Tuesday, July 12, 2011

France Trip: The Paris Sketchbook June 12-26 2011The beginning of the book

The beginning of the book!  Sketchy, design-y attempts on the left, typical Moleskine info and sketch of our Monastery in the french countryside. 

Quick drawings of the french farmlands and our Monastery from a distance.  We had gone out for our morning painting session and found a nice little hidden area near a vineyard.  But, we were chased out when a farmer showed up to spray the vines!

Cafe au lait at an outdoor cafe in Cognac.  I liked the shapes of the chairs and the little long and thin sugar packets.

The Bridge in Cognac.  I took out one footing to make it fit!

This is a pump house, or locks control building.  It was closed, but contained some big heavy machinery of some kind relating to the water flow near the bridge.

We had dinner in the restaurant in the Hotel Heritage, Cognac. The lamp was sculpted out of a tree branch by our waiter.

Quick impressions of our waitstaff.

This was an old still, found in a local Cognac distillery in the town of Saint-Hilare, where we were painting.

Drawing at LES LAPIDIALES! This is an old Roman Quarry, where they have artists come and sculpt into the sides of the walls.  They offer several residencies at a time for 3-5 months and host artists from all over the world.

A freestanding sculpture, opposite a relief work.

Another freestanding sculpture, and another in relief.

The sculpture on the left is actually an elaborate oven, with a giant dragon head.  Unfortunately, it had just been damaged by vandals the night before and was being repaired as we watched.

Right: Spence, and a girl at the train station in La Rochelle. Left, our first dinner back in Paris was Chinese.  This Duck was hanging behind glass just past our seating. 

Left: Part of the fountain outside the Pompidou.  Right: Giant graffiti of S. Dali,  directly opposite the fountain.

Outside the Hôtel de Ville, Paris' city hall. They were housing a free exhibition of parts of the Impressionist collection from the Musée d'Orsay. I was glad of a long line, it gave me time to draw.  And I loved these Lions, which are situated around the building.  

One more lion sketch and a crib from Degas.

Sketching in the Musée Rodin.  I could have drawn here all day!

More sketching in the Musée Rodin. The museum is the house he lived and worked in at the end of his life and features both his and Camille Claudel's work.

A cafe waitress, and customers, on the left and a down the street view on the right.   

Faces in the crowds.  There was an all-over-Paris music festival going on that day, the 21st of June.  Bands everywhere!  Interesting faces too.
More music spectators on the left and some of our dinner experience on the right.  While we ate at a hotel restaurant, the Degres de Notre Dame, two bands played on the opposite corner.

Wed June 22.  The Louvre!  I did this sketch while having lunch in the Louvre cafe.  A 14 euro cheese sandwich!

We ate Mediterranean that night, at a place we called Happy Falafal!  Our  waiter here, Marc, was one of those outgoing fellows who notices everything!  He joked with me about drawing him and demanding a model's fee.  He told us he spent some time living in the states but missed his family connections to much to stay.

A quickie of our apartment...with a side sketch of one of the  allegorical sculptures outside the Musée d'Orsay

The allegorical ladies of the Musée d'Orsay. 

Some of the paintings and sculptures inside the Musée d'Orsay. 
More irresistible goodies!  Plus one of my favorites, the 

The Muse of Andre Chenier, by

Denys Puech. 1888
Another view.  

Again, I could have drawn here all day.

That night we took in a theater show,  How to become Parisian in 1 Hour! A one man show by Olivier Giraud.   

"l'Ecoute", at the church of Saint Eustache.

Drawing in one of the many gardens at the Louvre.

Monet's water lilies, at the Musée de l’Orangerie.
Napoleon's tomb and the Armory.  

A cool concept car by Citroen.  We could not figure out how it was supposed to work!  It must be carried like a litter, by the slaves of the post-civilization dystopian future.

The interior of the modest La Varangue

The Tour Eiffel! Drawn waiting in line for... 

This!  Le publique pissoir.

Drawn while in line for the Catacombs.

The Metro!  Thank the gods for the metro!  The day before we walked our feet off.

Three fellows at a table near by, having dinner.  They all  looked like Jean Luc Picard's.

A woman had her young dog with her at dinner, a Husky/German Shepard mix.  Something I had not seen before.   And a kid nearby.  Both fun to draw.

Unfinished Catacombs....

On the RER train, heading to the Airport.

Charles De Gaul Airport.

Our shuttle from the gate to our plane.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Painting in France. June 9-20. Post #3, the Paintings.

My Painting rig.  The tripod stand is borrowed, since Joel's luggage (carrying my tripod) was temporarily lost by the airline. But, it all arrived neatly at the local post office on the following Tuesday.  
I'm in France!  Funny, it smells just like Idaho.
A view of our Monastery near Saint-Hilaire de Villefranche.  Le Vieux Monestere.
Sunday. Spence, Painting from our Backyard.
I started out drawing.  Derwent Dark Wash sketch pencil, 8b on water color paper. 10"x7"
Derwent Dark Wash sketch pencil, 8b on water color paper. 10"x7"
Derwent Dark Wash sketch pencil, 8b on water color paper. 10"x7"
Oil on Water Color paper. 7"x10".  I use Arches Hot Press water color blocks.
Oil on Linen, 15"x8". I prepared myself a bunch of Linen boards glued to Foam core.  They worked out great, light and easily clamped to my homemade Pochade box.
10"x7" Watercolor.  I loved these rolling hills. This was our second day of painting.
10"x7" Watercolor. Same day as the previous painting.
8"x8" Oil on Linen.  This was later in the day, from our back yard, looking far East.
Our 3rd day of Painting.  10"x7" Watercolor.
10"x7" Watercolor. the first of two of this scene.  It was a neat little this strip of wheat cutting through the forest.
10"x7" Watercolor. the second of two of this scene.
On Wednesday we drove into LaRochelle to work with our model, Lucie.  We worked outside, in our host's Mother-In Law's private yard.  This was such a luxury! 
After returning to our Monastery we were too pumped up to sleep and took on the challenge of Night Painting!
Early Thursday morning. 9"x12" Oil on Watercolor Paper.  The day before we had all been discussing all the interesting contrails in the sky.
Thursday, 15"x8".  Oil on Linen.  Hay rolls!  I had been anticipating painting these hay rolls  in oil and had a ball with this one.
Spence painting the Hayrolls and using another for cover!
8"x8" oil on Linen. Painting on the island of  Île de Ré. 
Joel, Painting on the Île de Ré.
8"x8" Oil on Linen.  The Church right next to our Monastery.   
Sunday. Our last full day in Saint-Hilaire de Villefranche.  12"x9" Watercolor.
I got up to paint the sunrise, or at least to try too.  I painted too fast, but even then, was too slow!
Within 20 minutes the Sun moved behind the clouds.
...and then it looked like this! 10"x7" Watercolor.
...and then this! 10"x7" Watercolor.  
Looking Northwards from the same location. 10"x7" Watercolor.
That same day, in the Afternoon, I went out into the Sunflower fields to try this closed Sunflower.  They were pretty stunted by lack of rain earlier in the season and were not open yet.  Still interesting though.
8"x8" Oil on Linen.
8"x8" Oil on Linen.  My last painting of the trip.  Hay roll heaven!