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Posts tagged “moleskine

Food sketches and a book on dining and painting

I’ve said this before…if all else fails, paint food. It really works. Whether it is the sensuality of food, or the colours or the health aspect or hunger or satisfaction or all of it together…painting food is a delight. It has been so for ages as you will see further down below. I had some poivrons cornes de boeuf and some pak choy. Both greens which is good practice in the greens once again.

…green peppers…

green peppers

…pak choy…

Pak shoy

…Sketches done in moleskine with rotring pen and watercolour….

When Katherine visited in October, she and her sister and niece came over for dinner on their last night in France. (See both her sites at Travels with a sketchbook and Making a mark – where she has some interesting facts in her latest post on Technorati.)

Apart from the bottle of champagne they brought which we décapitée (beheaded) Napolean style, they brought me this beautiful book too  – Boire et Manger, which they bought at Chateau Chenonceau. I have read it from front to back and back to front again. I love symbols and mythology and traditions and of course everything that has to do with food and art and this little book has it all.

It is all about the traditions and symbols showing up in old works of art, throughout the ages; how artists chose to paint certain food and scenes, involving food  for their symbolism, to depict the traditions and cultures and habits – in short, life during their time.

I want to share some of it with you. Different examples can be seen at Myfrenchkitchen.

…BOIRE ET MANGER…

.. bacchus adolescente:Le caravage(1596-1597)…

boire et manger

…la chanteuse des rues; édouard manet (1862)…

la chanteuseCherries – meaning: Passion of Christ, fruit of paradise

  1. One of the first portraits of Victorine Meurent, who was one of Manet’s favourite models until 1875.
  2. The cherry was a symbol of love, becasue of its deep red colour and round voluptiousness that reminded of the curves of the feminine body.
  3. All the sensuality in this scenes evolves around the woman bringing the sweet cherries to her mouth.

…la céne: Jacopo Bassano ( 1546-1548)…

la céne

Lamb – meaning: sacrificial victim.

  1. The lamb signifies the sacrifice of Christ.
  2. A fruit, resembling the apple, signifies the original sin.
  3. Next to Judas lies the knife, symbol of the treason which would follow.
  4. With his left hand, Jesus Christ himself points to the lamb which is a symbol of his own sacrifice.

…le jambon: édouard manet  (1875-1878)…

le jambon - eduard manet

Meat ; conserved/dried: ham taken from the porc, signifies gluttony sin.

  1. French dried ham had a strong international culinary meaning for Manet, because of its ancient gallic imports and long French tradions.
  2. In the 19th century the ham became a commercial product and thus also made its appearance in the city bourgeoise home after being traditionally country fare.
  3. In the rich Parisien home the ham would be served on nothing less than silver plattters, giving the ham a “worthiness”.

…scéne de cuisine: Frans Snyders (1630-1640)…

scene de cuisine

Porc and wild boar: sin of the flesh.

  1. Frans Snyders was a student of Rubens and specialized in refined commissios, usually overladen scenes of buffet tables with exquisite  food.
  2. The head of the boar was very sought after and seen in this “hunting” painting could be evidence of a commission by  some articrat.
  3. The lobster was already at that stage seen as one for the more rare sea foods, giving it an importance on the refined table.
  4. The little detail of the dog only sniffing the game, hints on aspects of respect.
  5. The presence of the artichokes is an indication of the choice of the painter to include only exquisite foods.

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


Hawai’i: sketches and chronicles 3.

With these last few sketches I conclude the reportage on my trip to Hawai’i. Since then, back here at thome, so many things had happened that made my life so full with running around – all good and exciting things! Hopefully I can recount on some of it later – I have already told of Katherine’s delightful visit! And I’m trying my best to get into my atelier to do some “island inspired painting”, for which I still only have the ideas tolling about in my head and nothing on paper or canvas yet…  Why does time fly by so quick when we have  a lot to do? Why does time fly by so quick when we get older? Why does time fly by so quick when we are happy? Why does time fly by  so quick when life is good?

…across the lagoon…

hawaii 1

hawaii 3

hawaii 2

hawaii 4

Sketches done in pen and watercolour in moleskine.

Some art work from well known artists from Hawaii:

1. Susan McGovney Hansen: (I can’t find a website of her, but you can try google her)

Susan Mcovney Hansen 1  hula dancer - m Hansen 87

2. Suzy Papanikolas – who “makes Hawaii’s people come alive” by telling astories with color and canvas.. You can read and see more about her artwork on her website – www.papanik.com

Susan Papanikolas 1 Susan Papanikolas 2

3. Calley O’Neill. See more about her at her website – Calley O’Neill

4. Yvonne cheng, who also does batik. See more about her on Cedar street galleries

The three graces - Calley O Neil 1988 Yvonne Cheng - batik

You can see some more art pieces here on Myfrenchkitchen: Travel.


Katherine in Touraine

This past week Katherine was in Touraine with her sister and niece. First stopping off to visit Monet in Rouen and then Paris and then arrived here in Tours, valley of the chateaux…but why am I telling you all when you can go read it on her Travels with a sketchbook and Making a mark.  See links  lower down.

…distracted sketches in Tours…

Tours - street lamp and charis

Tours -hotel de villesketches done with pen and watercolour washes  in aquarelle moleskine

What I can tell you is that it was so great to meet her! Such a fascinating person! With a very real passion for art, for books. A sponge for information. She thrives on researching and gathering information, and sharing it is her way of learning and growing. She confessed that she loves being asked questions, which takes her to digging and researching…so there you go, ask away! She is devoted to sketching which she does with great ease and comfort in remote corners as well as around buzz with lively people and situations. In fact, she thrives on scenes where the challenge to capture people coming and going, results in a scene where the setting is static, but the ambiance is moving and changing. Withing as little as  ten – fifteen minutes she can sketch a restaurant scene with tables and chairs and windows, cake and drinks and a traffic of people arriving and leaving, and they all find a place in her scene, the Katherine way. That becomes her unique view.

She’ll capture the skies in order to define the relief of Mont St Michel.  Or sitting opposite a boring road, where there is nothing but a line of autumn trees with flaming yellows, soft greens and a dark tunnel and it tuns into a gentle  fall scene of serenity. Or how about Chenonceau, where she would seat herself on a corner away from the people traffic, patiently waiting for people, blocking her view,  to take their photo,  and then shows up with a fairy tale chateau, water reflections and all. Or the gesture of two couples on a park bench, worn down from being tourists, perfectly captured to make you almost feel their fatigue!

By telling you this, it may sound that we did a lot of sketching together, but unfortunately we didn’t even do a single one together! Time passed too fast and too stuffed with things to do.  However, I saw her sketchbooks, paged through them again and again and only really saw her art for the first time. The computer screen doesn’t do her sketches justice and seeing her sketch books, was like opening story books! We also did indulge in eating a deliciously light French chocolate mousse cake.   We made up for that little sin by lunching on light salads and last night said goodbye over candles with champagne and boeuf bourguignon! I was fortunate to enjoy her sketching the restaurant scene during lunch, while her sister and niece and I saw to the conversation and entertaining side of the meal.

But before you think I’m completely worthless, I can show two  quick and distracted sketches I did while waiting to meet up with them in Tours. Part of our hotel de ville, typical French streetlamp and a few chaotic brasserie chairs! I can also show you Katherine’s creative hands and part of her sketchbook. To full enjoy this trip of hers, you’ll have to visit her sketchblog Travels with a sketchbook, where a wealth of French sketches will await you, probably as from Monday, when she’ll be back home and start telling and showing. And with all the books she took back home, Making a mark will surely be filled with loads of information, perfumed with a little French panache. Don’t miss out!

And I’m leaving you with a little personal glimpse of her…She has a laugh that can be tickled easily, with eyes that join in, crinkling with delight. She can talk and chat as easily and entertainingly as her writing is. She has an enthusiastic YES! when fascinated by something, she adores her two cats, she can lose herself in travel…and oh yes, she loves a cup of tea!!

…Katherine’s lunch sketch…

Katherine's sketch 10-7-2009 12-39-17 PM

…her book and her tools…

Katherine working 10-7-2009 12-49-52 PM


Hawai’i: sketches and chronicles 2.

My favourite stopping corner was here at the koi pond. Its tranquility and the elegance of the kois in their ballets seduced me into seating myself on the rock by the edge early every morning, staring at them endlessly, sipping my kona coffee.. the world was still quiet when I softly spoke to them, telling them my schedule for the day. Joking about their pouting lips searching for a delicacy. And then I’d sketch them. Snap them. Photo’s galore. They enjoyed posing and pirouetted spontaneously only for me.

hawaii koi fish

Voila some stops on my walks. Colourful canoes on the lagoon. Elegant flamingoes. Impressive statues. I could probably have stopped more often to sketch, but a big part of the allure of Hawai’i is in the reflecting and quiet time, staring into distance. Quiet and still. Watching waves break. Listening to the wind rustling through the palms. Being entranced by the play of light on the shallow waters by the shore. Waiting along with the surfers for that next big one. Feeling that drop of sweat trickling down your back, telling you it’s time to move on. People who don’t do that, miss out.

In this quiet time in still corners of the island, away from people, in solitude with only the wind and the ocean as company, I have succeeded in solving issues, finding peace in who I am and how I am. It gave me acceptance with roads I will be following from now on. It gave me breathing space and freedom to come to terms with bridges that were burnt. I imagine I gave it all up to the waves and the ocean, while the soft touch of the breezes swept me clean from disappointments and sadness and just maybe the whisper of the palms filled me with optimism and a strong spirit. I look forward to tomorrow.

…canoes…

hawaii canoes

…flamingo…

hawaii flamingoes

…statue

hawaii statues

Because I enjoyed the koi fish so much, and because I have these millions of photos of them(almost), I thought to share them with you, offering them(like with the sunflowers) to those who so desire, to download and paint, paint paint them! Throw the photo’s together and compose a watercolour or pastel, or oil or drawing.  Make marks…they are wonderful to paint and play around with. Look at the water as well…lovely shapes and colour. Great movement.  Here are some close ups as well as general shots.  So. I invite you  to enjoy!

…koi fish for painting…

click on image to print larger version

koi 1 9-21-2009 10-33-09 PMkoi 2 9-21-2009 10-33-35 PM

koi 3 9-21-2009 10-33-44 PMkoi 4 9-21-2009 10-33-46 PM

koi 5 9-21-2009 10-33-47 PMkoi 7 9-21-2009 10-34-03 PM

koi 10 9-21-2009 10-36-35 PMkoi 11 9-21-2009 10-42-12 PM

koi 12 9-21-2009 10-28-26 PMkoi 9 9-21-2009 10-35-00 PM

For more photo’s on the trip see Myfrenchkitchen: travel

To be continued…


Sketching with greens

A post for Sketchercise:

This morning’s walk provided me with greens.I have to admit that I don’t enjoy drawing/painting/rendering leaves. Maybe it is the greens in them I shy away from. I find green a difficult colour to paint in watercolour as well as oil, or any other medium. Beautiful in nautre, difficult to render. Too much green can make me feel quite ill. The wrong greens can look very artificial. Green can easily look flat and lifeless. Like white, green isn’t just ..green. It absorbs and reflects its environment and by looking closer you’ll see browns and reds, yellows and blues…a whole spectrum of colour. And then we get transparent greens and saturated greens, which you can’t paint with only green from a tube or pan. Even oils are difficult and mix differently than watercolour, for one – we have a white which can be added to green in oils, then making it less transparent of course.  Which explains why I rarely paint with green, but prefer mixing a green. And I love to mix it directly it on my paper or canvas to have the colours flow into one another, giving dimension and vibrancy and life, even if the green isn’t the “perfect” green. I sometimes add olive green(Schmincke) and the very different olive green(W&N).

Please do tell how you paint greens?!

…apple branch…

branch with apples

In these three sketches, I have used more or less the same palette:

Cobalt yellow pale(W&N), cobalt yellow deep(W&N), yellow ochre light(Schmincke), lemon yellow(W&N),french ultramarine(Sennelier), cobalt blue(Sennelier), Prussian blue(Sennelier), Cerulean blue(W&N), Paynes gray(W&N), burnt sienna(W&N), raw umber(Sennelier), olive green(Scmincke).

…walnut branch…

branch with walnut

…acorn branch…

branch with acorns

All sketchesdone with  rotring pen and watercolour in watercolour moleskine


Walk and sketch 1

A post for Sketchercise.

With a little bit of time on my hands I put on my heavy hiking boots..urgh.. and took off for a walk. All the flowers on shrubs have made room for berries of all colours. Since I am in the process of noting all the fauna and flora in this area, I dragged along my  sketching palette, which is boringly still the same as you’ll see in this link, except that my sketchbook might be the small moleskine or the normal one…watercolour of course. I like the paper of the watercolour moleskine.

Tokala and Aiyani tailed along, until they realized to their horror that we were going further than normal. That had them plonk down under the apple tree, all the while complaining about my imbecility. On my promise to give them joghurt back home, they sulkily agreed to wait under the apple tree. I kept my promise.

…prunellier and aubepine…

berries 1

…bramble, stinging nettle and dock leaves…

berries 2

All sketches done in rotring pen and watercolour in watercolour moleskine.


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