Posts Tagged ‘Jill Steenhuis’

Boats at Port de Cassis

Mid-June is when I usually urge Aixcentric followers to hurry to the vaulted gallery tucked behind Aix’s ancient cathedral to enjoy a garden with dark green ivy and little white flowers glowing in the candle-light, leading indoors to the annual exhibition of paintings by Jill Steenhuis.

But of course not this year.

And this is a shame as it would have marked her 40-year anniversary as an artist living and working in Provence.  Influenced by the Cézanne landscape, Jill who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, continues to paint daily, either “en plein air” or in the light-filled studio of her country home, capturing the essence of Provence with landscapes, still-lifes and scenes from the coast or the streets and markets of Aix.

Instead, like many artists right now, she is using technology to show her work and is offering a gallery of 40 paintings at half-price.  Launched today, some are already sold so time is clearly of the essence: https://www.artinprovence.com/40-years-in-france-legacy-gallery/

This website also has Jill’s blog which has interesting reminiscences of her 40 years in Provence, including meeting her husband-to-be

Almond Branches in Glass Vase by Jill Steenhuis

on Day 2!

Good decision, the couple have raised an artistic family – and son James, a film-maker, has produced a documentary about Jill and her work which can be purchased through the website.  Trailer here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/paintingtheinvisible

Jill looking out at medieval cloister





Best wishes to Jill on her anniversary.  This is the photo I took at the gallery and expo last year. Let’s hope 2021 sees us all safely back there to enjoy her paintings in person once more.

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Jill's view of the Aix Cathedral.  The video clips show how she composes and builds her paintings

Jill’s view of the Aix Cathedral. The video clips show how she composes and builds her paintings

Jill Steenhuis is an American painter who loves Cézanne.  She lives locally with her family and paints in the master’s footsteps.  I love her colourful, impressionist-style work with its exuberant brush-strokes and was fascinated to see these two videos, filmed by her son of his mother hard at work in Le Tholonet, creating oil-paintings of Cézanne subjects.  Starting work on a blank canvas is deeply scary, so it is interesting to see how a professional attacks that white space!

http://www.artinprovence.com, Jill’s site, has details of her forthcoming workshops in the countryside near Aix.


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Hello to All!

In Aix again after a memorably sunny summer in beautiful Oxfordshire……but it’s good to be back and really amazed at the variety of events happening this coming weekend.

musique%20dans%20la%20rue%202013We’re just in time to enjoy some of the free music in town at the moment. ‘Musique dans la Rue’, which is running each evening until Sunday (8th Sept), brings together musicians, choirs and bands from the region but also from some of our twin towns. The programme starts at 18:00 with short performances in various venues around centre ville. Info: musique_dans_la_rue_prog[1]

More music is promised at the weekend with the opening of the new Conservatoire. This is the fourth building of the town’s ‘forum culturel’ which includes the Grand Theatre de Provence, the Pavillon Noir and the Cité du Livre. Frankly taking one historical building then adding the work of three different architects could be a recipe for a ‘mishmash culturel’….but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve been to have a closer look.

At any rate, the events kick off on Friday (6th Sept) at the Cité du Livre at 17:00 with films of architect Kengo Kuma explaining his philosophy of urban architecture so perhaps that will enlighten. 

Saturday and Sunday see ‘Portes Ouvertes’ 10:00-20:00 when visitors can dip into public rehearsals and music workshops. Sunday sounds even better with ‘Piano Brunches’ taking place from 11-16:00 in the three other buildings. It’s a full programme of events so take a look at http://www.aixenprovence.fr/Programme-Inauguration-du-nouveau for more detail. Over 1400 students are expected to attend the conservatoire from this autumn. In the meantime, their previous home, the Hotel de Caumont in rue Joseph Cabassol, will be extensively remodelled before opening as an art gallery.


If, rather than watching other people perform, you fancy getting stuck in yourself, Assogora on Sunday provides plenty of opportunities. It’s a huge open-air market of stalls from societies representing dance, music, painting, sports, hiking, and all sorts of different hobbies and interests. This year it will be lining the cours Mirabeau and Les Allées Provencales from 10-20:00. Details on http://www.assogora.org/.

septMarseille manages to amaze yet again with its creativity. The 15th ‘Septembre en Mer’ festival which is running all this month has some really special activities to celebrate le grand bleu.  I very much like the sound of this concert:floatingpiano

There will be two performances by off-shore musicians on Friday and Saturday evenings – pay a contribution (10€ suggested) to sit on the beach and enjoy the music. Details here: http://www.mp2013.fr/evenements/2013/09/un-piano-a-la-mer-2/?lang=en

One of the highlights is a vast flotilla of  boats in the bay on Saturday. The ‘Grand Parade Maritime de Marseille’ will sail between Pointe Rouge and l’Estaque. The head-turner promises to be the beautiful Belem, one of the oldest sailing ships still in service. Plus there is Gyptis, a replica of the 6th century Greek boat that brought ashore the founders and original inhabitants of this surprising city. Both boats will be moored in the Vieux Port on Sunday for closer inspection.

See the Belem, one of the oldest sailing ships afloat, on Saturday and Sunday in Marseille

See the Belem, one of the oldest sailing ships afloat, on Saturday and Sunday in Marseille

The esplanade from the Vieux Port round to MUCEM will have ‘animations gastronomique’ plus music. Near MUCEM itself, there will be 13 societies offering rides on traditional boats as well as various explanatory sessions.  I do hope the forecast rain doesn’t turn up and spoil this weekend’s events. Here is a PDF of the official programe: http://www.mp2013.fr/evenements/2013/08/septembre-en-mer/?lang=en

Another bunch of people with their fingers crossed for good weather are the local BMXers who have an international competition at Peynier this weekend.  VANS Kill the Line attracts riders from around the world to show off their skills soaring over massive dirt jumps in the woods.  It r_picsaffiche%20ktl013%20-%20official1%20flyerhas a good, relaxed, family atmosphere – take your teens and a picnic.  We went last year and found it fascinating.  This will give you a taste of the action: http://www.redbull.com/uk/en/bike/stories/1331607898266/video-action-from-vans-kill-the-line-2012

A final two recommendations:  Local English-speaking theatre company What Larks are presenting ‘Veronica’s Room’, a thriller from Ira Levin, author of Rosemary’s Baby.  In Aix, Sunday 8th September at 18:00. Details here http://www.whatlarks.org/current.html

And talented local painter Jill Steenhuis has a new exhibition ‘Dans la Ligne d’Art de Leo Marchutz’ at the Chateau de Bouc Bel Air, from Saturday 7th Sept to Tues 26th Sept.  I love her colourful oil paintings and look forward to seeing her new work.  Here is a link to see some of her pictures http://www.artinprovence.com/jill/

I think we are spoiled for choice this weekend!

PLEASE, before going to any events on Aixcentric, double-check details on the internet.

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PREVOTE%202013This summer, we are so fortunate to be able to see wonderful paintings done in the region, at the major galleries.  But I’d also urge you to find some time to have a look at the work of an American artist, Jill Steenhuis, who lives and paints locally: her passion for Provence is reflected in the vibrant tableaux she produces. (more…)

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These June weekends sure are busy

If you head to Marseille, there’s the Fête du Panier on Saturday and Sunday (15th and 16th.)  This includes music, guided walking tours and children’s activities.  www.fetedupanier.com.

It’s the oldest part of Marseille, very atmospheric, with good little craft shops and cafés; and the Hundertwasser exhibition is still running at the Vieille Charité.

Down in the bay over the weekend, you can see the 10th annual regatta of sailing boats which must be a wonderful sight on the blue waters.  During the day, they will be sailing along by the beaches, but in the evening will be tied up for all to admire in the Vieux Port. www.lesvoilesduvieuxport.com.

In Aix, there are a couple of new art exhibitions:  L’Atelier Indigo is showing its work from the past year – tomorrow, Friday and Saturday from 16:30-19:30, also Saturday morning 10-12:00, 40 rue d’Opéra.  Also opening is a show of the paintings of Jill Steenhuis and the sculptures of her husband Serge Ruffato.  I like both and always visit this exhibition.  Jill is from Atlanta but, inspired by Cézanne came to live and work in Aix.  Her paintings are very colourful, rather impressionistic and full of the joy of Provence.  http://www.artinprovence.com/jill/about.php. At La Galerie de la Prévoté, Place des Martyrs de la Résistance (Place de l’Archeveché).  Open daily 15-29th June, 11:00-19:00hrs.  Recommended.

To round off the weekend, there is a free organ concert at the Cathedral.  Part of Festival Orgue Plus 2012, the programme will include works by Bach as well as Mussorgski’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  Sunday 17th June at 17:00.

Enjoy it all!


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