A few days ago I painted this corner of the Loire in oil. Unfortunately I fiddled with it afterwards while it was standing on the easel in the atelier to dry, resulting in losing some great first strokes and giving the water this almost “swimming pool” colour. Knowing well I have this addiction, I normally hang a painting immediately on the wall when done and then I don’t touch it…on the easel however, I always see something that needs fixing!
…ombre et lumiére..
oil on canvas, 30×30 cm (11.8×11.8 in)
I am leaving for Coin Perdu in Correze for about three weeks, which will be sort of a solitary retreat. And since I’m leaning towards oil painting for now, I’ve decided to pack all my oil stuff for some plein air painting for which the opportunities and subjects there are boundless. So I had a stack of boards, in different sizes, cut at my hardware store, and prepared them at home with first a coat of acrylic primer, then a coat of mixed gesso and modeling paste and lastly a coat of gesso. (after the method by David Curtis).
Some years ago I played around with modeling paste on canvases and several other surfaces, as can be seen in the next two paintings. Given a coat of gesso or acrylic primer, it provides a nice textured surface for some expressive work in oil and other mixed media.
…urn 1, mixed media on canvas…
…detail of texture(with modeling paste)..
…urn 2, mixed media on paper…
…detail of texture(with modeling paste)
oil on canvas, 30×30 cm.
…detail of texture(with modeling paste)…
Today is earth day. Some garden sketches as my contribution.
All sketches done in moleskine with rotring pen and watercolour.
*Create a garden that is ecologically friendly. Ban pesticides. Plant combinations of plants and herbs and certain weeds for natural pest control. Learn to live with a few weeds and some chewed up leaves. Promote insect life by planting flowers that atttract them – lavenders, feverfews, buddleias, lilas, roses, honeysuckle… Take care of birds with available waterbaths, nesting houses, perches… Keep containers all around the garden to catch the rainwater with which you can water plants. Create a “strong” garden by not over watering your plants, much like you would train a young tree to bend with the wind, thus forcing it to grow strong. Use the water you rince your salads or other foods in the kitchen with, to water your potplants. Plant herbs to use in your cooking, for medicine, for the household. Ban chemicals from the kitchen and visit Gramma for tips on natural household products. There are info and tips all over internet and books galore on how to live as close as ecologically friendly as we can today, without going to extremes and freaking out on “bio”. Just a little effort already helps a lot.
Respect our earth, care for it and enjoy it.
Water on “earth day” – a clear brook, is my contribution to Watermarks. Drop by to see all our contributions for this day!
…a resting place for animals..
…a resting place for humans
Saying goodbye is always hard. And even harder, when you’re the one staying behind. We said goodbye to very good friends last week who returned to their home country after many years here in France. For now I’m sad, but tomorrow or the day after or next week, all will be OK again and I will start planning our visit to Australia. A friendship with such deep roots, cannot be pulled out.
…may the road always rise up to meet you…
Sometimes people come into our lives who leave a distinct impression, who change our lives for the better and we only realize it much later.
Joanna came into mine years ago and added so much richness to my life, which I only fully realize now. We were so different, yet shared so much. We were tolerant und understanding of those differences and appreciated the uniqueness of each of our personalities. Those differences even started rubbing off, making us enjoy what we’ve previously disliked. We were frequently off to les brocantes, searching for rose coloured glass for her and old stuff for me. We would stroll through nursery gardens and rescue half dead plants to see them bloom in our gardens the next season. We had lunches in little hamlets and drove all the wayout for a chocolate dessert. We “coffieed and caked” whenever the opportunity showed itself. We disagreed on movies and cracked up with Mamma mia. I tagged along in her search for clothing and she told me to wear brighter colours. I listened patiently when she ranted about Air France and she got me out of bed when I was depressed. I supported her in her cardmaking and she constantly encouraged me in my art. We baked tarte tatin and searched for new pressed veggie juice recipes.
She saw me when I was happy and gay and handed me the tissues when the world was all wrong. She saw my house when it was sparkling and smelling of roses and she washed my dishes when it started crawling out the door. I saw her when she was beautifully coiffed and I saw her when she was digging up the garden. I saw her when she went through chemo and I saw her when we celebrated her first clear check up and we laughingly celebrated with a coffee and cupcake. She pulled weeds from my garden while she was sick and I prepared dinners for those difficult chemo times. I took photos of her without her hair and we played around with wigs and bandanas. I took photos of her after her hair had grown back and we laughed about the impact of time.
Thinking of Joanna makes me smile. She talks a lot, she jokes a lot, she teases a lot, she laughs alot. She turns passivity into action. She can’t grow old for her spirit is too young. Like her, I want to laugh a lot and joke a lot and tease and I also don’t want to grow old, because my spirit will be too young.