Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: World Watercolor Month

July has been World Watercolor Month and while I haven't been able to paint every day, I've been working on a few things and figured I'd best share before it's August!

Most of my work is from my photographs and nothing gives me more pleasure to work on than those from England and the Cotswolds. Here's yet another in a series of Cotswold windows.

This is from the town of Bibury. I did it as a horizontal.

But then I also photographed it as a vertical. Now I'm polling people as to which is better. FB led me to exactly 50/50. What do you prefer?

Of course, Paris is a favorite too. I had lovely memories of sitting with Rick in Parc Vert Galant, at the very tip of Ile de la Citie. This was such a pretty little building.

I showed this before, a view of the Seine. I'm still not happy with it. But that's what learning is for.

Notre Dame and the Seine. Sigh. Back when it had a roof.

You might think Harry the Heron would be my favorite painting subject, but this is the first I have done of him! I'm rather pleased but more practice required!

Back this winter I painted this one of Morgan's Forge, the house we stayed in while we were in Bath. Compare it with the one below.

 This one was done this week. Which do you think is the best keeper? I'm torn.

And I felt very good about this one -- a portrait of our Little Little Guy, now one! (Unfortunately, the portrait of his brother made him look like demon child from Hell and since he's anything but, that will not see the light of day, though I may save it in my work file!)

A little bloom. Not from a photo, but my take on a book illustration.

I did a few cards this week, too. An upcoming birthday...

A sympathy card for dear friends whose sweet boy went up to the Heavyside Layer. I think I will do this as a larger painting for the Gypsy Caravan, which I have to upgrade soon!

And this for our most recent Birthday Boy!

The inside says it all!

I leave you with my favorite daily vision.

And a favorite subject!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Paris In July: French Milk

For my last Paris in July post, a fun little book called "French Milk" is on tap. Written by Lisa Knisley, it is a graphic memoir of a young woman's month in Paris with her mom as she is approaching her 22nd birthday.

It's a cute book. Knisley is studying cartooning and so she records her memories in her drawings with some fun commentary and cute pictures. I'm not a big fan of "picture" books like this but it's a super fast read and she has some good humor. I will say that there is a lot of 22-year-old angst and whining that was wearing thin on me. And yet, I remember that angst myself all too well.

On a personal note, I loved her relationship with her mom and their trip brought back fun memories to me of my (shorter) trip to England with my mom right after I turned 21. Lucy and her mom spend their month in an apartment, something I wish we could have done, and her descriptions of their meals, shopping on rue Mouffetard for their ingredients, visiting museums and other stores is often great fun.

For more Paris in July posts from bloggers around the world, visit Tamara's site here. A new list of links is posted on each Sunday! They include posts on travel, books, film, sport, food, you name it!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

This is How We Celebrate!

Rick had a birthday this past week. It wasn't one of the BIG ones -- Fives or Zeros -- but the older we get the bigger they seem! Worthy of a celebration.

We'll actually be doing our celebration "event" near Cleveland at the Blossom Festival enjoying a concert of Elgar and others (I know -- to some of you that's a BIG ICK! But to Rick, a big "Ahhh!") And he didn't want to go out to a restaurant; his main present we're waiting to go on sale. So instead, a little picnic!

We headed over to Michigan State's arboretum and found a picnic in the "vineyard." Although we never dined in a vineyard in France, it the evening sort of reminded me of what that experience might be.

I'm not sure I'd like Moo U wine (if they even make it) but I admire their garden!

Our menu -- I had memories of enjoying wonderful "sub-like" sandwiches from the boulangerie when we were in Paris in 2012, enjoying lunch on the lawn at Place des Vosges.

I wish I could remember the name -- I'm relying on some of you to tell me! Look familiar?

So I made my version -- a baguette with several meats, cheese, olive tapenade, dijon, pappadew peppers, artichoke hearts, basil. So good! That was served up with cornichons, sweet black cherries, and yellow peppers.

And yes, wine. A nice Malbec because I couldn't find a good French at the store I was getting the rest of the ingredients!

For dessert, a chocolate lava cake from the Chapelleure bakery. Which, of course, I didn't photograph! But I did see a lovely bird! Is this a finch? When it flew, I thought it a cardinal but looking closer at the head on the photo, it's not the right shape!

Others were in the garden too -- they thought we had the right idea! Some were doing photo shoots of the grapes!

We enjoyed lots of good talk, memory and reflections of years gone by and ahead. As twilight moved in, the cloud formations were really beautiful. It was the perfect evening -- not too hot or cool or humid. Mama Bear weather. Just right.

We didn't want to end there and to keep the French theme going (even though we never really called it that!), we headed downtown for a celebratory class of champagne.

The only one on the menu was called "California Champagne," which I think might not be "legal" -- or at least of great offense to the French!

But no matter! It was bubbly and fun and tasted good!

And it's safe to say...

A good time had by both -- especially the birthday boy!

Here's to another year of good luck, love, fun and joy!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Paris In July: A Black and White City

Paris may be a city of lights with glorious color in any number of places. But Paris in black and white can enthrall. Here are some of my favorite "conversions."

Cafe on the Champs Elysses

Bouquinistes on the bans of the Seine

Le Bon Marche Wine Cellar

Flowers at Rue Cler

On the Seine

Stairwell at Musee Jacquemart Andre

Parisian Courtyard

Left Bank Window

Paris Opera (Garnier)

Paris Opera (Garnier)
Marais Rooftops
A View I will Forever Remember

Le Tour Eiffel

Medici Fountain, Jardin du Luxembourg

The End of the Day -- Or Anytime!

Thanks to Tamara for hosting Paris in July.

I also want to add a link to a New York Times article on Notre Dame. It's just fascinating and you can see it HERE.

You can see more Paris and French-related themes here at her blog, featuring books, film, travel, food and more!

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