A SPIRITUAL connection between Stroud and Provence.

That's part of the motivation behind a new exhibition by Painswick artist Maggie Davis, entitled From the Cotswolds to Provence.

Created over a five year period, the paintings are imbued with the deep sense of affection Davis feels both for her home in Gloucestershire and the popular French region that she travels to periodically.

"I came across a small villa deep in the Provencal countryside and was immediately enchanted by it," says Davis, recalling the moment her relationship with Provence began.

"It was the last week in May. Bearded Iris and Red tulips were showing off in the front garden - instant inspiration."

It was a transformative experience that the artist has commemorated in her oil painting, Spring in Provence, to be seen at the exhibition.

As for the show's title, Davis is convinced that the connection between the two places is self-evident.

"They're both hill villages with buildings of weathered grey stone that glows gold when the sun shines one them," she says.

"The only difference is the blue and turquoise shutters that abound in Provence."

This is not the first time that Provence has provided inspiration for Davis.

Her last show, the Colours of Provence, in 2000, also derived from her years spent exploring the French region.

But those fearing that Davis has gone Franco-mad can rest easy. Stroud is amply represented in the exhibition: Stroud Summer Solstice allows the viewer to peer through a sensuous green border of leaves at the handsome spire of St Lawrence, rising from a foreground of creamy Cotswold stone and bright red brick.

From the Cotswolds to Provence is on at the Painswick Library Reading Room in Painswick from August 23 to 31, 10am daily.