Fruit and vegetable market


We stopped at this frsh produce market to buy peaches for lunch…ended up buying much more than only peaches! I have a weakness for fresh produce and always end up buying more than I need!
Done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano CP.


This sketch was done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano HP. I like playing around with the HP and CP papers, getting different effects every time. Alternating between the two blocks, is also easier in terms of drying.

I prefer the blocks to the moleskine. The bigger format allows me to be more spontaneous in drawing/sketching.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Some scenes from Highlands, NC.
“The Speckled Hen”. selling all kinds of garden things. Beautifully decorated on the outside with a wild garden and birdhouses.
Done in pen watercolor on Fabriano CP, 25 x 30,5cm (9 x 12″)


Ristorante Paoletti, with it’s cute black awnings.

Done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano HP, 25 x 30,5cm (9 x 12″)


Lastly, The Old Edwards Inn, which opened in 1935 as the Hotel Edwards, has recently been restored after 40 million dollars and two years of work.

Done in pen and watercolor in moleskine.



I have to share with you all these fascinations I found here in SC.

First thing I saw was these magnificent, frightening spiderwebs in the trees. They cover whole branches, sometimes even whole small trees. I tried to do a search on the internet for the type of spider, but couldn’t stand looking at all these spider photos coming up on my screen. So I still don’t know….they captivate me completely, scare me and fascinate me at the same time.


I am also fascinated by the hundreds of car dealers on every which road out there, with their hundreds of cars in every color, parked in neat rows, almost measured distances next to each other, the angles perfect and decorated with colorful flags and balloons…how can you not stop and buy a car? They have turned car sales into an art! I get a kick from these scenes every time I’m on the road and find those without this flair very boring


I also have to mention the kudzu, which took my breath away. I have had nightmares where I stand still for just a moment too long and I’m being taken over by these vigorous growers! Once again, an exhilirating sight where they form thick carpets in the valleys, growing up trees and wires and poles, everything and anything that can be a host…magnificent and scary…


There are many more of these enthrallments I find on my daily outings, but I’ll leave them for next time.

All done in moleskine with pen and watercolor.



Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Hi Ronell (and happy birthday!)I’m betting they are worms of some sort, not spiders–they turn into moths, but they do make these amazing webs, so not to worry–it’s not good for the tree, but nothing to be afraid of.Glad you’re back posting!
August 21, 2007 12:51 AM  
Sharon said…
I hope kudzu,car dealerships and bugs aren’t really the most captivating things about Keowee Key, SC, Ronell…or you may be in for a very long three months!(In response to your note – For a variety of reasons, my old website-Present Tense -is gone.)
August 21, 2007 1:18 AM  
Diahn said…
You know – kudzu is the bane of the southeast, but I’ve always loved it anyway. When I was a kid I would imagine kudzu shapes instead of cloud shapes – they make fantastic dinosaurs growing up telephone poles and lines…I love car lots, too…I think they are full of bluster and wind and untold treasures. :-DLet me know if you decide to head north, and we’ll arrange a meeting! I’m going to be on the Cherokee, NC side of the Smokies over Labor Day Weekend.
August 21, 2007 1:48 AM  
shirley said…
Terrific sketches – especially the car dealership! I think your big spiderwebs were made by what we called in Texas – TENT CATERPILLARS. They totally destroy trees unless kept under control.
August 21, 2007 4:08 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for telling me Cathy! I went to look it up and you’re right…it is the Eastern tent caterpillar…it is incredible!
August 21, 2007 4:10 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks Shirley…your message came in just as I posted my message…I saw an air photo of a forest infested with these caterpillars and I first thought it was trees covered in white blossoms…
August 21, 2007 4:17 AM  
ujwala said…
it’s nice to hear these kind of details about a place. looking forward to more. thank you.
August 21, 2007 5:47 AM  
mARTa said…
lions and tigers and bears…oh my! I’m thanking my lucky stars I’m a california girl! I had never heard of kudzu so did a google search…scarry! and those giant webs!!!!! yikes…your sketches both educational and beautiful!!! Come to California!!!!! no bugs or plants that will eat you up!
August 21, 2007 6:02 AM  
gabi campanario said…
hi ronell, I just read that you traded the Peugeout for a few months? Get a Mustang indeed, a convertible one! now seriously, hope your stay on this side of the ocean is great, can’t wait to read more of your impressions and see more of your beautiful sketches.
August 21, 2007 8:31 AM  
Tonniece said…
I see that those caterpillars are a pest there too. We get them just outside of the city on all the trees. Gives me the willies.
I did a google on the Kudzu, and am totally intrigued. what is truley amazing is the growth and it’s ability to create so many different shapes.
As for the car dealerships, they are on almost every corner here in Canada also, all decked out as if there’s a grand gala going on inside.
Great sketches of all three Ronell.
So good to have you back posting again.
August 21, 2007 1:24 PM  
Lin said…
Ronell: I find it fascinating to see SC thru your eyes — yes car dealers, churches, gas stations on every corner .. and that indominable kudzu .. and yes, it WILL cover you if you keep still … it’s redeeming qualities, though, the flour made from the rhizome is a staple in Asian countries, the flower makes an decent jelly … and there are so many kudzu festivals featuring baskets made from the vines, foods, etc…..Your sketches, as always are so painterly and beautiful!!!!
August 21, 2007 1:57 PM  
Carole said…
Oh my goodness, I wouldn’t want to see those spiders!The perspective on your last painting (of the poles with stuff growing up them) is really well done. Using grey creates a sense of huge depth and distance.Love the other paintings too, and your descriptions.
August 21, 2007 3:32 PM  
Teri C said…
How fun to see your sketches of SC. Only you could get away with painting a car dealer! 🙂
August 21, 2007 4:26 PM  
bec said…
I’m enjoying your views of SC. Bugs are a BIG deal there-they’re everywhere… have you seen any of the beautiful moths flying around at night?
love your artwork –especially the kudzu
August 21, 2007 6:20 PM  
uj said…
I love watching your discoveries – seeing things that we all take for granted, fresh eyes reminding us of the beauty in the everyday around us. Thank you Ronell – your excitement is infectious.
August 21, 2007 8:06 PM  
Ruela said…
your artwork is cool
August 21, 2007 8:22 PM  
Robyn said…
I think we have something similar here that attacks the umbrella pines. I could never paint a web like that at a distance and have it look like a web. Well done. Love the car yard too, very pretty composition with the bunting.

The people of South Carolina

Well, at last a post from me…
It was a struggle from the moment we set foot on US soil! and I’m still struggling! But that might be a story for another day. We’ve settled into a condo, overlooking the beautiful Keowee lakes here in Oconee county, SC. We’ve stepped into an incredible heat wave and I have a suspicion I am being punished for my constant complaining about the weather back home in France!

I’ll start off my experiences here in Oconee, SC, with some sketches of people. Because I had no internet or a computer up to to now, and it was too difficult for me to be outside, even for sketching, I kept mostly to coffee shops, watching and sketching the people of SC.

I do enjoy watching people, making up stories about them, wondering what keeps them going, what inspires them, what depresses them, what makes them laugh, what are their sadnesses…

One day, I hope I’ll have the ability to convey that hrough my paintings, not the realism of thier appearance, but the story behind their living, the emotion in their gestures.
So, meet the strangers I swiftly met in my wanderings to Paneros, Joe muggs, Barnes and Nobles, Bi-Lo, on a bench in the mall; some were empty nest-moms, serious writers, some just enjoyed reading and some did interviews, others were almost asleep and some were watching the wordl go by…








 These sketches were all done in pen in moleskine, given a few washes afterwards….

and now I’m leaving you to go throw another tantrum!!…I’m completely fatigued – I’ve been interrupted and I’ve restarted this post so many times since this morning, I’ve lost count and now I’m completely fatigued from driving around to 5 different places to find a connection! And this is my birtday…sob, sob!!!

PS: Please forgive the many mistakes and bad writing, I have not done any editing on this entry…

Bonny said…
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday dear Ronell, Happy Birthday to you! (Sung slightly off key but it comes from the heart…:))
It sounds like you are in a bit of a slump, not to mention a heat wave! I hope you find a nice spot out in the country away from the hot concrete of the city. Maybe you’ll find inspiration for a future painting, too.
Have a great Birthday, my Friend!Hugs,Bonny
August 17, 2007 10:10 PM  
Sharon said…
Happy birthday, Ronell! I’ve missed your artwork (and recipes), so it’s great seeing you back online, however briefly. Sounds like you’ve been hit with both culture and heat shock. Hope good things are planned for the rest of your day…and that it soon cools off.
August 17, 2007 10:23 PM  
mARTa said…
oh…so. carolina…too humid and hot…droop….so. california…heat wave..dry…languid…..have missed you…great sketches…I can feel the long humid hours….come to so. california and we can bask under palm trees on the beach! Joyeux anniversaire a vous mon ami!!!!
August 17, 2007 11:08 PM  
shirley said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Your sketches are fantastic and I thank you for being so persistent so we could see them! Are you traveling north at all. Would love to sketch with you in NYC.
August 17, 2007 11:22 PM  
Deborah said…
Happy Birthday!! Sorry you’re having some stress. Hopefully everything will work it’s way out and the heat and humidity will wane. We were hoping to meet in France in Oct. before your trip to SC but guess what? I will be in Lake Wylie, SC for 5 days in mid Sept. and for 2 days mid Oct. before and after my trip to France. Perhaps we are to meet after all. I leave tomorrow for 2 weeks but will chat about SC when I return. Stay cool. Have fun!
August 18, 2007 12:02 AM  
Lin said…
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET LADY! Oh cara, you have indeed dropped in for one of the worst heat waves we’ve had here in SC and NC!! We’ve broken all sorts of heat records … and I am so sorry — it is the most flagging of temperatures and humidities! But oh how good you’ve made of your time — your sketches are wonderful! And I hope you’re finding your time here enjyable too! I’d still love to find a way to get together .. and I’ve so missed your wonderful work.I hope you have a fabulous, and cool, birthday!! Cool in all senses!
August 18, 2007 12:17 AM  
Diahn said…
Happy HOT Birthday, Ronell! Sorry you’re caught up in this heat-wave – it is miserable, even up here in Tennessee. HEY- you’re not very far from me and Linda – if you ever decide to take a trip up to the Smoky Mountains, let me know – I’d love to show you around!Great sketches – stay cool!!
August 18, 2007 1:27 AM  
Anita said…
I do hope your day brightened up for you, feel free to nibble at the Cadburys chocolate slice my Son made on my blog.
I love your new sketches and I have missed you!
August 18, 2007 1:41 AM  
Brenda Y said…
I’ll add my off key Happy Birthday to You! Casey announced it on the EDM board and I was wondering if you had an internet connection yet so we could wish you birthday blessings. I LOVE these sketches and find the monochromatic washes, while different from your usual colorful flair, very intersting indeed!! We are hot on the west coast too — haven’t had too many days below 100 all summer, actually consider it a “cooling trend” when we hit 97. Thank you Lord for A/C!!!
Our Alaska cruise last week felt WONDERFUL at 60 degrees, but it’s been a rude awakening coming home to the heat.
August 18, 2007 2:13 AM  
bec said…
It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow!….Sat. in the 70’s I’ve been told (that’s here in PA , not too far from you.) lovely sketches-enjoy your vacation and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
August 18, 2007 3:04 AM  
Ujwala said…
Happy Birthday Ronnel! Lovely sketches and I hope you get to do many more.
August 18, 2007 6:17 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Hey – what a nice surprise to her from you today (well, yesterday, since I didn’t get a chance to check back!) I hope your birthday was happy after all – I’m glad you were with Hartman, and I’m sure you found some way to celebrate.Your sketches are really good – this is good news for me. It means we can go people sketching here in France when you get back?
Stay in touch! We miss you over here.
August 18, 2007 9:33 AM  
Carole said…
Beautiful sketches – they have so much character to them. I’m sorry you are so hot (I wilt in the heat too) but hopefully you will aclimatise and enjoy your visit. Take care, and keep sketching!
August 18, 2007 12:09 PM  
Tonniece said…
Welcome back, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY too.
Great sketches as always.
Hope you’re haveing some fun in all that heat.
August 18, 2007 3:24 PM  
Tami said…
Happy Birthday! Sorry your birthday is going so bad. Your people sketches are just GREAT!!! Looking forward to more!!!
August 18, 2007 4:54 PM  
juj said…
So sweet of you to leave US a present on YOUR birthday – Thank you. I’m sorry you are struggling, especially on your special day. I know it will get better soon. And fall is coming I promise. So nice to see you posting, if only for a moment. Great sketches. Happy Happy Birthday Ronell. Happy Birthday to you.
August 18, 2007 6:07 PM  
hfm said…
Great to see again your sketches that look so great!
August 18, 2007 7:26 PM  
Claudia said…
Nice to see your artwork again and all the best for your Birthday, Ronell!
Kind regards from Germany,
August 18, 2007 10:17 PM  
Bill Sharp said…
Nice to see some sketches from you. I hope the rest of your birthday was happier. Many happy returns.
August 19, 2007 5:41 AM  
Fanta said…
Happy Birthday,Dear Ronell!!! Loving the sketches. Must be terrible without proper connection. I will be facing the same problem soon, and eventhough I still have it, I am already experiencing pre-withdrawal pangs. If there is such thing (I’m sure there is)..Keep smiling and enjoying life. After Casey’s pastries you should be in a good mood again. Did you see? You can have not one, but two. Too sweet!:))
Take care,
August 19, 2007 6:23 PM  
Robyn said…
What a lovely surprise to find your post today, Ronell. Sorry I found it too late to wish you Happy Birthday but I have a feeling you and Hartman had a gorgeous evening after that too hot day. It’s still too hot in Tuscany too.Beautiful sketches, I love the woman with the long ringlets and the old chap writing and then every single sketch that follows that! You are in extremely fine form and I’m looking forward to many more. I’m really in awe at your ability to capture such characters from a discreet distance.
August 19, 2007 7:09 PM  
Sandy said…
oH good!!! I kept checking and finally found you drawing. Love the illustrations and so sorry you hit a heat wave. I have a friend who recently moved to South Caroline about a year ago, from Southern California. Her husband took a ministry job there. I think she misses So Cal…I sure hope you find some cool spots and find your time there really great!! I know, from what I’ve heard, you will have a great time eventually discovering all the beauty that is there.Happy Birthday….I’d sing but you wouldn’t want me to.Take care and discover the treasures that I know you will.sandy
August 19, 2007 8:40 PM  
laserone said…
Welcome back! I love these drawings. They’re great people-drawings. 🙂
August 19, 2007 9:28 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
Happy birthday and welcome to the U.S. Sorry about the crummy weather. Come on out to San Francisco. It’s been mid-70s and sunny and breezy here…just about perfect. Your drawings of people are wonderful. They look a little melty…like everyone is so hot!
August 20, 2007 8:40 AM  
Sandy said…
Happy belated BDay Ronell “I hope you had a Fabulous “Fit for a Queen” Day – and Fabulous work as ALWAYS!!
August 20, 2007 3:23 PM  
Lindsay said…
Happy Birthday and welcome back to cyber space! Great post. I love the personality of the people you have drawn.
We came back from vacation last week and left behind that unbelievable heat! We were in Pigon Forge NC near the Great Smokey Mountains. UGH. Too bad it’s still blanketing the region!
August 20, 2007 4:47 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you to everybody for this big surprise! It was so wonderful to see these messages all come through and feeling so special this one day of the year!
Thank you Casey!!
August 20, 2007 5:44 PM  
wagonized said…
I know i am late to wish you a happy birthday, but there it is, Ronell! Happy birthday! I love these sketches of people that you are posting. They have a spontaneity that quickly turns into poetry in my eyes.
August 21, 2007 6:24 PM  
Dave said…
A belated happy birthday from me too! I know what you mean about the heat…even in Philly and NYC where I was it was very hot. These are wonderful sketches; so full of life and energy.
August 22, 2007 1:32 PM  
 Sandy said…
Simply awsome, I wonder if you used ink and dewert pencils for this fabulous shadowing or all WC. Glad you missed me, I miss posting terribly and have some entries when I get home – dang compter won’t post!! Keep the SC musing going, as an American I find it facinating to see through your eyes and hands!