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Stillman & Birn sketchbook

February art: Café life.

February is a month in which many stores, restaurants and cafés close for a fortnight, taking their break before spring arrives with all its liveliness. Not much is happening in the mostly grey month of February. Everybody is cocooning and taking Prozac in front of their daylight lamps. Schools are also closed for a fortnight and the whole world goes skiing in February. Tradition. Except…this year is not a great skiing year with snow only on the highest peaks.

In the one café that is open during this month, I enjoyed my coffee and croissant. It is better than Prozac at least. It was stock full of people, being the only bar open in town, with everybody looking for a counter to lean on with their petit noir. I am not a counter girl, I prefer a table and a large one at that for all my clutter.

It is actually great sketching wise, when there are so many people in a bar. Nobody notices you giving him/her the infernal sketching glare, so drawing people is much more relaxed.

 

Streetview opposite café de la Poste in Bretenoux…Just a building across from Cafe de la Poste. I had my young German shepherd, Lindiwe with me who got impatient and I had to speed up the sketching.

Watercolor and Pilot Prera pen in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 22X14.5cm

Cafelife

sketching with Lindiwe

Café life 1, 2 3: In PMU, we all call it Cécile’s bar, life was busy and noisy and sketching went great. The only problem was that my pen got empty and it got more and more difficult to make nice dark lines.

Pilot Prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 22×14.5cm

Cafelife-001Cafelife-002Cafelife-003

Cketching at Cecile


February art: Aquarelle in the coffeeshop.

Still digging deep to jiggle my art back up, I sat in the coffee shop this cold and miserably grey morning, squiggling lines left and right.  After a while I gave up, closed the Stillman & Birn and rove to the garden center, where I loaded my cart with shrubs and trees and perennials. Everybody else was buying forced bulbs for their homes. I was probably the single person in France out in the cold rain, behaving only as one should in the midst of spring…going out on the planting. Well. It helped. I feel I can take on some more sketching this evening…make my hands work while my head is in spring, planting.

chairs and coffee table in coffee shop

pencil in Stillman 1 Birn sketchbook, 14.5X22.5cm

prendre the

Potplants in coffee bar

Watercolour washes and Pentel brush pen in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 14.5X22.5cm

chez cecile


Sketches of old Fench soupiere and plates.

I love my old French tableware…soupiéres, platters, plates, bowls and other dishware. Sketching them is quite challenging though, since they have such nice old patinas that I would love to capture. The only way for me to get that is to use different media. In the 2 sketches below, I used J. Herbin inks, De-Atramentis inks, watercolour, watercolour pencils, nib pen, pilot prera pen and gouache. I think I sort of got some patina on the dishes..

The sketches below are an old French soupiére, a Polish jug with my chickens’ feathers that I stick in at will.The second sketch is an old French platter and oval plate.

French soupiére and Polish jug

mixed media in Stillman & birn sketchbook, epsilon series14X21.6cm

french soupiére

Old French platter and plate

mixed media in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, epsilon series14X21.6cm

old french platesà la prochaine

Ronelle


Sketches around a cup of coffee.

Simply sketching in a tea shop in St Céré and having a coffee and croissant. No fanfare. Tout simple.

watercolour and pentel brush pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14×21.6cm

teashop 1

watercolour and pilot prera pen in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14×21.6cm

teashop 20001à bientôt

Ronelle


EDM-art 16 & 18: Measuring tools and lipsticks.

We have more measuring tools in our home than we have food.  Fascinating stuff..all these rulers, square edges, the laser beams, the ultrasonic beams, I even have tiny pocket tapes for a handbag. An unending array of measuring tools, never to be found when needed

..measuring tools..

dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm

measureing.

Lipstick. What does your lipstick, or lip balm say about you. Our good friend, Google, says the following:

  1. sharp angled tip:  opinionated, high spirited, hates schedules, outgoing, selective of friends, likes attention, argumentative…
  2. flat top: high morals, dependable, to the point, quick-minded, loves a challenge, careful about appearances…
  3. sharp angles on both sides:  spiritual, seeks attention, curious, mysterious, loves life, big ego..
  4. flat top, concave : great detective, make friends easily, inquisitive, adventurous…
  5. round, smooth tip: easy going, peacemaker, even-tempered,  steady, likeable, generous..

..5 lipsticks for 5 personalities..

dip pen and Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook, 14X21.6 cm

5 lipsticks

à demain

Ronelle


EDM-art 12 & 13: Steps and latest purchase.

I visited our children in Toulouse this week. La villa rose, it is called, because of the typical red brick of the architecture. The fountains, quite different to those in Paris, have a charm that entices you to sit on the steps and eat your sandwich. Or watch the people go by. Or sit opposite the fountain and watch the people sitting on the steps. Life is always interesting around a fountain.

..la fontaine a la place de la Trinité.

watercolor and dip pen with Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook

escalier fontaine0001

..coffee tables next to la fontaine on place de la Trinité..

watercolor and dip pen with Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook

coffeetables0001Opposite the fountain is a tiny shop with  the very appropriate name, La Fontaine De Boulou. This is where I spoiled myself with something summery…a large necklace and an even larger ring; I love large jewellery and since I don’t have loads of jewellery I figured it was time for a splurge.  These 2 pieces are from the createur Parisien, Dominique Denaive who makes gorgeous  jewellery. Now I am waiting for the occasion to wear them…” Mon cheri, will you take me to dinner?…”

..necklace & ring Dominique Denaive..

watercolor and dip pen with Sennelier ink in S&B sketchbook

bijoux


EDM art 8: Handles.

I first considered sketching my seductive love handles in a mirror and I even started, but in fear of having my grotesque image become viral on internet, I thought the better of it. So I stuck to an ordinary door handle. On the stable door. Our 2 year old filly loves this handle and discovered that it is a great scratching tool for her nozzle and head and everything which can reach so far. She also discovered that she can open it. She fits her nose right under the latch and with a quick swift she lifts and pushes at the same time, making the door swing backwards. And then of course she just casually steps out as if this is normal everyday routine and hits the road. Fortunately the door has swollen now from all the rain and gets stuck at the bottom. She couldn’t yet figure that one out. To her utter dismay, I might add.

..Dumêla and the stable door handle..

watercolour and nib pen and J. Herbin inks in Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook, 22.9×15.2 cm

Dumela and the stable door handle

à demain avec “something with an interesting label”.

Ronelle