Hotel Plein Sud, Chantemerle

Hotel Plein Sud

Hotel Plein Sud, Chantemerle. Watercolour, 30 x 40 cm, 2005

In 2005, Mme Laurent, the owner of Hotel Plein Sud, commissioned me to make a large watercolour painting of the outdoor swimming pool and terrace area. The brief was to include some interesting details in the foreground, such as a table set for lunch, as well as the legendary Piste Luc Alphand in the distance. This would be a summer painting and immediately got me thinking about David Hockney’s Californian swimming pools!

On a beautiful sunny day I went round to the hotel with an entourage; my parents and my baby daughter, Madeline. After a delicious lunch my father and I set about taking as many photographs as possible from different angles. My father had a very successful career as a graphic designer and he knows what “works”. At his suggestion I plunged into the pool in my classic black Speedo swimming costume so that we could create a focal point in the picture. A Bigger Splash indeed!

This painting has all the technical challenges that I love (and hate sometimes!). A full range of tones from the whitest highlights on the blue-tinted water to the darkest shadows under the pine trees and flower baskets. I also found out that deckchairs were incredibly difficult to draw! The finished watercolour was professionally scanned and two different postcards of the image are available to buy. The painting is currently displayed in the reception area of the hotel.

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