Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday Check-in

St. Peters Art Show ~ This Saturday!
Held in historic Lewes, DE
Saturday, July 1 from 9am to 3pm
My booth is on Mulberry St.  #28
FREE ~  rain or shine or heat!

So here is my day:
6:30am prayer group met, then get gas, go for a haircut, home, wash van, pack van, run to the post office, cut a case of glass, cut two mats, take Linda to Target, bike ride at 6:30pm!  So you can see this left no time to paint!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 France #14

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A 
Painting A Day
France #14
$125. unframed   (value framed: $250.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/30

Another gem from the village of Montsoreau.  I just love this shade of French blue.

I was contacted by a German company Hahnemuhle to try their watercolor paper and give them a review.  They sent me a block of 280lb and this is my first attempt.  I think it would do better with wet on wet painters, for my style it accepted the paints differently and made it harder to get the deeper values I like.  Still turned out well, I just had to work a little harder.  They make a broad range of papers and Dick Blick carries some but not watercolor paper.  I will need to write a review for them shortly and will post it on my blog.  It was fun trying something new and being more in tune to what was happening while I painted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 France #13

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #13
$100. unframed   (value framed: $225.)
Available to the 1st person to email
Offer good till 6/29

I had mentioned in an earlier post that the kitchen in Chateau de Chenonceau was well stocked.  I found this wonderful old glass on a top cabinet.

I barely finished this painting today.  I took a bike ride, showered and started painting.  Then Linda asked me to go along to get groceries and run a few errands.  Came back and painted a bit more.  I then had an annual eye exam; all is well.  Home and back to my painting.  And I have just been informed I have two mats to cut for tomorrow!

Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 France #12

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #12   $250.

 A quiet still life from 
Chateau de Chenonceau

This Saturday I will be in Lewes, DE!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 France #11

5"x 5"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #11   $250.

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    $250.

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

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

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

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

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.


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

4"x 6"  Original Watercolor - A Painting A Day
France #2

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

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.

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!