Thursday, May 31, 2012

Le Rignac Café

This is Pascale and Ludovic. Pascale manages the new Rignac Café and is fabulous. I have already discovered two new favourite drinks here. The one is rosé with a dash of grapefruit concentrate- delish. The other is her non-alcoholic gingerbeer. I snooped around the counter and see that it's made with fresh ginger, lemons and sugar, but she won't give me the recipe.

On Monday evenings an old battered pizza truck pulls up and dishes them out. They're great with a frosty glass of Belgian Leffe beer. Not good for the diet...


Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday stroll in Rignac

Walked down through the village yesterday morning to take some photos of my work in the show. Dogs came along for a swim in the pond. Took a few more snaps on the way back. The village allotments are ready for planting and my neighbour has started his. I must get cracking on mine.

Our fortified church dates back to the 12th century and the huge old plane tree in the square was planted during the French revolution.

Just one note, the last few paintings are by my friend Sophie Raynaud. I like her work very much and usually buy one or two.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fourth Monday night life drawing group show


In spite of a long, cold and wet spring and a threatening weather forecast,  we were blessed with a balmy summer evening for the opening of our annual show. It was held in Rignac's fabulous new community centre this year, next to our buzzy new café which has revived the heart of the village. (You can see the new petanque court and new pond with our vegetable allotments in the background of the above photograph. There is also a children's playground- all the inspiration of Daniel Wattier, our mayor and painting participant.)

I offered to make the opening speech this year as I wanted to tell everyone a little about our drawing evenings, hoping to augment our numbers. I pay my models quite well so money is always a concern.  Anyway here is my speech for those of you qui parle la langue:

Je suis sûre qu’il y a des gens ici qui sont un peu curieux pourquoi il y a plusieurs voitures devant ma petite grange les lundis soirs. Peut-être qu’il y a des gens ici qui demande, pourquoi dessiner des gens? On peut faire mieux avec un appareil photo…

Nous avons tous des passions. Il y a des gens qui font la cuisine, qui font le jardinage, qui écrivent, qui font de la musique ou le sport ou même la chasse. Nous avons tous besoin de faire plus que manger, dormir, et rester au chaud en hîver. C’est l’état de l’être humain. La créativité est interpreter, communiquer et participer dans le monde.

Quand nous commençons les soirées avec les poses, nous quittons le monde exterieur. Nous avons deux, cinq, dix, quinze, ou vingt-cinq minutes pour voir, interpréter et capturer la pose avec des crayons, des pinceaux, des couleurs... Tous nos modèles sont impressionés par notre concentration intense.

Chaque peintre a une raison personelle. Pour moi, comme illustratrice professionelle, je dois toujours en satisfaire d’autres. Les lundis soirs, je suis liberée pour faire ce que je voudrais, sans être consciente des résultats. Je peux explorer même les façades plus sombres de ma personalité.
Il y a des participants qui vont et qui viennent, mais nous sept artistes fideles avons travaillé ensemble pendant quatre années maintenant. Nous sommes de vrais amateurs: nous faisons ce que nous faisons pour l’amour.

C’est important pour nous d’avoir une pause de temps en temps pour exposer, pour refléchir, pour voir notre progrès…Car nos efforts créatifs ont besoin d’un public pour completer le processus, Clare, Nicole, Patricia, Sophie, René, Daniel et moi vous remercions de votre presence ce soir.

Finalement, nous ne sommes pas une association fermée. Si vous voulez vous joindre à nous un lundi soir pour dessiner ou même comme modele, nous ferions bon acceuil à votre presence.

Catherine Stock
25 mai 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reflections on a sunnier time

So sick of this long wet spring. My thoughts are turning back to my week in Cape Town in Feb, ending with a fabulous lunch with old friends.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring cleaning

After several weeks of cold wet weather, I spent the last three days getting Le Tramizal into nick: dusting, sweeping, scrubbing, wiping, washing, painting, shaking, mowing, trimming, raking and pruning.

First official guests arrived this weekend so I had to get the Winter Cottage and garden into tiptop shape.  Tough work.

Here are the results: first the winter cottage, then the garden, then the summer cottage, and finally the barn/gallery.

Le Tramizal and La Sirène du Causse gallery at their best, behind curtains of white wisteria blossoms buzzing with honey bees.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Some drawings from Monday night. There is strong lighting from above that seems to pull the forms out of the shadows in a quite dramatic way. I am aware that I am painting around the figure, rather than the figure itself.