In summer we travel from shade to shade.

Early mornings, cup of coffee in hand, are spent on the terrace, sitting on a rock at the entrance to one of our caves and contemplating. The shade of the huge cliff at your back is a welcome relief after a hot night’s suffering. These stairs, leading up to the terrace, were done in pen and watercolor, on Fabriano WC paperHP(extra white).


After all that meditating and musing, while watching the sun brightening the skies, it is time to move out of the shade and into the working shoes, which are ready on the go at the kitchen door. These are actually the working boots of Hartman, mine wasn’t to be found, but they aren’t as characterful as his anyway. But, pretending they are mine, they will prune and dig and weed and water, while the sun still has a gentle caress. This was done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano CP paper.


All the prunings and snippings of early morning will go into some vase somewhere in the house as well as an empty container in the garden in a shady spot, like the mint in this old kettle on a crooked, rusty chair. This corner was sketched in pen and watercolor on Fabriano HP(extra white)


Finally the day will end in the welcoming shade of our summer kitchen right at the back of the garden, where we enjoy the most wonderful alfresco meals, prepared by Hartman. (The door right at the back goes into a cave, which accounts for the wonderful coolness in summer)This is his kingdom, where he cooks and fries and experiments and flips and flops, with me in the role of sous-chef and lighting candles and lanterns, picking herbs, fiddling here and meddling there. We play guitar and sing and eat and while away the beautiful summer evenings, ending it all with some more contemplating and musing. Tomorrow we’ll start the day again, moving from shade tot shade. This was done in watercolor on Fabriano HP.



Christeen said…
Wow- what a great entry! Thanks for sharing this illustrated peek into a summer day for you and Hartman… gorgeous stuff!
June 7, 2007 6:13 PM  
Sandy said…
So lovely Ronell and restful and light – makes me yearn to get out into my garden.
June 7, 2007 6:22 PM  
Dave said…
Lovely to hear about your summer days and to see your illustrations of it!
June 7, 2007 7:56 PM  
Robyn said…
I love them all but the mint in the kettle is my favourite. Delightful post as usual, Ronell and I learn for the first time that Hartman likes to cook. We are so lucky to have such men! Your garden, with all its special nooks, looks like paradise
June 7, 2007 8:03 PM  
Claudia said…
I enjoyed v e r y much reading your blog entry and seeing the wonderful, loose sketches!!! Keep up the good work!!!
June 7, 2007 9:15 PM  
Bonny said…
Ronell, you have been busy doing these lovely paintings! They are all fabulous! My favourite one is of the teapot and the mint growing in it. The ‘cave’ is fascinating because of the perspective and the story behind it.
Thanks for sharing!
June 7, 2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous work! I love the shoes.hfm
June 7, 2007 10:50 PM  
mARTa said…
oh, I am envious of you as well! These are all so lovely and inviting! I am already in a mental travel mode and anticipating my trip this fall. I am so excited about meeting you, Casey and Robyn! My day was spent having my nails done, a pedicure and out for sushi with my husband and then an art show this evening. Maybe tomorrow I should play in the garden!
June 8, 2007 12:23 AM  
Susan Hosken said…
Yours is the first shade challenge response I’ve seen. I can’t think of what to do so was pleased to see your response.
Lots of love from Susan in Australia
June 8, 2007 12:46 AM  
Lin said…
WOWOW!!! What a way to live a life .. what spectacular sketching and painting!! I am awed!
June 8, 2007 1:16 AM  
Brenda Y said…
If there were “best blog entry” awards–you would get it!! What a fascinating narative of a day in the life of. . . The drawings and loose watercolor technique is absolutely FANTASTIC! My favorite is your summer kitchen/cave entrance–OHMYGOSH I would absolutely LOVE to cook in that kitchen!!! What a wonderful life and so happy you share it with us-THANKS!!
June 8, 2007 2:11 AM  
Lindsay said…
I love your “day in the life of”.
Lovely sketches. The stairs are so lyrical!! Thanks for sharing a slice of your day.
June 8, 2007 2:56 AM  
Ujwala said…
sketches are lovely and the post well written. i especially like the first one because you’ve tackled perspective which is one of my stumbling blocks.
June 8, 2007 5:44 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a beautiful, poetic rendering of you private world, there behind the big old wooden gate. Those cars buzzing past have no idea what a paradise you’re hiding!
June 8, 2007 9:00 AM  
Stacy said…
Lovely story, beautiful paintings and the perfect way to spend a summer day! Thanks for sharing!
June 8, 2007 2:58 PM  
Carole said…
What an idyllic way to spend the day – thanks for sharing! Beautiful paintings, as always. I don’t know how you manage to keep them so loose and casual looking, and yet have such accuracy in things like the chair, steps and perspective. You talented lady!
June 8, 2007 4:32 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
What a wonderful story teller… I could read a whole book with you as the author … bravo!I can’t pick a favorite of your watercolors….. I want them all. Beautiful colors depicting a summer day.
June 8, 2007 4:43 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
lovely as usual…what time is dinner???:> and whats hartmann cooking?!
June 8, 2007 5:31 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hi RonellI frequently visit you block to check on latest post and commentaries. Normally I refrain from commenting but this time around I can not resist. Maybe I was compelled by the fact that I was implicated so much this time around.Being true to your philosophy of telling stories with painting I could read much more in your carefully constricted associated text. Of course I have an additional advantage above your normal critiques by the fact that I know these place so well myself. But what the heck something must compensate for my lack of artistic expertise.For instance I could feel the shade and almost smell the associated odor of the moss on the wall while looking at the painting of the stairs. I could sense the relive of the end of the days work in the garden associated in the pair of shoes hinting to fact that they have been taken off only moments ago. The mint in the cattle spoke of you and the combination of your love for the garden and antiques. I could not help to immediately visualize many moments of joy in the garden or “brocante” after an unusual find.However what struck me most was the emotions and many memories of good times that were evoked by looking at the painting of summer kitchen.I believe that artist are feeling good if the can touch people and their emotions with their art. If they can get people to act or react they are in euphoria. Well…. This time around you can reach euphoria because looking at all of this it moves me to stop working immediately……. make may my way home…… to our summer kitchen…. to start a fire …… so I can be KING..Well done RonellHartman
June 8, 2007 5:32 PM  
Teri C said…
STUNNING!!! The art and the commentary!! As the paintings downloaded I loved the next one and then the next one. Just stunning!!!
June 8, 2007 6:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Okay – that’s done it! Now I’m in love with Hartman!
June 8, 2007 7:28 PM  
Sandy said…
I’m ready to move.. Can I catch a plane tomorrow. Will you meet me at the airport. Can I eat with you. Can I sit in the shade with Hartman. Wonderful wonderful post and paintings…sandy
June 8, 2007 7:59 PM  
Lynn said…
Absolutely wonderful! What a fabulous life you live. You are an inspiration.
June 8, 2007 10:21 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you so much for all your kind and encouraging comments and a special thanks to Hartman for his appreciation…for having had me sitting and crying here…because I’m happy.
Hie hie Robyn, you make me laugh…you and your husband should hop on the plane and come visit…them men can cook and we can… what we do best?
And that goes for you too Sandy, come and cook and eat!
Thanks everybody!
June 8, 2007 11:18 PM  
bec said…
wish I had a summer kitchen… is it really in a cave? lovely paintings!
June 8, 2007 11:19 PM  
mARTa said…
ah ronelle…is that invite still open to me next fall? LOL…I’m in love with Hartman now too!
June 9, 2007 6:43 AM  
Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said…
What wonderful art and words!tea
June 9, 2007 5:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Oh Ronell, we’d so love to come but our dogs have shocking table manners!
June 9, 2007 11:23 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are beautiful paintings and great commentary.

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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