Jill’s Summer Tour: Mont Sainte-Victoire to the Rockies

November 5, 2019
Riding in Grand Teton National Park


Summer in the mountains has felt like home since my treasured summers at Camp Desoto on Lookout Mountain.

This summer, too, brought adventure and mountains. The great mountain of my home in Aix-en-Provence, le Mont Sainte-Victoire, and surrounding Cézanne landscapes were the backdrops for my May and July oil painting workshops and the subjects of multiple canvases filled by enthusiastic students.

The Rocky Mountains in the American West defined my summer tour in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado; an amazing experience that I shared with sons Sergio, Jimmy and my US assistant Margaret Spencer. It was a month of big mountains, exciting challenges and breathtaking vistas.

The day after wrapping up my July workshop with nine students in Aix, I flew off to Montana for my summer tour. This was a logistical challenge of coordination made possible by my dedicated team, to whom I am forever grateful: my husband Serge and assistant Hayley who keep operations running smoothly from France, and gracious hosts who welcome me and promote my art.


I taught a two-day oil-painting workshop, and gave a show at the Stock Farm Club with my son Sergio. The workshop took place at Holly and Bill Green’s house located on Lost Horse Creek, a rushing river that filled the workshop with the most musical sound. The lively group included all ages and many levels, but everyone created with gusto. Our hosts Holly and Bill Green and the Stock Farm Club could not have been more accommodating and kind, and we loved our time in the Bitterroot Valley. A highlight was painting on the veranda of the Stock Farm Club, with a perfect view of three blue peaks on the horizon called Three Sisters. I’m so grateful to the Stock Farm for the privilege of showing in such a beautiful venue.


The 18th hole at Roaring Fork Club

After packing 90 of my artworks into the lone rental van, the boys trekked off on a 14-hour drive across the Rockies. The next show took place in Basalt, Colorado at the Roaring Fork Club, hosted by my special friends, Susie and Brad Kemp, Marnie and Lee Hogan, and the club’s staff. The highlight was painting the 18th hole.

Jimmy showed a clip from his recent documentary, Painting the Invisible focusing on the importance of the mountains in my life, Lookout Mountain, and Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire—a fitting subject for our show, which took place at an altitude of over 6500 ft. The documentary offers an intimate glimpse of my life as a painter. The full-length film will be available soon.


A few days before the next show, I painted alongside John Springer, a Jackson local, good friend and talented artist. We did an exciting painting demo side-by-side for the Teton Plein Air Painters group at the Schwabacher Landing. To our delight, a moose and her calf posed in the water during most of the session. John joined Sergio and me for a show, benefitting PAWS of Jackson Hole, at the beautiful home of our host, Heather Berman, who welcomed us for the second consecutive year. With the help of Shawn Meisl from PAWS, Catherine Campbell and Elizabeth Stevenson, we had a fun and engaged crowd, and fabulous party. Jackson News & Guide covered the show with pictures of our work.


The last exciting moment of my summer tour was painting a wedding atop Aspen mountain in the most breathtakingly beautiful location. Thank you to the Huffines for including me in such a special day, and congratulations to Haley and CJ.


After a month of mountains and traveling, I am home in Aix-en-Provence, where I am reunited with my husband Serge, son Alexander and my horse Danilo. Warm thanks to all of our attentive, generous hosts for making the month such fun, to Jimmy and Sergio, for keeping the show on the road, and to Margaret for all the rest. I cherish all the fabulous experiences, seeing so many wonderful friends this summer, and making new friends all around art and nature.





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