La galette des rois

We are eating again. It is tradition here in early January. Galette des rois, literally cake of kings.. It is eaten as the twelth night cake. I got the féve (lucky charm) in my slice, so the crown that accompanies the cake, belongs to me. I am queen. And I have chosen my king. And I have to buy the next cake.Traditionally the youngest member around the table has to direct to whom each slice has to go, but since we were only two (and I’m the youngest), I just simply divided the cake in two(!!). Read more about the tradition of Galette des Rois. Different regions have different cakes. Towards the South it is more a brioche with a sugar topping and towards the north it is puff pastry with an almond paste filling. Now we are REALLY done with eating.

Watercolour and ink in moleskine.


Things to do

I don’t have resolutions. Nor do I have goals. Many moods, but no goals. And a lot of things to do, which could probably be seen as goals. But my list of things to do comes straight down to my current mood when making the list and so, goals are ruled out. Except for the end-of-week goal, or anti-procrastinating-bill-paying goals.

Here is my list which needs checking off as soon as posible, before the wind of moods changes direction.

First and foremost, I have to reach the tighter hole in my belt before the end of January, for after that I can give it up for a bad job.


My purse is to be ball-and-chained. The only time it can be opened, is when some cash needs to find its way in, which isn’t very likely, so the key will be safely deposited at the bank. Question is, can I trust the bank?


Because of the very uncharacteristic availability of cookies in this house recently (the result of having a foodblog!) my consumption of coffee needs to be speedily reduced by two cups a day. The empty cookie jars is a sad sight, so maybe this one is easy…


I won’t bore you with the rest of my “to do list”.

But I do have one resolution actually. Or rather, more of an attitude change. Every year something or someone crosses my path to bring it along. Just recently we spent an evening with a Peruvian family of seven brothers and sisters, with their families, all together for Christmas (here in France). I learnt something from them that evening(apart from their exuberant passion) and especially from my friend Letitia and I decided it would be my perspective as well from now on. I have never heard Letitia passing judgement on anybody. She sees no reason to voice a negative opinion about anyone, whoever it may be and under whatever circumstance. That is an example I want to follow.

Sort of in this spirit of being positive and promoting all that is good and uplifting, I’d like to introduce you to some new artists I came upon whose art is beautiful. I was actually tagged by Cindy(see below), but since I’ve done a tagging just a while ago and instead of tagging 5 other people I want to show some work of artists, which I think we’ll all enjoy more! Have a look at these artists’ work, much to appreciate and much to learn. I’ve copied a painting of each of them underneath their names to wet your appetites, so you can click on either one which will link you to their blogs.

Cindy Revell, who does lovely food paintings!

Christopher Stott,  whose beautiful work I found through Cindy.

D Prizzi, who also does the most beatiful food art and literally had my mouth watering, just seeing this berry tart!

Sandra, with her radiant, yet gentle watercolours AND recipes alongside.

Jerry Lobo, who gives great practical advice with his beautiful loose paintings, which can be applied to any medium.

Stuck sketches.

It is a dark and rainy day here in France. We are “stuck” in front of the fireplace, with books and music, some red wine….and ink.

The piano…..unipen # 5, splattering with ink-pot lid, moleskine


Cloches, a crystal and a branch…………unipen, brush-pen, splattering with brushpen, moleskine.


Pens and nibs….uni-pen, brush-pen, speedball pen and nibs, splattering with nib(C1), moleskine


Fun with ink

I am really enjoying the ink sketches. I feel liberated in just picking up a pen and just letting it rip without thinking about perspective or depth or realism or truth or good or bad or right or wrong! On the contrary, I feel inspired and creative, and this is a wonderful exercise for me, just letting my hand and the pen flow. My sketches are very wonky(not attractive wonky), real wonky, but for now I’m ecstatic about them. As it turns out, Laurawas also bitten  by the “ink-bug”, so keep an eye open for her upcoming ink-posts, which sound full of promise.

Today(1st of December) is our first day of “celebrating” the festive season here at home. It is the “official” decorating day, switching on the fairy lights, start burning our special Christmas candle, listening to Christmas music and ending the day with a special dinner by candlelight. I did some pen sketches of some candle holders, mostly holding tea lights. We light candles every evening, starting from 17:00.

These were done in my moleskine, which is full of watercolour splotches, so I thought I should just worsen it with a few shakes of my ink-pot lid, and now I like it. It is a bit overdone, because I first tried with the brush-pen, which made too fine a spray for my liking.



In this week’s figure drawing class, I decided beforehand I was going to WORK!! I wanted to use many different mediums, which was a bit ambitious. In the one and two-minute drawings I tried changing mediums in-between poses, causing me to fall behind and stress etc. But I did succeed getting a few ink ones down. It was a great class, I enjoyed it and however chaotic and unorganized my methods were, I enjoyed working in different mediums. I will continue doing it in future. I did some drawings in graphite sticks, charcoal, pen, sanguine, conté, pit artist pen, brush-pen, pencil and I finished with a pen and WC.

Two one minute sketches and the last is two minutes, all of them in Staedtler pigment liner # 5 on sketchpad.dsc_0004.jpg




I can only sleep 4 hours a night and if I’m lucky, I’ll reach 6. Thus being awake at 4:30 this morning, I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat in front of the computer(where I have a comfy swivel leather chair) and felt like doing just some ink sketches.  I like the line and especially contourwork of José who prefers more and more to put just ink on paper. And I’ve always admired Suzanne, who is a magician with pen and line. See also nice ink work from Genine (who gets beautiful detail in her inkwork), Gabi (who is using some washes lately, but his inkwork stands so well on its own!), Joan (who does great cross hatching), Nina(see her post ” 30 minutes by a zeba crossing…I can’t link to it) Anita (who can just do about anything!) and Casey (who has always loved penwork and adds just that slightest watercolor wash),  Bambi (who has the steadiest hand with ink I have ever seen!), Anna (who does such delicate linework),  from time to time Claudia does great sketches from the garden outside her office in ink, you’ll have to browse her blog) Dave’s ink sketches(beautiful!), Deb‘s interesting line work, France‘s stunning drawings, Judi‘s ink lines filled with spirit and not forgetting the amazing work of Russell Stutler. There are so many many inksketchers out there from whom I draw inspiration when it comes to inkwork…

All these sketches were directly done in ink in moleskine.  I just chose different things that I could see from my swivel chair.


Ink and moleskine(cross hatching)


Ink and moleskine(contour)


Ink, graphite and stump, (because it was lying around on the desk) in moleskine