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objects

A rough sketch of some painting tools.

I dug this sketch out of the bin. It ended there along with many others I’m lately not happy with. I feel in an awful slump and nothing seems to work..everything is either too “pretty”, or too perfect or it is just plain bad art. I struggle to find that exciting stroke, or that exciting subject, or even the right medium. I work on small tiny papers and do small tiny challenges. I am in need of freedom and uninhibited expression. I know what I want and what I don’t want..or do I?

I wonder if art can go through menopause…in which case, that is where I would say my art is right now. Going through menopause. I hope it passes soon.

the first one is just pencil contour lines and then of course I didn’t like it and thought colour and pen would make it look better…

painting tools-001…just to realize it doesn’t look better, nor worse.

watercolor, pencil and pen on watercolor block, HP, 18x26cm

painting tools 2-001So. The solution is probably just to carry on and maybe consider not throwing out the awful ones. They should stay with us strive for better, or different, ot both.

à bientôt

Ronelle


September 20 & 21: Garden urns.

I believe in drawing as a basis for all mediums of art. Whether doing aquarelle or oil painting, statues of abstraction..it all comes down to understanding an object/subject and nothing else than good old drawing  can get one to that point. Not forgetting doing it on large format. Just my personal opinion. I don’t draw enough. There was a time when I was much better at drawing than I am now. Doing life model drawing saw to that. I have to get back to live drawing sessions with a model. Perfect for drawing skills.

..Garden urn..

rotring Tikky graphic pen on drawing paper, 21×29.7cm

garden urn

I actually enjoy doing urns, bowls, jugs…they are a good mixture of simple shapes put together in a complex way…ellipses, round shapes, triangles, rectangles, value shapes, light shapes, depth.. good practice for seeing shapes rather than lines, even though I do like line work.

Charcoal on drawing paper, 29.7×42 cm

 

 

medici 20-09-2013 14-36-12 2673x3706

Aargh…so many booboos in these 2 drawings, but it is OK. At least I didn’t ‘feather’ my drawings into correctness, like I see so often and I find it terrible. Rather a sure, continuously wrong line than a hesitantly feathered correct “line”. Once again, only my personal opinion.

à demain

Ronelle


September 19: Lipstick seduction.

I don’t wear make-up, except for the occasional mascara. But lipstick, now that I love, so much so that I have quite a few. Some shiny ones, some with real stay-power(so they say), some reds, corals and some neutrals, some fun ones..

lipstick

Seduction often begins with taste. There is no kiss like the first kiss with lipstick..” said John Baxter in his book, The most beautiful walk in the world. I can’t really say if this holds true, since I’m on the giving side of the lipstick kiss, but I can admit that I do feel quite a bit seductive when wearing a touch of lipstick. Unfortunately, it only lasts 10 minutes or so before I’ve licked every bit of seduction from my lips and I’m back to Cinderella form. I know women who daub their gloss in the morning and by lunchtime their lips are still a voluptuous  rosy invitation. Selfishly, they don’t reveal their secret.

Optimistically, I carry some lip color in my bag for those retouch moments, which never happen. My bag lipstick is still as new as the day I bought it, probably about 2 years ago. In addition, I even have an antique little purse mirror from my mother, which finally serves no other purpose than sentiment and adding weight to my bag.

In the end, all is OK actually, because 10 minutes a day is still more than nothing.

à demain

Ronelle


September 7: Favorite Oxfords.

I tend to be very boring when it comes to choosing daily outfits. I have only a few favorite outfits in which I feel comfortable, so comfortable that I tend to wear only those. One such a comfy piece of clothing, is this pair of Oxfords, my favorite winter shoes. I wear them with long skirts, with rolled up pants, with jeans, with woolen slacks..they go with everything and they walk everywhere. But don’t make the mistake thinking that I don’t love shoes..oh, I do, I do! It is a bit like art supplies..I want to have it all, thinking I’ll do better art, but in the end, only the basics can do the job. With shoes the same. I want them all, thinking I’ll look prettier, but in the end, only a few succeed in not making me walk around with a tortured expression on my face..back to basics.

..favorite Oxfords..

Watercolor pencil and watercolor on watercolor block, 18x26cm

winter shoes

 

à demain

Ronelle


September 6: Four wheels

Since we moved a two years or so ago, I got stuck quite a few times in the winter’s mud and snow and slid into ditches and depended on farmers and their trusting tractors. Given that I hate a telephone and rarely have one on me, it takes forever to get out of my predicaments. So we said goodbye to our trusted old friend last year (Goodbye to an old friend )and mon cheri got me new four wheels. I am since then a happy country woman! I already got out of ditches, I wheelie in the snow with flair, and I make small change of our slippery winter road uphill…all without the help of Mr Farmer and his tractor!

Mon cheri of course thinks it is his four wheels! Oh well, I kindly allow him to think so…after all, he is mon chéri!

four wheels

à demain

Ronelle


September 5: Le vieux poulailler(old hen house)

The chickens have been moved to their new chateau and soon the old chicken coop will be demolished, not without a morsel of sadness, though..

..le vieux poulailler..

oil on linen, 33x46cm

le vieux poulailler 2 04-09-2013 17-47-57 3548x2568

I first painted in the tufts of hay that stuck out all over, which I actually found so cute!  After adding those first strokes of tuft and standing back, it look like I borrowed some stars from Van Goch starry night and added it to my poulailler. No go. So, with patience unknown to me, I scraped off the tufts with the palette knife and touched up again with fresh paint. It is once again an art lesson: not everything we find pretty in reality will necessarily make a good painting.

..tufts of hay..le vieux poulailler 2 04-09-2013 17-11-41 4116x2833

à demain

Ronelle


September 4: Spilled coffee

Some days are just stubborn. Such a day was today.  In spite of all my best intentions, no art attempts worked today. I did charcoal drawings, small and large. I painted in oil. I splashed in watercolor, ink, tried graphite..and they all turned out…well, terrible. If I had to do an exam today, I would probably have handed in a blank paper and walked out.

..Spilled coffee..

watercolor and pen in sketchbook, (15,5x25CM)

spilled coffee

Apart from all the failed art efforts, I opened the fridge in frustration this afternoon for something cool to drink and an enamel bowl fell out and hit me above the eye. I’ve been stung by a horsefly and the huge bulge on my arm burns like crazy! My coffee spilled all over my working table. That’s when I decided I’ve had it. The spilled coffee would be my sketch for 4 September, a perfect memory of how life sometimes refuses to work with you. Maybe I haven’t been listening all day and life was, or still is, trying to tell me something? Or maybe this is just very normal in ordinary daily life.

à demain

Ronelle


A coffee break..

I cooked the whole day today, but I managed to pack in a doodle sketch during my coffee break. Using only contour lines, most of the objects done in one line, I could sketch quick and without restraint. Adding some watercolour splashes afterwards and voilà, a doodle sketch to show for the day!

I accidentally dipped my brush in my coffee (which happens every tile I paint with a coffee or glass or something by my side). This time I decided to keep it and even added some more coffee splashes. Coffee, wine and tea actually make for great mediums to paint with. Add some aquarelle varnish or finish off by sealing your sketch with aquarelle varnish and it will last as long as watercolour.

..A coffee break doodle..

pen and watercolour in l’atelier du papier aquarelle sketchbook

coffee sketch

I am driving up to Paris for the week next week..spending some Valentine time with mon chéri …will show him all my secret corners I love to visit, take him to my favorite Rodin museum and garden, have late afternoon tea at my favorite cafe, stop for our traditional romantic moment on Pont Neuf(he just adores crossing the Seine on Pont Neuf all day long..!!). I hope to come home with some great sketches and photos and …books of course!

I leave you with an old sketch of Paris, done a few years ago…

..Paris-les arbres de Jardin de Luxembourg..

paris-les arbres de jardin de luxembourg

à bientôt

Ronelle

 

 


Umbrella, ombrelle, parasol, parapluie, they all say one thing…sketch me!

An umbrella is easy to draw..right? DING! Wrong!

So many things to consider:   Convex, concave, round, shadows, transparency, folds, foreshortening, colour, patterns…

A good challenge!

..two half open umbrellas..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 2

..wide open umbrella..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 3

..two closed umbrellas..

pen and watercolor on Fabriano artistico  watercolor block, HP, 23×30,5cm

Umbrella 1


Sketching ellipses..bowls and jugs.

One of my demons in art, is the ellipse. I hate drawing ellipses. Maybe hate is a strong word..I really really dislike ellipses. So many objetcs have some sort of ellipse in it. And like with perspective, you can’t be an artist without coming across ellipses.

With a snowy and rainy weekend keeping us inside, I challenged  that ellipse fear and went back to my spiral exercises(see bottom of page).

..Bowls..

pen and watercolor in Arches aquarelle block, HP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 1

..Jugs..

pen and watercolor in Arches watercolor block, CP, 18x26cm

Bowl Ellipses 2

I  do these great spiral exercises to practice  ellipses from the book “Sketchbook for artists”. S

  1. Start with drawing a circle and loosely let your hand move downwards in a spiral. It it best to not do it slowly, but at a natural, continuous speed, without stopping.
  2. You can enlarge and diminish to your own liking, creating different shapes and volumes.
  3. Practice placing one spiral into another.
  4. Vary the thickness of the lines. Don’t worry if it is all askew in the beginning..your hand will get steadier as you keep on doing these spring-like spirals.

..Spiral exercises four ellipses..

Ellipses 0001

Bibliography: Sketchbook for the artist, Sarah Simblet..


Two favorite Sennelier colours

I am rather boring when it comes to using new colours. Once i find my niche, I am happy for a long time. Probably not the way to be an artist.  But I want to believe that it is me, the artist and not the tools that produces the masterpiece (which I’m still working on!!). And so my palette is always very limited to only a few well used colours.

This past week I cleaned out my palette, boutght a new Sennelier palette box and impulsively added some new colours.  I am in love, but totally in love, head over heels! Two new colours on my palette..Sennelier grey and warm grey, both from Sennelier.. Absolutely beautiful and perfect for my new search of more faded colours. They will work great this winter…they have mystery, are cool to push you bit back, but then exposes a warmth which draw you closer. I use them clean and pure to have them shine their own star..I think they deserve it. Well,  they definitely deserve a permanent place in my palette.

I worked on a thick pad of Canson mixed media paper, which is only meant for exercises, since it doesn’t allow for very wet work and the paper is rather fragile, even though it is 300g.


Sketching a coffee in Toulouse and marigolds at Coin Perdu – 4 & 5 May.

..a coffee in Toulouse yesterday while waiting for my daughter to go fit her wedding dress. – 4 May.

pen and watercolor in Daler and Rowney sketchbook, 25,4×17,8cm

Doing this sketching every day in May is meant to get me back on track. I’ve lost some concentration, my ability to observe and interpret instantaneously. the last few months I’ve been distracted by so many things and art got put onto the back burner. My sketches in May is not supposed to be beautiful work, but a program of work and exercises. Flowers are always a good way to sharpen the saw and by looking at my wonky, askew marigolds…I need a lot of that!

..wonky marigolds – 5 May..


Some lunch sketches.

I had some lunch at a small restaurant close by and sketched my lunch of a vegetable soup, coffee and the surrounding salt and pepper set.

…vegetable soup and bread

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

The coffee sketch was my first and when I tell you that I had a very upsetting experience just before I arrived at the restaurant, you’ll understand why the lines are so dark and the whole sketch is sombre and almost violent. I’m always amazed by the strong influence emotion has on art.

The salt and pepper set was the last sketch and you can see that my emotion has settled a bit by that time. It did my a world of good to do these drawings…therapeutic.

…vegetable soup…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook

…coffee and water with cpeculoos biscuit…

pencil, pen and watercolor in Daler rowney sketchbook


Joyeuses fêtes!

Have a wonderful season!!

à la prochaine!

Ronelle


Still life with copper pots.

With this second attempt at an aquarelle still life, I didn’t  to set it up the still life. I only painted what was in front of me, which was my copper pots filled with brushes and other art stuff. I moved the objects a little to avoid “kissing” and to bring them a little closer. the apple that rolled to the side, was left as it found its place and I was very chuffed with it!It might be overcrowded for some, but I rather like the idea…in any case  more than a composed and deliberate still life. Maybe it is a mirror of my life…anything BUT composed and deliberate!

… stil life with copper pots…

..in watercolor and graphite on Fabriano paper  CP 30.5×45.5cm…

…and a close up of my strokes and layers. I still feel I overworked it and could’ve let go of the brush much sooner..


Still life with quince.

I have moved on from autumn colours to  still lifes, done in the atelier. Working in thin washes, laying wet washes over dry ones. not my usual way of working, but I am quite chuffed and will do a series of these watercolors.

I need to bring in a bit darker values and I want to have more informal compositions. I think my inspiration comes here from Cézanne, whose watercolours I love. There is currently an exhibit of Cézanne in the Musee de Luxembourg in Paris until 26 February 2012, for those who want to jump in their private jets for a visit…and a lunch afterwards, maybe at the Mini palais restaurant?

…Still life with quince…

watercolor and pencil on Fabriano artistico CP, 30,5×45,5cm

I’m posting a close up to show the layering of thin washes.

…close up…

Until the next post where I’ll be back with another still life…hopefully a better one with darker values, more expressive compositions…and one where my patience has reigned!


A handpainted aquarelle sketch and provencal pots.

When you forget a paintbrush at home, you use what you have available. In this case, it was my hands. And for this occasion it worked fine, although it will definitely not become my preferred way of working. I will in tie or glue my brush to my bag so I’ll never forget it again.

…interior of  “la panettiére” in Toulouse

pen and watercolorin watercolor sketchbook, 18x24cm..

The next  sketch was done in the barn one evening.. and I only noticed the slant during the daytime the next day..the light in the barn at night is just not good enough for any art making, but I quite like the quirky feel to these pots. They are two of my very old terracotta pots from Provence and I adore them! I’ve started doing an oil panting with these pots..a canvas that  has already been standing a few weeks  on the easel…and now I’m subjecting  my name to scandal by admitting it here..

…two provencal pots…

..pen and watercolour on Arches watercolor paper, CP, 18x26cm..


Just some sketches….and a vendange in Vouvray.

Every year I paint these clementines from la Corse. See last year’s sketches at CLementines.

…clementines from Corsica…

clementines in watercolourSketch done in moleskine with pen and watercolour

The next two sketches were done a while ago. I just sketched some things around me – a container in the living room with brushes and pens and stuff and part of a bookshelf. I try very hard to keep the bookshelf, neat, but I am starting to think we will never have neat bookshelves.

..brushes and pens…

brush holder

…disorder…

books on the bookshelf

Sketches done in Moleskine with rotring artist pen and water wash.

On Myfrenckitchen, I have posted some photo’s of a vendange in Vouvray that we did in Octobre. Good freinds have a bio vineyard where the harvesting is still done by hand. On one Saturday during the harvest period in October, all their family and friends get together for a day of grape harvesting. It was hard work, but a fun day, with a delicious lunch,  many laughs and jokes and a messy grape fight towards the end of the day. I only took photos, because I didn’t want to hide from the work behind my sketchbook! you can see some photo’s here at Pears in red wine and a wine harvest.

vendange-grapes


Le Boss is in Paris – sketches

le Boss is away!!

le boss is away 1le boss is away!

It has been quite a while that I held a sketch pen and book in my hand, but now that le Boss is in Paris for the week and I am alone at Coin Perdu, I took my chance to go from …

…this…

wheelbarrow

…and this…

cement mixer

…to this…

thistle and rosehipsAll sketches in rotring pen and watercolour in moleskine.


Oil painting

A few days ago I painted this corner of the Loire in oil.  Unfortunately I fiddled with it afterwards while it was standing on the easel in the atelier to dry, resulting in losing some great first strokes and giving the water this almost “swimming pool” colour. Knowing well I have this addiction, I normally hang a painting immediately on the wall when done and then I don’t touch it…on the easel however, I always see something that needs fixing!

…ombre et lumiére..

ombre-et-lumiere1oil on canvas, 30×30 cm (11.8×11.8 in)

I am leaving for Coin Perdu in Correze for about three weeks, which will be sort of a solitary retreat. And since I’m leaning towards oil painting for now, I’ve decided to pack all my oil stuff for some plein air painting for which the opportunities and subjects there are boundless. So I had a stack of boards, in different sizes, cut at my hardware store, and prepared them at home with  first  a coat of acrylic primer, then a coat of mixed gesso and modeling paste and lastly a coat of gesso. (after the method by David Curtis).

Some years ago I played around with modeling paste on canvases and several other surfaces, as can be seen in the next two paintings. Given a coat of gesso or acrylic primer, it provides a nice textured surface for some expressive work in oil  and other mixed media.

…urn 1, mixed media on canvas…

urn1

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)..

detailurn1

…urn 2, mixed media on paper…

smallurn

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)

smallurn-detail-21

…pineapples…

pineapplesoil-12-13-2008-3-20-52-pm

oil on canvas, 30×30 cm.

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)…

pineapplesoildetail


Clowns

I sat around a coffee inTours the other day, then still the Old Year, waiting for our youngest who got her hair trimmed. All around me in the brasserie hung these clowns along with clown paintings. They made me giggle. A clown does that. And they make me sad. But these clowns can’t make me sad.  Because they aren’t real. And because it was the last day of the Old Year. I didn’t want to end the year sad and I want this year to be filled with much more laughter. I didn’t laugh enough in the previous one. And so the clowns worked their way into my moleskine.

May we all have a year overflowing with good, old fashioned,  unashamedly wild laughter and may we laugh the hardest at ourselves.

…haaa ha ha ha ha ha!…

clowns1

clowns2

Sketches in moleskine, pen and watercolour.


To a sparkling 2009!

bonneannee


Drawing in graphite

I haven’t had time to post my drawings from the afternoons with Casey the last two weeks, so here follows…

The first drawing was done at her house and she set up some beautiful statues. I had fun with this. I always have fun doing statues. I find they can hold long poses…

This drawing was done in graphite 9b, on drawing block, 50×35 cm.

…hold it, hold it..

This second drawing was last week and I set up some bottles, thinking I could at the same time play around with “different strokes”, which is the theme of Robyn’s book in our international sketchbook exhange. I enjoyed all the themes of the books and it revealed a little of each book’s owner, which made every book so unique. In this case, I can picture Robyn as someone with a whole variety of “different strokes”, making her interesting, lively with a great sense of humour and strong personality. So to come up with something for her book, “Different strokes”, I played around with this next drawing, which isn’t going into her book, but it did lead me down the path to the eventual pages I am busy adding to her book. And following the advice of her wise bee, I am also having fun doing it!

Drawing done in graphite, watercolour pencils, charcoal pencil, white conté, coffee, chocolate cake…ah…no, that was for eating..

…in search of different strokes…



I have also finally sent Lindsay’s canoe home, with a sniff and a blink… She’ll defintely post her whole book soon, but if you want to catch a glimpse of her canoe, see Captain’s log.

…Adieu..





Montgolfière en France

I’ve had the exciting opportunity recently to go hot air ballooning in Fontainebleau. We took off on the grounds of the chateau and landed some hours later in a farmer’s field. We were treated to champagne by candlelight after landing which couldn’t have been more perfect!

I did two sketches from photos afterwards. I didn’t even consider sketching there, I was too afraid of being left behind, because once the balloon was up and billowing, there was no time for fancy stuff. It was grab your legs and climb that basket. Besides it is far more exciting watching the balloon lift and blow and bulge.

If you’re interested in seeing some pictures you can go to Myfrenchkitchen, where I’ve put up some pics of the whole process and the trip, the amazing sunset, smooth landing and our great crew.

Both these sketches were done on Fabriano artistico block(30x23cm) with pen and watercolour.

…stretching the toile

…almost there…


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