During the winter season of 2002-2003 I was living in a caravan in my friend’s back garden. A pretty chilly existence in the wintry French Alps. I started to go for walks around the picturesque village of St Chaffrey, mostly to warm myself up! I quickly spotted some very interesting and characterful buildings, such as this old mill house near the Torrent d’Elisabeth.
‘The Old Mill’ painting has been used for Christmas cards, prints and notecards. It remains one of the most popular images in my Serre Chevalier portfolio. The composition shows a close-up section of the facade, with just a hint of deep blue alpine sky and a fir tree. The influence of Georgia O’Keefe’s compositions, of getting in close to the subject matter and cropping the image, is still evident in this work.
For some time this painting was called ‘The Log House’ but when I showed it to the school bus driver in 2006 he exclaimed “C’est le vieux moulin dans le quartier de La Villette”. This was probably one of the conversations that planted the seed for writing a book in English about the villages of Serre Chevalier and the town of Briancon.
This painting was bought by a private collector in August 2016.