Thursday, January 17, 2019

Happy New Year!

Belated Happy New Year

New Year, New beginnings.

 Last year saw us for the first time in 8 years not hosting art holidays and to be honest I was bereft.  Its what I do, its what I love….but….things move on and things change.

We are planning to move but in the meantime I decided to find more time to discover what I Iiked to create and discover new ways to do it.

I also had the opportunity to go out and do workshops outside Bandouille to teach and to learn taking in a part of France I did not know.  It was a joy. And I think that is where I left you.

  Sketch  into Castillon le Bataille
First was Chez Castillion on the grand Dordogne.  A beautiful venue specifically for writers as a retreat hosted by Mickey and Janie Wilson.

I met some wonderful talented people there.  

The weather was perfect, although maybe a touch on the "too" warm side and the scenery wonderful. The pool helped..

I have many sketches from there and many that I would like to paint at a later stage.

After this crazy week I spent a few days a couple of hours further south near Aiguillon where I painted for a day with Christian Couteau and a group of keen followers.  I stayed in this lovely abode which I found on Airbnb for 20 euros a night with my own pool.  Bargain and such nice people who ran it.  It was only 10 mins from where I was to meet my fellow painters. 

Again an amazing experience and so much learnt in such a short space of time.  Cant believe how many sketches we managed in a morning.  Here 3 of 7

After my short spate in the Dordogne I spent a week in the Bordeaux area with my bestie and my girls.  Another area I had not before investigated fully.  Our day in St. Emillion was particularly lovely and ironically 10 mins from Chez Castillon.   We also visited Saintes.

House sale
The house is now officially on the market after not succeeding in finding a suitable agent here sell it.  So we have found on online company who specialises in this field.  If you click here you can see what we have to offer.  So if you are interested please come through the site with your enquiries.

TRAVEL - Madrid
 After the worst cold of my life over Christmas and New Year I went to Madrid to visit my daughter and partner and was warmly welcomed into his fathers home.  I had never been to mainland Spain and the city was beautiful and so calm.  A very strange experience next to London or Paris.  We ventured out into the country and stayed near beautiful Toledo in Grandmas house and visited La Mancha, site of the windmills from the fables of Don Quioxte.  I was able to relax there and sit and sketch together with Jose (my daughters boyfriend) and we did these in very little time.  It was the first time he had sketched let alone plein air.  I love this work.

La Mancha                                                 Mine                                                                Joses

I have now returned home, armed with pictures that I want to sketch including a photo of Jose's Nanna Fernanda who passed last year.  This is a quick sketch before I attempt a larger portrait of her.

And a great pic of his dad to whom I am very grateful for his hospitality in his home.

A very special time was had there (even with the three of them ill with the same cold I had)..

So much to see to see....But I intend to be back very soon.

Now to plan the rest of the year.

I have been asked by to feature in their February blog.  So I have selected some materials from their catalogue that I have never used before….just for fun.

Watch this space…..I will send a link when I have completed the project.  I promise it will be fun and very much out of my comfort zone.

If you have not heard of Colourcraft before, they are the original producers and suppliers of Brusho, but that is only a fraction of what they supply. Please visit and discover the treasures they hold for the keen crafter.

I use them for nearly all of my creative needs. 

So with that in mind I shall be on again very soon and feel free to comment and ask any questions.

A Bientot 


Of course obligatory picture of my fluffy boy Arty!  Bx