By the time of his death, Joe Downing had been a resident of both Paris and Ménerbes, France for approximately 40 years. During this time, he acclimated beautifully to French culture, evident through his many artworks, books, and poetry, all of which reflect his unique and creative place in the world.

Downing’s favorite creative routine was to sit in his little garden in Ménerbes, and enjoy the bright light and colorful surroundings of his small hamlet. Situated in the Luberon Mountains in the southern Provence region of France, Ménerbes is an ancient city surrounded by green mountains, fields of lavender, and all that the French Provence has to offer. While his work is largely abstract, it is easy to imagine the rolling hills of the French countryside when examining his work.