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August sketching 7: Just half of a porcherie(pighouse) and three cows.

The rain came down by the buckets today. Beautiful of course, the rain, but not when you are on a roll and want to be in plein air, sketching or painting. I drank a cafe at out local café, waited for the rain to stop. Went home, waited for the skies to clear; Had another coffee. Starred out my back door, my only door…and looked into the  old worn porcherie, or old pighouse if you will. It will be fixed up one day, but for the moment its dilapidated charm will be immortalized on paper. Not the best sketch ever, but the goal wasn’t a great sketch today, it was all about the paper..so there we have it. Just half of a  porcherie. And three cows.

..Stillman and Birn Alpha series, vellum surface, 22.9×15.2cm..

porcherie stillman & B- Alpha 5225x3533

..Close-up of the watercolor on the paper..

porcherie stillman & B- Alpha1 2679x2143

I went for the Alpha Stillman & birn sketchbook today, a real charmer! Much happier than yesterday with the Epsilon. It has a Vellum texture which is satiny an beautiful to work with in watercolors…like the HP of Arches and Fabriano. I like the color and yes…beautiful granulation…see the blue sky in the close-up above. (Even though it was a grey rainy day, I wanted to see what the paper does with cerulean blue which is known for having lovely granulation..on the right paper). The book opens nice and flat and I am surprised at how much water it can actually take, because I worked with even more water today than usual, really giving this little book a challenge. The buckling is present, but as already said, buckling in a sketchbook doesn’t bother me. All in all, a nice book for watercolor sketches and saying that only after one try, says a lot for me. I am an Arches and Fabriano HP fan and it takes a lot to convince me of something else better…or as good! Snob!!

Porcherie aquarelle in Stillman 4559x3161..à demain..

Ronelle

Dipladenia flowers in aquarelle.

We have a humid summer this year…hot and humid which isn’t normal for us. One can clearly see the effect on us humans. Our energy gets sapped by the humidity and many a day I , who adores heat, feel like a limp fish on these mucky days. The Mediterranean plants even more so. These Dipladenias enjoy heat and dry summers , so too they  struggle with the heavy humidity.  With not their usual abundance of flowers, they still bloom and show off beautifully, quite different from me, who struggled to stay focused on my sketching with no blooming and showing off in sight.

…dipladenia…

..watercolour and pen on Arches watercolor block, HP, 18x26cm..

dipladenia 5844x4108

à bientôt

Ronelle

September 26: Three chickens.

It is very very hot and humid. Everybody is moving around like limp fish. The horses are in permanent rest under the apple tree, the cats don’t lift an eyebrow when I walk past the them and even the chickens lay motionless in the shade of the hibiscus bush. I was busy, or trying to be. I took down washing, hung the next basket full, every time walking past the chickens. When they didn’t move when by the third pass, I thought they might just keep that pose for another 30 minutes. Et voilà, indeed they did, or almost. This was fun.

..Three chickens..

oil on board, 30x30cm

three chickens 25-09-2013 17-06-57 2964x2979

.à demain..

Ronelle

September 24 & 25: Houses in the hills en plein air.

When I drive on the narrow country roads, I love staring at all the country houses…their gardens, their latest activity, the latest changes, their potagers (vegetable gardens).  Life is never quiet and static at a country home. Sometimes the houses are nestled on top of the grass hills, entouré (surrounded) by trees for shade and coolness during hot summers.  Sometimes they are sunken deep in the valleys and their presence is betrayed only by their roofs or a trail of smoke in winter. How I love the country side!

..the house on the hill..

oil on linen, 38×46 cm

The house on the hill 24-09-2013 15-41-04 2791x2296 24-09-2013 15-41-04 2791x2296

 

The opainting below was done earlier today and I spent only about 20-25 minutes on it before I packed up. Today is very humid and hot and the clouds are moving in and pretty soon the thunder will be rolling. I worked almost carelessly, tired and not really wanting to put in the effort. But it is actually starting to grow on me and is not as bad as I initially thought. Maybe I should do more 15 minute plein air paintings.

..three roofs..

oil on linen,

Three roofs. 24-09-2013 15-42-59 3974x2859..à demain..

Ronelle

 

September 22 & 23: Plein air paintings.

Two plein air paintings for these two days. With the wonderful weather we are having this week, it would be shameful not to paint out.

..the old ruin..

oil on linen, 33×46 cm

the old ruin 22-09-2013 16-55-22 3355x2361

With the past rains we had, the fields have exploded into greens and wildflowers, especially wild pink heather. It is not for nothing that fall is called second spring. There are also beautiful patches of lilac crocus all over. Of course, everybody is out hunting for mushrooms and a couple was doing just that while I painted “Pink heather”. The tree next to the little “cabane” is an old oak and home to the ever popular bolet, or cèpe and the hunting couple was all around the tree, all around the cabane, to and fro, while Madame lifted the bottom seam of her dress to carry their treasure. Fortunately I was far enough to avoid seeing the detail.

..Pink heather..

oil on linen, 27×40 cm

pink heather 22-09-2013 17-33-54 3950x2596

..à demain..

Ronelle

September 5: Le vieux poulailler(old hen house)

The chickens have been moved to their new chateau and soon the old chicken coop will be demolished, not without a morsel of sadness, though..

..le vieux poulailler..

oil on linen, 33x46cm

le vieux poulailler 2 04-09-2013 17-47-57 3548x2568

I first painted in the tufts of hay that stuck out all over, which I actually found so cute!  After adding those first strokes of tuft and standing back, it look like I borrowed some stars from Van Goch starry night and added it to my poulailler. No go. So, with patience unknown to me, I scraped off the tufts with the palette knife and touched up again with fresh paint. It is once again an art lesson: not everything we find pretty in reality will necessarily make a good painting.

..tufts of hay..le vieux poulailler 2 04-09-2013 17-11-41 4116x2833

à demain

Ronelle

September 3: Une rose trémière(Hollyhocks)

Time for the hollyhocks to bloom. An olde world flower that reminds me of Maman and her friends. They all had hollyhocks in their gardens, growing through the cracks in old pavements, pushing through gravel, leaning against old walls. They still do push up through all the cracks and walls, all over the French countryside, turning their bright pink and soft white blooms to greet the warm September rays.

..une rose trémière..

Pen and watercolor on watercolor paper, HP,  23x30cm

une rose trémière

à demain

Ronelle