Saturday, August 29, 2009

Goult, Saignon and Viens

This windmill complete with it's sails was in Goult, another lovely village. We noticed around town there were sculptures made out of trees that had died. They were very interesting. In one of the houses there was a very modern looking window without shutters and in it was this very interesting collection.

Saignon was another village built on a hill of rocks. The buildings were set at different angles making it challenging but also easier to sketch as the prospective was not the same. I added the vine flower at a cafe in the square and decided the page was finished.
Lucky me, I was invited into another lovely home in Viens. The husband saw me sketching and fetched his wife who is an artist. I got the grand tour of their home to see her paintings. I guess I just must have one of those faces! Don't forget to ask for a postal stamp. I think they add so much to the page.
My profile pic was taken of me sketching this broken down wagon turned into plant station. I know my prospective is off some but it was fairly rickety. It was a longer day in Viens so we had a picnic lunch and one small uninvited but interesting guest.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More France Sketches

Lucky us, we got to go to four market days. The array of goodies was amazing. Clothes, spices, honey, flowers, books, jewelry, hats, food. The colors, sights and sounds were something to remember. Much better than a mall!
On this day we went to Rousillion where the village is surrounded by ochre. You can walk through excavation sights for 2 euros. Did you know they heat the ochre to get darker colors for pigments? It is a wonderful village with lots to see and sketch and yes, a little shopping too.
This poor old girl was put out to pasture, literally. One day it was cooler as the mistrals and a storm was approaching so I walk down the road a ways to sit and sketch her. It was challenging but fun. She was actually white but well you know it was Provence and lavender time.
Bits and pieces, that's what I call pages like this one. A balcony, the window from the dining room, a metal shop sign, more door handles. I just fill it up with little things I see.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, August 7, 2009

Provence Sketches

My "ode" to the lavender fields. David took us to the fields where we were able to sit along the lavender and sketch. The rows are very rounded and at harvest time the mowers come and give them a hair cut leaving them with a "green" buzz cut!
I sketched this door in Saint Saturnin on Bastille Day. The door was actually brown but Fran said, "Well, we are in France and it's lavender time." So I painted the door lavender. The metal key is a door knocker that I bought that day at the village's "Clean out your attic day sale", and the metal cricket was on the mantel in my room.
As I sat and sketched this lovely little Citroen, it's owner, Patrice, came by to chat. He gave me his name and address in Paris so I can send him a copy of it. His wife, Katarina, came out and they invited me to see inside their summer house. I would have loved to sketch their little kitchen but alas they were going for a hike.
I can't help myself, I see the details. The little yard sketch was my view from my window. Every morning as I opened my shutters it was breath taking. So peaceful. The door handles around the house were so interesting, I decided to seek out different ones and sketch them. And there's Gloria in her blue chair, sketching in Sault.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time in Provence

I just returned from a fabulous trip to the south of France. We were a group of twelve artist and stayed at Les Bassacs in Provence with David and Liz. Check them out if you are looking for a trip involving art. Great hospitality and the food was fantastic. Very organized.
One day they took us out to the lavender fields to
paint and as lovely as they were I was captivated by a grouping of wild flowers and the way they were twisted and woven together. Of course a perfect place to use the all ready prepped grid page.
Saint Saturnin des Apt is the closest village to Les Bassacs. David goes into the village every morning to get our daily supply of fresh breads. This windmill complete with sails sits above the village. The closed window shutters are from the main house at Les Bassacs.
We spent one very warm day in Sault complete with picnic lunch. The village overlooks the splendid lavender and wheat fields. They were a beautiful patchwork of golds and purples. I first drew the hollyhocks and did my interpretation of the hills. We all liked the composition and white hollyhocks so I decided to leave them without color. Lots more to come.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" Sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor