|This painting of St Tropez was painted in 1968. It was one of the first paintings I sold in Australia when my wife and I returned home that year, after having lived in London for six years. While we were in the UK, we travelled around the Continent each year on our motor scooter, as soon as the weather warmed up! Poor as we were, we could still afford to scooter around, while staying in campsites all over Europe.
One year, some friends of ours had rented a flat right on the harbour in St Tropez. They had to return early to London on business and they suggested that we take up residence in the very expensive flat for the last week of the tenancy. So there we were, poverty stricken but living in luxury right in the middle of what was then the most fashionable resort in Europe. Brigitte Bardot, then the sex kitten of the French Cinema, had made it her home and the jet-setters were there in force. Alas, St Tropez has gone a touch downmarket since then...but...
I spent my time in St Tropez furiously sketching everything in sight, and started work on this painting when we returned to London.
I have only just found this painting again, not having seen it for some decades. The present owner, who loves the painting, kindly let me photograph it. I was spurred to find it after receiving an email from England from a family which owns a smaller study of the subject which I had painted in preparation for this larger (and more considered) work. The owners of the early study found my website and got in touch. Isn't the Internet a marvellous invention?