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CAMAC

Newest painting - power lines over Marnay!

There was something just overwhelming about the fields between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine when I was at my artist residency in France last year. Everything was so expansive and fields of grain were just so bright in the sun. Here's the sketch I did:

in the painting version I wanted to give it the same amount of light and sunshine and brightness and settled on this very bright color scheme:

This painting is for sale on Etsy, here for $140

Paris Finally!

After an epic train strike, I FINALLY made it into Paris for a day of aimless wandering, drawing and eating. I arrived early at the Gare de L'Est and walked straight down the Boulevard de Strasbourg, taking note of a piece of street art that i hadnt seen before by space invader I took it as a good sign.

I reached Ile de la Cite and finally decided now was the time to stop and have cafe and croissant and do the first drawing of the day, with tourists sneaking peaks

cafe view to Notre Dame across the bridge

next i decided to get a little more up close to the river...

 along the Seine

along the Seine

from there I walked west along the river, past many runners ans some unsavory smells and paused to sketch the Pont Neuf

 pont neuf

pont neuf

then it was time for lunch! after thoroughly looking at every fixed price menu in Place St Michel, I I settled on a lunch of veal and duck with the view below

place st michel lunch paris

i wanted to keep going in the Place St Michel, so I parked it on a bench, pretended to wait for a bus and drew this:

st michel paris france

its mid afternoon and im getting thirsty... time for a panache during happy hour... with a view of the buildings along the river!

paris river houses

time for one last drawing before I catch the train to Nogent! So I duck around the corner pass the really really really long line to Notre Dame and sit down on the curb facing the big rose window and drew... and somehow I became a beacon for all tourists walking by to stop right in front of me and look to block my view!

notre dame rose window paris

a march back to the train station, then i hiked through fields the 4.5 miles from Nogent sur Seine station back to CAMAC. What a day!

Day 14 & 15: Two part painting

I've been super busy working on this two panel horizontal wind farm that I was drawn to like Don Quixote in La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot.  I used up all the yellow and white paint finishing this baby up (reinforcements are due to arrive any day now) and I admit to being quite pleased with the outcome. 

Acrylic paint on panels

I also finished drawing my pack of 30 homemade postcards, these are the last two:

 The path between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine,  ink on paper

The path between Marnay-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine,  ink on paper

 Villenauxe-la-Grande, ink on paper

Villenauxe-la-Grande, ink on paper


Day 13: french onion soup!

Work wise I've really gotten into a postcard making grove. One of my fellow residents is buying some from me and the ladies in the Nogent post office, really liked the ones I sent out, so I think they may be a popular option to sell in the future. Here's the latest:

 Provins, France

Provins, France

  CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine,  France

 CAMAC, Marnay-sur-Seine,  France

 The view of the orchard from the clothes line at CAMAC

The view of the orchard from the clothes line at CAMAC

And for those of you who prefer to hear about the important stuff, we had truly fantastic dinner of french onion soup with melted cheese, salad and then a dessert of chocolate crepes alla mode.

Day 11 & 12 Renaissance Fair

So the first full day where I did almost no work, excluding a handful of drawings in the morning because we piled in the car and headed for the renaissance fair in the medieval walled town of Provins! This town has existed since Greco Roman times, but came to prominence in the middle ages when it was a stop along the silk road, and was famous for its Champagne fairs.

The faire was so much fun!! Much of the same trappings as an American renaissance fair:

Costumes

Meat

Weirdos

But with the noticeable difference of actual castles and fortifications


Day 10: Sketches and postcards

Running low on paint (fresh supplies are on their way Monday) I decided to focus my energy seriously on drawing and getting some postcards made. And biking- i went for a substantial bike ride to nearby LA Villeneuve-au-Chatelot (about 20 km round trip) to a wind farm (which is going to be a subject of an upcoming painting)

 Villenauxe-la-Grande

Villenauxe-la-Grande

 Nogent-sur-Seine 

Nogent-sur-Seine 

 La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot

La Villeneuve-au-Chatelot


Day 9: a musical wander around

A productive day to be sure, I finished 2 paintings, began some drawings for my monster children book, and spent several hours wandering around Marnay-sur-Seine sketching and listening to music, after 3 songs I forced a change of scenery. So I felt justified in having a movie night with some of my fellow residents. There is still a train strike so have not yet headed to Paris as I originally intended to the last few days.

 The Seine from my bridge in Marnay-sur-Seine

The Seine from my bridge in Marnay-sur-Seine

 Nuclear towers keep drawing my eye

Nuclear towers keep drawing my eye


Day 8: Three at once

Another beautiful day, so I moved the studio out of doors, got really into my vampire novel on tape and worked on three paintings about Marnay-sur-Seine, an image of fields and nuclear power plants, an image of the sun setting over the Seine,  and this one, which I finished, of CAMAC itself from the bridge over the Seine.


Day 7: salad nicoise and YA novels

Today I stayed entirely at the residency... we'll say mostly working but also getting weepy over "The Fault in Our Stars" and enjoying the nice weather with a picnic while I worked. A wonderful salad nicoise for dinner and bread pudding! Then b a k to the studio where I started a Sookie Stackhouse novel on tape and began 3 new paintings. I also wrapped up these two as close as I could get them.

 A scene observed on my bike ride near Villenauxe-la-Grande

A scene observed on my bike ride near Villenauxe-la-Grande

 The revised rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine

The revised rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine

And in a fit of inspiration I began 3 new paintings of the Seine. Also hot water broken on my shower... hoping that is a temporary condition!

Day 6: patterns

I've decided to start working on one of the projects I actually applied to do here... create patterns inspired by Marnay-sur-Seine. I've been looking very carefully at plants, rocks, willows, and fences and created a number of repeatable images. And listening to A Fault In Our Stars (what a tear jerker) it was a pleasant but sleepy day on the terrace... so decided to go on a long evening bike ride to nearby Pont -sur - Seine. I then began a picture of the countryside with a lot of promise, though as of yet unfullfilled... 

Day 4: lazy seine swimming

Well the day started as a very warm beautiful sunny day and me , a bit sore from the day befores epic ride, so I decided to stay local. I am obsessed with the roof tops in Marnay-surSeine so I set about to sketching them. After a few hours it became quite hot in the sun... so I decided now is the time to finally swim. In the Seine!  I headed down to the quiet little beach and jumped in...it's a good thing I regularly swim at the National Seashore, it prepared me for how shockingly cold the water is.But once I got frozen enough I could do a few laps with the fishes and not get swept away by the current. More sketching, yoga, work , a lovely pasta dinner, then I watched the sunset over the water.... OK enough time wasting! I began this painting which I am still not 100% happy with of Marnay-surSeine roof tops. 

 The rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine from the terrace of CAMAC

The rooftops of Marnay-sur-Seine from the terrace of CAMAC

Day 3: intense wheat field bicycling

Technically I will start the days progress the night before... I had begun working on a painting of Seville, Spain from a drawing of mine as I was in such a hurry to try my new paints and brushes. I stayed up well past 3 amy finishing it, shown here:

 Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

So I decided to start the day with a nice long bike ride to town in ordered 1) to get acquainted with the area 2) to buy provisions at the store and finally withdraw cash and 3) to wear myself out so that I will start sleeping at normal times A 4 hour adventure ensued! Mainly because if you want to not get run off the main road (and with no helmet and poor brakes - it wouldn't be good) you need to take dirt/cow paths many of which lead nowhere, so a lot of false starts. But once I found the right one and I was on a plain of corn of wheat it was glorious. I may or may not have song the title song to Oklahoma!

 The bike ride to Nogent -sur- Seine

The bike ride to Nogent -sur- Seine

I passed one of Marnay-surSeine.'s most noticeable neighbors, the nuclear power plant.It really drew my eye and struck me as the most Van Gogh-sequence thing I've seen yet- the swirling steam and the way every piece of wheat was visible.  To my surprise after a delicious dinner of risotto, salad and fruit and cheese I stayed up late to paint it.

 The nuclear power plant at Nogent- with farm and wheatfield

The nuclear power plant at Nogent- with farm and wheatfield




Day 1 & 2: a lovely start

 My first drawing here- the beech trees from down the street

My first drawing here- the beech trees from down the street

I safely made the journey to Boston to Dublin to Paris a brief March through Paris to change train stations on to Nogent-sur-Seine and here to my residency in Marnay-surSeine without major incident. The residence itself is beautiful... I have a big sunny studio and a big room directly overlooking the Seine... a few miles down river and this would be prime real estate. I also have my own bike to use while exploring the area.

 View of the residence from the river- I'm in the ground floor of the tower

View of the residence from the river- I'm in the ground floor of the tower

 The front of the studios

The front of the studios