a chef, I have lived in Provence since 1985 apart from the times that I spent working as a chef on private sailing yachts. Adventures on the high seas are best for the young ones as far as I am concerned but being on the first private yacht that was allowed to sail around the Galapagos was a gift of an experience that I hope never to forget!
In 1992 aged 34 I decided to live in my little house in the mountains of the Alpes Maritimes and decided to devote my life to both my passions, my art and my cooking. Painting has long since taken precedence over cooking and it doesn’t give me a back ache!
I studied firstly at my mother’s side. She was a costume and set designer for the movies and theatre and in her very few spare moments (bringing up and gaggle of girls and many a four footed friend) she would sit with her straw hat on outside painting wild flowers, insects, butterflies, caterpillars, bees, just beautiful paintings, and my mum taught me to paint. Mum taught me my love and passion for nature, my desire to paint it, to be in it, to embrace it, and to thank it for its extra-ordinary beauty. She also taught me my love of art and artists, contemporary art in particular.
I have studied art at art school, I have worked as an artist’s apprentice, I have done many art courses over the years, I have been a student at the Artists Student League in New York over many years. Some of my good friends encouraged me to teach them water colours in my studio in Saint-Antonin and I loved it– particularly the spring and autumn, when it is neither too hot or too cold and the colours are glorious in both seasons. I started Paint Provence with Tess four years ago, offering week-long painting holidays from my home and in other areas that are special to me.
Painting in a sea of poppies is my idea of absolute bliss. Painting in endless fields of lavender feels like a gift from heaven. I love sharing where I live, I love sharing my knowledge. One of the things that gives me the most joy is people finding just in one week that they can paint, and enjoy it and find their inner creative. I believe we all have one.
It is March 6th and today the sun is shining, the japonica is shining, the almond blossom is over flowing, the early iris are reaching upward, my wisteria has thousands of buds bursting to bloom, yellow daffodils are gracing the green grass, blue bells, tiny lupins are everywhere. Wild orchids and the bright yellow of our mimosa still blooming in March! All of nature is waking up and beseeching me to come and paint now.
We live just outside the medieval village of Lorgues, famous for a being a strong hold of the Knights Templar, just an hour from Aix-en-Provence and a short trip to the largest area of lavender fields in Europe– Valensole. We’re also near Tourtour from where you can see Saint Victoire and Mont Ventoux, the countryside filled with landscapes and villages bright in colour… there is so much to see.
I wish you could all come and paint with me now too. For that we just have to wait and see. Hopefully in the not too far distant future we will be all be able to travel again and take the dream holiday we have been waiting for all this time.
|Tess Baker has been painting professionally in Provence for 30 years. She offers small-group painting holidays at her farmhouse in the Var, in other areas of Provence, and in other special European locations. Her week-long workshops include painting sessions in spectacular settings, personal instruction, and amazing meals. |
The countryside is stunning, and Tess loves sharing her joy and her work with others, inspired by the surroundings and the changing seasons.
To learn more about Tess and her tours, see www.paintprovencewithtess
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.