Tuesday, September 29, 2009


a supply of firewood

The autumnal equinox has come and gone and days have grown shorter, sweaters and shoes and socks are in order. Perhaps that sounds rather trite but for a Floridian these changes are quite extreme! I did buy some firewood and have already enjoyed a fire with friends that were visiting from Hawai!!

My friend Pasqual arranged for me to buy nine cubic meters of firewood. I, not knowing how much that quantity was, agreed. I asked a couple of the students from Studio Escaliers to help me load/unload the wood. Five willing souls joined in the adventure and we piled into Pasqual's truck and my little Renault Twingo to Argenton L'Eglise where a wiry old man was chopping the wood, smoking a cigarette, readying the load for pick up. We arrived at a little farm and were invited 'a table' for some sparkling wine before working(!) Ah, a pleasant way to start.

Well as you can see from the above photo, nine cu mtrs of firewood is a lot! But by the time we returned chez moi, Nearly the entire group of students was there to unload the three truckloads chain gang style! After the work was done, we enjoyed beers and snacks on the deck accompanied by a piper! Thanks Stephan for making the day so festive with your beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. I only wish I documented it.! And thanks to all the students of Studio Escalier!!! What a gift.
With September comes closure and new beginnings.

glass study with wing

Here it is the first of October, and the six months studying with Ted Jacobs have come to an end. I have so many tools to work with now and plan to keep on. I believe it is like the many hours and years that I put in to dance, I still have a lot of work to do to absorb and put into practice all that I have been studying. The passion that I had for dance is being transformed into painting. I never thought I would again find something that made me feel the freedom and beauty of the human form in space.A few of us went in and cleaned the studio and now it is just an empty space, ready for another group of painters.

I did leave two of my still lifes set up in the studio and plan to rework the 'three graces' and continue with the study of glass. I thought this photo of the glass study and wing might be interesting, because it shows the poster study(the tiny little square on the left of the painting), the study itself, the model and the palette.

Sunday the 19th of September was the ' jour de patrimoine' which means the museums are free and the little village of Les Cerqueaux du Passavant opened its doors. We had our final exhibition in the Salle Comunal for those interested in seeing the work of Ted's students. He of course had his house/museum open as well.

Stepping Out

My final painting was a lovely vignette of Magda in which I experimented with a little 'trompe l'oeil'. It was a rather spontaneous decision and was based on the fact that she barely fit on the canvas. The frame is faux as well and will look quite nice in a real light wood frame I think.

I spent a few weeks working on cast painting, nothing special, but very helpful in learning the structure of human form and the way light creates it..... no problem with them moving!

look often at the model


I met a lovely woman this last month who is a sculpter. She and her husband live in a wonderful big house, that in reality was the cloister of the church in Les Cerqueaux. There she has her beautiful garden and studio. The entry is a wooden door that reminds me of the Magic Garden. Her name is Martine Vaugel. Visit her website to see some amazing creations. http://www.vaugelsculpture.com/

I have enjoyed some plein-air painting, this is from the Chateau d'Ebaupiney, a ruined chateau, privately owned, that sits in the middle of a cattle farm. I was painting in the cool of the ruins, looking out the window at the guard tower reflected in the moat, when the owner stopped by to show the place. Evidently it is for sale. He asked me if I wanted to buy it!

This is a quick sketch of a willow tree. We have two big beautiful ones that hang over the Argenton River. I wasn't going to include it, because I am not sure I like it, but here it is.

willow on the Argenton River

I must close as I think I have gotten a little long- winded, it is just that I have so many things I want to share and I did miss posting last month. I have been keeping a little notebook of quotations that will hlep me in this new world of painting light. So I close with this one by Rabindranath Tagore.
"Not hammer strokes, but the dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection"