All m’ bags’r packed, I’m ready t’go…

My bags are packed…no not yet, but almost.
I’m packing all my sommer clothes and three tubes of toothpaste, because I use a particular kind. My tennis gear and all my art gear, my computer and some back up. And many shoes. Just because I love shoes.
I’m also packing Hartman, but truth be told, it’s the other way around. He’s tagging me along…joyfully of course!
Our daughter will babysit Tokala and Aiyani, she will water the garden, she will clean the house, cook her own food, pay the bills. She will not touch our car and she will never have parties. For the next three months.
We’re exchanging our Peugeot for ..I don’t know, maybe a Ford or maybe a Mustang…convertible would be nice?


I’m also packing my strong will and self discipline. I’ll need it where we’re going. The food is too easy available everywhere and anywhere and at all hours.


We’re leaving in two days and in 10 days, I’ll be up and running and computing, posting and commenting from my laptop for the next three months from “You know where”. I’m VERY excited!!

See y’all in 10 days!

Both sketches done in pen and colored pencils in moleskine.



Laureline said…
Wow!! What a great surprise! I’m sorry I’ll miss you in Paris, though–I’ll be back in November, too, so maybe then we can meet. Have a wonderful, wonderful time—will you blog while there?
July 29, 2007 8:30 PM  
Lin said…
July 30, 2007 1:08 AM  
mARTa said…
ok, so where are you going? and am I going to miss you in October? oh, how tragic! Do tell, fill us in!
July 30, 2007 2:12 AM  
Anita said…
Oh God, now I’m starving!!!
Safe trip Ronell! 🙂
July 30, 2007 3:04 AM  
Emma Pod said…
Have a safe trip….to where??? With the Taurus, Mustang and McDonalds it has to be somewhere in the U.S.
July 30, 2007 3:41 AM  
Deborah said…
I too will miss you in Paris. Sorry for that but you sound too excited! Where are you going? Do tell! Do tell!
July 30, 2007 6:52 AM  
Carole said…
Have a safe trip, Ronell. Hope you find lots of visual inspiration while you are there. Have fun!
July 30, 2007 10:20 AM  
Ujwala said…
Have a safe trip! Will look out for you in 10 days time.
July 30, 2007 11:42 AM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Have a fantastic trip. Great sketches. You said these were done in a Moleskine. What do you usually paint on? Can’t wait to see more of your great work from your travels.
July 30, 2007 12:07 PM  
Teri C said…
The same travel fairy must be looking over both of us as I am going to Hawaii :)I love your sketches-and look forward to wonderful ones while you are gone.Bon voyage!
July 30, 2007 5:13 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody…I’ll let you know where I am once I’m there…
Deb and MArta…I might still see you…I am coming back once just to check on the house and we may cross paths!
And Andrea – I love working on Fabriano or Arches and normally I work on HP, but lately I’ve been doing more and more on CP. The moleskine I do enjoy…it is just so small!
OK speak to you all soon
July 30, 2007 5:34 PM  
Susan said…
The excitement! The suspence! THis is fun. Can’t wait to see and know. Love your stuff, ALWAYS.
July 30, 2007 6:17 PM  
Tonniece said…
Have a safe, and enjoyable trip Ronell.
July 30, 2007 8:38 PM  
Claudia said…
Hello Ronell,
I, too, wish you a nice stay and happy weeks! I’m looking forward seeing your sketches from there!
July 30, 2007 8:41 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Well, no one told me that it was allowed that you leave us … *wink* have a great time…we will miss you when you don’t blog.
July 31, 2007 5:30 AM  
Sandy said…
beautiful paintings and heck, whereever you are going, have a great time.Is this a regular thing you do every year, I’m just wondering..sandy
July 31, 2007 6:32 AM  
Nancy said…
Have a great trip – send pictures!
August 1, 2007 6:00 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
I’m going to miss your wonderful words and pictures and am awaiting your announcement of location. If you’re anywhere near the San Francisco area, please let me know. I’d love to get together with you!
August 1, 2007 7:07 AM  
juj said…
I responded to your email but forgot to come see your actual post about the trip. I have to say I’m loving the juxtaposition of those croissants to the McDonald’s – what an apt comparison. And both are so beautifully rendered. Of course, I have to say, my preference too would be those flaky rolls – hopefully you packed a few to ease your transition!
August 1, 2007 5:12 PM  
Lindsay said…
Have a great visit!!! My blog is sleeping too. So I won’t be able to catch your posts. See you when we get back!!
Good luck with your will power. Just remember how yucky Micky Dees REALLY is…no matter how they try to suck us in!!!
August 4, 2007 4:57 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Oh no – you’re already gone! How am I going to stand normal life around here when vacations are over? At least I’m looking forward to following your adventures here on your blog!
August 5, 2007 6:11 PM  
Sandy said…
Waving hi…hoping that the area you went to welcomed you with great weather, low humidity and beautiful skies so you can be inspired to paint. Just sending you “thinking of you” thoughts.sandy
August 5, 2007 10:40 PM  
laserone said…
Wow, everybody seems to be going on vacation right about now! I hope yo have a wonderful time. These drawings are wonderful (and making me hungry). 🙂
August 7, 2007 8:33 AM  
Pequete said…
I wish you great holidays. We’ll miss you, but can’t wait to see all the sketches/paintings from the holidays.
August 8, 2007 3:47 PM  
martín // dibujando arte said…
This post has been removed by the author.
August 17, 2007 6:28 PM  
martín // dibujando arte said…
Ronell, Casey told us it’s your birthday today, so I wish you ALL the best. Hope you’re having a great vacation and drawing as much as you like to do, in a few words ENJOYING YOURSELF!
A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY kiss, Martín.
August 17, 2007 6:30 PM  
Carole said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONELL!Hope you’re having a lovely time.

Happy birthday Casey!

Today is Casey’s birthday, Monday 23 July. She turned a wonderful 21 today…again..!
Happy birthday! May your year be filled with ecstatic moments


Fanta said…
Happy birtday Casey! Ronell, glad you shared her age because Casey wouldn’t do it on her own blog:)))
What a wonderful tribute to out dear Casey!
July 23, 2007 11:18 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Ronell – Thank you! This is gorgeous.
July 23, 2007 11:36 AM  
Lin said…
A BEAUTIFUL and FITTING rose for a special lady from a most endeared friend!!
July 23, 2007 12:40 PM  
Teri C said…
Gorgeous rose for that lucky Casey. You are such a good friend!PS, my b-day is in April 🙂
July 23, 2007 4:42 PM  
Laureline said…
Oh, you’re wonderful! I know Casey is thrilled with this happy and charming sketch in her honor! I wonder—did you two know each other before your move to the Loire Valley or have you met recently? Isn’t it wonderful having art friends and soulmates? Thank you for spreading the word of her birthday.
July 23, 2007 9:53 PM  
Sandy said…
A simply luscious rose!!! from a good friend!!
July 23, 2007 9:55 PM  
Dave said…
Gorgeous rose. Happy Birthday Casey!
July 23, 2007 11:48 PM  
Anita said…
Ever thoughtful, ever caring AND the perfect gift.
Beautiful sketch Ronell.
July 24, 2007 12:24 AM  
Anita said…
Oh….April 5th, which gives you plenty of time! 😉
July 24, 2007 12:24 AM  
Robyn said…
Now you know, we’re all going to want one of your beautiful watercolours, Ronell! Beautiful tribute to such a talented friend.
July 24, 2007 11:24 AM  
ksklein said…
wonderful and lovely!there are many stories to the tree of life. check out wikipedia: no special reason why i chose this motif. i like the idea of ongoing life.
July 24, 2007 3:55 PM  
platitudinal said…
One perfect rose for the perfect age! Happy b’day, Casey.
July 25, 2007 7:35 AM  
Jenny said…
Lovely gift. I always love the way you mix your colors.
July 27, 2007 5:03 AM  
mARTa said…
ecstatic moments and tubes of every color! What a beautiful rose and I love the vase….but, let’s get rid of the flower shall we and pass the vin? Nice to be back with a ‘full screen’ to enjoy your lovely art!
July 28, 2007 12:34 AM  
bec said…
ohhhh! love the rose and the vase! I was on vacation and am just getting back to visiting your blog. It’s always a thrill to see your lovely artwork. Your watermellon is inspirational. I’ve got a round bowling ball sized one on my windowsill right now just waiting to be devoured!
July 29, 2007 2:28 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks for commenting on the rose, everybody!
Teri and Anita…April is marked!!
Marta..The rose has long passed made way for a “petit rouge”!!
July 29, 2007 9:55 PM  
laserone said…
Oh my, this flower is GORGEOUS! Really, really beautiful. 🙂


I bought my first watermelon of the season this morning. They’ve been in season for some time, but I just wasn’t in the mood. Watermelon wasn’t created to be eaten on cloudy days. And that is France for you this summer. A sunny day here and there. Like this morning. So I thought it is summer. And bought a watermelon.
I stared a long time at this cute little round fruit on my table. How very elegant, I thought, very chic and small enough to carry in my basket. It can even fit into my fridge. I could even have chosen a yellow one and one without seeds….a watermelon without seeds! What has civilation done to us?
Let me tell you a little about those I grew up with. I run the risk of being tagged as a tough, sturdy amazon after this, but that’s OK, you might be thinking that already!
I love a huge long, oval watermelon, big and lush in its greenness. Too big for the basket or under the arm. Too big for the fridge. And too big for a dainty lady like me too carry. You need a strong quarterback. You scratch it, you knock it with that knuckle, move on to the next one, scratch it, knock it, nod your head and Mr Qurterback lifts it onto his shoulder.
This prize is taken home and wrapped in a cold, wet cloth, stored in the coolest corner of the garden, often splashed with cold water to keep it cool.
Then, there’s a time and place to eat a watermelon. It is not eaten as an amuse bouche at a candle lit dinner table with a drizzle of balsamic, or cocktail picked on a pretty platter or served on a bed of mesclun with fancy feta cheese or graniteed, a la mediterannean!It is eaten on a buzzing hot, late summers afternoon, cut up by Mr Quarterback right there on the lawn, into proper oblong watermelon slices, crackling broken off so that the luscious “crown” is displayed, the creme de la creme, and a sigh escapes from all onlookers, eager awaiting their slice. You then dig into your share with bare feet and hands and gusto. Finesse and manners have no place in eating a watermelon. With your slice, you plonk down on the grass and chainsaw through it, with your knees almost draped around your ears, making room for the dripping juices and seeds. Every so often you’ll shake those hands to prevent the juices from running into your armpits and you’ll spit those seeds gathered in your cheeks olympic distances.
That’s how a watermelon asks to be eaten. The only knife in sight will be the panga for slicing it up and a small knife for Aunt Posh, who doesn’t want to dig her freshly coiffed hair into a slice.
Then of course comes the smearing and peel-attacking and seed fights and the pool and the throw-ins….
But unfortunately, I’m miles away from that kind of watermelon. So, here is mine from this morning… decently small, round and chic, calm and quiet…. and the clouds just moved in front of the sun.
Watercolor on Fabriano CP.



Lin said…
CARA! CARA! CARA!! I am entralled!!! Are you SURE you didn’t grow up in the southern part of the US!!?? Your decription of watermelon eating is so perfectly SOuTHERN!!!!! GLORIOUS painting too, cara .. it drips those juices of sheer delight!!! now to go fine some too! even though it’s raining (finally!)!
July 20, 2007 6:42 PM  
brian nelson said…
Dang, now I need to go buy a watermelon!! great description and a luscious looking painting!
July 20, 2007 6:53 PM  
shirley said…
The painting is gorgeous! I love the impressionistic style you achieve and intense colors.
July 20, 2007 7:13 PM  
Christeen said…
Ronell, you are such a talented writer! Your posts transport me somewhere else, and your art is beautiful. I really like this watermelon painting- it is dazzling.
July 20, 2007 7:51 PM  
biteyourowntail said…
Juicy, juicy. And light dappled. Summer in the UK is also dreadful. Rain and floods, people drowning. Awful.
July 20, 2007 8:09 PM  
Jenny said…
Colorful, luscious watermelon. Yum. I was taught to eat watermelon with a table knife in one hand and a chunk of watermelon in the other. I don’t miss the drips and the seeds at all. Now I cut the chunks into bowls and eat with a fork. It’s great not to need a bath after enjoying watermelon. It’s also great being old enough to buy my own watermelon and not share with a bunch of sticky, seed-shooting brothers. *lol*
July 20, 2007 8:22 PM  
Bonny said…
Your wonderful story took me straight back to hot summer days of my childhood! The only difference beng we were always ensconced on a local island, camped out for the whole summer. Mom would come over on the weekends after work, Dad and I would take the boat across to pick her up along with new grocery supplies for the week. Always Dad would look for the biggest watermelon and we would have a feast back on the island sitting on the beach, not a care in the world!
Thanks for the walk down memory lane!
July 20, 2007 8:48 PM  
Sandy said…
Well heck girl…you paint such visuals verbally and with the brush. The painting is gorgeous and the writing equal to the delightful painting. I loved reading this. How far can you spit?
July 20, 2007 11:24 PM  
Robyn said…
LOL – Yeah, how far can you spit, Ronell?! 😉 Lovely story, beautiful watercolour. Watermelon eating is exactly the same in Australia. My mother always made the man tap the melon – he’d cut a triangle into the side and slide out a perfect piece – if it wasn’t perfect enough, he’d slip it back in and try another. That was always my favourite piece.
July 20, 2007 11:42 PM  
Stacy said…
I hate to break it to lin, but we ate watermelon this way growing up in the north too! I remember being sticky from finger tips to elbows after eating watermelon. And Mom yelling not to touch anything as we made our way inside to wash up. Good memories!Your lovely watermelon looks so beautifully red that I am sure it must be sweet and juicy even if it is a petite little thing.It’s good to see you back in the swing of things Ronell!
July 21, 2007 1:08 AM  
Anita said…
Ok, now I want a watermelon party with you!
It’s been raining ALL DAY here today…Thankyou for bringing a little sunshine into my life.Beautiful post in every way!
July 21, 2007 3:47 AM  
martín said…
Oh, Ronell! Your last drawings are soooo beautiful. I love the use of watercolours you’ve done. They are to be published in a book!
July 21, 2007 5:10 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
mmm – my comment from yesterday disappeared!
This is gorgeous – the colors are just right and your style gets more confident every day.
If only I liked watermelon, this would make me want some…
July 21, 2007 4:12 PM  
Tonniece said…
Well you got my juices flowing now, and You are so right about the right way to enjoy a watermelon.Great writing, and sketch.
July 21, 2007 7:26 PM  
brian nelson said…
Ronell, I just tried to email you but it did not work from my work computer. Thaks for your comments on the Kookaburra. I left some more info under comments for that piece. I hope that helps.
July 21, 2007 7:27 PM  
Claudia said…
…what a nice story and what a wonderful painting! Keep up the good work, Ronell!
July 21, 2007 8:06 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, your work just keeps me going, knowing it is possible to create such glowing work with such a free touch and such depth, and life just inspires the h-ll out of me!
And your lusty love of life likewise!
July 21, 2007 8:35 PM  
mARTa said…
I think I’m going to make watermelon liquados today….cut up watermelon, throw it in the blender with crushed ice, some sweetner and water and blend till smooth…..c’est tres bon!
I’m glad you are gettings bits of sunshine! I would love a cloudy day!
July 21, 2007 8:37 PM  
Brenda Y said…
Gorgeous, gorgeous painting of a very juicy watermelon!! Your narrative took me down memory lane too. Thanks!!
July 21, 2007 11:53 PM  
Dave said…
You’ve been busy while I’ve been away! What gorgeous paintings. That watermelon is setting my mouth watering!
July 22, 2007 10:59 PM  
martha said…
Fantastic. And that color work, especially on the knife, is intoxicating!
July 22, 2007 11:52 PM  
Ujwala said…
though we were not allowed to get into spitting competitions, making a mess while eating melon and mango was taken for granted. i too would like to know how far you can spit the seeds 😛 lol. beautifully painted and very well written. it’s good to have you back.
July 23, 2007 9:49 AM  
Carole said…
My hands feel sticky just reading this! You conjour up memories of blue skies, sparkling pools, and the cool crisp pink flesh of watermelon. Mmmm mmmm. Seems like a very distant memory this summer! Love the painting too – you create such interesting compositions just by leaving a knife or whatever in. You’ve got that rich pink just right – it sparkles like it should. Lovely.
July 23, 2007 11:17 AM  
Fanta said…
This wan just readiates joy. Very nice.
July 23, 2007 11:20 AM  
Teri C said…
Fabulous watermelon in all it’s glory. Your words just broke me up. When are you writing your book? All these wonderful paintings and commentary need to be preserved for everyone.
July 23, 2007 4:47 PM  
L said…
what a gorgeous watercolor. It’s so beautiful!
July 24, 2007 2:28 AM  
juj said…
Your post is absolutely delicious on every level. Thanks for sharing.
July 24, 2007 2:51 PM  
platitudinal said…
I never thought watermelon as dramatic. Was I wrong. Hope there’ll be more sun for you to enjoy the watermelon, Ronell! 🙂
July 25, 2007 7:32 AM  
MIguel Herranz said…
This makes one’s mouth water! It really expresses the nature of watermellon: if you really enjoyed it surely you need a shower. Great sketch!
(Not many people knows about watermellon and balsamic)
July 26, 2007 7:37 PM  
Brilynn said…
Hi, this is my first visit to your blog and I love your paintings! That watermelon is perfect.
July 26, 2007 7:47 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody! I actually still wanted to spit those seeds and measure my distance, but haven’t gotten around to it yet..
will dot it and publish it!
July 29, 2007 9:50 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Brilliant again.

Chanel, and a river runs through it

While I was still acting out as Forest Gump on the run a while ago, I also made a quick stop by the perfume shop while speeding along to who knows where. That is of course the day Hartman left on his business trip. Normally it doesn’t bother me and I use the time for some good old fashioned selfish indulgence into whatever takes my fancy. This time though, caught my mood off guard and drove me to extremes. I sought solace in the arms of Coco Chanel and Hermes no less. On top of my sadness and depression I had now successfully added the load of guilt. I picked up speed


For the week I was alone, I struggled with my conscience, having spent this obscene amount on perfume and tried my best to blame it on my impulsive nature, which is true after all…still, it doesn’t justify an excuse. So, being born both impulsive and ingenious, I arrived at a solution to the problem. The problem of my guilt that is.

On Hartman’s arrival back in Paris, we had this glorious magical summer’s day. I sent him a message telling him to be home at 18:00. We have a date. He was not to be late. Now, send a man a message like that and see what happens…?


 Oh, you want to know about the date? Well, imagine this…I have a basket at the ready, filled with his favorite goodies like peaches wrapped in prosciutto, scallops with orange and a saffron mayonnaise, a cold champagne, a baguette to dip into rich seductive olive oil and fleur de sel…I have ordered and received my golden exuberant sunshine. The river Loire is 2 minutes walking from our front door, the water rushing by, heightening the sensation of summer madness, sun, and bare skin…..and me, enveloped in Coco Chanel.


I am home. I have no guilt. I love my Chanel. I have a happy husband. And through it all runs a river.


All the sketches were done where we lounged by the Loire(except for Chanel) watercolor, pen or pencil on Fabriano sketchpads. (I apologize for the off-perspective of was done in the speediest of time, I didn’t check!)



Lin said…
RONNELL!! WHAT A PERFECTLY FANTASTICALLY DESIGNED DAY – SPIRIT – SKETCHES — THE WORKS! Your writing has me mesmerized, dreamy, liquid with ideas, inspiration, visions!! BRAVA, mia cara!! BRAVA! for the soul behind all of this .. and so much more!!
July 17, 2007 6:05 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell..I just shake my head and wonder how you merge both a wonderfully exciting story with your beautiful paintings. YOu can see me but I’m applauding. I’ve missed your posts!!!YOu know how it is when you happen upon a great book and it is so wonderful, you put it down and don’t want to continue…because you don’t want it to end. I just got that feeling reading/looking at this…My goal is someday to be able to do what you do!!! wow..p.s. thanks for your comment and I do hope you join in show and tell. It is easy, no theme. Just go and leave a comment with your link on my show and tell for the day and I’ll pick up that link and put it on the front page right in my post…
July 17, 2007 6:22 PM  
Deborah said…
Fabulous! Fantastic! and on so Fun! A great adventure at home. I will be in Paris for 2 days at the very end of Sept. and then 2 days in mid Oct. I would love if we could meet!
July 17, 2007 6:57 PM  
Teri C said…
More fabuous paintings. You are such an inspiration to us all. How did we ever survive during your absence!You REALLY made a perfect day for us also by sharing the wonder of it all! Thanks.
July 17, 2007 7:05 PM  
Sandy said…
Oh Ronell, You are BACK BABY – Lordy I feel like I have had a mini vacation (shopping and all) through your account and the lovely watercolors, sing with life!! Simply Glorious! Your Chanel was a gift for Hubby!!
July 17, 2007 7:35 PM  
Bonny said…
What a fabulously romantic date to have with your husband!!! And right there on the Loire! Can you say ‘green’ with envy??? That’s me, I’m green from head to toe.I’m glad you’re back too, and you made such an entrance with afantastic post and wonderful sketches!Big hug from Canada,
July 17, 2007 8:32 PM  
Claudia said…
So good that you’re back again creating and painting things!! And so well done!! I enjoyed both the story and the paintings! (And the sketch of the flowers in the “thank-you”-post is marvellous, too!)
July 17, 2007 9:52 PM  
Emma Pod said…
Beautiful drawings/paintings! I’m glad you’ve had some time to just
“be”. Enjoy that expensive perfume and the rest of summer!
July 17, 2007 9:56 PM  
Regula Scheifele said…
Wonderful story, wonderful paintings… I LOVE the Chanel bottle!
Good to have you back!
July 17, 2007 11:32 PM  
shirley said…
Everyone spectacular! So glad to see your wonderful paintings. I LOVE the bright colors and crave your loose style! Thanks for sharing all of it!
July 17, 2007 11:51 PM  
Tami said…
Gosh, I love visiting your blog!!! Not only is your artwork stunning, your self disclosure is just too real! One would be inclined to say, “shame on you!” but you are just too brilliant and funny!!!
July 18, 2007 1:04 AM  
martha said…
Fantabulous! Story and sketches, all divine.
July 18, 2007 2:54 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Way to go … you seduce Hartman with your lovely new fragrance and delicious goodies from your basket… why feel guilty, it’s a win win situation!Your paintings are lovely. I was really inpressed with your basket and the perfume … excellent. Also, I think the flowers from the last post are awesome. You have such a nice touch with your watercolors.Soooo happy to see you back posting again …
July 18, 2007 3:41 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
Wow, what glorious, sensual paintings and writing! I like all the pics but especially the last picture with the softly oozly watercolors. Gorgeous! When my (now ex-) husband went away I always ended up buying kitchen appliances. Maybe that’s why we’re divorced and you’re still married–you buy perfume and make aphrodesiacal foods and I buy a new blender?
July 18, 2007 6:10 AM  
Irene said…
You are an inspiration. Glad you are back
July 18, 2007 7:28 AM  
mARTa said…
Decadent! You are like a good novel with pictures! I’m wearing my Coco Chanel tomorrow in your honor!
July 18, 2007 7:34 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the enthusiastic comments….it is good to be back!I missed it all – everybody’s work, the comments, the humor…I’ve come to recognize everyone by his/her own style of commenting…that’s so great!
Deborah: I would love to meet…let me know your dates and Casey and me can meet you in Paris and spend some time, or if you want to see our area, you are of course more than welcome!
July 18, 2007 8:46 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Ronell – wow – once the dam is broken it all comes flooding out! It looks like you’ve been storing up all this poetry and color for a few weeks – these just shimmer with light. It looks like the good weather is here now – let’s hope it holds!
July 18, 2007 9:28 AM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Where to start??!
I LOVE this post. The words and pictures. Brilliant. Your story was wonderful. And boy, these drawings tell me your on a roll again (no pressure though!). My faves? Wel I just can’t decide…maybe the perfume…maybe the basket (such great composition on that one BTW…nope I love them all! GREAT work Ronell.
July 18, 2007 11:41 AM  
Laureline said…
Oh, how charming!! I love the story and the paintings and I love perfume, too! Maybe we can check out a perfume boutique or two in Paris–if not in September, then in November!
So glad you’re feelig better.
July 18, 2007 2:50 PM  
juj said…
Oh Ronell – it’s SO great to have you back. I’ve missed your loose carefree paintings, filled with color and life. And your words. Your sometimes wry, sometimes funny, always honest words.
July 18, 2007 3:33 PM  
suzanne said…
Wowee…great post! Here’s to self-idulgence. I’m glad you bought the perfume…I’m sure it made your evening that much more magical.
July 18, 2007 5:37 PM  
Robyn said…
What brilliant, gorgeous form you are in Ronell. The paintings are wonderful – perfect illustrations of your delightful confessions. I’m wondering if I walk through a cloud of Coco, I too could come out the other side of this summer slump – not to mention giving HWEM shock of his life 😉 Brava!
July 18, 2007 5:44 PM  
Lynn said…
Thanks, Ronell, for showing us how to live the good life. I love the paintings.
July 18, 2007 8:28 PM  
Carole said…
Ooh, it’s good to see you painting again! What a wonderful way to assuage your guilt. Sounds idyllic!
July 18, 2007 9:45 PM  
Jenny said…
All of this from a perfume purchase?! Maybe it would help if I started sniffing from the pretty bottles on my dresser. *lol*Love your artwork and your guilt-ridden tale. All wonderful.
July 18, 2007 10:19 PM  
gabi campanario said…
hi ronell, you manage to marry words and pictures in a beautiful way. i’m so envious! thanks for telling us about this wonderful day
July 18, 2007 10:42 PM  
altWhat a wonderful way to welcome your husband home. I plan on trying your fun and romantic ideas. Now, I have never tried Coco Chanel but i am going to check it out too.
Your sketches are lovely, free, fresh and delight. They must be a reflection of your personality.
July 18, 2007 11:40 PM  
Serena said…
What a wonderful day and beautifully illustrated also. I can’t pick a favourite out of the sketches. Great to see you back and great post, Ronell ~
July 19, 2007 8:55 AM  
jen said…
lovely lovely bright colours, my favourite is the basket so full of life!
July 19, 2007 12:35 PM  
hfm said…
The Loire, the Channel, your husband, your humour and your watercolours – gorgeous!
July 19, 2007 3:03 PM  
Brenda Y said…
You ARE back and with a HUGE flourish!! Love the art – so free and fresh and the story is absolutely wonderful. I’ll have to keep it in mind the next time I go on a “splurge.” 🙂
July 19, 2007 3:59 PM  
Lindsay said…
What a great idea!!!!!!!!!Makes me want to do a picnic in the bed room too!!!ehehehe
Lovely sketches Ronell! I’d say you were unstuck!
July 19, 2007 10:20 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all your deligtful comments!
July 19, 2007 11:20 PM  
Tonniece said…
Welcome back Ronell. As you see you were greatly missed.
Love your musings and art.
July 21, 2007 7:31 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Oh my, you are creative in just about everything, aren’t you? lol! I’m sure it made your husband happy! I just love your paintings, so loose and colorful. And don’t feel guilty about Chanel. There is something about real perfume… I think it’s that musky fragrance… sooooo much better than cologne. Indulge and be happy!

A thank you

When the going gets tough, the tough runs away….or something like that. That was me the past few weeks. Not that I had such rough going and not that I’m that tough either. But that’s just how it was. I ran away. Sarah(biteyourowntail mentioned the book Women who run with wolves (Clarissa Pikola Estes). I couldn’t wait to dig out my copy and read it again. It is a great book. Pequete(Pequete’s art journal) also advised reading Living out Loud(Ker Smith). Will have to get it, it sounds like good reading.
Luckily life stayed true to itself and my wheel started turning upwards. And luckily I have people in my life who helped push it. Some with faces I see every day, some further away and then some whose faces I have yet to see.


A thank you to Hartman who so patiently puts up with all my whims and goes even a step further…descending at 11:30 at night down to the river with a torch to find me a frog for my fountain. My frog was missing.
A thank you to those who make me laugh when I get too serious.
A thank you to everybody who left and still leave a few words of encouragement on my blog.
A thank you to those who not only leave a comment, but also take the time out of their busy summer activities and work and blogging, to send an email with some nice thoughts.
A thank you to those unknown faces who make a loyal stop at my blog regularly, to those who are new, to those who say nice words when my art sometimes just simply sucks, to those who laugh at a joke that’s not really funny, to those who read my sometimes boring words, to those who care and to those who are feeling drained themselves, but still find the spirit to encourage. To those who advise books to read, fun things to do and send recipes to indulge in.
A thank you to Casey down the road in Amboise, who always cares and often stops for a coffee.
A thank you to all, whom I’ve come to know through your art and your words and your actions.



Teri C said…
It is SO good to have you back. I have missed your wonderful paintings, you sense of humor and just youbeing you!
July 17, 2007 3:47 PM  
brian nelson said…
You have done an awesome job with these flowers! I love them. Being discouraged, myself, they have brightened my day! Thanks for sharing!
July 17, 2007 4:10 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
You do the same and more for all of us. This is a wonderful comeback – I was just wondering this morning what you’d be putting together to post! Hope to see you soon. (this week?)
July 17, 2007 4:36 PM  
Robyn said…
Back with sunflowers – what a return! Lovely, loose watercolour as usual. Great to have you back, Ronell. We need your inspiration.
July 17, 2007 5:57 PM  
Lin said…
July 17, 2007 6:17 PM  
Sandy said…
and a thank you to you for giving us great visuals and superb imagings to keep us going on some very long and tedious days.I came across a book by the way with the most wonderful illustrations and they reminded me of you. It is a cookbook called “A Glorious Harvest) written by Henrietta Green. The illustrator is Lynne Robinson and OMG her work is gorgeous and really really reminds me of your style. Have you ever heard of it.
July 17, 2007 6:25 PM  
soulcomfort said…
Great colors and free style–as usual, it’s beautiful to look at! 🙂
Always, Rita
July 18, 2007 3:20 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
Another big wow! These are gorgeous! And a thanks to you for visiting my blog, even when you were “gone”.
July 18, 2007 6:11 AM  
Joanne said…
Your sketches are soooo juicy. Just awesome. Take a break when you need one, but don’t be gone too long, please!
July 18, 2007 7:44 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks to everybody!
Sandy: No, I don’t know the book, but I’m defintly going to hunt it down…by the title it looks like book to own!
Brian: Just hang in there..
Casey: Will call you for a session of sketching?
July 18, 2007 8:52 AM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Ooh Ronell,
firstly another stunning painting. Wow, you are good!
And secondly I know exactly what you’ve been going through. I feel like I’ve been in that place myself recently. It’s such a frustrating place. And the hardest thing is, I find, not putting too much pressure on yourself to create. Your work is fabulous and here’s to lots more of it!
July 18, 2007 11:36 AM  
Anita said…
Gorgeous flowers and that hint of a vase is pure genius!

Time out

It has been a while now that I’ve been struggling to get anything on paper and I was getting just more stressed by the day. Lindsay mentioned that when she gets this slump, she does nice things, naps, fun outings…. So I decided on some time out.
I put away all art, all stress, all guilt, all expectations. I went shopping(mostly window shopping) and I fiddled in the garden. I played piano and even wrote a song. You will never hear it. I concocted new recipes and did some cooking classes. I stole some mirabelles off someone’s tree and got chased by the dog with the pink bow. I moved the furniture around and changed the kitchen. I took down wall paper and started painting the living room. I played and slept with my cats. I ate too much and excercised too little. I’m blaming it on the weather. I watched Wimbledon and cried because it’s over.
I baked a cake for a friend’s birthday, decided at midnight I’ll do another one in the morning and helped myself to many slices. I sat in the rain and ate ice cream. Now I’m taking double dose vitamin c, because my throat is on fire. I went “brocante hunting” with a friend and bought other people’s junk. I sold a couch and bought a bed.
I never switched on the computer. That makes me feel bad because I didn’t visit any blogs. I dropped Hartman off at the station to go the States. I was so sad so I drove to the perfume shop and bought a bottle of Coco Chanel and a bottle of Hermes, now I don’t feel sad anymore…just guilty.
So I did indeed take time out… more stress, no more guilt, maybe more inspired…? Don’t know, time will tell. In the meantime, I have a living room to finish painting, I will be back next week, catching up on everybody’s work.
In fear of being completely forgotten, I thougth I’d post some of my finds at the brocante, while I’m waiting for the undercoat on the walls to dry.
An old dilapidated little car, while waiting for the brocante to open after lunch and then some old silver and pewter finds and lastly the old daybed(lit ancien as it is simply called), which is to replace the couch I sold, but only after some restoration. I just did some quick sketches in my moleskine with pencil, pen and a wash…all wonky still, which means I probably still need some time out.




Lin said…
Ah, Cara .. I’m sorry this slump still haunts you — but I think your time ‘unstressed’ is well spent. As someone told me when I complained of the same ailment “consider it pondering time’ … that special time you need to incubate ideas, desires, dreams, creations … so incubate, cara … and spend some time resting .. It will help — it really will.Huge HUGS!
July 9, 2007 5:51 PM  
Robyn said…
I’ve always wanted such a day bed – now I have no room for one. The pewter plates are lovely.
Enjoy your time out, everyone will still be here when you feel like it again. I’ve been cooking all day myself – it’s fun sometimes to return to old loves and to do it without guilt.
July 9, 2007 6:39 PM  
Lynn said…
I’m sorry you’ve been in a slump, but it sounds like you had some fun recharging your batteries. I like that sketch of the daybed. I hope you feel rejuvenated soon.
July 9, 2007 7:31 PM  
Bonny said…
Hi Ronell;You know taking time out is good, not just for doing art. Sometimes doing other things, even unexpected things gives us a new focus on our art and on life. Take your time, and don’t feel guilty about taking time off. It’s summer, you’re SUPPOSED to to take time off from life!!!
We’ll still be here for you whenever you feel like talking or coming back!Hugs,Bonny
July 9, 2007 7:50 PM  
Sandy said…
Yes I have missed you (forget you – Never!) Your time off sounds Glorious to me and I would like to join you (especially the cake and ice cream parts!). You will be inspired and come back gang-busters and I am Ready!! (ps – wish you had come to NY for our crawl and I LOVE the bed you purchased!)
July 9, 2007 8:46 PM  
Emma Pod said…
Hi Ronell, enjoy your time off. Have some fun. Relax. Goof off. Finish your projects. Sometimes it’s just good to change gears and do something different. And the whole point of art and blogging is for pleasure…not when it feels like “work”. I’ve been doing very little drawing this summer – there are so many other nice things to do. (thanks for helping us all not feel guilty!)
July 9, 2007 9:51 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
That’s a brilliant idea of how to get through a slump–enforced non-arting and non-blogging. Maybe it’s like what sex therapists advise when couples are having problems–they tell them to NOT have sex (which gives them time to pay attention to caring for one another and make the desire grow?). That would certainly apply to art–give you time to care for yourself, find your muse and allow it to seduce you back into the arms of art? I hope I’ll remember this next time I’m in a slump and badgering myself to produce!
July 9, 2007 10:28 PM  
hfm said…
Have a good time we will wait here for you.
July 9, 2007 10:38 PM  
Sharon said…
Slump or not…your fans are always happy to hear from you..and sending good thoughts your way!
July 9, 2007 10:58 PM  
Regula Scheifele said…
 was wondering what you’re doing. Your time-out sounds like the best idea, sometimes window shopping is the best kind of ‘therapy’ 😉
I love the little car you have found… but then I’ve got that thing for cute little cars anyway…
Looking forward to read your next post – whatever you have to share.
July 10, 2007 12:11 AM  
uj said…
I am heartily applauding you Ronell. Good for you! Good for you!
July 10, 2007 3:03 AM  
Sandy said…
Well…first way would I forget this blog. I check every day. We all go through these’ll get inspired again but heck, look at all you are getting done!!! I will keep checking back every day because I wouldn’t want to miss a new piece of art…or anything you post. sandy
July 10, 2007 8:17 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Whew ! There… finally a word from Ronell. Yes, we’ve missed you and your wonderful prose and art … But indeed your time away sounds like something needed. Possibly it’s the season, or just time for enjoying where you are. Come back when you are ready.
July 10, 2007 3:28 PM  
Carole said…
I was just about to check that you were OK, and there you are! Good to hear from you. I’m glad you are allowing yourself off the hook and enjoying some other projects. Meanwhile you haven’t lost your touch with these little sketches. I love the daybed – that’s going to look gorgeous once you’ve restored it.Keep playing, and enjoy the summer! Look forward to reading more when (and only when) you are ready.
July 10, 2007 6:11 PM  
Linda said…
Not to worry — you’re not forgotten! ;-D I remember a friend once saying that a field MUST lie fallow for a spell if it is going to yield a good crop. So, relax, enjoy, de-stress!
July 11, 2007 12:22 AM  
Tami said…
Wow! Looks like you are doing a lot of fun, creative things with your time out! Enjoy youself, we have enough things that make us feel guilty, art, doing or not doing, shouldn’t be one; it’s for relaxation remember? I LOVE your art and hope to see more soon! In the meantime, I’ll entertain myself looking over your previous posts and any new “stuff” you are doing…
July 11, 2007 5:21 PM  
Nancy said…
Keep up the adventurous days! Slumps can be great – get a “floaty pool” and float!
July 12, 2007 5:37 AM  
bec said…
I’m all for that. gooooooo swimming and
July 12, 2007 8:11 PM  
biteyourowntail said…
I think everyone needs time to rekindle the fire every now and again. And I think you do right not to fight it. There is a book, Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes – not about creativity per se, but she does discuss these issues. It’s a wonderful book that I think every woman should have by her bedside. Beautifully written, drawing on Jungian archetypes and traditional fairytales to chart women’s journey through life.
July 13, 2007 6:55 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Hi Ronell – I haven’t been able to comment in a while, but I enjoyed hearing about what you’ve been up to while I was in the US.. The sketches are great, and it sound like you’ve been having fun. Sometimes we just need a change….
July 13, 2007 11:10 PM  
martín said…
I just came to see what you were up to, since I haven’t heard of you for some time, and wow, you’ve been having a lot of fun! you’ve gone through every possible emotion, hahaha. I think you did great, it’s a vacation, an arts vacation you took. Well done. Sometimes we need a change like Casey says. Take care. M
July 14, 2007 1:41 AM  
Anita said…
At last!!!…I’ve been worried about you!
July 14, 2007 4:14 AM  
soulcomfort said…
You may have felt in an art slump–but in didn’t sound like you were in an everything else slump. Having fun and relaxing is good for the soul. 🙂 Just needed a break–we all do sometimes. Looks like you are right back in the swing of things again–nice work, as usual! 🙂
Always, Rita
July 14, 2007 4:27 AM  
Lindsay said…
So sorry you are having a hard time. I hope it will pass in time….be gentle with yourself! And thanks for mentining me!
July 14, 2007 5:01 AM  
Arty Velarde said…
I really like these sketches. They have a lot of character.!
I hope you are doing ok.
July 15, 2007 4:15 PM  
mARTa said…
ok, so I’m missing you but glad you are just enjoying life right now…the creativity will burst forth soon I’m sure!
July 16, 2007 6:49 AM  
Pequete said…
Well, one thing I am sure of: no matter how long your slumps may last, you will never be forgotten! I’m sure that with all that activity, your inspiration will come back soon. If not, try reading “Living Out Loud” by Ker Smith. I’m reading it right now and it has really great stuff!
July 17, 2007 3:10 PM  
Felicity said…
I had no idea you were in a slump. My goodness, your art is so amazing, so briming with vitality and I’d just die to be able to paint like you – so I guess it never occured to me this could happen. So sorry, I hope you are finding your way out of it.
July 17, 2007 4:16 PM  
Laureline said…
I’m very late to add my encouragement, but here it is, nevertheless. You’re a wonderful painter and writer, too. I hope you figure out a way to minimize the slump time, but we all have them, don’t we? Take good care and enjoy yourself and try not to have unrealistic expectations about production and perfection.
July 17, 2007 4:44 PM  
Serena said…
I haven’t been online much over the past couple of weeks due to my upcoming house move but I’m sorry to read that you’ve been in a bit of a slump, Ronell. I must admit I was a little envious reading all the things you have been doing though……relaxing and taking time out for yourself is nourishing to the soul so try not to be too hard on yourself. Your blog is one of my favourite blogs to visit as I find such inspiration here and I love the way you write about things. I appreciate too that you also take time to visit my blog and leave such beautiful comments….it really means a lot to me. Btw, I love your painting style and these sketches are wonderful ~
July 19, 2007 8:49 AM  
phthaloblu said…
I am so sorry that you are having to experience this slump. I was in one for many years, but I think you are doing the right thing. Doing something else and taking a break. Don’t pressure yourself. These sketches are lovely and quick and I’m glad you did them even if you didn’t feel too much like it. I really love your work. Have a lovely little break and we’ll see you back soon.