Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today I experienced a "Balade des Chapelles en Chanson."
 Balade is a walk and walk we did. Seven kilometers beginning at the Eglise St Giles (the little medieval church in Argenton may recognize the stained glass) which is the 'Chapelles' part and the 'Chanson' you may have guessed is singing. A large choral group led us on this walk after singing in the church of St Giles. The balade took us through the country side, we walked along the river, through meadows, among the trees, and down a country road. The chansons took place under a grand oak ( the song was, yes, about trees), in a small chapel of St Anne then on to the Chapel Rosiers. The day was beautiful and quite warm, rich in country smells and perfumes of flowers. Halfway, we stopped for a picnic under an oak tree of sweet breads, dried fruit and juice and of course more singing.  I met my neighbors and chatted as best I could in my meager French. One fellow adeptly made a tiny whistle from a young branch of the Ash tree with his little knife.
 I was suitably impressed!                  
As pictures say a thousand words, enjoy!    The cows were outside the last church
we visited and quite enjoyed the music and dancing...
I think.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Solstice

As we approach the summer solstice, the days are at their longest. The sun begins to set at 10 pm and rises early. The colors in the sky are clear and clean. The farmers have cut, harvested and bailed the hay into huge barrel like bundles and wrapped tightly in green plastic. The smells of fresh cut hay and manure are heavenly. The moon was full last night and bright as a city street lamp. This morning the sunrise woke me at 6 am with a symphony of color! It was a brief glorious moment and was gone as quickly as it came.
Today I marvelled at the fact that I am painting! I have so much to learn, but each day I understand another tiny concept and remember to be patient. One who seeks the truth cannot fail.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday June 7
I went to a Bio Marche today. It was at a small farm that has been certified organic for two years. There were a few vendors; my friend from the Argenton market who sells honey, bee pollen and fresh eggs was there as well as a basket weaver, and an atelier (workshop) for young people in making solar ovens out of cardboard boxes, sheets of tin and glass. One had the opportunity to purchase organic farm bred meats, fresh goat cheese, wine, beauty products and earth friendly soaps. I bought some fresh sesame bread and wine. Staples of life?

We worked all day in the studio today. I blocked in the figure to start a color wash on Monday. My number one lesson, patience, still applies. 

Enjoy the sunrise from my balcony.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday morning dawned bright and clear. As we approach the solstice, days are getting longer and it seems the air is sweeter!
Today I worked again on the poster for a painting. It is a tiny painting of values, no drawing, which indicates the relationship of the background and the figure to one another. I haven't quite gotten it right. 
Today I was happy to come home and pull some weeds, even though I was quite tired, the weather is so exquisite, I managed a little before I sat and just enjoyed the colors of the sunset, the swallows winging, the play of the birds and the clean air.
Today I will include a photo of the house (La Maison Hirondelle) from the river side for those who haven't seen it. the other photos are of the garden. Even thought it is small(perfect for me) it gives me great satisfaction. I have already harvested my first head of lettuce and have beans and cucmbers coming up as well as two tomato plants.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2, 2008
Have you ever tried fresh blue cheese on a traditional baguette with just a touch of butter to mellow the sharpness?  It is a special taste that I learned while staying with a family in Montpellier,  accompanied of course with a nice glass of local red wine and a quiet time on the veranda.  Voila! This was my evening tonight, watching the birds, listening to their songs, watching th play of light and shadows on the trees as the breezes played games with the clouds!

Well I brought my painting of the Harlequina mask home tonight because I decided to work on the exercises Ted has been giving us for painting the figure.... so for the next three weeks I will be doing just that. Today I spent the afternoon on a poster study. This is not a detailed painting. It is just the values and how they relate to one another. He calls it a puzzle and indeed it takes time and patience to evaluate the light and how it relates to the figure. It is invaluble, as I found out with my mask study, because you can get caught up in the details and forget to look at the whole picture and the relationship of values.  I referred back to my poster many times to see if I was on the right track.
Anywas here is the painting with the poster study and the model.

Finally for tonight I will include the drawing I have been working on. I still have a few weeks so we will see what it looks like later:) 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This is the evening on the veranda. I went to sit and listen and to my delight discovered a rainbow. The little white bovine are cows who occasionally find the grazing better down by the river. Sometimes they even go in!

This one was the sunrise from my little veranda around 6:30 a.m.

I want to add some photos of the garden. It gives me such delight and even thought the snails are fighting me for the strawberries, looks like I might taste a few

The first day of June, this morning was  rainy and a little chilly. The afternoon sun is beginning to show the light. I picked a fresh rose, sparkling with drops and decide to draw it, finding the rounding and ending points in its delicate beauty, training my eye to see the light.