Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 France #11

5"x 5"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #11
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/23

We were in search for a restaurant for dinner in the little village of Montsoreau and walked by this wonderful bell.  I knew it would make a great painting.    

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 France #10

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #10
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/23

Back to Chartres, just a view from walking around.


On day 10 we checked out of the farmhouse and went for one last lunch at one of our favorites, L'Etape Gourmande.  After lunch it was off to Paris, return the car and spend the night near the airport.  I hope you enjoyed my trip through the Loire Valley of France.  My plan is to back up and paint some more scenes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 France #9

SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #9
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/22

I went with an interior.  A simple window from inside
Chateau du Breze.



Today we are off to Chateau du Breze with its interesting underground tunnels and a pretty cool moat.






















Lots of walking!  Next we are off to see a Dolmen  ~ Dolmen de Bagneux.  This was a must see on Linda's list.  It is sitting in someones back yard but they charged to see it!  We were the only people there.  Inside was creepy, none of us went past the opening.  This enormous Megalithic sandstone chamber tomb is estimated to be about 5000 years old. Yes, I said 5000 years old and we touched the stones! The stones are huge and I cannot imagine them being put together without modern machinery. It is worth clicking on the name and reading about it.  I don't know how Linda finds these things!



We had a second meal at La Dentelliere ~ a creperie with the BEST crepes ever.  Unlike anything the States has to offer.  Back to the house to start packing up!  This was our last touring day.














Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 France #8

SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #8
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/21

From our walk around Chinon.

Day 8
We hung out at the house till lunch.  Then drove to 
LeSaut aux Loups  where they grow mushrooms in the caves and have tours.  We skipped the tour and just went for lunch.  Service was super slow.  They ignored us.  That said the food was very good.  Excellent mushroom soup!  But we would not recommend it.  Now we're off to Chinon.  We have a new tour guide Susan who really knows her history.  We started at the castle and then walked the oldest part of Chinon.

Linda sat on the mounting block that Joan of Arc used!












Meanwhile at home, we had a weekend off.  I was on the wait list for Nashville, TN but was glad not to be called with all the heat. We went with friends to the Allen Theater to see Paris Can Wait.  A rather thin plot but great scenery and food.  We followed the movie with dinner at Hidden Still Spirits and were pleased with the food.  A little gem in Lebanon.   Today my brother came for a visit while Linda and her posse of girlfriends went out to lunch to discuss a 2018 group trip and celebrate Beth (my sister-in-law) birthday.  A good time all around.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 France #7


SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #7
$125. unframed   (value framed: $275.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/17

Saying good bye to the chateau where we spent 5 nights.  The photo I worked from made the shutters look a bit more blue and I got a little carried away before I realized they were actually white.  But it looks great with the fantastic pink roses.  Only you and I know the color is incorrect, so much for being a realist!!

The other thing I need to say is these photos are not doing the paintings justice.  The paintings are even better in person.  I am saying that because I would like to upgrade my iphone with better pixels but Linda is making me wait!!  But I think I could do a better job with a new phone...


Day 7
Time to check out of our little chateau and move on.  We decided on a quick stop to Chateaude Villandry just to see the gardens.  Linda was having a little knee issues and it was so hot so we parked ourselves under a rose arbor with benches and the sweetest smelling beautiful roses.













Off to lunch at L'Etape Gourmande where we had a fantastic farm to table lunch.  It made us a little late for our reservations at the le Carde noir in Samur.   We ran in!  These horses literally danced.  It was worth running.  Now its time to check into our next VRBO.  This time we are staying at a vineyard, 
Ch√Ęteaudu Petit Thouars.  While the main building is a chateau we were no where close, we stayed in the farmhouse built in the 1920s.  Not nearly as impressive but nice.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 France #6

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #6   $250.
Went off the normal grid today and tried my hand at a gargoyle...

Day #6
We have a long day planned today.  We meet our guide Cecile (who we had a few days ago) in the city of Tours.  We started in the Cathedral which is in a flamboyant Gothic style and had beautiful stained glass windows.  We were able to tour a special part that brought us right next to gargoyles!  We have never seen them up close, usually its ground level looking up.  I am talking reach out and touch them close!   
Linda was thrilled about this.














We then had a walking tour of Tours and stopped to see a lute maker, Didier Jarny.  A treat our guide set up for us.  He is one of 7 in Europe and trained 3 of them.  He happily showed us his workshop.  Almost made me want to order a lute!

Next we did a little shopping.  I lost my cap along the way so the girls talked me into buying a new one at a hat shop.













We then stopped for a bottle of wine, went to market and picked up foods for a picnic and met Clement our boat guide.  He built this boat, spoke little English and was SO French! We had a wonderful ride on the Loire River with a special picnic.  Kathy is in the corner trying to figure out how we are getting on board!














Our day is not done...we are now off to Amboise.  Took a guided tour of the Chateau and then did a special subterranean tour.  We paid our respects to the final resting place of Leonardo and by now we are very tired.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 France #5


SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #5   $225.
A window from the village of Lavardin.


Day #5
We started the day in the little village Lavardin.  Classified as "a most beautiful village".  Linda has a of list of them and we always try to add a few to our sightseeing!  We came here mostly to see  the roman style Church of Saint Geneste.  The church dates to the 1000's and the frescos done between 1100 and 1600's!  Can you imagine the age!!  We were the only ones there.




















We then went into the city of Blois.  We met our tour guide Fabrice who took us on a walking tour around the city.  He was an excellent knowledgeable tour guide. We asked especially to see Church Saint Nicolas and it was off the beaten path but worth the walk.  Look at the light coming in the windows!




















Show update:
We were in Saratoga Springs, NY over the weekend.  Well it grew a lot from what we remembered 20 years ago.  We connected with a few past clients but overall I would say the show was more of a "happening" than big sales. although the work was all very good.  Seemed like every other person in my booth "paints"!  I may try it one more time just to see if I can grow it.  We camped...  the campground was awful.   The bathhouse was super filthy, and Linda refused to go in.   Do NOT use Lees Park under any circumstance!  We need to find a better campground in the area!  We got home around 5pm to unpacking and laundry.  So no Monday blog.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 France #4

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #4   $275.


I went with an interior today just to shake things up!
This is from Chateau de Cheverny.




Day 4
This is a two castle day but it did not start out smoothly.  We were on a toll road and put in our ticket
and the toll came up 62 euro!  This should be a 5 euro drive.  No people around and the gate will not go up unless you put in the required amount.  There was nothing we could do but pay!
We arrive at Chateau de Cheverny in time for the feeding of the dogs.


100 tricolor anglo-french hounds.  (a cross of English Fox Hound and French Poitevins)  Now that was a sight to see.   This chateau was spared from destruction during the Revolution because the owners were well liked so it is beautifully decorated and had a lived in feeling.   Probably our favorite.
Next was Chateau de Chambord














This was HUGE!  And it was packed, took an hour in line to get our tickets.  We rented ipads as a guide and they were a little hard to use.  The showstopper here was the staircase and I did not take photos.   Another long day of walking.

This is my last blog until Tuesday.  Off to Saratoga Springs, NY


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 France #3

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #3   $250.


This is from my walk in Montresor.
You just want to follow the steps up...




Day 3
Our first castle... Chateau de Chenonceau, the one build over the water.  It looks small behind our heads but we are very far away!













According to Linda and Kathy the most memorable thing was the flower arrangements in each room, which i did not take many photos of but the girls were ooh and ahhing!  They were unique and we heard the arranger was from the US but I cannot confirm that!   Also memorable was the copper cookware collection in the kitchen.










We left the castle and went to a Saint Aignon.  Our guide Cecile (who we are using on another
day) was born here and she wanted to show us real life in a French town.  We started with lunch in a local place and she chatted about her life in St. Aignon.  She was a great guide, in her 30's and a music major with a beautiful voice.












Here we are in Saint Aignon.  Roses were in full bloom everywhere we went.  I was looking forward to the hollyhocks but we were a little too early.  The roses made up for it!

Our next stop is Montresor, listed as one of the most beautiful villages.  We were all pretty tired so this was a quick stop then back to our little castle and off to bed.





Weekend

I am posting twice because I did not want to
mix my travel posts with my next show.

This Weekend...hello Saratoga Springs, NY
It has been years but I am back.  Tell all
your friends to come out and say hello!  
Booth #23

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017 France #2

SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #2
$250.


Walking around in Chartres historical area I found lots of wonderful doors.  Loved the color against the old limestone walls.

Day 2
The French really do not do breakfast like we are used to however our B&B put together a wonderful spread for us.  Everything was fresh!  Homemade yogurt with homemade granola!  A smoothie, fresh OJ, bread and croissants baked that morning with homemade jellies all brought up to our room.  I highly recommend Maison Alleurs if you find yourself in Chartres.  Went to the Musee du Vitrail (glass museum) then back to the cathedral just to take it in one more time. Back on the road for a 2 hour drive with a stop for groceries.  You have not lived until you shop not being able to read what you are buying!  It may look somewhat like what you are used to seeing but who knows!  We are now checking into our VRBO home base for 5 nights.  Chateau De La Noue outside the village of Villedomer.  We are staying in a real Chateau!  



















Linda just taking it all in at the Cathedral, the beautiful windows did not photo well but you get an idea of size.
















Our home!  We rented the wing straight ahead and our host lives in the part on the right. Dating back to the 16th century and in our host, Christine's family for 200 years.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 France #1


SOLD!
5"x 5"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #1
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
offer good till 7pm 6/7

This is the front door to our wonderful B&B.

We are back from 10 great days in France.  Linda found these $395 round trip direct flights on British Airways Open Skies.  It included 1 checked bag, 1 overhead bag, meals, movies, a pillow and blanket!  I was told it's a deal we could not turn down and talked our friends the Woodruffs into going along.  My plan is to paint something from each day and give you our itinerary and links,
in case you want more info!  Then at the end of the trip I will backtrack and keep painting!
 

Day 1
We landed in Orley and rented a car.  Our first stop was Chartres.  We checked into Maison Ailleurs B&B.  A splurge for us but it was beautiful and within walking distance of everything we wanted to see.   Then off to the Chartres cathedral - built in the 12th century!! Known for their blue stained glass windows. We had a Cathedral and Crypt tour.  Next was a ride on the La Petit Train for an overview of the historic district followed by a very good dinner at Cafe Blue.  A long and busy 1st day.




Our huge bedroom, I am writing in my journal.






















This gives you an idea of scale.  I am in the courtyard of our B&B looking up to the 2nd floor windows.  Linda, Bruce and Kathy are looking down on me.  





















This does not even begin to show the windows... they did not photo well but I wanted an impression just for my own records. Imagine being surrounded by this beautiful glass.  All removed and saved during the wars.

News:
I was included in the Top 45 Traditional Artists list!  I do not apply to these lists, somehow i get chosen and it just shows up in my emails.  I am thankful!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday


25x29  Pink Beauty  $2500.

The track Banquet is over and that wraps up the season.  I took two days to do a little work on our popup camper so its ready to roll in June.

Remember I said I printed my blog into books with BlookUp, well they did a little interview and its on their site.  Click here to read it.  I recommend them to anyone who wants to print their blog or facebook pages.
Here are other links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BURqXc_jDp2/
They were great to work with.




Monday, May 15, 2017

Update

I will start with the most important news!  Warwick M.S. Track...Both our boys and girls were undefeated this year 7-0!  And to top off the season both boys and girls took 1st at the Lancaster Lebanon track meet with 26 teams!  I have been thinking back over my coaching career and I started
at Warwick in 1996 as a volunteer for a club team.  Then in 1998 the school made it part of the sports program and I volunteered two more seasons.  Then in 2001 I became a paid coach. My Head Coach Brett Miller has been a friend and a leader for my 21 years.  We share the same coaching philosophy and love of the kids.  Here we are at the end of our League Meet, notice the big smiles!
Shout out to a job well done!


Now a show update...
Williamsburg was HOT! 91 and Linda hated the heat!  The good thing was she was able to meet with her brother Jimmy who lives there.  We had a great dinner together.


The next show was local in Womelsdorf, and it was drizzly and cold.  There we sat all bundled up.
So when last weekend popped up with rain all Saturday I made the big decision not to attend the show in Hershey.  We both just could not face a day outside.  I almost never bag a show but there are limits...  
BlookUp interviewed me and will post something on Friday 5/19 all because I turned my blog into books!

Personal update...
Had a dentist appointment today.  Tomorrow Linda gets knee shots.  Thursday is our track banquet. As you can see I am not getting much painting accomplished!  And then for the exciting part, we leave at the end of the week for 10 days in France, concentrating on the Loire Valley.  Linda found this great $399 round trip on British Airways, who can turn that down!  Spending the time with friends makes it all the sweeter.  I will be painting France when I return so get ready.   I may post some photos of France on my Facebook page (Andy Smith Artist).  I promise I will come back refreshed and ready to wow you with new work!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

check in...

Ok, so I need to say I am absorbed in track. It is hard to get much else accomplished! You should know by now that I coach Warwick M.S. track as a sprint coach.  The season is at the finish line.  We finished all the dual meets and we are 7-0 both boys and girls.  WooHoo!!  A great season.  Next week is the big invitational...   My job is to give them skills, vision, and encouragement. The kids do all the hard work.  I am so very proud of the team!

As for painting, not much happening!  I have one I have been playing with for a few days.  I did get the van packed today since it is to rain tomorrow. Set up was also scheduled tomorrow so I will need to wait and see what the weather brings.


The Show:

Artisans in the Park
Saturday, May 6 from 9 to 4
Held at Conrad Weiser Homestead
28 Weiser Lane (off Rt 422) Womelsdorf PA
free admission ~ rain or shine

Thursday, April 27, 2017

update

Linda and her friend Bonnie spent the day at Chanticleer
Gardens.  
That left me on my own!  Don't worry, I had a list!!
I had to switch my show display from indoor to outdoor.
Time to dig out the tent.  I am outside starting this weekend.
Also packed the van and then its off to another track meet.

I am spending my weekend in Williamsburg VA.  One of my
most favorite places for inspiration.  I have time to look
around on Saturday, have dinner at the Blue Talon Bistro
(a favorite of our) with Linda's brother, then show on Sunday
and then hurry home Monday in time for... track practice!

If you are anywhere close to Williamsburg, come say hello.
Art on the Square
Sunday, April 30 from 10-5
Held at Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg
Space #156

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Update

It's been a busy week and I have not had time to paint my
Painting A Day. Monday I unpacked from the weekend
show, painted and had track practice. Tuesday I painted,
ran errands, got a hair cut and organized myself for two
track meets this week. Only to have one postponed to today
due to rain. Today we gave a talk to the Lancaster Lions Club
and I got home in time to get to the track bus!

I finished this large painting that I have been working on. 

























"Shaker"   18x24"  $1850


The inspiration for this actually came from a recent
trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
They had a Shaker display.

Track Update...
Both boys and girls are 5 and 0 for dual meets!
Great team, I am super proud.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Italy #1


SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
Italy #1
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email

I have had this saved to paint for a while.
It is from Montepulciano, Italy
A bit more impressionistic if you look closely.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Landscape #7

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Landscape #7
$225

A little farm scene from Gloucester, VA.

Track update:  Yesterday we ran McCaskey and
both our boys and girls took 1st! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 Still Life #11

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Still Life #11
$225.

Keeping it simple today, a pear on the counter.

Painting, errands and a track meet is my day.
Linda is gardening and working at her desk, she
also has this need to clean out the garage and
the shed...  I am hoping to be too busy to help!!

Linda ordered books made of each year of my
blogging.  They are so cool!  She said they were
pretty easy to order, she used blookup
They do blogs and facebook.  I have a coupon for
anyone interested!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday

SOLD!
Second Floor  20x22 Original watercolor
This turned out fabulous and I had a great time painting it.
You can tell you are looking out a second floor window.
Check out the view!  Great perspective.  It started with a hand
drawing and many washes of paint to build the depth.
I think maybe I should have kept this and printed it...

Track update, it is important that I share with you!
We had a big meet on Saturday at ELCO with 16 teams.
Our girls took 1st  and our boys 3rd!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

2017 Landscape #6

5"x 5"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Landscape #6
$225.

A bit different for me.  A little looser and it
did not photograph as good as it really looks.

Linda is busy in the studio working on bookmarks
and cards.  I was painting all day.   Meanwhile its
one of those weeks; car and van both at the garage
and we had the furnace cleaned and was told to
expect to need a new one within a year...  Now
that's a lot of paintings I need to sell!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

2017 Landscape #5

SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Landscape #5
$135. unframed   (value framed: $275.)
Available to the 1st person to email

This is all about the sunshine and shadows!

Today I had a 9th grade girl shadow for the morning.
Linda gave her an hour of business and framing and
then I had her sit in on my class and then ask 
questions.

Track update: Both boys and girls won yesterday!
Great start to our season.

Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 Still Life #10

5"x 5"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Still Life #10
$300.

This is a study painting for a large painting.
I wanted to get the feel of it.  Great worn look.

Because of my coaching track it is hard to find shows
that are close so we get a little time off!  Always nice
to have a weekend home. Attended a little get together
with friends on Friday night.   I managed to get a little
bike riding in.  Plus a little yard  work with Linda.
We watched "Fences" and  "Manchester by the Sea"
Two very emotional movies.
And I finished a large painting that was started
several weeks ago.  I will show you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Still Life #9

SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Still Life #9
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email

Linda loves watering cans and has me paint one
whenever we see one.  This was just setting inside
a doorway.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 Still Life #8




SOLD!
4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
Still Life #8
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email

Another simple bowl of fruit.
I get asked all the time if I run out of ideas and things to
paint....NO!  I am always looking.  Noticing my surroundings.
This little still life is from our friends house.  Just setting
on the counter...