Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monet's Home & Garden in Giverny

To see Claude Monet's home and gardens in Giverny was a dream come true. We left rain drenched Paris and traveled by train to sunshine.
The gardeners plant and maintain the gardens much as Monet did during his life.

Hollyhocks grew everywhere in France and are one of my favorite flowers next to roses.

I sketched the water lilies and enjoyed the peacefulness of the pond.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paris Markets and Walks

Here's an overview of my French vacation in a collaged calendar. Each day I added a photo or note that represented my experience.

I stayed in Montparnnasse- the 14th Arrondissment and really enjoyed the neighborhood.
Monsieur Gilles, the hotel receptionist, became one of my French professors.
A sketch walk in Jardin du Luxembourg.

The food market Saturday morning on the Boulevard Edgar Quinet.
The Port Vanves flea market
I visited one museum located at the Hotel de Cluny- Musée National de Le Moyan Age (Middle Ages) to see the unicorn tapestries, Book of Hours and other treasures.
The bouquinists along the Seine offer not only all kinds of books but wonderful botanical drawings and prints.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Travel Journal Sketches from Brittany

Mari Le Glatin Keis led us on daily sketch walks. She encouraged us to pack light & simple, relax, play with color, stay small, collage and sketch with words. I tend to fill the whole page with an image so working small was a challenge for me. Here's the view from my farm house bedroom window.
We spent a whole day at the Château La Roche Jagu. Bus loads of school children filled the botanical gardens and castle. They sat on the lawn and drew the castle. I drew mine and filled the whole page in their style. I used pastels to prepare these pages for sketching. The colors are rich and vibrant.
The castle construction workers left their marks after each job completed. At the end of the day, their marks were counted to determine their compensation. Artichoke fields cover the landscape in this area of Brittany.
Inside the château, we viewed an exhibit- Passions Botaniques. I loved the medieval drawings that combined human forms as part of the plant.
The botanical gardens that covered the castle grounds inspired many sketches.
Our last day, we took a sketch walk at high tide along the Jaudy River Estuary. The contour drawing is of the village Plougrescant in the distance.
The above sketch inspired this watercolor- the light shone on the roof tops against a dark sky.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PAC Exquisite Corpse Book

Yesterday, I received the Portland Art Collective Exquisite Corpse book and really like it. It means a lot to have such talented and sharing art friends. I also received spam on my blog comments. It must be that name Brittany (aka Brittany Spears). Who would have know that would get attention. I changed the comment format and will now approve all comments to this blog. Keep posted for more France photos.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Britanny Sketches

The first four sketches I drew from our walks along the Northern Atlantic Coast of Brittany.

The war memorial in Tréguier captured my heart with the weight of the world on this mother's shoulders. The French lost so many soldiers in each of these four wars.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bonjour après un Voyage Sensationnel en France

Where to begin? I have so much to share with you about my incredible adventure in France that it will come to you in several installments. It started on the northern coast of Brittany in Keraret between Plouguiel and Plougrescant. We stayed on a wonderful farm walking distance to the Jaudy River estuary where the tide rose and fell daily. At low tide, many boats sat in the muddy river bed. The sun shown, the flowers bloomed and the ebb and flow of daily sketch walks slowed time to stop and really see the wonderous sites around us.

The Celtic name for Brittany is Breizh- the abbreviation above is written in Celtic letters. The Triskell symbolizes the three Celtic elements of water, air and fire and turns to the right in the direction of good. The other triangular symbols decorate the Breton flag.
The Jaudy River Estuary seen at high tide.

Les fleurs bloomed profusely- hydrangeas, holly hocks, roses- to name a few.

In Tréguier- the nearest large town, we visited markets and boutiques. Some buildings were built in the 16th Century like the half-timbered one in the center of this sketch.

Another Tréguier street scene.

These sketches I drew at the Eglise Ste Gonéry in Plougrescant. I liked the idea of sketching over collaged pages.

At Eglise Sainte Catherine in the village of La Roche Derrien, the organ music filled the church and carried my pen in joyful directions. To take time each day to see through pen renderings offers a meditative way to view the world around us. In one or two days, another post will continue the journey.