Painting with Matisse

Henri_Matisse One of my most treasured memories was painting in a little fishing town in France called Collioure, a small Catalan harbor sheltered on a quiet bay where the chain of the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean Sea, 15 miles from the border of Spain. I was in France studying with Gregory Kondos, a friend and colleague of my mentor, Wayne Thiebaud. One morning Gregory and I sat in a café sipping espresso in the very same place where painting masters including Picasso, Derain, and Matisse had traded their art, still on the walls, for a meal. After we left the café I set up my easel on the beach to do a quick study of a small simple white chapel perched on a rocky bluff overlooking the Mediterranean.  I put it away and joined my fellow students at a nearby art museum. Visiting artists from yesteryear had their work preserved in these galleries.  It was a delight to see the work of art masters reflecting the environment that I was being inspired by that week. I turned the corner of the museum and what did I see.  A painting by Henri Matisse of a small simple white chapel perched on a rocky bluff over looking the Mediterranean.  Just an hour before I had stood in the very same spot that had also inspired him! I recently found a quote: "In France there is no sky as blue as the one in Collioure...I just have to close the shutters of my room and I have all the colors of the Mediterranean before me." --- Henri Matisse
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