Monthly Archives: May 2012

Meadow Flowers

May Meadow Flowers

I left early in the morning to drive from Sancerre to the Airport, it was going to be a lovely day though a bit of fog was still laying in the valleys.  As I drove through the little villages, the fog lifted and the sun came through onto the field of barley and it had cornflowers and poppies all through it.  It was stunning and I had wanted a picture of a barley field, so yet another u-turn.

So I have made another attempt at the meadow flower picture and am happier with this one, (ten more tries and I might nail it).  I am so glad that I got to see the meadow flowers as this is not something that we have in such profusion in Australia through the crops.  We have stunning wild flower displays which are beautiful bit it is always interesting to see the flowers that we nurture and cosset at home growing in the wild.  Cornflowers are a particular favourite of mine.

Karen

Au revoir Paris

Geraniums on the door steps

I am sitting in the airport about to board the flight home, but I have managed to squeeze in another painting before I head home.  This is the front steps of the home of a lovely, old lady in Sancerre, I went past her house on my way to the boulangerie every morning.  I watched these young geraniums bloom during my stay.  She did not want me to take a photo of them as the rain had battered them and they were not looking their best.  The residents are so proud of their town and the way they present  it.  I have restored her flowers with the magic of the paintbrush to their full beauty.

I managed to catch up with all my new friends before I left last night, which was lovely, though bitter-sweet.  They will all be staying until the end of the week, as will my traveling companion Sadhna, I can imagine their days as I make my way home.  I will miss them all, particularly Sadhna, we have been together for three weeks now, she has become like a sister to me.

This is not the end of the pictures though, I still have four more to do, and have the reference photos, so I will stretch it out for a little longer and finish my journal.  So pleased I managed to do so many paintings and quite proud of myself.  When I get home I will fill the rest of the journal with photos that I have taken and will properly scan the pages for you all.

I apologies for the quality of the photos and I swear I will never travel again without a proper camera.  The iPhone has done well, put my blog and its viewers deserve better.

Bye for now, I have 24 hours of flying to get through before I get home.  The joys of living in Australia.

Karen

PS.  I couldn’t get the airport wifi to work so I am posting this now that I have got home.  A bit tired as you can imagine, so I am off to bed.  Did two more paintings on the plane, but you will have to wait for those.

Le Chat Sancerre

La Chat Sancerre

We sat outside for dinner last night as it was such a mild evening.  The Italian Restaurant was under our friends apartment and they saw this cat everyday sleeping in a new place in this little square.  The cat strolled past us as we were having dinner and leapt onto this ledge and settled in for a very comfy cat nap.  I could not resist it.   It has nearly turned itself upside down, and I love its little paw tucked up under its chin.

So Grace and Tomi, here is your cat friend and thank you for being such good friends to us during my short stay.  It is amazing how you can create such good friendships in such a short time, it was a lovely group of people so I must also thank Dorothy and Tom and I hope Elizabeth gets safe back from Paris.  Enjoy your week of French immersion and Au revoir, mon amis.

Karen

Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral

Today is my last day, tomorrow I drive down to Paris to catch my flight home, so it will be full of packing, travel and getting onto flights, with the underlying anxiety that entails.  I never relax until I am checked in and waiting at the departure gate. (I always seem to get the departure gate right at the end, and have to walk miles around the airports)

Today is my last day to soak up the french countryside and small town life.  So I am sitting here in bed writing this post and drinking my morning cup of coffee, trying to decide how to spend it.  I want to do it all and cram in all the things I haven’t done yet.  I always plan to do so many things that it never can be fitted in.  I want to spend the whole day drawing, because I wont have the luxury when I get home, I want to fit in more sights and I want to finally have my picnic.    Its tough on holidays.

This cathedral I went to see a couple of days ago, in the town of Bourges, (thank goodness I am writing this as I never got the pronunciation of this town right, though my bonjour and au revoir are doing rather well!).  I love the sheer massiveness of the building and the amazing size.  Apart from the stained glass windows there was no colour inside and I thought I would do this one in ink.  I haven’t played with cross hatching for a while.  A bit tricky with the perspective but happy with the overall effect.

Karen

Sancerre Apartment

Here is the painting of our Sancerre apartment.  It has finally warmed up and it is hot today, clear and sunny at last.  Just been wandering around town in the sun, lunch and afternoon tea in the town square, soaking up the french, small town atmosphere., chatting with friends

We have been very social, we had fellow students of the french school for dinner.  I did the hunting and gathering and such fun doing so.  The shop keepers are getting to know me and we are starting to converse at a very basic level, though the girl in the florist manage to let me know it was the Sancerre wine festival this weekend, clearly a good time to be in town.  Had a great evening, charcuterie and baguette, followed by roast chicken with french mustard and lemon, salad and divine french pastries for dessert.  We drank french champagne and Sancerre white, how could the evening be bad, great company, food and wine.  Tonight we are going out to a Michelin star restaurant, this will be my first and I am very excited.

Au revoir, hope I am in a fit state tomorrow to do any drawings.

Karen

 

 

Poppies in the Meadows

Poppies in the Meadow

Yesterday I went for a drive around Sancerre, as I was driving through the countryside I saw these poppies growing on the edge of a wheat field.  How perfect, I had to stop.

Now when people travel they talk about what they want to see, with Paris people were asking me what I was going to see, Louvre, Versailles or Eifel tower and this stumped me as although these sounded like great things to do, they were not things I was looking forward to.  I have thought about this and I have been looking forward to doing things or being in places, I wanted to sit in a Paris café and watch the world go by, I wanted to get up each morning a buy my baguette from the boloungerie, I wanted to stroll around a French village and buy my lunch from all the little shops and sit outside and have a picnic, I wanted to see the wild flowers in the meadows and hear what springtime sounded like in the forest.

I am happy to say that these are things that I have done, just not the picnics yet, it has been too cold and wet.  But today the sun is shining so a picnic is on the cards for tomorrow by the Loire.

Back to the poppies.  I struggled with this painting and it did not turn out as I would have liked.  This is not really my style of work, but it gives you some of the feel that I wanted of a tangle of growth and the bright spots of the poppies.

Karen

 

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

When I was in Champagne we went to Vilmart & Cie Champgane House, not only was the Champagne devine the father of the current winemaker also makes stained glass windows that are displayed in the tasting rooms.  I loved these and as they were backlit, I was able to take some great pictures of them.  Of course it was the details that fascinated me and I love this picture that shows just a part of the window.  It makes it about the pateern and shapes rather than the image.  Althoug it is a recent work it is done in a classical style and could have come from the medieval period.  (of course I am no stained glass window expert)

Here is a picture of the full window.

Karen