Tag Archives: France

Je Suis Charlie

8 Jan


I’m A What?

14 Sep

14 dieppe

Husb and I were in Dieppe last week with some friends. It’s a fabulous place to stroll around and we climbed up above the ancient castle to look over the town. I took the opportunity to sketch a bit and as I drew, a small French boy came up to me and asked, in French, if I was a painter. Now I’m all for trying to speak the local language when I travel. I think it shows respect and consideration, so I mustered up my best pidgin French and replied to the small boy’s question. To the delight of my friends, who speak the language, I confidently assured the little lad that I am indeed, a paintbrush.


Crumbly Gargoyle

9 Sep

08 gargoyle

Husb and I spent a couple of days in Dieppe in North-West France last week and I did a few scribbles as I wandered around. I’m a bit of a sap for old churches, especially those with flying buttresses and gargoyles and Saint Remy has loads of crumbling gargoyles grimacing down into the narrow, cobbled streets, each different and each with gaping mouths to let the rain through. This one has a tiny little man crouching beneath him, but the church exterior is in very poor condition and many of the features are indistinct.

I forgot to prepare my sketchbook with brown wrapping paper before I went and had to use some scraps from my friend and a spray-on glue which showed through. There really isn’t a substitute for Pritt in my opinion. I drew with Faber Castell Pritt drawing pens. I’ve come back with a cold! A French lurgi, or should that be Un Lurgi Francais?

Magic Marker Man

7 Sep


Husb and I have just come back from a quick visit to Dieppe, delightful place. We went by ferry and it was so much more relaxing and much less hassle than flying. I did a few scribbles in my sketchbook but on the way back on the ferry, I sketched this other traveller using the Magic Marker function on my tablet. I’ve been meaning to practice with it but other things have been getting in the way. It’s quite entertaining and easy to use when I’m travelling but I’m not going to be giving up my sketchbook!

Necropolis And The Linguist

23 Aug

23 champollion

Husb and I just went away for a few days to Paris and in our last few hours we visited the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I knew there were famous graves there and we wanted to visit some dead artists but I had no idea what to expect or how amazing the place is. It’s a necropolis; a city of the dead. The area is packed with incredible tombs and monuments, most of them like tiny houses with pointed roofs, doors and stained glass windows, laid out in streets. It’s like walking around a city from a Tim Burton film.

One grave I desperately wanted to visit was the tomb of Jean-Francois Champollion, the French linguist who translated the Rosetta Stone and unlocked the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The monument is in an older part of the necropolis, rather rundown and ramshackle, but his simple and minimalist memorial obelisk stands out from the strange, ornate little houses surrounding it. It was a very hot day and the place was full of tourists and mourners attending funerals but there was a strange silence underlying it all.

I sat on the ground opposite and worked up this sketch into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d previously prepared with some ripped up brown package paper. I used Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F, M and B in sepia along with some water colour in black and emerald green and a touch of white conte crayon.

The BBC has a documentary about Champollion and the Rosetta Stone on You Tube.

Gadding About in Paris

19 Aug


Yep. I’m on my travels again, courtesy of Eurostar and a budget hotel, Husb and I are in Paris for a couple of days. Arrived this morning and already shattered, we crammed in Notre Dame, Saint Chapel level, a sculpture park and some heavy duty walking. It’s very hot. Here’s a young mother and her baby outside Notre Dame.

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