Saturday, June 26, 2010

Collonges la Rouge, France - moleskine drawings summer 2010

.I'm reposting this page spread from my "Travels in France, vol. 3" moleskine, because some folks emailed me wanting to see a bigger image of it. So here it is, with a little more about the village ...

artwork copyright © Judith Nijholt-StrongCollonges la Rouge, France – Summer 2010Left: Upstairs/Downstairs – a view on a cellar door of a house.
Right: View of some turreted buildings near the town’s central area.
Winsor & Newton watercolors, with Sakura Pigma Micron pen & ink

Small Moleskine Sketchbook (5.5” x 7.25”page spread)

I did get my fill of doing brick and stonework drawings this trip!!! omg... but, I do enjoy drawing/painting bricks and stone. :o)

A little about Collonges la Rouge:
Located about 1 hour south of Limoges in the Corrèze area of the Limousin, Collonges la Rouge is a beautiful fortified town/commune. We had only seen a small picture of the town in a tourist brochure and the red coloring of the buildings looked interesting, so off we went for the day.

We were very surprised at how lively and interesting this town is - well worth a visit. All of the buildings in the village are made from the local red sandstone, instead of the yellow sandstone more often used in building in the Limousin. This commune was like a mini-Sarlat (only red colored) with artisans' shops, a few bars/bistros, a cathedral, a chapel, etc. and interesting back streets/alleyways. I did buy some locally made, salt-glazed, pottery from a shop in the town and had a nice chat with the shop owner (partly in english and partly in my mangled french *). :o)

The abbey of Collonges la Rouge was founded by monks in the 8th century and from then on, the town continued to prosper as a trade village. Collonges la Rouge is on the ancient pilgrimage
route of St. James of Campostela (Spain) and was a "stop-over" town for the people on the pilgrimage. There are scallop shells carved over the entrances to many of the buildings that represent the pilgrimage route - you see these sorts of carvings a lot in towns in the Limousin area and further south in the Dordogne on the routes to Spain.

When we arrived, we were a bit surprised to see so many vistors in the town in early June ... lots! There was a large group of French "en plein air" watercolorists there too - they were scattered everywhere throughout the town, but I made sure not to be anywhere near any of them -hahaha! If I can avoid it, I prefer to sit where no one can look over my shoulder, or interupt me, while I’m drawing/painting. I’m not quite *into* having an audience while I draw or paint - which is a bit odd because when I did pottery for a living, I almost always had an audience while I was throwing on the potter’s wheel, handbuilding and glazing. Maybe, in time, I’ll feel that way about drawing/painting in public ... but not now!

Speaking of "en plein air" art, even the chickens in France do "en plein air" ...

photo © J. Nijholt-Strong


For the rest of my moleskine drawings done in France this past May & early June, see this post:

*talk about my "mangled french ... I had to go back and correct my horrific spelling of Collonges! ouf!

tot ziens,

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