Monday, August 13, 2018

Different Pastures


No we havent moved yet.  

Nor is Bandouille properly on the market. Yet....Not until we can found someone who is actually capable of marketing and selling our beautiful home.  Finding an estate agent here that is worthy of their commission is proving extremely hard.  I say no more.

As most are aware we are currently not running art holidays as we wish to sell.  And I am relieved that this year we did not do them.  What with the atrocious start to the year with the rain and constant storms till the beginning of June and since then the incredible heatwave.  France has also been hit with air and rail strikes which has hindered tourism.  And indeed would have left us with alot of frustrated people, not to mention how awful we would have felt to.

So what to do?  Gardening is out...pretty much since having both my hips replaced, but mainly due to the fact the gardens gone mad and its too hot. Cooking exotic meals is not really practical for one....I am sewing and crafting and sketching, but need to be fulfilled.  I miss my guests terribly......

A couple of months ago my son Toby and his girlfriend Angelina surprised us with a visit from New Zealand.  Toby also arrived with his drone and has made a stunning film of Bandouille both inside and out.  So I spent some quality time with all three of my children in Brighon and then here at Bandouille and also in La Rochelle.  . It was the first time I had visited La Rochelle properly as a tourist and we had alot of fun cycling around the town, which was so easy as it was so flat and we also spent a couple of days exploring Ile de Re. Not enough time though and I will be going back there again soon, with sketchbook in hand.  It amazed me how close to the airport it was and how huge and wonderful the bridge was.  The beaches are gorgeous and the small white towns a joy to wonder through.
Gare de La Rochelle
Since then I have spent alot of quiet days sketching from the myriad of pictures that I had taken.

Faye L'abbesse
But truth is I am also re evaluating me...and what I want to do in the future.  I know now that I still want to teach and paint and to create and to be with people.

Then the blood moon eclipse happened and was aware that big changes could be taking place, not only for me but for everyone.  That day I received an email  asking if I knew anyone that could fill the place of an artist/tutor that had fallen ill and could not attend a venue near Bordeaux at short notice...Instantly I knew that it should be me to fill that slot.  I'd not really thought of "being the tutor" outside of Bandouille before.  But it made so much sense and I jumped at the opportunity.  I love coincidences and they certainly didnt stop there.

Chez Castillon
So I wrote back and offered myself et voila.....I'm off to the gorgeous Chez Castillon in a couple of weeks, to join my hosts Janie and Mickey Wilson and  a house full of authors which looks like lots of fun.  

Janie herself has just launched her latest book and its rapidly becoming a bestseller.  I have just myself bought it and am hooked as it touches on my life in many more ways than just one.  You can find it here.

I found a photo of their gorgeous venue and decided to get to know the place by sketching it on brown paper with gouache.   Being  in a "townscape" is going to be new to me in France and fits in perfectly with my recent new pastime of urban sketching.

I've not in the years of being here spent enough time travelling around France and now I am going to take the opportunity

Since then I have been revisiting my lesson plans and gathering my tools together and have also been making some sketchbooks and a brush roll too.  Such fun and I hope to share those ideas with my students too. 

Brush roll

The sketchbooks are made with watercolour paper and are made in accordian style  which is fun when out and about and creating a flowing record of your visit. It can be covered with anything you want including maybe maps of where you are going and inside you can attach an envelope to collect tickets and souvenirs that you pick up en route.  I also use my Gel prints

Accordian Sketchbook - watercolour paper
So I have alot planned and in the meantime the weather has become cooler and I feel some gardening coming on and also some eco printing too whilst the leaves and the flowers are still fresh.

In a few weeks I will be sketching with Christian Couteau which I am also looking forward to so will fill you in on that adventure too.

Watch this space 

A bientot

Oh here is a picture of Arty too to show that he is still alive and kicking ....or not as the case may be  Bx