Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Quiet Space in Provence

Instead of going down to Bedoin to the hotel to post to the blog I did this sketch instead.

All the best sketches are really relaxing.....

Plus I've got this thing about sketching the colour and tones in walls.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another sketch of lunch at Crillon Le Brave

Lunch at the Hotel Crillon Le Brave 23 June 2011
11.5" x 16.5"; pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
This was my choice from the Menu du Chef at the Hotel Crillon Le Brave where we went for Robyn's "treat" meal before she goes home.

The Menu du Chef is available at lunchtime.  This is a link to a sample menu available in the evening.

There's another sketch to come which I did of the view from the terrace after drawing this meal.

This is my first post since the massive thunderstorm which blew out the modem in the house at Couguieux and burned out the switching box. Sarah says she's now had a fireball in her room as well as scorpions!

Meanwhile I just have a cat who sleeps on my bed on all day and wants lots of loving when I get into bed at night.


[Note: The photo of the sketch has been replaced by a scan which better reflects the colours of the food I drew]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sketching at L'Isle sur la Sorgue

L'Isle sur la Sorgue
11" x 16" pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
On Sunday we went to see the Sunday Markets at L'Isle la Sorgue.  They have two each Sunday - a brocante (antiques) market and a normal market selling all the sorts of things you see in provencal markets.

I was first introduced to these when I came painting in Provence with Arts in Provence some 20 odd years ago;  The emphasis is on getting there early or facing a long walk from where you park your car as they are extremely popular - as is lunch at the very many restaurants before driving home.

Ruth Phillip's tells us in her new book Cherries from Chauvet's Orchard, that the brocante market is the source of some of the still life objects seen in Julian Merrow Smith's blog Postcards from Provence.

You can see photographs of the market on my Making A Mark blog - see L'Isle sur la Sorgue Markets and I'll be posting more in my Provence set on Flickr when I get home.

My quick sketch was done while sat on the bank next to the park in the shade from the midday sun.  There were, of course a grou of painters in the same location and it's a good one as it's out of the main flow of traffic but offers the shade which is so helpful in Meduterranean climes to being able to see what you're putting on your paper or support.

About L'Isle la Sorgue

L'Isle la Sorgue is east of Avignon, north of the Luberon and west of where we are staying:

The town dates back to at least the twelth century.  It's situated on five of the seven branches of the River Sorgue and is a mini Venice with lots of cafes and restaurants located next to the river.  It's probably most famous for its Sunday market.

The Provence Beyond website provides good background information about the town - see http://www.beyond.fr/villages/islesorgue.html.  Plus you can also find out more about it on  Provence Web - L'Isle sur la Sorgue

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another perspective on Couguiuex

You've seen the view out from the terrace (in Breakfast sketch from the terrace and Sketching on the terrace at Couguieux) - and below you can see what it looks like when sat next to the road looking back at the area of the terrace and its immediate vicinity.

The Terrace at Couguieux
11" x 16", pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine 
We sit here in the morning drinking our cups of tea and coffee and gather again in the evening for our aperitifs - and mulling over what to do next.

The wall at Couguiuex
11" x 16", pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine

We had some cloud and rain here on Friday and Saturday. The wall was started while it was still cloudy while the ta-errace was sketched after the blue sky and sunshine returned on Saturday afternoon.

Today it's very hot again - as we discovered on our walk to and from the local market!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sketching on the terrace at Couguieux

Robyn and the House - from the terrace
Sarah oil painting on the terrace

I am way behind getting sketches processed for this blog.

Both of these sketches were done zhile sitting on the terrace outside the house. Both are double page spreads in my A4 size Moleskine

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The start of the gouache sketching

I was very good. I used a brush for the first time in ages and resisted the temptation while creating my gouache sketch to reach for the coloured pencils

This is my morning painting of the vineyards and orchards which resulted - done in a Large Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook.

However after lunch I succumbed - and out came the coloured pencils to finish it off - see below

Do say which you prefer.

The purpose of painting in gouache is to limber up for learning how to paint in oils. However it also makes an excellent base for coloured pencils. The texture you get from using coloured pencils on top of NOT paper is of course also interesting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The view of Mont Ventoux from Crillon Le Brave

This is the view from the terrace at the Hotel Crillon Le Brave.  In the distance is Mont Ventoux and its incredible indigo violet blue slopes and the town of Bedoin.

I spent Sunday afternoon there - having lunch, sketching each course as it appeared (see below). For the record, my lunch was
  • Soupe de Pöisson, Crouton et Aioli mediterranean fish soup, aioli and croutons
  • Thon à la Planche, Salade Fenoil, Tartibe de'Aioli tuna steak, shaved fennel salad and aioli tartine
  • a floating island in lavender
My Sunday Lunch
and sketching the view from my seat.

Restaurant Terrace - Hotel Crillon Le Brave - from my lunch table
At the end of the afternoon I ventured out into the sun and sat at the edge of the terrace and sketched the view of Mont Ventoux and Bedoin from Crillon Le Brave.

Coming back to the house via Bedoin I ran into the most incredible holiday traffic (it was a French holiday weekend) an inched my way down the main street.  I think there had been a major cycle race up Mont Ventoux.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Menu du Terroir Champenois

The meal I ate at The Grillade Gourmande in Epernay on Thursday evening.  [This is the sketch as done in the restaurant while eating the mean.  See the updated and completed version of this sketch on this blog in Épernay and The Grillade Gourmande with extra information about the restaurant]

I was due a treat as I was up at 5.30am to load the car, drive it to Folkestone, catch my Eurotunnel train and then drive across northern France.

A fuller post The Grillade Gourmande, Epernay is on Four Go Painting in Provence http://paintingprovence.blogspot.com

PS. written in the house in Provence. I've just worked out how to get photos from my iPad on to the blog (via Flickr).

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The sketchbooks are packed for Provence!

Four Go Painting in Provence - illustration by Sarah Wimperis
I am totally over provisioned with sketchbooks for my trip to Provence with three art blog buddies which you can follow on Four Go Painting in Provence. 

However there is such a lot to see! I leave tomorrow at 7am to start the drive down to Provence - see Making A Mark is on holiday for the route

Below is a map of the places we can get to in the area where we are based in the Vaucluse.

Click this link to see a larger version on Google Maps

The map shows the area which is within a drive of about an hour and half from the house where we are staying.  Which means we have the choice of Places to Paint around the Vaucluse and Luberon areas of Provence and a bit further afield
  • the landscapes of 
    • the hills and mountains - from Mont Ventoux, to Mont St. Victoire to the Alpilles
    • the vineyards of the Rhone Valley
  • townscapes of 
    • the markets full of produce from the plain which is used for market gardening
  • marine scenes on the Mediterranean coast between the Camargue and the cliffs 
You can keep up with the paintings produced by our painting house party in Provence in our dedicated painting party blog - Four Go Painting in Provence

I'll be posting my sketches on this blog as well - although they might have to be rescanned when I get home


Friday, June 03, 2011

Coots at Kew

On the 1st June we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for the day - and the sun shone. 

We followed our normal routine of walk and then sit - I sketch and "he who must not be bored while I sketch" reads his book and then walk and more sitting/sketching/reading.

He's currently limbering up for retirement next month so was reading a detective novel rather than one of his heavyweight history biographies which are his normal fare.

We sat on "our seat" next to the lake and were visited agin by "our goose" who is very cheeky.

He's got looking at you with Big Eyes off pat.  You know the look - the one that says "Surely you can spare just a little bit of that Taste the Difference Big Breakfast sandwich you've just bought at the Tescos outside the station" look.

It's not so much I have a hard heart as I enjoy my Big Breakfast sandwich and he was about five minutes too late and all I had left was an empty carton and some apples.

Anybody who wants to be overwhelmed by geese flying straight at them should bring bread to Kew Gardens.  On the way home we saw a Mummy and Daddy Goose and a family of four little ones scampering (hurtling?) across the grass to a woman who was showing every sign of getting something out of a plastic bag to feed birds.  The adults had to restrain themselves from taking off they were going so fast.

Coots nesting on the lake at Kew Gardens
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook, 8" a 10"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
My first sketch done next to the Lake was of a pair of Coots who were heavily into nest building.  My attention was attracted by a weird tearing noise.  I realised after a bit that the male coot was visiting the iris planted just next to where I sat and was tearing off leaves to act as nest material.  He then swam very deliberately around the naples yellow weed patches to his mate who was sat on their nest resplendent in her new "just in" iris leaf finery.

I assume she was hatching eggs as she was very loath to leave the nest - although I would have thought any babies would have been born long ago.  Maybe they do year round hatching?

The lake water was interesting to try and capture due to the many different colours of weed, submerged weed, reflections from the far bank and the inky darkness of the lake itself.

The next sketch - which I don't have time to scan right now - is a diptych of the view from the Thames of Syon house and the bend in the River Thames.  It's been painted by quite a few artists and I want to take a look at the history of the view.