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Bonjour .. Oamaru artist Sharon Murcott is off to France, where she will spend a week painting in the small village of Pont-l'Abbe. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Oamaru artist Sharon Murcott hopes to learn a thing or two about her craft while she paints in France.

She left this week for the village of Pont-l’Abbe, in the Brittany region, where she will be based for a week painting whatever it is that takes her fancy.

Ms Murcott, who has been painting for about 30 years and gets her inspiration from “everyday moments”, specialises in watercolours, and focuses on subjects such as portraits and cafe and street scenes.

The opportunity to paint in France was too good to pass up, she said.

“I have an artist friend, Herman Pekel, who lives in Australia, so he hooked me up with it. It’s a group of like-minded people sitting in a little French village painting for a week.”

Pont-l’Abbe, founded in the 14th century, is home to about 8500 people.

She hopes to glean as much as she can from Mr Pekel, who will offer the artists in the group guidance, and is excited about the chance to paint scenes she has not seen before.

“I like to think I’m always learning . . . I’ll learn a bit, and what we will be painting will be amazing. I hope to come home with a lot of ideas and a lot more inspiration.

“When you’re an artist, you work all the time on your own, so it’s going to be really good to work with other people and see things in a different light, really.”

Ms Murcott, who has her work on display at a gallery in Wansbeck St, enjoyed painting with watercolours as she felt it was “pretty unpredictable” compared with painting with oils or acrylics.

“Oils and acrylics are a little bit more controlled.

“With watercolours it can work out really well, or turn into a complete disaster. You take a lot of risks and sometimes they pay off, and sometimes they don’t.”

She believed the trip would benefit her as an artist in the long run.

“I’m sure it’s going to help . . . I’m going to be immersed for a whole week so it’s going to be pretty cool.”

Ms Murcott also planned to travel to New York in 2020 to exhibit her work, after examples of it in a book, Living Artists of Today, attracted the attention of a Manhattan-based gallery.