Night of Antiquity, May 22, 2010

After an incredible dinner with Eringer at a restaurant (with a Micheline rating!!). Leaving Eringer behind to digest his Foie Gras, and literally get haunted in his hotel room, I drove the car back over the hill to haunt Van Gogh at the Asylum of St Paul des Maison. It was around 730 pm and the moon was fairly high in the sky. It was dark outside, with snow on the ground. The air was cold and still, and deadly silent. I was dressed in my heavy down jacket and Russian winter hat; (all my sub freezing gear from my Icelandic trip).

I parked outside the walls of the Asylum and walked around the neighboring moonlit fields, filled with Ancient Roman Ruins; a Romanesque Tower, and an Arc de Triumph. It was kinda spooky walking around these ruins by myself; which were in incredible condition for being almost 2000 years old.

I snapped a photo of them holding my camera's shutter open for about 15 seconds, then set up my easel and began to paint my first of two paintings; a 14x10 painting of a moonlit Asylum wall. Standing in snow for an hour and a half, the silence was deafening. I swore I could hear voices coming from the empty fields off to my right.

What were they saying? Better yet, what did they want me to hear?

Tule fog started creeping in adding a wee bit of mystery to the experience. It's O.K. I seem to paint better when I am on edge; in a heightened state of awareness...

Roman Antiquity-St. Remy
Night Photography by T. Van Stein
Winter 2003

An Ear in Provence: Listening to the French (Tachydidaxy Travelogue) by Robert Eringer and James Harper (Hardcover - Nov. 2003)