Katherine in Touraine

This past week Katherine was in Touraine with her sister and niece. First stopping off to visit Monet in Rouen and then Paris and then arrived here in Tours, valley of the chateaux…but why am I telling you all when you can go read it on her Travels with a sketchbook and Making a mark.  See links  lower down.

…distracted sketches in Tours…

Tours - street lamp and charis

Tours -hotel de villesketches done with pen and watercolour washes  in aquarelle moleskine

What I can tell you is that it was so great to meet her! Such a fascinating person! With a very real passion for art, for books. A sponge for information. She thrives on researching and gathering information, and sharing it is her way of learning and growing. She confessed that she loves being asked questions, which takes her to digging and researching…so there you go, ask away! She is devoted to sketching which she does with great ease and comfort in remote corners as well as around buzz with lively people and situations. In fact, she thrives on scenes where the challenge to capture people coming and going, results in a scene where the setting is static, but the ambiance is moving and changing. Withing as little as  ten – fifteen minutes she can sketch a restaurant scene with tables and chairs and windows, cake and drinks and a traffic of people arriving and leaving, and they all find a place in her scene, the Katherine way. That becomes her unique view.

She’ll capture the skies in order to define the relief of Mont St Michel.  Or sitting opposite a boring road, where there is nothing but a line of autumn trees with flaming yellows, soft greens and a dark tunnel and it tuns into a gentle  fall scene of serenity. Or how about Chenonceau, where she would seat herself on a corner away from the people traffic, patiently waiting for people, blocking her view,  to take their photo,  and then shows up with a fairy tale chateau, water reflections and all. Or the gesture of two couples on a park bench, worn down from being tourists, perfectly captured to make you almost feel their fatigue!

By telling you this, it may sound that we did a lot of sketching together, but unfortunately we didn’t even do a single one together! Time passed too fast and too stuffed with things to do.  However, I saw her sketchbooks, paged through them again and again and only really saw her art for the first time. The computer screen doesn’t do her sketches justice and seeing her sketch books, was like opening story books! We also did indulge in eating a deliciously light French chocolate mousse cake.   We made up for that little sin by lunching on light salads and last night said goodbye over candles with champagne and boeuf bourguignon! I was fortunate to enjoy her sketching the restaurant scene during lunch, while her sister and niece and I saw to the conversation and entertaining side of the meal.

But before you think I’m completely worthless, I can show two  quick and distracted sketches I did while waiting to meet up with them in Tours. Part of our hotel de ville, typical French streetlamp and a few chaotic brasserie chairs! I can also show you Katherine’s creative hands and part of her sketchbook. To full enjoy this trip of hers, you’ll have to visit her sketchblog Travels with a sketchbook, where a wealth of French sketches will await you, probably as from Monday, when she’ll be back home and start telling and showing. And with all the books she took back home, Making a mark will surely be filled with loads of information, perfumed with a little French panache. Don’t miss out!

And I’m leaving you with a little personal glimpse of her…She has a laugh that can be tickled easily, with eyes that join in, crinkling with delight. She can talk and chat as easily and entertainingly as her writing is. She has an enthusiastic YES! when fascinated by something, she adores her two cats, she can lose herself in travel…and oh yes, she loves a cup of tea!!

…Katherine’s lunch sketch…

Katherine's sketch 10-7-2009 12-39-17 PM

…her book and her tools…

Katherine working 10-7-2009 12-49-52 PM