It’s been a while since I wanted to do a watercolor of the Bay of Mont-Michel. Disputed by the Normans or the Bretons, this majestic place is one of the most unusual places there is. The imposing silhouette of this building built in the middle of the salt meadows is easily recognizable. The abbey at the top of the Mont is an integral part of French heritage and is a hotspot for tourism. Not just from Normandy, but from all over France.
The spiritual dimension released by the ascent of the path in the middle of this architecture is a strong symbol in itself. It is, moreover, an important stopover on the Santiago de Compostela routes taken by pilgrims. The objective of the walk is to reach the summit on which the statue of St. Michael rests.
Throughout the year, only around thirty inhabitants – the Montois – took up residence on the Mont. This population exerts a certain fascination on me: lodging it on Mont Saint Michel is a spiritual retreat in its own right. Geographically cut off from the rest of the world, the Abbey of Mt St Michel and its houses are in the center of the bay. The surrounding marshes form a natural setting in which the sheep of the salt meadows evolve.
Regarding traditions and gastronomy, Mont Saint Michel is closely associated with the famous recipe of Mère Poulard. This reputation is due to the quality with which the eggs and cream are whipped with a long whisk at a steady pace. As you walk along the main street, walking figures and pilgrims can hear the characteristic lapping of the whip as they pass the establishment of Mère Poulard.
Normandy is a region that I like to paint. Norman houses have a specific architecture: there are beautiful houses with pretty stones and often rich vegetation … even if painting houses in Brittany is also a very satisfying experience!
This watercolor of Mont St-Michel was made from a photo. Usually I like to paint outdoors, but depending on the occasion, whether for magazine illustrations or painting commissions, I work from an iconographic medium.
A preparatory sketch is used to set up the composition. This allows me to color in a second step and to think about what will be the best atmosphere to restore: melancholic, spring, nostalgic or joyful.
I invite you to discover my online art gallery of paintings to browse the paintings and watercolors made over the years.