Wednesday, April 13, 2011

de mieux en mieux

Oh, France! These last few weeks have been some of the most inspiring and eye-opening of my life. The countryside here is amazing, and it's a huge challenge to do it justice. I'm not nearly there yet, but I'm hoping that all the painting practice will get me a little closer. The beginnings of my sketchbook have mostly been experiments - with this one I tried out painting with coffee and cocoa powder for the foreground. I drew it near the top of Lacoste, where there's a little path up to the Chateau de Sade, and met a number of fascinating people while working (namely the Irish gardener and a world-traveling French Canadian who regaled me with stories of biking through Romania).

The first Friday in Lacoste, Eleanor (the student coordinator) told us we could hike to the neighboring village of Bonnieux, a forty minute walk of about 3-4 km. It took me, Lauren, Lane, and Rachel over an hour and a lot of wrong turns down in the maze of vinyards that makes up the valley before we made it. Later I went for a run following the main roads, looping around Bonnieux. I had a delicious orange afterwards :)

This one was a later hike to Bonnieux; we went to the top of the hill and looked down on the church below. I liked the delicate trees that blocked the view a bit.

And then...


Even though we hit up a lot of famous monuments and museums, the most magical place by far was this tiny, overflowing English-language bookstore. It was almost indescribable. Crammed with books, full of people from all over the world, creaking with age and babbling with talk and music... If there's one place to make a pilgrimage to in Paris, this is it.

Lots more sketches to come, this is only a bit of what I've done so far! I'm learning so much from watching Lane and Lauren beast it with colors and sketches, and of course Rachel with her amazing draftsmanship, and I get up every day excited to do something new with art or go have an adventure.

Tous les jours, nous devenons de mieux en mieux :)

1 comment:

  1. JEEBUS you make me so jealous, lady. But in a good way. Your rendering of Shakespeare & Co. is spot-on and utterly beautiful. I left a note upstairs there when I was traveling in 2007 -- don't know if it's still in existence. I'm working in watercolor for a big project right now and it's so inspiring to see the way you handle it in all these sketches. I'm so new to color it makes me cringe some days. Lots to learn, but so pretty! :D

    Wishing I was on a fabulous art pilgrimage to foreign climes with you...Enjoy it for the rest of us!