Monday, March 30, 2009

Giverny and Monet

When we go to Paris, we will also go to Giverny, where
Monet lived and painted. I was lucky enough to get to
visit his home and gardens 8 years ago, and I took lots
of pictures. These are two small watercolor sketches of
his water garden and his home. I was there in the summer,
and the flowers were blooming all over. The Japanese
water gardens were could actuallly stand
where Monet stood and painted. I was familiar with
his paintings, and it gave me chills. His home was also such
a treat. His studio has been preserved, and his brushes and
tools were lying around like he just stepped out. I wonder
what he would think about the throngs of people parading
through there, and the huge gift shop built on the grounds
selling his art printed on every imaginable object...what a
hoot! I think he would probably be very pleased, if not amused!
Original watercolor sketches Giverny $15.00 each 4 x 6

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paris Landmarks

When you travel to Paris, there are several things you
always want to see. These are two of them: the Arc
and the Opera. When I go this time, I want to photograph
them both, and do some nice finished watercolors.
These are small watercolor sketches, just for fun.
I am trying to learn some French, and it is quite comical.
My Southern accent just doesn't quite know what to do
with the French pronunciations. I have been using the
Rosetta stone program, and it makes you pronounce the
words before you can move on in the lesson. I have had
to just skip several and go on...the stone can't understand or
accept what it is hearing! I'll keep trying. I may just keep my
mouth shut while I am there....
Original watercolors 4 x 6 $15.00

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Gone to London to visit the Queen"

The last day of our visit, we toured Windsor Castle. The
Queen was there, and our guide was excited.
The little town of Windsor is very quaint. It was quite
cold, however, and I enjoyed a great cup of hot chocolate
while waiting for the group.
I have finished the London sketchbook copy and it is
being printed. It should be here in a few days. I ordered
4 copies (one is already sold), so I will have a few copies
available. If you would like one, please let me know.
They will be around $35.00, plus shipping.
I am still working on some Paris paintings, and will post some
more soon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Can You Hear me Now?

This is a page from the London sketchbook with
the red phone booth in it. I saw this street scene
when I left the National Gallery of Art. They had
washed off the sidewalk, so it was wet. I really
like this small captures how I felt that
We have been having some really severe weather
here the last couple of nights. Our prayers go out
to those affected by the storms.
I am working on the published version of this London
sketchbook...lots of uploading and editing. I should
be finished in a couple of days. will let you know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

National Gallery of Art

When I left church, I strolled up to Trafalgar Square,
and the National Gallery of Art. I wanted to be there
when it opened at 10. I watched the people in the
square..always fascinating. It was quite the 30's
with a brisk wind. I ducked into a McDonald's and had
some hot chocolate!
At the museum, I wanted to see the Impressionist's
paintings. This is one of VanGogh's: A Wheat Field with
Cypress I sketched it in colored pencil. I always enjoy
viewing fine is inspirational to me.

Back to London...Sunday morning

Back to my London sketchbook...on Sunday morning,
we had some free time. I wanted to go to church at
Westminster Abbey. I got up early, and made it to the
8 am service.
I loved the inscription on the front of the building:
May God grant to the Living: Grace
To the Departed: Rest
To the Church and the World: Peace and Concord
And to us Sinners: Eternal Life
It was a beautiful morning, and I enjoyed worshipping
in the awesome surroundings.

Paris in the Spring

As most of you know, I take my group on a special
trip every year. We are going to Paris late in April.
In the meantime, I am doing some small paintings
and postcards of Paris to sell during and after the
trip. I am using some photos that I took the last time
I was there, about 8 years ago.
This is Notre Dame of course. When I saw it for the
first time, I wept. I had studied it all of my life, and
taught about it for years in Art History classes, and I
was overwhelmed when I finally stood in front of so
much history, so much devotion, such beauty...
I may have the same reaction this time...I hope so.

Original watercolor Notre Dame 5 x 7 $35.00

Saturday, March 21, 2009

London at Night

These are some of the photos that we took that night
in London. We walked all around the square, and down
to Parliament, and back to Piccadilly Circus. It was
Saturday night, and there were lots of people enjoying
the evening. I thought these pics came out well...I had
never really tried to take any at night. It was Ilse's idea.
I think she had a good one!

Italian in London

When our bus tour was over, we were encouraged to stay
around downtown and enjoy some night life. Ilse, someone
else on the trip, and I decided to go out to eat at this Italian
restaurant near Trafalgar Square. It was not crowded, and
we enjoyed some pasta, garlic bread, and salad. I had the
waiter sign the page.
We left and went to take some night photographs.

St. Paul's Cathedral

One more page from the sketchbook from London...St.
Paul's Cathedral. We passed by here on our bus tour.
The tour director recalled the scene from "Mary Poppins"
where the woman feeds the birds in front of the church.
That movie was always a favorite of mine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jazz Man

This is the jazz man that I have been working on
to enter in the CPSA annual show. It is prismacolor
pencil on Canson Mi Tientes paper (grey). The convention
is in Atlanta, GA this August. The show is part of the
convention where colored pencil enthusiasts come together
for workshops, networking, etc. I will finish this up and
enter it in the next couple of days.

London Eye

While on our bus tour, we drove by the London Eye: an
immense farris wheel that rotates slowly and gives riders
a good long view of the city. They told us that it takes 40
minutes to complete the circle, and that each capsule holds
around 20 people. I did not get to ride it while there...there
wasn't a convenient time..would love to next trip.
I have been under the weather the last few days...just a cold.
But I have been managing to work on a piece for the Colored Pencil
Society show to be held in Atlanta Georgia this summer. I am
a signature member of this group, but haven't gotten a piece
juried into the show the last couple of years. will post my
progress soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Department Store and More

One of the most famous locations in London is Harrod's.
We drove by it on our tour. I did not get to shop there
this trip, but have in the past. It is an incredible store;
I found it delightful. I understand that many of the
locals think it a "dreadful bore". I particularly enjoyed
seeing the food markets on the bottom floor.
I tried to do some online shopping when I got home,
and found out they will not ship certain food or tea
selections because of FDA regulations. Shucks...

Our Sightseeing Tour

On Saturday, we left for our sightseeing tour of London
with our guide, Keith. Our first stop was the Prince
Albert Memorial near our hotel. Keith was very
knowledgeable about English history, customs, etc. He
was a "blue badge" guide that means he studied for
2 years to become one. My husband, daughter, and I
traveled to London 8 years ago, and Keith was our
guide then. I still remember some of the fascinating
facts he told us years ago. He signed this page for me,
next to the drawing of the memorial.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Leaders

These were our leaders for our convention in London:
Jenni Ruddy, Joel Reid, and Lauren Penna. The two
girls are employed by Go Ahead Tours, a division of
EF Tours. Joel was our Tour Director in London. He
is a native, and knew lots of inside information. They
were all delightful, and it was fun getting to know them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gone to Market...Covent that is

As we continued on our walking tour, we made our
way to Covent Garden. I love outdoor markets, and
this one did not disappoint. There was fruit, arts and
crafts, jewelry, etc. There was good food ( I ate a
pasty with potatoes and bacon), and had some hot
chocolate (it was very cold). We watched a "busker"
perform his bed of nails act in his zebra-striped
underwear....I guess you have to have the English
sense of humor. Anyway, it was a great place, and I
would love to return someday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Walk in the Park

One of our first stops on our walking tour was this
quaint little park, not far from the Embankment
Subway stop. The crocuses were blooming and
were beautiful. Some people were enjoying the
sunshine in the outdoor cafe. That is the page from
my sketchbook, recording this stop on our tour.
For info on group travel:

Day One

After checking into our hotel, our tour director, Joel,
took us on a walking tour to acquaint us with the area.
He wanted to teach us how to use the "tube", the
subway system. This little flower shop was next door
to the Gloucester Road station where we hopped on
the tube for the first time. very charming...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"London...all that Life can afford"

"When a man is tired of London...he's tired of Life;
for there is in London all that
Life can afford."
dr.samuel johnson

This is the first page in my intro page.

I did see a great deal in London this trip, and I certainly

was tired..but not of life...just jet lag! I can see that

it does indeed have a lot to explore and experience.

I will share a few of those discoveries in the next few days as I

post pages from my travel sketchbook.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

At the beginning...

Living where I do, I have to start a lot of my journeys
at a major airport far from home. I started my trip to
London in New Orleans, one of my favorite places. I
strolled around the French Quarter the day before my
flight, and took a few photos. I always love to watch and
listen to the street musicians, and these were two I had
not seen before. It is nice to see the Quarter coming back
to life after the storm; there were a lot of tourists enjoying
the early spring weather, and sampling all the delicious
food. a good start...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home from London

I am back from my short little jaunt to London. We
had a great time. The weather was glorious...cold,
but dry. I met a lot of interesting people...all with a
passion for travel. We received a wealth of valuable
information on new tours, policies, etc. Jenni and Lauren
were delightful, and our tour director, Joel, could not
have been better! Thanks gang for a memorable time.
I managed to sketch and paint a little, and I will be
posting some of them in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pip, Pip, and Cheerio

I am London bound tomorrow. I am going to attend
the Go Ahead Tours annual group coordinator convention.
I will be gone for several days. I have already checked the
weather, and it seems it is going to be very cold and wet, for
this warm-weather Southerner. I hope to do some net-working,
check out some sites, eat some lousy food, and sketch a little.
This little watercolor is of the Red Lion Pub; one of several really
old pubs in London. We ate here on my last trip (the food was
awful...) Anyway, I did this little painting during the trip.
Hope to get to do a few more, and sell them to the convention
goers! Will let you know how it goes when I get back next week.
for info on group travel:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Final Tiger Bait

When we went to the LSU/Oklahoma Championship game
in New Orleans in 2003, there were many OU fans in town.
It was a festive atmosphere, with a lot of friendly rivalry.
We rode the street car down St. Charles avenue, and at one
of the stops, several OU fans got on. All the LSU fans on the
streetcar started chanting, "Tiger Bait, Tiger Bait....". They
did not have a clue what was going on...they didn't at the game
I finished this version of "Tiger Bait" tonight for a client. They will
pick it up tomorrow.