View from french parlour windows to front terrace, where I did most of my underpainting during a beautiful, sun-drenched day. 

View from french parlour windows to front terrace, where I did most of my underpainting during a beautiful, sun-drenched day. 

Creative Cross-pollination: now on ELLEN HAMPTON BOOKS blog >

My dear friend Ellen and her husband Claude recently sat for a destination-duet painting. They also opted to be part of my destination alternative painting option. Having been married for many years now, but in the process of selling the house in M├ędan, France (an hour outside of Paris on the Seine river), we arranged to do a suite of small still life/landscape paintings of their house in addition to the core duet painting of the couple. What better way to commemorate their lives spent in this house, raising their two boys, and growing together as a couple? As a historian, a university lecturer, and writer, Ellen is not only incredibly smart but very interesting to talk to; we had many conversations on art and life during the three day period of staying at their gorgeous home in France. It was especially meaningful to do these portraits since Ellen has been a champion of my work since I was an exchange student (and under her keep as university housing coordinator) in Paris in 2005. She and Claude acquired their first painting of mine, a view of the Andes mountains, as seen from a train en route to Machu PIcchu, back when I was a student. Ellen used to be a journalist in latin america, along with Claude, so this work really prompted fond memories for them. Fast forward almost a decade: I am feeling so grateful to have had the opportunity to do a destination series of their house in the countryside this May, especially knowing how much it meant to them. Upon leaving, Ellen mentioned to me how she was somewhat reluctant to sell the house. But, now she feels like the house is coming with them on their move to Paris. Ellen shares her thoughts on the process on her blog. It is absolutely worth reading. 

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