Page 17 of 18

Trees in ink

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, so I took a walk along the Loire. I thought of Robyn, who did a watercolor painting and an ink drawing with a beautiful tree in her scene. I remember thinking that I’d like to take on trees, so, I took out my unipen and looked for trees to draw.

I’m afraid of trees, so this was really getting me out of my comfort zone. I find them complicated and I never know where to begin, what to put in and how to depict those intricate branches, not to mention the odd dry leaf still hanging for life, the magnitude of dead twigs intertwined like spiderwebs, the stunning moss growing on the shady sides, the windswept bending to nature’s unforgiving blows. I just find it hard.

I did four and then realized I need to do many more tree sketches to really grab hold of the character of a tree. In fact, next year one of my goals will be to take on plein air, piece by piece, studying trees and rocks, foliage, texture in nature. These are actually my first ever trees and now the ice is broken and the work awaits!

A tree standing in the water. Done on site in unipen and afterwards washed with indian ink and “petit gris” brush. Moleskine


A crab apple tree next to the Loire. Done in unipen and some inksplatterings at home to depict the gravel alongside the tree. Moleskine


An old split-open tree with a lot of spiderweb twigs hanging , which I tried to depict by a fine spray of black and silver ink at home. Moleskine.


This is my favourite tree, the Tilleul(along with the oak).  I just love their statuesque shapes that change from season to season. In late winter we just simply call them knot-trees, because they are pruned back to the thick knots, which some people find grotesque, but I think it’s beautiful. Some day I’ll do this tree again and hopefully do justice to it! Done in brushpen and I splotched some brushpen sprayes on the thick trunk to depict the beautiful moss. Moleskine.


Meeting Marta in Paris

Casey and I met Marta in Paris for a one day adventure….it turned out somewhat of a “death march”. We met early morning at a cafe at the hotel de ville, had a coffee, and admired our beautiful little gifts, handmade by Marta.  Marta is as graceful and loving, vibrant and radiant as she comes across on her blog and she is never without her wide, beautiful smile! See some photos.

We then took to the streets. Dropped in at Shakespeare and Company. I cheated here…sketched them from a photo later at home…it is far too small inside and I had far too few hands and far too many books to browse.


Stopped at Sennelier art shop and stepped out just before they locked up for lunch, which put us on the hunt for dejeuner as well. Found a bistrot, took off the scarfs and the gloves, almost started ordering the wine, had a change of mind,  put the gloves and scarves back on and continued the hunt.  After what seemed an eternity, passing the same shop quite a few times, we ended up at the little resto Bergamote, next to the marché of St-Germain.  Warm and cosy, with the best traditional baked baguette, great food, friendly service and a very complicated ladies room, where washing hands rested on the per-chance discovery of a well disguised little knob…

The sunny afternoon brought us to the Jardin du Luxembourg just around the corner, and as we found a spot to do at least a sketch or two, a dark grey cloud was moving in fast. Without warning, the rain came cascading down unforgivingly and  had people stampeding for the nearest shelter, trying to keep their dignity intact. Our California girl calmly took out her umbrella and offered us two “Frenchies” generously a dry spot…

The rain stopped as suddenly as it showed up and the sun took us further on our march, into Le cimetière du Montparnasse. By now, the sun had made way for the approaching evening and it was time for a body warming chocolat chaud. For me, this is the finest hour to be in Paris on a cold, wet winter’s day; the bars are filled with atmosphere, warmth and people meeting up to warm their hands around a hot chocolat chaud, the coats and scarves wrapped around chairs, the garcons  serving up drinks in a chatty mood, the lights outside are playing on the wet streets, people are heading home from work with baguettes under the arms, pinching off a piece of crust every now and then.

The end of a long awaited day.  Crossing Paris on foot, experiencing both bright sunlight and pouring rain, enjoying wine and food and song, sharing stories, painting and writing some memories, saying warm hearted goodbyes with promises for futures that may just happen…Life is a gift.

Sketches done in moleskine with pen and WC.


An urn overflowing with autumn chrysanthemum in Jardin du Luxembourg.


La reine Clotilde, resting on a pillar – Jardin du Luxembourg


Another statue, then the rain came pouring down…


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.

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!

Summer guests

Every summer our Bed and Breakfast is fully booked. Mostly by regulars who visit year after year, finding our meals unsurpassed, our hospitality most gracious and our facilities nothing but quality; in short, five star accommodation at a reasonable price.
Mr Frog arrived later than usual this year and is still awaiting the lady of this affair to arrive. Every evening he protests his discontentment at her not being here yet, in his distinguished baritone voice. I hope she arrives soon, I don’t like seeing my guests unhappy.


Once again we had the honor of assisting in the arrival of Mr and Mr Swallow’s young ones. What a lovely couple they are, so caring and loving and protective of the live they have created. the happy event happened only 5 days ago and it was a grand event here. We opened up a bottle of bubbly and all the guests attended to celebrate the wonder of new life and admire the 5 adorable infants.


 Miss White butterfly brought many more of her friends along this year and I really had to be inventive to accommodate all these teenagers. But I love every minute of their delightful company! We have come into the habit of sharing an hour or so together every afternoon, where I learn from them all about being a delicate and beautiful and delightful adolescent again. Along with the ever roaming dark and handsome bees, they enjoy energetic parties until late night, Fortunately the neighbors haven’t complained yet. I suspect they know and understand all about the habits of these young people.


 We are also very honored to accommodate very well-known international models in our B&B every year, miss Dragonfly and company. They keep mostly to themselves, are very discreet and love their privacy. But when the moment shows itself, I’ll stare at them shamelessly, wishing I had their elegance and beauty Soon they will all be moving on to make room for the next half of the summer guests, leaving me just enough time to tidy up, restock the pantry and put out fresh flowers. The arrival of our summer guests, is a highlight in the season, something we look forward to year after year.
All these sketches were done in pen and WC in moleskine.



Tonniece said…
It sounds so super there, with all the guests, the night sounds, and the beginnings of new life.
Wonderful wc’s depicting all that activity.
June 13, 2007 11:17 PM  
Jenny said…
You have such beautiful, interesting guests! Seems they give you infinite pleasure in return for your excellent accommodations. You are wise to appreciate your exciting life.
June 13, 2007 11:30 PM  
Lin said…
June 13, 2007 11:34 PM  
Andrew said…
too much fun…couldnt wait to see what you were terming your summer guests…lol
June 14, 2007 12:00 AM  
Anonymous said…
Love this B&B!hfm
June 14, 2007 12:48 AM  
juj said…
Your sketches are – as always – simply wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the story. I have a much nicer perspective on the wildlife in my yard now. Thanks for the much needed break in my day.
June 14, 2007 12:54 AM  
Brenda Y said…
You had me going!! I was thinking, “hmm, I didn’t know Ronell ran a B & B,” only to discover very shortly the true identity of your “guests!” Outstanding story and FABULOUS sketches!! Loved every word and brush stroke.
June 14, 2007 1:21 AM  
bec said…
you had me going too! so cool, I thought….she runs a b&b! HA! You’ve brought your guests to life for me with your beautiful watercolors! Thank you!
June 14, 2007 2:22 AM  
mARTa said…
Well, it’s not going to take much more than this to convince me that I MUST come for a night and see what all this magic is about! I’ll have to email you soon so we can work out some dates! Will the dragonfly models be gone by October…so sad that I might miss them! What a midsummer night’s dream you live!
June 14, 2007 4:01 AM  
Nancy said…
I love it when I click on my digest e-mail and find that you have posted new sketches. It makes my day!
June 14, 2007 4:03 AM  
good with color said…
These are some of the nicet summer drawings/paintings I have seen in a long time. They will be great to look back to when cold weather returns with its different visitors. Your accompanying notes are a joy to read.
June 14, 2007 5:48 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a treat! These are just delightful, Ronell. It’s so much fun to see all your ‘guests’ close up. I feel honored to have heard Mr. Frog complaining in person. You’ve brightened up this grey day for me – thank you!
June 14, 2007 11:32 AM  
Ujwala said…
i love all of them! very very nice. i hope mr frog finds his companion soon.
June 14, 2007 1:18 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell! I did not know you ran a B and B for such elegant visitors. I’m very impressed. My compliments to the gardner!This post is the essance of summer!
June 14, 2007 3:17 PM  
Sandy said…
Love your B&B post with the description of its’ guests. This was so fun Ronell. Paintings are beautiful and delicate as usual. Don’t let those teenagers wear ya out okay…I’m having the same problem with mine…very energetic and raucous…I must subscribe to your emails..I always come late to the party.sandy
June 14, 2007 5:07 PM  
Christeen said…
What a charming narrative- I felt like I was there, marveling at your guests in person 🙂
Your paintings are beautiful!
June 14, 2007 5:14 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, you are just a blast – Lovely work as always! What a treat to be your Guest!!
June 14, 2007 5:15 PM  
Diahn said…
How lovely! If you ever start accepting human guests, I believe I’ll have to make a flight over and stay a while – such fabulous and interesting company it would be!!
June 14, 2007 6:02 PM  
Carole said…
Your blog is just a delight to read and look at! You’ve managed to make me smile on a cold, wet day here – thank you.
June 14, 2007 6:19 PM  
Robyn said…
They are beautiful guests, Ronell, the very best kind, I think. I would adore to have Swallows born in my garden and a cloud of butterflies in the lavender was one of my most magical early memories of a European summer.
Now I’m going to subscribe to your blog so I don’t arrive last with my praise!
June 14, 2007 7:40 PM  
Lynn said…
What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I love your sketches.
June 14, 2007 9:47 PM  
Dave said…
You make it look and sound idyllic! Wonderful post.
June 15, 2007 12:03 AM  
martha said…
Wonderful nature sketches – so loose and colorful!
June 15, 2007 12:54 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What wonderful sketches and I just love the way you write! It’s what makes your blog so interesting.
June 15, 2007 1:40 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Ok Ronell, here’s the deal. You have a contest offering the winner a weeks all expenses paid vacation to your b & b, then you pretend to honestly pick the winner… but all along it will be me that gets to come. Oh what fun it will be.Oh the other hand…. have you ever given thought of writing an illistrated book of a summer or fall etc in the life of Ronell? I think it would be wonderful to read and look at. You have such a way with words and paints…….. Give it some thought, for us, your fans.
June 15, 2007 5:16 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the kind comments.
You made an interesting point there, Sandy and Robyn…subscribing to a blog? I don’t know how that works and thought that was for “professional bloggers”…I would also like to subscribe to some work, because I also arrive late with comments…tell me too how to do it!
June 15, 2007 6:28 PM  
Desiree said…
OH what fun you are! I loved the story and was ready to sign up to visit your B&B, maybe you should think about writing ads for peoples business’! Great work.
June 15, 2007 7:21 PM  
Sandy said…
oh boy…how to have a subscribe button..I would go to the dashboard and read up from there. Maybe it will talk about it. If not just google how to put email subscription on blog, that ought to do it..but I would definitely sign up. I wanna be in line FIRST…its’ all about me, don’t ya know..hahaha.
June 16, 2007 7:30 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
This was such a delight to read and see. I’m awed by your creativeness, sense of humor and talent. A little butterfly landed on my knee the other day in my backyard and I got to study it for a quite awhile. It reminded me of how my mother used to give me “butterfly kisses” with her eyelashes as it was so delicate and gentle.
June 17, 2007 8:08 AM  
luci said…
Love, *love*, the story, Ronell. And of course the beautiful pictures that illustrate it all. Your garden is as magical as the one in Secret Garden. 🙂

From shade to shade in summer

In summer we travel from shade to shade.

Early mornings, cup of coffee in hand, are spent on the terrace, sitting on a rock at the entrance to one of our caves and contemplating. The shade of the huge cliff at your back is a welcome relief after a hot night’s suffering. These stairs, leading up to the terrace, were done in pen and watercolor, on Fabriano WC paperHP(extra white).


After all that meditating and musing, while watching the sun brightening the skies, it is time to move out of the shade and into the working shoes, which are ready on the go at the kitchen door. These are actually the working boots of Hartman, mine wasn’t to be found, but they aren’t as characterful as his anyway. But, pretending they are mine, they will prune and dig and weed and water, while the sun still has a gentle caress. This was done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano CP paper.


All the prunings and snippings of early morning will go into some vase somewhere in the house as well as an empty container in the garden in a shady spot, like the mint in this old kettle on a crooked, rusty chair. This corner was sketched in pen and watercolor on Fabriano HP(extra white)


Finally the day will end in the welcoming shade of our summer kitchen right at the back of the garden, where we enjoy the most wonderful alfresco meals, prepared by Hartman. (The door right at the back goes into a cave, which accounts for the wonderful coolness in summer)This is his kingdom, where he cooks and fries and experiments and flips and flops, with me in the role of sous-chef and lighting candles and lanterns, picking herbs, fiddling here and meddling there. We play guitar and sing and eat and while away the beautiful summer evenings, ending it all with some more contemplating and musing. Tomorrow we’ll start the day again, moving from shade tot shade. This was done in watercolor on Fabriano HP.



Christeen said…
Wow- what a great entry! Thanks for sharing this illustrated peek into a summer day for you and Hartman… gorgeous stuff!
June 7, 2007 6:13 PM  
Sandy said…
So lovely Ronell and restful and light – makes me yearn to get out into my garden.
June 7, 2007 6:22 PM  
Dave said…
Lovely to hear about your summer days and to see your illustrations of it!
June 7, 2007 7:56 PM  
Robyn said…
I love them all but the mint in the kettle is my favourite. Delightful post as usual, Ronell and I learn for the first time that Hartman likes to cook. We are so lucky to have such men! Your garden, with all its special nooks, looks like paradise
June 7, 2007 8:03 PM  
Claudia said…
I enjoyed v e r y much reading your blog entry and seeing the wonderful, loose sketches!!! Keep up the good work!!!
June 7, 2007 9:15 PM  
Bonny said…
Ronell, you have been busy doing these lovely paintings! They are all fabulous! My favourite one is of the teapot and the mint growing in it. The ‘cave’ is fascinating because of the perspective and the story behind it.
Thanks for sharing!
June 7, 2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous work! I love the shoes.hfm
June 7, 2007 10:50 PM  
mARTa said…
oh, I am envious of you as well! These are all so lovely and inviting! I am already in a mental travel mode and anticipating my trip this fall. I am so excited about meeting you, Casey and Robyn! My day was spent having my nails done, a pedicure and out for sushi with my husband and then an art show this evening. Maybe tomorrow I should play in the garden!
June 8, 2007 12:23 AM  
Susan Hosken said…
Yours is the first shade challenge response I’ve seen. I can’t think of what to do so was pleased to see your response.
Lots of love from Susan in Australia
June 8, 2007 12:46 AM  
Lin said…
WOWOW!!! What a way to live a life .. what spectacular sketching and painting!! I am awed!
June 8, 2007 1:16 AM  
Brenda Y said…
If there were “best blog entry” awards–you would get it!! What a fascinating narative of a day in the life of. . . The drawings and loose watercolor technique is absolutely FANTASTIC! My favorite is your summer kitchen/cave entrance–OHMYGOSH I would absolutely LOVE to cook in that kitchen!!! What a wonderful life and so happy you share it with us-THANKS!!
June 8, 2007 2:11 AM  
Lindsay said…
I love your “day in the life of”.
Lovely sketches. The stairs are so lyrical!! Thanks for sharing a slice of your day.
June 8, 2007 2:56 AM  
Ujwala said…
sketches are lovely and the post well written. i especially like the first one because you’ve tackled perspective which is one of my stumbling blocks.
June 8, 2007 5:44 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a beautiful, poetic rendering of you private world, there behind the big old wooden gate. Those cars buzzing past have no idea what a paradise you’re hiding!
June 8, 2007 9:00 AM  
Stacy said…
Lovely story, beautiful paintings and the perfect way to spend a summer day! Thanks for sharing!
June 8, 2007 2:58 PM  
Carole said…
What an idyllic way to spend the day – thanks for sharing! Beautiful paintings, as always. I don’t know how you manage to keep them so loose and casual looking, and yet have such accuracy in things like the chair, steps and perspective. You talented lady!
June 8, 2007 4:32 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
What a wonderful story teller… I could read a whole book with you as the author … bravo!I can’t pick a favorite of your watercolors….. I want them all. Beautiful colors depicting a summer day.
June 8, 2007 4:43 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
lovely as usual…what time is dinner???:> and whats hartmann cooking?!
June 8, 2007 5:31 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hi RonellI frequently visit you block to check on latest post and commentaries. Normally I refrain from commenting but this time around I can not resist. Maybe I was compelled by the fact that I was implicated so much this time around.Being true to your philosophy of telling stories with painting I could read much more in your carefully constricted associated text. Of course I have an additional advantage above your normal critiques by the fact that I know these place so well myself. But what the heck something must compensate for my lack of artistic expertise.For instance I could feel the shade and almost smell the associated odor of the moss on the wall while looking at the painting of the stairs. I could sense the relive of the end of the days work in the garden associated in the pair of shoes hinting to fact that they have been taken off only moments ago. The mint in the cattle spoke of you and the combination of your love for the garden and antiques. I could not help to immediately visualize many moments of joy in the garden or “brocante” after an unusual find.However what struck me most was the emotions and many memories of good times that were evoked by looking at the painting of summer kitchen.I believe that artist are feeling good if the can touch people and their emotions with their art. If they can get people to act or react they are in euphoria. Well…. This time around you can reach euphoria because looking at all of this it moves me to stop working immediately……. make may my way home…… to our summer kitchen…. to start a fire …… so I can be KING..Well done RonellHartman
June 8, 2007 5:32 PM  
Teri C said…
STUNNING!!! The art and the commentary!! As the paintings downloaded I loved the next one and then the next one. Just stunning!!!
June 8, 2007 6:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Okay – that’s done it! Now I’m in love with Hartman!
June 8, 2007 7:28 PM  
Sandy said…
I’m ready to move.. Can I catch a plane tomorrow. Will you meet me at the airport. Can I eat with you. Can I sit in the shade with Hartman. Wonderful wonderful post and paintings…sandy
June 8, 2007 7:59 PM  
Lynn said…
Absolutely wonderful! What a fabulous life you live. You are an inspiration.
June 8, 2007 10:21 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you so much for all your kind and encouraging comments and a special thanks to Hartman for his appreciation…for having had me sitting and crying here…because I’m happy.
Hie hie Robyn, you make me laugh…you and your husband should hop on the plane and come visit…them men can cook and we can… what we do best?
And that goes for you too Sandy, come and cook and eat!
Thanks everybody!
June 8, 2007 11:18 PM  
bec said…
wish I had a summer kitchen… is it really in a cave? lovely paintings!
June 8, 2007 11:19 PM  
mARTa said…
ah ronelle…is that invite still open to me next fall? LOL…I’m in love with Hartman now too!
June 9, 2007 6:43 AM  
Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said…
What wonderful art and words!tea
June 9, 2007 5:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Oh Ronell, we’d so love to come but our dogs have shocking table manners!
June 9, 2007 11:23 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are beautiful paintings and great commentary.