Saturday, June 23, 2012

May-June 2012 Vacation in France Moleskine Drawings, Part 3 : ~ The Places Visted

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On this trip, we travelled to different areas in the Limousin to villages we'd never seen before. I'm showing only three places we visited in this post, otherwise the post would be too long and this is long enough!

Éymoutiers & The Abandoned Stone Village of Clédat ~

L: Church Tower in Éymoutiers, France
R: Stone Building in Abandoned Village of Clédat, France
W&N watercolors, Micron Pen & Ink in Moleskine sketchbook
May 2012 ~ Éymoutier & Clédat, France ~ Corrèze, Limousin
Drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong

Éymoutiers
The drawing on the left (above) is a view of the church tower in the town of Éymoutiers. I was interested in the two banners hanging out of the ports in the tower top and the blanket (or duvet) hanging out of the window in the house below the tower. I suppose those banners in the church tower might be the town's "colors"... but I don't know for sure. Éymoutiers is in the Corrèze dept. of the Limousin

Abandoned Village of Clédat
The drawing on the right (above) is of what I think is the communal bread kiln in the abandoned village of Clédat.  This village was not easy to find! We drove high up into the forested mountains of the Plateau de  Millevaches area of the Limousin (also in the Corrèze dept.), on logging roads and then just dirt roads -  finally, we  found the stone village of Clédat. We were the only ones there!

With no electricity, rocky land that wasn't (and still isn't) very arable and being very difficult to get to or from on the forest roads (scary roads), the last inhabitant of this village left in 1963. All that remains of the stone village are the six (or so), buildings/houses that are in varying states of rubble, the chapel, the communal natural spring/waterwell and some ancient farm tools that were left behind by the former villagers. However, thanks to local interest groups, the buildings are being restored as much as possible - including re-thatching the roofs!

One building that has been fully restored is La Chapelle Sainte Magdelene - this building has been here since the 12th century.
La Chapelle Ste. Magdelene in Abandoned Village of Clédat
May 2012 ~ Clédat ~ Corrèze, Limousin, France
photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved.

Originally founded ca.1160, by the Bishop of Limoges, the village and chapel were intended as a resting place/post for travellers and religious pilgrims. On occasion, special services are still conducted in this chapel.

 Actually, I found it quite a nice, peaceful place to be and the day was gorgeous!

...............

La Roche L'Abeille ~ 

Perriers at "Au Vieux Château" Bar/Restaurant
W&N watercolors, Micron Pen & Ink in Moleskine sketchbook
May 2012 ~ La Roche L'Abeille ~ Haute-Vienne,  Limousin, France
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved

Another day in May, we went to the village of La Roche L'Abeille (the rock of the bee) which isn't too far from Château-Chervix. We had a short walk around the village, stepped into the lovely small parish church and then stopped for something cool to drink at the bar/restaurant on the town square.

Here, I am drawing the view above ... with a bit of the Eglise Paroissiale de L'Assomption de la Très Sainte Vierge (Parish Church of The Assumption of the Most Holy Virgin) on the left of this shot.
La Roche L'Abeille, France ~ May 2012
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved

These are the beautiful stained glass windows above the front entrance to the church. The windows were created in 1905.
Stained Glass in Parish Church at La Roche L'Abeille
May 2012 ~ Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France
photo copyright Auke Nijholt. all rights reserved.

Depicting, from left to right, : St. Louis the IX King of France, St. Andrew and St. Joan of Arc. The church was founded in the 13th century.

...............

 Argentat ~

In early June, we took a road trip to the town of Argentat. Located in the southwest corner of the Corrèze dept. of the Limousin, the town is situated on the Dordogne River. Argentat's borders are on the edge of three regions of France: the  Limousin, the Midi-Pyrénées and the Auvergne - though it is considered in/part of the Limousin.

Bridge over the Dordogne in Argentat
W&N watercolors, Micron Pen & Ink in Moleskine sketchbook
June 2012 ~ Argentat ~ Corrèze , Limousin, France
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved

The impressive Dordogne River divides the northside from the southside of Argentat. While sitting on the northside quai (quay), I was drawing the houses on the southside, the river, and the massive viaduct bridge Le Pont de la République. The bridge connects the two sides of Argentat. There are several cafés/restaurants along the northside quai and, on a good day, you can while away the hours looking at the river  ... which is what we did!

It's a long way down to the river via the steps on the Ruelle Saint Claire in Argentat ...
Kermits on the Ruelle Ste. Claire in Argentat
June 2012 ~Argentat ~ Corrèze, Limousin, France
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

After convincing my Kermits it wasn't such a great idea to fling themselves down the ruelle (alleyway or little street), they agreed to settle down and have a "picture moment" at the top of the Ruelle Saint Claire. ;o)

A lovely view of the houses on the southside bank of the Dordogne River, in Argentat ...
Houses Along the Dordogne in Argentat, France
June 2012 ~ Argentat ~ Corrèze, Limousin, France
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

We hope, some day, to take another trip down to Argentat.

..................

At the House in Château-Chervix ~

I've drawn this shed at the rental house so many times before, but I still find it an interesting subject. This trip, at the end of May, there were "bluettes" in bloom on the corner of the shed.

Bluettes by the Shed
W&N watercolors, Micron Pen & Ink in Moleskine sketchbook
May 2012 ~ Château-Chervix ~ Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.


And that's what I did on my late spring/early summer vacation.
:o)


Link to Part 1 - ~ The Food 
Link to Part 2 - ~ The Flowers

* Now, I am now exhausted!
tot ziens,
Judy
...................................................................................................

Friday, June 22, 2012

May-June 2012 Vacation in France Moleskine Drawings: Part 2 ~ The Food

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Each day started with petit déjeuner (breakfast/ontbijt) at the rental house. This is usually our biggest meal on vacation - it's more like a brunch, not very petit ! :o)

Petit Déjeuner at Château-Chervix, France
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook
May-June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

Yum!: fresh croissants from a local bakery, our favorite framboise confiture (raspberry conserve), my favorite Camembert cheese, fresh melon, a variety of sliced meats, boiled eggs, another type of cheese (this trip it was Comté, yum, yum) - lots of stuff! Of course, there's also the ubiquitous daily baguette, but I didn't draw those.

However, here's a pic of all the pieces of baguettes that didn't get consumed ...
Pile o' Baguettes
May-June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserverved.

Sometimes, because I hate waste, the baguettes would be come croutons for salads, or pan toasted slices for fish soup. We tried feeding the crumbs to the birds at the gîte, but they weren't interested - spoiled, I guess.

Lunch, more often than not, is non-existent on our vacations - because breakfast is a "royal feast". This is definitely not a typical French way of eating, to be sure!

Dinner is usually made by me, using fresh produce from local markets. We don't often go out for dinner when we're on vacation in the Limousin region of France; sometimes, but not often ... so I cook.

Dinner Fixins' at Château-Chervix, France (Tomato & Garlic)
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

For me, the markets in France are a dream come true. Ok, I confess, I'm a "foodie" who likes to cook and draw food. We bought some beautiful heirloom tomatoes at a market in the village of  Burgnac, France and before using them for dinner, I had to draw one. The kitchen at the rental house is large, lovely and has wonderful natural light (very different than my tiny kitchen in Holland), so I usually draw or paint at the kitchen table ... if I'm not cooking something. ;o)

Here's a couple of pics from the market in Burgnac.
Cantal Cheese for Sale!
June 2012 ~ Burgnac, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

All the charcuterie meats you could ever want.
Charcuterie Stand at Market in Burgnac
June 2012 ~ Burgnac, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.


Then there's the pastries...uh-oh! I can never resist ...

Perriers and La Tarte Tropézienne
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook
June 2012 ~ Château-chervix, France
Haute-Vienne ~Limousin
drawiing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

My goodness, this was so delicious! Tarte Tropézienne is not really a "tart", but rather a round of brioche (a soft egg bread), then sliced in the middle, filled with kirsch flavored pastry cream and sprinkled on top with tiny pearl sugar balls. Named after the city of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera, Tarte Tropézienne originated in the mid 1940's and was popularized in the 1960's as St. Tropez became a tourist haven. 
Mmmmmm, lovely. :o)

Lastly, a glass of wine in the evenings on the patio.
Weather permitting!
Late Afternoon Cabernet D'Anjou
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne ~ Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

:o)

Next post will be my drawings & photos from a few of the places we visited on this vacation.


doei (bye),
Judy
.....................................................................................................

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

May-June 2012 Vacation in France Moleskine Drawings: Part 1 ~ The Flowers

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I've decided to do the posts of my moleksine drawings, done while on vacation in France, in 3 parts!  There are too many for one post. So without further ado, here are the drawings of the flowers that caught my eye, this time, while we were in France. Actually, many caught my eye, but this was all I had time to do on vacation  ...

I've drawn the Red Valerian (right side of page spread) before, but I find it such a fascinatingly beautiful plant, and it grows all over the rental house in France, that I can't stop drawing it while we're there. I should probably try to plant some of my own in my garden in Holland!

Spring Daisies, Forget-Me-Nots and Red Form Valerian
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook
May 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

These yellow roses actually start out sort of a pale orange when in bud, then turn yellow and finally turn a creamy white. They are a bush/climbing rose and have the thorniest stems I've ever seen ...or felt! I don't know the name of this rose, but they're pretty and the honey bees at the rental house love them. I had cut some and put them in a vase on the kitchen table at the rental house. In less than a day, they were opening up - I did my best to keep up with them!

Yellow Roses at Château-Chervix
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved

The pink Dahlias were in bloom in a café's planter box at the village of La Roche l'Abeille where we stopped for a cool drink, so I drew them.  The bright pink Dianthus were at the house in Château-Chervix. I think they both go well together on this page spread - not intended, it just happened that way.

Dahlias & Dianthus at La Roche l'Abeille & Château-Chervix
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook
May-June 2012 ~ La Roche l'Abeille & Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

After a dramatic rain storm at Chateau-Chervix, the sun came out and the red roses were all beginning to open. I sat on the back terrace/patio of the house to draw the view...

Back Yard at Gîte in Château-Chervix
W&N watercolors with Micron pen & ink in moleskine sketchbook
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

Me drawing the back yard of the gîte
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

My Kermits enjoyed the flowers at the gîte as well ...
and as always, such happy grenouilles (frogs) !
Kermits on the Windowsill
June 2012 ~ Château-Chervix, France
Haute-Vienne, Limousin
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.

Next post will be my moleskine drawings and pics of The Food ... oh the food! :o)

tot ziens,
Judy
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Photo Friday: Parting Shot of France

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(click for larger image)
Eiffel in the Distance
Paris, France ~ June, 2012
Photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. All rights reserved.

This photo is what I call one of my "drive bys". Photographed from the car, we were approaching Paris on our way back to Holland and I was "shooting". Along the bottom of the photo you can catch a glimpse of some of the houseboats on the River Seine.

Yes, our vacation is over :o( and I've returned with an earache and laryngitis to a rather wet Holland - but with lovely memories of another wonderful vacation in Château-Chervix, France. :o)

I'll post the drawings I did in my Travel in France Moleskine #5 as soon as I get them scanned and I get over this earache ... and maybe get my voice back (luckily, all I have to do is type on this blog). Odd how you need to "rest up" after a long vacation ... at least I do!


Tot volgende week (until next week),
Judy
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Monday, June 11, 2012

From Limoges, France ...

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Hotel de Ville with Limoges Porcelain Tiled Fountain
Limoges, France - Limousin ~ June 2012
photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.


This is the beautiful Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of Limoges. The fountain is lavishly decorated with the "world-famous" Limoges porcelain tiles. A lovely day and a lovely view. I could sit here for hours listening to the water in the fountain and admiring the tilework.


:o)
au revoir,
Judy
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