Thursday, June 23, 2011

May-June 2011 in the Limousin, France - Moleskine Drawings and Watercolors, Part 2 ~ In and around the Rental House (Gite).

These drawings/little paintings were done inside and around the gîte (rental house) at Chateau-Chervix, France. I kept myself occupied in the early mornings, drinking my coffee and drawing, while listening to the birds singing outside - then "Minette", the cat that owns the rental house, would come inside to see what I was doing and to ask for her "petit déjeuner" (breakfast). :o)

I'll start off with the drawings/watercolors that I did in the landscape formatted, Hahnemuhle, sketchbook/journal. I'm not terribly comfortable with the landscape format. Having to "jump the gutter", as an old photography professor of mine used to say (painting on both sides of the page divide), is sort of bugging me. I'll get used to it, I suppose, the more I use this sketch journal.

The cherries I picked on a rainy day and
brought inside the rental house, to keep myself busy!
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved
Cherries at Chateau-Chervix, France ~ June, 2011
watercolors with pen & ink on paper (Hahnemuhle journal)

The original pic of me working on the cherries 
at the gite in France is, Here!

I don't know what the flower on the left is, but the middle one is
a Delphinium in bud and the one on the right is a Nigella flower.
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Blue Flowers at Chateau-Chervix, France ~ June, 2011
watercolors with pen & ink on paper (Hahnemuhle journal)

My attempt to paint the daylilies at the rental house.
I tried the blossom twice on this spread, but
I don't think I was very successful ... either time. lol
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved
Daylilies at Chateau-Chervix, France ~ May-June, 2011
watercolors with pen & ink on paper (Hahnemuhle journal)

The rest of these drawings were done in my regular Moleskine Sketchbook "Travels in France 2010-2011, vol. 4" . I prefer this format and the regular Moleskine Sketchbooks (not the watercolor paper Moleskine, I still don't like those). Many people find the paper in the regular Moleskine Sketchbooks annoying to use with transparent watercolors, but I've become used to how watercolors do, or don't, go down on this paper - it's no longer a problem for me. By the way, gouache also works quite well in these moleskines.

So many beautiful flowers are
planted around the gîte (rental house)
... there's never enough time to draw or paint them all.
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved
Left: Valerian Plants at the Gîte
Right: The Lavendar Corner at the Gîte
Chateau-Chervix, France ~May-June 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook

Fuel for early morning painting/drawing ... ;o)
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Assortiment de Biscuits
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ June 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook

The views from the large picture windows,
in the kitchen of the rental house, are amazing...
The Nigella pods were cut & brought inside to paint.
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved
Left: Nigella Flower Seed Pods at the Gîte
Right: View from the Kitchen Window at the Gîte
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ May 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook
I became so intrigued by the Nigella flowers and seed pods, that I kept sketching or painting them all the time ... even on scraps of paper. I love the "other worldly" quality of both the flowers and the pods. Nigella is also commonly called "Love in the Mist". I'm going to try to grow some in our garden in Holland.

More fuel for early morning painting or drawing,
or even late night painting or drawing!
artwork copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Bijoux Madeleines from St. Yreix le Perche, France
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ June 2011
watercolors with pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook

Bijoux Madeleines are so addicting - this sort had tiny balls of sugar embedded in each Madeleine. Yum! Hey!, I was on vacation, and in France, all previous dietary rules are meant to be broken. It's a vacation law!!! :o)) Madeleines are little butter sponge cakes, baked in special baking tins shaped like seashells (scallop shell). Some sources say that the Madeleines are in honor of the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostella, hence the scallop shell shape.

And not to be forgotten, the cats of the gîte!
 The lovely, sweet, cuddly and sometimes demanding, Minette
(and me) ...
photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved.
Judy & Minette at the Gîte
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ May-June 2011

And sweet, sweet, sweet Blanchette...
photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved.
Blanchette Enjoys Her Petit Déjeuner
Chateau-Chervix, France ~ May-June 2011


tot de volgende keer!


Sarah R said...

I always enjoy stopping by to see your beautiful artwork, especially from your travels in France. (I'm glad your Kermits still go along, too!) How do you pack up all your supplies to go along with you? How much of your work do you complete on site?

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks Sarah!

When we travel by car, I have a small carry-on, hardshell, suitcase that has been dubbed the "Art Case", or in dutch "de Kunstkoffer"(what my Dutch husband laughingly calls it). I can pack quite a lot of "stuff" in it. I'm a champion packer - years of having to pack my ceramics in a van for art shows in the US.

When we travel by train, I usually scale down what I take to just my ink pens, waterbrushes and my small travel watercolor pan set and a few wc pencils that I love the colors of ... and usually 2 Moleskines. These all go in a shoulder bag I have - it's amazing what you can get in a purse (and amazing what you can find in my

I do all of the ink work on site and sometimes I can do the watercolors on site too - depends on where I am (if it's a museum I have to paint back at wherever I'm staying) and also depends on how patient my husband is on the day. :) :)

I should do a post on this, as someone else asked me a similar question just the other day.
hmmm... thinking. :)

Oh yes, the Kermits still travel with us... they'd cry if I left them behind...or they'd trash my studio!

thanks again for you commnet and questions!


Patty said...

I really love your work, your Moleskines, the watercolours and ink. It is a joy to see what you've done!

My Dutch husband is relatively patient... I am a photographer and wannabe watercolourist. And I have to admit that some photos must be taken as we drive by places in a car! Okay, not always patient! :-)

Your holiday looks to have been lovely.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks Patty!:)
I this the same Patty I've talked to before ... or are there 2 of you both with Dutch husbands?

Judy (who might be confusing people now...LOL)

Yorky said...

Delightful sketches Judy - I'm so jealous of your stay in France.


J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks for the compliment Doug!


Patty Smith said...

Probably the same Patty!
I mean, how many Pattys could there be with Dutch husbands? :-)

Meisie said...

Wonderful work as always Judy!! Thank you for sharing! Love the kitty pics too :D

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Bedankt Meisie. Je bent zo lief. :)

Auke wanted to bring Blanchette home with us. lol


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