Sunday, June 16, 2024

Experimenting - need to push more?

I am continuing my exploration of the Beara landscape through accordion sketchbooks in watercolour, colour pencil and Neocolors. Working from photos I took the last time I was on the peninsula. I'm thinking I need to push the mixed media element more. But at the same time, these make me happy. Maybe I don't need to add layers and layers of ink and gouache?




Here are some more of the colour swatches I did before painting. (See earlier post for more)



And a few shots of how they look as an accordion sketchbook. (I can never take a good photo or video of these, as skill I need to work on!)





Saturday, June 15, 2024

Dorset Street

More sketching. Just my favourite Sailor Fude pen and Platinum Carbon ink in a Stillman&Birn sketchbook. The theme for this location was the bridal shop across the way. It seems I was more interested in sketching the sketchers, and the window, and the tree and the traffic lights. Yes, I did sketch the shop too. In my own way. Bit by bit, I am accepting my way of sketching, my way of seeing the world, my way of being. I really want to go back to that Insomnia café on the corner of Dorset Street. Great big windows with multiple views, nice service too.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Beara from photos

Using the colours from my swatches to sketch the view of the bay as you come towards Allihies. First pass, using watercolour.


Thursday, June 13, 2024

Nuanciers du jour

Figuring out my colour mixes for some sketching from photos I took in Beara.  Inspired by Marion Rivolier's habit of colour swatching while looking out the window.



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sketching in the Olivier Cornet Gallery

Back in Dublin on the Friday evening. Back sketching with the tribe on the Sunday. I seem to be able to settle quicker than I used to after travel. Or maybe I'm less demanding of myself! Or I'm travelling so much that I keep my basic travel supplies always at the ready?

Olivier from the Olivier Cornet Gallery kindly invited us to sketch at the gallery. It was very interesting to look at the pieces on display at the current exhibition, but also in other parts of the building. I sketched in the entrance hall, with its intriguing straw hat on a cement mold! And then I went to the kitchen, where it looks like every tennant has their own washing-up liquid! And yes, I forgot to draw the sink. Well, actually, I didn't notice the sink at all. I was just interested in the juxtaposition of elements inside and outside the window.




Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Sketching in Brussels

I was in Brussels for two nights after my trip to Nanges, visiting my Mum who was in hospital after one of many falls. She's back in the nursing home now, but it's a slow painful decline. Alzheimer's is no joke. She was in good form when I spent time with her though, which was lovely. But I had no energy for anything else. No wonder I can't tackle "proper" painting at the moment. So, I just have to manage my own energy and keep connected to my art in any way I can find, without putting pressure on myself. In order to do that, I didn't meet with family and friends on this trip. I just stayed in my hotel room, ate healthy foods from nearby shops, drank a vitamin drink and painted the view from my window. All direct watercolour. No pencil drawing. And the only brush I had with me was a little square brush I got in Pigment Tokyo. So, not ideal for painting detail, but I had fun with it. And on the last morning before going to the airport, I just had time for a colour study (nuancier du jour, in Marion Rivolier terminology). 

 





Monday, June 10, 2024

A few people I hung out with

Still in Nantes (in my head anyway). Here are some of the lovely people I hung out with, even if briefly.

Maya, Souvik, Ben (and Brendan). Maya and myself spent a good bit of time sketching together on this trip. I love her company. She's passionate about sketching. And a very interesting person. Conversations with her are never dull! And we did manage to synchronise our schedules with Ben and Souvik eventually!


Sylvie from Montreal! I can't believe we bumped into each other at the last throwdown! We met for the first time in Porto, and both sketched in Amsterdam! I love the world of Urban Sketchers!


Patricia!! I was standing in the crowd for the group photo and someone behind me said "Are you Marie-Hélène?" It was Patricia from Drawing Attention!!! We had never met in person. We were in one Zoom call together when I used to work in the Social Media team and I was coordinating the delivery of pictures so we could promote the Urban Sketchers magazine, Drawing Attention. And she recognised me in a crowd! She lives in Washington DC!


Chantal from Nouméa. She made it. Herself and 3 other sketchers from New Caledonia made it to Nantes before the Nouméa airport was closed due to the riots. (2 others didn't manage to travel). I really was so thrilled to see her. We had met for the first time in Auckland last year!


Brendan of course! He's always there for me. Making sure I eat and don't wear myself out. Finding interesting spots for me to sketch. And taking pictures of sketchers along the way! Where would I be without him? He's the love of my life.


Caroline and her husband, Patrick, part of the Dublin gang. She is passionate about sketching.


Valerie and her husband, Maurice. Always in good form and positive about everything.


Christophe (and Brendan). Such a kind and considerate human being. Love hanging out with him!


Maya, Christophe and Olly, after a lovely dinner in Tapas y Vinos


Annah - such a warm-hearted person. It was lovely to catch up with her.


Peter, Maya, Allan and Pat. I didn't see Pat as much as I would have liked on this trip. We always seemed to be working on a different schedule. He's one of these people I feel privileged to have in my life.


Louise. She always brings a bit of glamour to a sketching event! And she has a talent for herding sketchers!

I don't have any picture of Barbara. But I did sketch her, so that will have to do! We are very much in synch when it comes to sketching. We don't fit in with the crowd. We just want to sketch sketch sketch. Our paths always seem to cross. Will probably see her again at the next French Urban Sketchers event!





Sunday, June 09, 2024

Photos on location, Nantes

And now in reverse order, because it's too painful to reorder the photos in Blogger. Here are the Urban Sketchers shots. I didn't remember to take photos for every sketch.

















Saturday, June 08, 2024

Sketching in Nantes

OK, I'm not going to write lots here. I have written on the pages, so if you want to find out more, you will have to learn how to read my handwriting. Each sketch is a memory for me. The skyline of the city for instance, I associate with a cat who approached most sketchers who stopped at the location. I can feel the sun on my skin, or the rain. I remember who was there, my sense of excitement, who I talked to, if I was thirsty or hungry. Sketching is a record of a place of course, but I am at long last accepting the fact that my sketches are for me, and for nobody else. It doesn't matter to me if they read or if they show they important buildings. They tell my story. At the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, it was two chimneys that caught my eye. They were identical. So I only needed to draw one. And it's not an exact reproduction. It's all I need to be reminded of that morning. Hundreds other sketchers drew the full castle from every possible angle. I don't need to tell their story. Only my story. I loved Nantes. It was an exciting trip that almost didn't happen. All the more special.

Thursday 


Friday







Saturday











Sunday









Monday




Tuesday (Here I moved to a Koval watercolour sketchbook, as I had reached the last page in my Stillman&Birn Beta sketchbook)