Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Showers!!!??? - Keiko's week

Keikos view of Bandouille

I know I know….before you all think it…It has been a long time but that’s because we have been so busy.  We were away for a couple of weeks at the very beginning of the month to recharge our batteries before our workshop with Keiko started.
Keikos Bandouille pond!

We had a fantastic week with Keiko….We had four lovely guests plus me when I could avoid kitchen duty…..and we were all blown away by Keiko’s speed and beauty in her paintings.  She produced 2 demonstrations per day which we later tried to follow and had for each roughly half a day to complete each piece.  What we learnt mainly from Keiko was her philosophy of tonal values and how they were paramount in her work and colour came as a secondary consideratoin.  This then allowed her to make her own colour choices to suit the painting.  She also taught us how not to be chained to what we saw in a photograph and be creative and see beauty even in ordinary things such as cars, traffic lights, signs etc.  Very inspiring. In this painting in Parthenay she has immortalized two of our guests.  Photos of our week can be seen on facebook  - click here 
David and Dorothea in Parthenay

Here is a link to more of her work so you can see for yourselves. She did indicate that she would love to come back again next year, so watch this space and a waiting list will be drawn up until a confirmed date is set.
Around the studio stove!

Fortunately Drew had the foresight to see that our art week was probably going to be a bit chilly and we have fitted an amazing woodburning stove (that we just happened to have lying around)  in the studio which will now provide me with more opportunities to use the space in the winter and therefore will also open the possibilities of running workshops out of season too.  If anyone is interested please let me know.
Just before this wet weather hit Drew went shopping and was able to play for a couple of days on his fantastic new toy.  What a handsome beast it is (for now) and has a grass collector on the back too.  So gone are the days where I have to rake up the cuttings and take them away.  hoorah!  Now Drew is just waiting for it to be dry enough to go back out there…before the garden turns into a jungle…which of course will be demain!
Well…..April showers! At least that was true to form but what a contrast to last April where it was hot and sunny throughout. 

With these downpours come incredible skies and here are some that I managed to catch just in time.
Bandouille Monastery courtyard
Check out the video below -  boy did it come down.
Stormy skies!

The sky has been amazing for days now with the glow from the rape fields and the contrasting shadows.  So of course I had to try and paint this too!

Gardening is going to start a bit late for me this year and my veggie patch now has zillions of weeds growing on it but I am loathe to dig it over as these are mainly poppies….so his potatoes are going to have to wait!  As

I do have a couple of raspberry bushes, a gooseberry bush and lots of courgettes, melons and tomatoes to go in.  So am excited about that, amongst two packs of wild flowers seeds, nasturtiums and lots of other seeds that I collected from last year.  

Great catch guys!- Bandouille April 2012
We have already had a couple of groups here this month and what a result they all have had.  The first group caught over 20 unique fish between two of them and the second over 35 between 5 of them and they were all biguns.  We look forward to receiving more fishermen during the year to see who will hold the lake record for 2012 so keep an eye on our Facebook Page or if you would like to book the lake then please contact us through on the contact page.

Cafe des Art - Thouars
In true Bandouille tradition…the ducks have been laying but in very random places.  So we have had to rescue the eggs and now one of our very broody chickens who was sitting on 13 unfertilised eggs (we have no cockerel) is sitting on 5 duck eggs that are due to hatch around the 5th May…so that is always fun to watch.  Will keep you posted!

I have an art holiday week coming up this weekend so will be busy all next week and will post the results of that at a future date.

That’s pretty much it for now.  Will try and be more regular in future and do little and often, rather than these lengthy posts .

A bientot!!!