IF YOU GO
What: "Artisans French Escapade 2012: Provence to Paris."
When: Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday.
Where: The Gallery, 3918 Dayton Blvd.
Works inspired by a weeklong "working" trip to France will go on display Friday at The Gallery on Dayton Boulevard.
Six Chattanooga artists -- four painters and two photographers -- traveled from town to town taking in the scenery, food and culture, according to Barbara Brogdon, The Gallery owner and one of the six traveling artists. Joining her were Cam Busch, Jeanne Brice, Elaine Cash, Durinda Cheek and Pat Phillips.
"We have all taken lessons or been acquainted with Durinda Cheek at Townsend Atelier," Brogdon said of what connected the group.
Cheek takes similar groups each year, alternating between France and Italy. "We took two photographers this year, and it worked out great," she said. "Even though we were in the same field or vineyard or village, we were all attracted to something different."
Gallery visitors will see a mix of mediums and subject matter, including landscapes, mountain vistas, street scenes, close-ups of buildings and ironwork.
Brogdon said the show is the first opening at The Gallery in almost three years. Works there are normally shown by appointment or viewed during other events, such as weddings.
During the trip, the group would hike or drive to a different location each day and paint or take pictures in the morning. They would break for lunch, usually fresh bread and cheese (once even in an olive grove), then find a new location in the afternoon to work, Brogdon said.
They hiked the Ochre Trail near Roussillon one day and followed Vincent van Gogh's footsteps in St. Remy. "We toured the old monastery Mausole of St. Paul with the bedroom where van Gogh stayed during his troubled time in 1889-90," Brogdon wrote in a trip diary she kept. "The afternoon was spent in the olive tree fields painting the same trees van Gogh painted."
She called that opportunity an incredible experience. "People always talk about the light because it is so different."
The second Sunday of the 12-day excursion was spent in Giverny touring Claude Monet's home and gardens. They also painted a medieval rampart and fountain in Le Beaucet and visited the Abbey of Senanque, where the monks cultivate lavender.
The result is a collection of photographs and paintings showcasing the beauty and diversity of the country, she said.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...