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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: A celeriac in J. Herbin ink.

I had the good intention to go do some plein air painting today; The sun came out this morning with blue skies and although it was chilly,it was a  perfect day for plein air. Then I got stuck in doing all sorts of nothings, so the day got older and colder and my courage weaker. To not feel completely useless, I grabbed this celeriac, already a week…or two,  old.

I used J. Herbin ink, color café des isles. It is water soluble and along with some watercolor dabs, I bled the lines. So I think the cream, somewhat bland colored celeriac got a little red in its cheeks, giving it some snazzy attitude.

celeriac

J. Herbin  ink, nib pen and watercolor in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 15x22cm

celeri-rave

Café des islescafedes isles

February art: kohlrabi and black spanish radish.

Vegetables are always a good idea. To sketch. The winter vegetables with their bland colours aren’t always that exciting to paint, but in that fact lies the challenge. It is easy to splash the reds and yellows in summer foods, but what with the black and beiges of winter root vegetables. for this exercise I chose kohlrabi, not a vegetable I particularly like eating and black Spanish radish.

Kohl rabi and black Spanish radish.

Mini TWSBI pen and watercolour in Daler Rowney sketchbook, 29X21cm

chou rave, radis noir

Painting those veggies.

painting chou rave..

February art: Café sketching.

One of my favorite paces to lunge for my sketchbook, is in Cafe Douceur in Beaulieu sur Dordogne. Such a welcoming lieu, you keep drinking coffee just to have an excuse to linger longer.

coffee corner in Cafe Douceur

Ink and a wash in Stillman & Birn sketchbook, 14X22cm

table at CD

Coffee at Voyageurs

Pen and watercolour in Stillman & birn sketchbook, 14X22cm

cafe aux V

Sketching faces in St Céré

Pen and watercolour washes in moleskine, 22X14cm

cafe st cere

faces at the cafefaces at the cafe 3faces at the cafe 2

February art: three men.

I had the opportunity to sit down for a coffee today on the terrace and had some men close-by to sketch. Some people don’t mind to be sketched, but the majority feel uncomfortable with being the subject. Fortunately today’s subjects were so busy with their own thing, they didn’t notice me who was hiding behind a big plant…sort of. I am very rusty on sketching people…there was a time I did it almost every day and now it happens once a year, for exactly the reason I mentioned…getting rebuked by people who don’t want the attention. Nonetheless..I present to you…the three men.all done in moleskin book(which is a little too light for my watery brushstrokes and the colour bled through to the back of the page. I don’t mind bucking pages, but I fiercely dislike colour going seeping through the paper.

Three men

pen and watercolour washes in moleskine, 22.5X13.5cm

faces at the cafe 3faces at the cafefaces at the cafe 2

à bientôt

Ronelle

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

Art in February: Tokala the cat.

Hard to believe that February is here. That actually suits me fne. The worst month, January, is over. Now I can start thinking of spring and the garden and planting…

But first I have to get my dried up art process going. February is a perfect month to do just that. I have done several sketches and these two turned out the best. It is Tokala, one of my two beautiful cats, who always remind me of the heather in Scotland.

Tokala

watercolour pencils and mini TWSBI pen in moleskine, 21X13cm

Tokala WC

Tokala WC 2

à bientôt

Ronell

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