We have more measuring tools in our home than we have food. Fascinating stuff..all these rulers, square edges, the laser beams, the ultrasonic beams, I even have tiny pocket tapes for a handbag. An unending array of measuring tools, never to be found when needed
dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm
Lipstick. What does your lipstick, or lip balm say about you. Our good friend, Google, says the following:
- sharp angled tip: opinionated, high spirited, hates schedules, outgoing, selective of friends, likes attention, argumentative…
- flat top: high morals, dependable, to the point, quick-minded, loves a challenge, careful about appearances…
- sharp angles on both sides: spiritual, seeks attention, curious, mysterious, loves life, big ego..
- flat top, concave : great detective, make friends easily, inquisitive, adventurous…
- round, smooth tip: easy going, peacemaker, even-tempered, steady, likeable, generous..
..5 lipsticks for 5 personalities..
dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm
I find labels fascinating. So much so that you will often find me in the alcohol section of the supermarket. That is where the most interesting labels are to be found. I don’t even drink alcohol, except for my glass of red wine in winter or rosé wine in summer and champagne when I feel chic. I can spend a whole morning in the alcohol aisle scanning top to bottom, browsing the beautiful bottles and the labels, like you would books in a bookstore and yes, I do sometimes succumb to buying a bottle of “I don’t know what‘ just because of the label. Especially the beer bottles. The labels are fantastic! When I am asked to buy beer, I always choose the bottles with the prettiest label, irrespective of instructions as to which brand I should buy. After all, isn’t it good to test new grounds?Then it turns out at home to be the most awful beer. As if I care, I don’t drink it! Now I am not asked to buy beer any more.
..2014 Mille et une pierre rosé wine from our area..
watercolour and J. Herbin inks in Daler rowney sketchbook, 21X29.7 cm
Whenever we receive one of these official “Republique Francaise” envelopes, proudly printed with la Liberté Egalité Fraternité, my stomach turns a knot. Even though I love la Republique and la liberté it stands for! But these envelopes always mean trouble. Or most of the time at least. It is either taxes coming your way…and who doesn’t hate/fear those? Or it is something you did which you shouldn’t have done. Like speeding or some other infraction. And so we received one of these proud, but dreaded envelopes a while back. In its usual, very formal and polite but nonetheless slighly accusing tone, it stated that the driver of the vehicle.. bla bla bla….bla bla bla.. ran a red light. That of course meant mon chéri. I started on my tantrum, throwing my hands up at this obscene amount we now have to pay and en plus...lose 4 points on the driving permit for a whole year! Zut!! I, being perfect and all, started lecturing mon chéri about responsible driving, paying attention to the signs and manners of the road. Until he frowned and pointed to the date. Zut!! He was in the States on that date! It meant he was far from that red light. It meant that I was the one who ran this red light. But that is of course impossible. I mean, really… being perfect and all, me? Oh c’mon….impossible!
nib pen and J. Herbin inks in Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook, 22.9×15.2 cm
I struggled with this theme today. Not because I don’t like spices, au contraire, it is a delicious theme and I love it. But the ideas didn’t show up today.I couldn’t fix my pen on a cool composition and the brush didn’t work for me either. My wrist was stiff and unforgiving in sketching these bottles. Instead of having a free hand and sketching with some wonk, which is my usual style, my sketches become overworked and controlled. Not me. Not me at all. In this process of struggle today, I paged back through the last few sketches and artwork I did…and there I saw it; Stiffness and control. Slowly but surely during the last few sketches I moved towards controlling the pen and colour, while they should actually have more of a will of their own. That is how I raised my daughters and that is how I like my art.
Sketch 1: a himalayan salt and black pepper mill, totally overworked and in good ole French…“n’importe quoi!”
watercolour and pen in Daler Rowney sketchbook,21X29.7 cm
Sketch 2: without interest, overworked, not funk or peps, actually a bit boring.
watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 22.9X15.2 cm
Sketch 3: this ws my last sketch and almost there, but not quite yet. I think I got tired at this stage, but there is a bit more interest in the dynamics, a bit more wonk and interpretation.But still sloppy. (a loose, free style doesn’t mean sloppy.)
watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook,14X21.6 cm
“A favorite food,” says the list of the art group EDM for this month of May.. Only one favorite food? That is a huge punishment! I can draw a favorite food for a whole month and even beyond. How then to choose between all my wonderful favorite fruits, the colourful vegetables, the meat…(yes, you Greenies, I love my meat!) And then there are fish and shellfish and how about a slice of cake? Or a cookie. And dessert. I never skip dessert. I won’t even mention chocolate and that first cup of coffee in the morning. Only one favorite food?
However, I can sometimes play by the rules and this time seems appropriate enough to do so. So one favorite food it is. I confess my weakness for macarons. Those beautiful, sensual, romantic and utterly delicious delicacies our patisserie in Beaulieu so shamelessly flaunts in the display window. By just looking in my eyes, they know I am there for a box of macarons. Yellows and purples and pinks and reds which vary between red fruits and blueberry and strawberry and lemon and vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel and my big favorite, that green one, the pistache. I love them all. I leave the patisserie on an euphoric cloud and with my precious macarons gently tucked next to each other in a quaint box and artfully tied with a pink ribbon. All that is left now, is to nail this sketch, so I can retire with my box of macarons to my favorite chair in my favorite corner…..sigh. I rest my case.
watercolor and dip pen with Sennelier indigo ink in S&B alpha sketchbook, 22.9×15.2cm
I can totally understand why there are nutcases walking around hugging each tree they come across. sometimes I am one of them. Cause a tree is not just a tree. It is a friend, it stirs our emotion, it is a refuge, that safe place under/or in its branches where we hide from all that scorches us..the sun, the world. The olive tree is all of that for me. I do hug my olive trees and talk to them, touch them, stroke them, care for them, love them. They make me think of sunshine and heat. They makes me hear the cigales. They bring me the scent of lavender and wild herbs in the fields and I see colourful vegetables drizzled with the golden oil from its olives, glistening with crystals of fleur de sel. That is my olive tree.
watercolor and Prera pilot fountain pen in S&B epsilon sketchbook, 14×21.6 cm
Today was a burst of sunshine and blue skies. I decided on a much needed break and took off with my sketch tools to la Dordogne in Beaulieu sur Dordogne. It was beautiful by die river, under the trees, with only a jogger here and there. Sat on the edge, I sketched the opposite side with its quint homes on the river. Hunger drove me to Café Douceur for lunch, before I could get in another sketch. The empty table next to me became a second sketch.
watercolor and TWSBI-mini pen in Daler & Rowney sketchbook, 14,9X21,0 cm
I tried a new pen today after reading about on a blog and I am highly disappointed. The TWSB-mini struggles to write over dried aquarelle and it scratches. When it does draw, it is thick and unforgiving, even though it is a fine point. Back to my preferred pilot prera.
..table and chair at Café Douceur..
watercolor wash and TWSBI-mini pen in Daler & Rowney sketchbook, 14,9X21,0 cm
à l bientôt
I sat on the terrace of Café Douceur this afternoon and while sipping my coffee, I sketched the street. My pen ran dry on my halfway through the sketch, which resulted in some thin, scratchy lines. I hope the colourful splashes watercolor make up for it..
..street in Beulieu sur dordogne – close up 1..
Pen and watercolor in Stillman & Birn, alpha series sketchbook, 22.9X15.2 cm
..street in Beulieu sur dordogne – close up 2..
..street in Beaulieu sur dordogne..
And lastly some people sketching..done on Fabriano artistico watercolor block, 27X18cm
à la prochaine.