Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn Solstice

Fall has arrived in Argenton les Vallées! The solstice brings shorter days, evenings fall into darkness quickly and the morning sun comes slowly to my sleepy eyes.This is the last week of Ted Jacob's course and I must say I am sorry for it to end. What an incredible opportunity it was to spend six months drawing, learning to paint, struggling to see and understand concepts and physical structure in new yet very natural ways.
We had a student exhibition in the community hall in Les Cerqueaux last Sunday and it was well attended by the local community curious about what we have been doing all these months.

Ted is really the grandfather of the artistic community, for the most part les etrangers, foreigners, who have made their home, studios and workplace in the region. Near Ted's house/museum Mes Illusions, lives a sculptur,

Martine, who bought the old priory next to the church some 20 odd years ago and now teaches and works creating incredibly beautiful pieces. 

Another woman, Cynthia, bought an old Moulin, windmill in which she created a gallery space for her sensitive studies of windmills and landscapes.

During the months, once a week we shared a "portrait night" in which we sit for each other. I thought it might be fun to post some of those quick evening sketches, some of which were done at Studio Escalier where I was generously allowed to join in.

Enjoy. The two with artificial light of Toby and Harmony were done at Studio Escalier this fall as the light is changing a lamp was necessary.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Here it is September, the nights are colder and the days shorter. We have had a lot of rain which the farmers are grateful for. Yesterday evening was a brilliant rainbow. Not to be repetitious, here it is in all its glory!
As nature renews itself every day, so must we, awakening to new life, striving to remain 
alert, present and aware. As the atelier draws to a close the end of this month, I am ever more grateful for having had the opportunity to focus on learning to paint, having daily, eight or more hours of studio time with no distractions. What a gift! 

I have chosen to do rounding studies and organic sketches like these grapes and the Chinese lanterns that grow in my neighbor's garden. I have done many cast studies, just rounding in the direction of the light to train my eyes, without actually painting the details. Here are a couple of examples. Ted has been very patient with me, and little by little I am becoming aware of the shape of the light.

As far as the living part of the blog goes, work on the house has progressed this month. Paul was here and worked on the oak floor downstairs, He sanded, repaired, patched (fine inlays) and finally finished it and it looks beautiful. I danced on it, as it was dry for the first time Friday! The generous windows face east over the terrace to the river and I can easily absorb myself in my work.