Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Travels with a sketchbook in France (2009)

I've done long trips before and know that it's difficult enough trying to fit in all I'd like to see and do without taking time out to post what I'm up to - even if I could! I've tried to resolve that problem this year by
  • posting about where I was going before I went.
  • Plus today I'm starting my sequence of posts about what I actually did on my recent trip to northern France.
I always start my record of my trips with a summary of the posts I'm expecting to do about my travels with a sketchbook (and camera). It keeps me organised and helps me to avoid missing anything out. Plus I get to work out how many sketches I need to scan! I'll insert the hyperlinks to the blog post titles and hyperlinks in this summary as I post them and this post will go in the summary of trips in the side column for easy reference.

I'm also going to be posting photos and videos to my Flickr account - so you might want to keep an eye on France - which is going to be the home of those photos and videos from the trip which i publish for people to see.

This was my actual itinerary in Paris, Normandy and the valley of the Rivers Loire and Cher.

Sunday 27th September
- there are going to be three small posts

Monday 28th September - two posts
Tuesday 29th September - two posts
  • A day in the Musee d'Orsay. No sketches because this time I actually had a camera which took decent photos but didn't flash indoors which gave me the opportunity to record masses of paintings on my camera - so long as I didn't flash(!) and I spent the whole day here - apart from a quick trip to the Sennelier shop!
  • Dining out in Paris - Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Two sketches from dinners in Montmartre (Tuesday) and the Latin Quarter (Wednesday) plus photos.
Wednesday 30th September - Another day spent in a museum. This time it was A Day in the Musée du Louvre followed by a walk through the Jardin du Palais Royal. I've got two sketches of self portraits by Rembrandt two sketches of people taking a break.

The Water Garden, Giverny
11.5" x 17", coloured pencil in sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Thursday 1st October - Off to Normandy in our hire car. First stop Giverny (one sketch of The Water Garden at Giverny, masses of photos and a video of walking around the water garden); next stop overnight in Rouen. (See also The garden behind the paintings - Giverny on Making A Mark)

Friday 2nd October - Two sketches of Rouen Cathedral - at midnight and break of day. Both were done from my hotel bed (right next to the cathedral)! See Sketching Rouen Cathedral - from my hotel bed!

Plus a sketch of the Auberge du Terroir, Servon (near Mont St Michel) where we had the best restaurant meal of the trip.

Saturday 3rd October - a sketch of Petit déjeuner at the Château de Boucéel followed by a sketch of Le Mont-Saint-Michel (done from the back seat of the car in the car park!)

Sunday 4th October - lots of laundry and settling in - plus a sketch of the view from the dining room in our cottage at Chateau du Plessis and a visit to Ronell and her atelier in Montlouis-sur Loire

Monday 5th October - a visit to Château d'Azay-le-Rideau and two sketches of the gardens at Château de Villandry

Tuesday 6th October
- a visit to Chinon and a sketch of people lunching in the sunshine under the trees in the town square in Dejeuner sous l'arbres. Followed by a visit to The Château d'Ussé which is the castle which apparently inspired Perrault's tale La Belle au Bois dormant (maybe better known as Sleeping Beauty)

Wednesday 7th October - a visit to market and medieval part of Tours in the morning, sketching over lunch with fellow Sketcherciser and Watermarks member Ronell van Wyk and another sketch of the chateau garden. You can already read about Ronell's post about this on her blog in Katherine in Touraine

Thursday 8th October - a sketch of the Château de Chenonceau

Friday 9th October - we travelled back to Paris, dropped off the car, my sister and niece headed off to L'aeroport Charles de Gaulle and I took the metro to La Mouette to visit the
Musée Marmottan. Two sketches of Monet paintings of the water garden and one sketch while having a quick snack before boarding the Eurostar to come back to London - to be met by "he who must not be bored while I sketch"!

I'd just like to record before I get started that I actually finished the trip weighing less than when I went. Which means that Sketchercise very definitely works! I relaxed the diet just a little bit (odd glass of wine and a bit of cheese now and again) but did lots of walking as well as sketching.

So - I better get started!
Sketches will be posted to accompany this post as I get them scanned. You can also see a gallery of all the sketches in France in Katherine Tyrrell travels with a sketchbook in France on my portfolio website.


  1. I am already enjoying the photos, Katherine. What splendid weather you had for the Turleries. Gorgeous. Lots of treats coming, I see.

  2. Ok, I am ready for the posts to be posted and I am off to Flickr for the pic's. Welcome home.

  3. you're back in the saddle!! this is going to be fun a magazine! Looking forward to it


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