Monday, August 29, 2011

A French Sketchbook - June 2011

In June this year I travelled - with my sketchbook and brand new paints - to Provence for a new experience - a painting house party!

I stayed in the home of Julian Merrow Smith (Postcard from Provence) and Ruth Phillips (Meanwhile) while Ruth played cello at the Garsington Opera Festival and Julian learned a few of the tricks essential to his status as a new father.

Joining me in our painting house party and contributing to our group blog Four Go Painting in Provence were:
I was there for three weeks in total with the others coming and going at various times - but with all four of us together for a couple of days in the first week

Provence is special to me because it's where I came back to art - some twenty odd years ago after a very long gap - albeit in the Luberon which is the next valley over (see The first time I went painting in Provence). It was fascinating to go back and see some of the same places again and to see how much or how little they had changed.

I've been pondering for a little while now how best to tackle recording this particular sketching trip on this blog. There were a number of issues
  • First - the house got hit by lightning during a major storm and we lost all internet access. That made blogging a bit tricky (it had to be done from the bar in town and only one image at a time could be uploaded). Hence in June I focused on the group blog rather than this one- and consequently this one does not have a lot of posts about the trip. One of the features of this blog is it contains a record of my Travels with a Sketchbook and I want to remedy that for my last trip.
  • Second - many of my sketches are 11"x16" and some in my A3 size Moleskine Folio Sketchbook are 16" x 22" as double page spreads. Getting these digitised is not a particularly quick exercise! Having been daunted by the challenge for a while I've solved this one by taking photographs - but may well replace these in due course with rather better scanned images.
  • Third - I've always previously done trips on a day by day basis. However after a think, I think this one might be better tackled in broadly speaking a chronological order - but with much more focus on places and the type of image I was creating. Plus photos added in where appropriate.
The trip starts and finishes with my drive through France - to and from the Channel Tunnel at Calais.

It will feature an awful lot of drawings of French food (together with menu details) - which became a bit of a theme for me this trip. I'll talk a bit more about those sketches and how I did them as I get to them. They were a lot of fun to do and the foodies out there will be salivating! :)

Examples of sketching meals in French restaurants
Pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Here's a notional running order. I'll come back and add in links as these are completed. I'm going to redo some posts done in June.

I've also referenced those posts on Four Go Painting in Provence (4PP) which are relevant and will not be reproduced on this blog.

The Journey to Provence
The Provence Sketchbook
Sketching the Terrace at Couguieux
Pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The Journey to the Channel Tunnel - and three more meals in France


  1. This sounds like a cool way to go about the posting of your pictures. I have a possible idea for a future post that might be helpful to others taking a trip with their art supplies. What did you take and never use, and then wished you hadn't when you packed for your return? I have a tendency to overpack horribly as I usually drive on my expeditions, scaling back is an idea I hold dear, but don't always manage to do.

  2. I have really enjoyed reading blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Thanks!

  3. Your work is so beautiful, especially the way you capture light and the details that you capture ... The food sketches are absolutely delightful. I'm sure i'll be visiting again :)

  4. Thanks for sharing information it is very useful for me.


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