Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ferry ride home

In Paris, most of my colors were added a few days after the drawing. For some reason I needed to put the color into this drawing right away, on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry ride as I headed toward home. There's my trusty suitcase; there's the little black metal W&N watercolor box and my travel paintbrush.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dejeuner sur les cobblestones

Also, there were accordian players. Montmartre, Cafe "Chez Ma Cousine," 24th June, 2008.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Midsummer Tree

What I saw (and smelled) as I looked up from the concert in the garden.

Midsummer Concert

Midsummer night, June 21, the longest day of the year: all of Paris celebrates Fete de la Musique with concerts everywhere. In the manicured garden courtyard of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education, the orchestra of the students of the Grands Ecoles played "Night on Bald Mountain" by Moussorgsky and Beethoven's 7th Symphony (with, alas, some competition from the rock-and-roll band on rue Descartes). The music was beautiful. The sky was blue. The air was scented sweetly by the tree under which I sat. There was beer. On this, I will blame my lack of perspective. In the streets afterward, there was also Silly String.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Orsay Terrace, 20 June

From Tyler Street

On the upper levels of the Musee d'Orsay, there is a terrace with views across the Seine towards the Tuileries, the Louvre, and across town to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. I spent all day at the museum, drinking in colors.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Seine in Rain

Matisse had his studio midway between these two bridges, at 15 rue St. Michel. Notre Dame and the bridges appear in a number of his paintings. Actual raindrops appear in mine (evening of June 19). Perspective drawing is a challenge!

Pantheon and Santiago

June 19, evening, I went out for a walk and a few blocks from the flat, I saw on a bench and drew the Pantheon as carefully as I could. I also wanted to draw the parking spot with outlet for recharging electric cars but I couldn't fit it in!

I felt a little bit brave when I sat down, but by the time I stood up again, I realized that sketching in public in Paris was totally fun and absolutely the best thing to be doing and not the least bit scary.

I added a picture of the golden shell that is the symbol of the pilgrims who walk to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. John bought it for Jane when they were there a few years ago, and she wore it almost all the time. John gave it to me at Jane's memorial service last year. Just after I made this drawing, I went around the corner to the Rue St. Jacques, where pilgrims leaving the Ile de la Cite in the Seine would take their first steps on the ancient road to Rome, or to Santiago (= St. Jacques = St. James). I thought of Jane a lot on this trip, about getting to know her when I was 17, and I also thought a lot about being in Paris for the first time when I was 19.

Une Manifestation

June 19: After my coffee in the place Contrescarpe, I strolled up the rue Descartes and rue de la Montagne Ste. Genevieve to the street market: tomatoes and cherries, poppies and cheese!

Then, my way back was blocked by police, who were spreading out and blocking streets in preparating for a "manifestation" or demonstration. Since I couldn't continue up the street, I went in to a little store to buy some milk and butter. When I came out, the demo had moved downhill so I was free to continue. Instead, I stopped and stood on the sidewalk, shopping bags at my feet, to draw what I saw.

The demo was very calm: some slogans, some singing, a bullhorn, some sitting down in the street. Police vans everywhere and police with riot shields, but their helmets were hanging on their belts and it all seemed fairly routine.

The banners had the names of various university departments, and one said "Sauvons l'universite" (let's save the university); does anybody know what the issue was, on June 19, 2008, at the rue des Ecoles and rue de la Montagne Ste. Genevieve?

Un Cafe s.v.p.

First morning in Paris: my command of the French language, limited at the best of times, only extended to "un cafe" at the Cafe Les Arts on the Place Contrescarpe.

Do you see the Place Contrescarpe in my sketch? No, you do not! I was still too shy to stare at anything beyond the immediate vicinity of my own table and the chairs nearby. I did get a "Velib" bicycle (Paris's amazing bike rental system) across the sidewalk.

Nice neighborhood in Paris

Morning view from the flat. Look, there's an art supply store! Besty has a bright yellow sign.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Paris in the the spring (almost mid summer)

On June 18, I arrived at my rented flat in Paris and there was a full moon that night!

Southampton to CDG

After our walk, Tim took me to the airport at Southampton. I still don't know how to draw airplanes, but I know how to fly to Paris!

Old Harry

The chalk cliffs at Swanage are irresistible for sketchers like me and this lady. Her other half was napping; my other half was taking pictures of plant life. This chalk "creature" is called Old Harry. Ronald Jesty did a wonderful watercolor of Old Harry; it's in one of my art books (with a different name) and we saw a giclee print in the window at Quarr Gallery in Swanage. They have more of Jesty's and others works available.

Swanage cliff walk

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

South coast, chalk cliffs

We walked along the beach at Swanage on Britain's south coast. It was windy! This was the last time I tried to do watercolor in the field. My water and my paints and my brush and my notebook were blown around. The next day we walked along the cliff that is in the distance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Views from French Mill Lane

The view toward St. James's church and the ridgetop on which Shaftesbury has stood for over two millennia. Sunset artificially tropicalized by excessive playing with NeoColor crayons!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Morning, Holyrood Farm and the Blackmore Vale

In the morning, I drew the scene looking out across the farm toward the Blackmore Vale from French Mill Lane.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holyrood Farm and the Blackmore Vale

In the evening, I drew as it got dark. I added the colors when I couldn't see the scene out the window at all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shaftesbury and the Blackmore Vale

I drew the cherry tree next door (all of these are Pigma Micron or similar finepoint waterproof pens).

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sketchbook June 2008

I started drawing at SeaTac airport, while we awaited our flight to London Heathrow.
I said I would do a drawing each day.
It was a somewhat scribbly start. There was some beer in the vicinity.