Tag Archives: keeping sketch books

The Importance of Keeping Sketch Books – 2

Carrying a sketch book at all times is a good idea, however this time of year is perfect to put a small sketch book, palette, brush and pen into your bag.    Then find a place in nature where you can doodle and enjoy….oh and don’t forget something to eat and drink…

Sketch books come in all sizes….and although I like to carry a pocket sized book for quick notes, every now and then I will use a bigger tablet, which was the case with this sketch book I used in France during the summer of 2012.

The first two rapid watercolours appealed because of the reflections of the boat and overhanging trees…plus it was such a peaceful place to sit on the banks of the Sein.



This sketch was painted on July 4th 2012….I was with artists, Mariethe Salort, and Bonnie Halsey Dutton….We had just enjoyed a lovely champagne lunch provided by dear Yves….our taxi driver:)

Courriers sur Sein  – watercolour and gouache 


We spent another blissful day in the beautiful village of Gerberoy.   I remember that the Tour de France was close by that day, and every time we passed riders, we yelled ‘Viva La France’ from the car…

This sketch was from the church which sat high up over the village of Gerberoy,  overlooking the beautiful French countryside.


Mariethe Salort managed to arrange for us to paint in Monet’s Garden at Giverney after all the tourists had gone.     It was a wonderful experience to sit in the gardens with no one else around.

Sitting in Monet’s Garden, all alone. 


A bridge over the lily pond at Monet’s Garden, Giverney. 



Remember to click on images to see a larger version.


You might even see some Magical Hummingbirds.




A Bientôt



Art in the Algarve – Olhao fish, fruit and vegetable market

By Saturday morning when we visited the Olhao fish, fruit and vegetable markets which are only a few minutes walk from the School, we had established a comfortable rhythm of work and play.  We woke to clouds, but as soon as the sun burned through at around 11.30 a.m. everything warmed up.

There are two permanent markets in Olhao side by side, one for fish and the other for fruit, vegetables, meats and baked goods.    On Saturdays  the market expands dramatically.   Set out on the marine walkway, it is vibrant, colourful and once again a feast for the eyes.


Given that the market is full of bustling crowds, we decided that we would split up and then re group at 1 p.m. at David’s Bar, which is just across the road from the market.

When we arrived, still under misty conditions….the water had a tranquil quality to it….


Amongst the fruit, vegetables, seeds, and many other goodies were so many beautiful flowers….and to my delight, Calla Lilies everywhere.    I have used Calla Lilies as symbolic imagery in my work for years.   I might add that they were 1.50 euro per bunch….at home these would probably cost 1.50 each!


I loved the contrast of land harvests with sea harvests.   Here I spied one of our group sketching. Image

We had prepared  pages of our sketch books with colour grounds so that we could experiment a little.    One of the group did this quick sketch using pen and wash over a colour ground, capturing the vitality of a moment in time.


In this instance the sketch was made on white paper….using pen and a little wash.


Along with the colour of produce….


There were two groups of musicians and dancers….which added more vibrancy and joy to the occasion.   By the time I took the pictures of the men, the sun was shining brightly, and there was a festive feeling about the place.



As I meandered through, I would come across members of the group, sketching away…..


At 1 p.m., with the sun shining brightly we all met at David’s bar where we enjoyed yet another delicious lunch.

Then back to the School, where we continued to paint using some of the lovely flowers bought at the Market for warming up.



Later that day, we visited David’s home where we saw lots of interesting art work and enjoyed the views from his roof, and then onto another delightful meal….

Next week I will write about our day trip to the island of Culatra.

For now I wish everyone a beautiful weekend….



A Bientôt