Friday, May 27, 2011

Entre Corps et Âme

Daniel Wattier, Rignac's mayor and member of our Monday evening life drawing group made this preview of our exhibition which opens tomorrow in La Sirène de Causse gallery.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Remembrance of Things Past"

An old friend from the Upper East Side on Manhattan is about to come out with the third volumn of her tongue-in-cheek cookbook, written by her alter ego Parsley. She asked me to contribute a naked sketch of Parsley and one of her lovers. I battled with this commission for awhile, and finally made a composite of some life drawings in my studio.

Totally off key! was the response. Parsley is a size 3, not 18. She is young, trendy and sexy. Her lover is black.

Oops. I realise I have completely fallen of the Style Ladder here in rural France where I spend my day weeding the garden in a frumpy paint splattered tee shirt, doing the NY Times crossword puzzle on the Internet, and searching through piles of rubbish to find small treasures in village vide greniers, or garage sales. I can't even imagine let alone remember my misspent youth as a young zizzy UES girl anymore.

This is bad. I am changing my clothes, gulping down a shot of (albeit non-Starbucks) expresso, gritting my teeth and picking up my pen to recommence...

OK. Here is the second attempt and the author likes it. Not exactly a skinny Parsley, but definitely more funky (as opposed to frumpy.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Instead of sketching with a pencil, I have churned out two, five, ten, fifteen minute and one hour paintings in the Monday
evening drawing session recently. I paint so fast that I have a quite breathless sensation of flying at times. In spite of the solid form of the model, I think the paintings convey this aerial weightlessness.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nothing like good neighbours :-)

About a year ago, a young Belgian couple opened up a home made ice cream concession stand on the road to Rocamadour. A little while later, a long abandoned farmhouse on the intersection was bought by another young English couple and turned into a chambres d'hote, La Noyeraie. They also offer cream teas with fresh scones if requested in advance. At the same corner, Le Mas de Douze restaurant has recently been taken over by a delightful new French couple who have made their pool available to diners and even my house guests who want to spend an afternoon there cooling off.

I bicycled over the other day to introduce myself and invited everyone to dinner. I forgot that friends from New York who are restoring a house nearby were arriving the same day, and then suddenly my friend Lyle invited another couple, annual clients at his boutique who spend a week every summer visiting the local monkey park.

It was a gorgeous balmy summer evening and the garden filled quickly with not only the guests but their small children and dogs. Everyone brought sparkling white and red Cahors wine, vin de pêche, cabecou goat cheeses, tubs of artisanal ice cream and sorbet, and Belgian chocolates and even a New York cheesecake. Somehow I managed to serve everyone small grilled quiches and salads, magret with raspberry/cream/shallot sauce, sautéed new potatoes, and vegetables, and fresh minty chocolate mousse and strawberries. What with all the contributions from guests, it was quite a feast.

I unfortunately didn't take any photographs of the candle lit garden dinner, so can only post a photograph of my laundered table linens as evidence of our lovely evening.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The group paints itself

Yesterday afternoon the model called to cancel. She had a bad back and was in terrible pain. I called around but couldn't find a replacement, so when the group pitched up, I suggested we all paint each other painting each other.

Sometimes I think it looks like different artists painted my pictures.

Sophie is the mother of Marie-Camille, who sat for us two weeks ago. Daniel is our village mayor who needs to reissue my carte de sejour this week... Hope I get it!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Between Body and Soul: the 2011 Spring Exhibition

After interminable computer and software problems, I managed somehow to put together a poster/invitation to the Monday night drawing group's exhibition and opening on May 27th using Illustrator and then converting the PDF into an uploadable JPG file. Very exasperating and the quality and colours changed in the process. Give me old smelly oil paint and turps any day.

The poster obviously is inspired by a paper cut by the great master Matisse. It is about impossible to incorporate examples of everyone's varied styles into a strong poster design.