jeudi 30 décembre 2010

Des feuilles

My last post for 2010, I think! I'm at last daring to draw some leaves and other natural things... not realistic yet, just having fun with shapes and colors, but I'll get there (maybe. unless something else grabs my attention!).

I've been playing with watercolors for three years, more or less, and I still don't really know what's going to happen when I use them... must be a very slow learner. And I don't feel like working on it, at all. This is my playground, no "must do" allowed!
I thought the negative version was cool, so here goes :

I have no resolutions for 2010. I can't be more serious and perfect that I am already, so why would I make resolution? Oh, you think I'm kidding, I'm sure!
I have a wish list, though. It's very small and I won't tell to keep me luck.
See you next year!

dimanche 26 décembre 2010

Experiments, sister, and traditions in Provence

I did a little drawing from a photo for my sister and her husband. This is the result after playing with it with my software!

I actually like it better than the original, it's a bit boring in comparison ^^!

I'll print the red one and send it to them too, in case they like it...

And this is a quick thing with acrylic paints on colored paper. I've never done that before, just play with colors. It's pleasing, in a strange way. I mean, I'm pleased by the result in a strange way, I'm not trying to judge it but I just like looking at it for some reason.

And this one, same thing :
 I've also done other things that I'm not showing... I had done some drawings that I thought were really cool... and then I painted them, and it got worse and worse and now they're really rotten.

I hope everyone had a good time at christmas. I went to a Provençal traditional mass with friends who sing in the folk choir. It was a great experiment. Provençal traditions are both beautiful and fun because people in Provence have a great sense of humor and an incredible way to talk and tell stories. Their telling of the Nativity story is really unique - at some point there was an enormous piece of cheese involved - I didn't understand exactly what it was doing in the story as it was told in Provençal...

samedi 18 décembre 2010

December things, books and girafes

I found the heart shaped rock the other day on the beach. I went for a walk, trying to enjoy the first rays of sun in weeks and to beat my blue mood, and I found the rock. I felt very gloomy when I went, and I was fine when I came back with this rock and some nice others!

I tried to draw the top of my christmas tree but I think I'm not patient enough for that kind of thing.
The weed on the bottom left is wheat, here in Provence people grow it from the 4th of december for luck and money in the house. Anything that can help, I'm willing to try!

Last reads : on the right, La Cithare Nue (the naked sithar) by Shan Sa. It's so beautiful, from the first lines to the last ones, I couldn't believe it. It's like watching a painting, hearing music and reading a poem, during hundreds of pages - and the story is fantastic. I can't recommand that book enough! It makes a great Christmas gift, too!
The other one is by Tony Hillerman, Skeleton Man. I haven't finished it but it's great - I've never read a Tony Hillerman book that I didn't like! It had been a long time since I'd read one of his stories, and I felt the need for it. He's well known in France - present in every public library!

  And a quick one I did yesterday and this morning. I wanted to draw something, anything, and found these girafes before the Ngorongoro mountains in an old Geo magazine. It's not very polished, but I like it anyway - and I have this urge to make things, like I've never had before. I'm really enjoying - and needing - the process!

samedi 11 décembre 2010

Hermione Granger vs Mary Poppins

Drawings I did last weekend! I took everything that was in my bag out and drew it. (if you click on the drawings you can see them bigger.)

I was sick and stayed inside the whole weekend - anyway it was raining  again so no regrets... And actually, spending hours drawing and painting without thinking about anything made me feel real good and I was feeling recreated when I went back to work on monday.

Sometimes I also have other things in my bag, like a book, a cup for coffee, nespresso doses, chocolate, my umbrella, reading glasses, a scarf... It's a Mary Poppins bag!

Now yesterday evening I saw the last Harry Potter movie with my daughter (it was awesome!!) and I can tell you Hermione's bag beats Mary Poppins's bag by far!

dimanche 5 décembre 2010

Roses, chocolates, John Wayne, and an Advent subject.

New page, new flowers! A friend offered me the roses and the chocolates (yes, the brown things below the flowers are chocolates in a box). I had to draw fast because the chocolates didn't last long. The roses are doing better!

And a portrait of John Wayne from a photo I found on The Impossible Cool .

And this an Advent calendar I made for my daughter. All the little cases are open and I put sweets, chocolate, and little fun things in them! She loves having her little surprise every day.

 I made it with card board, scrapbook papers, a few pens, tape, glue, and a rainy afternoon (we've got a lot of those, that's why I'm able to update the blog so much...).

 It's raining again, my work is all done and I'm drawing like a mad woman, so expect a new blog post very soon!

vendredi 26 novembre 2010

Flowers, my guitar, and thoughts

First, I want to thank everyone who replied to my last post, for your advice and encouragements, and simply for sharing your own stories. It made me feel better about the whole thing, and it made me think (dangerous thing, that!)

So I took my sketchbook again and drew the flowers on my table, first time I draw flowers, and it shows... but I'm still happy with the drawing because it's colorful and I enjoyed doing it. On the left is a pinecone, in case you don't recognize it.
And this is the new love of my life, my guitar. When I was young I played the piano, it was a love/hate relation,and no one ever thought I should do something with it... (except maybe, stop).
I thought I was lost for music forever, being obviously not gifted at all. but I love music, I love the sound of live instruments, especially guitar, bass and percussions, so I treated myself and bought this and a method for learning.
I'm having fun playing, for my ears only (I'm not a cruel person). There's absolutely no pressure at all. The sounds and the exercices take me in a meditative state like nothing else ever did (great surprise!)

I think playing an instrument or singing just for pleasure is more understood and accepted than sketching or drawing. People seem to get the point better. But maybe I'm wrong, it's not something I'm very familiar with.

jeudi 11 novembre 2010

2 books, 1 journal page and some ranting

Books again! Favorite authors, so no surprise but a lot of pleasure!
On your right, new book by Kate Atkinson, short stories (a genre I usually don't like much), fabulous. I feel she writes for me, I mean, it's the kind of things I'd like to write if I could write. But she really has a unique way of seeing and expressing things.

And, on your left, not new book by David Baldacci. I'm beginning to seriously love that author. I like thrillers, and action packed stories, but usually the characters are a bit simple and without depth in those kind of books. But not with Baldacci. I love his characters, they feel human and likable. And the stories are great.

And this a little page just for the pleasure of drawing, something I have missed doing, lately... My pen for drawing, my nespresso cup, little hen on my kitchen counter, ivy leaves, little statue at my parents' place.

Lately I couldn't draw anymore. I made a few drawings for friends and family. When I show my drawings, I often hear : "That's nice! You should make something of it".
Make what? I thought I was making something, actually. Like, a little drawing. Just for the pleasure. Isn't that something?

And then I stop drawing. Not the first time it happens.
I think I'm over it, this time. I just want to draw and not care why or what for.

Do you sometimes get these kind of remarks?

mercredi 3 novembre 2010

Shelves and a lot of books

Two books I read in october. I liked the one on the left, by Nancy Huston, especially for the very interesting take on men and women, the power and the fears beneath the relationships and attitudes.

The book on the right "Horowotz et mon père" (Horowitz and my father) tells the story of a man who was Horowitz's friend in Russia before the revolution, when they were teenagers, and was at least as good a pianist as Horowitz.
He fights with the white Russians, flees to France, get married, and lives a very ordinary and rather happy life until the war and later his wife's death. His son tells the story, and it's great, interesting, tender, funny, clever...

I loved it even more because the story takes place in Paris west suburbs, which is where I grew up, and I felt the place in the book, like it is in my memories, and that was great!

And this is a view from my couch... Shelves in my living room, with some books, of course!
I'm trying to get back to my "first love" in drawing : the "Every Day Matters" style!

samedi 23 octobre 2010

2 books and 2 boys

 This blog is still alive, and I'm still reading and drawing, just, not as much as before, because I seem to have become hyperactive, after years of sleeping in hibernation.
Reads of september (I know, only two books...) On the left a story by Jonathan Kellerman, that I didn't like very much. It took me ages to get to the end.
But I loved the one on the right, by David Baldacci.

It's a thriller, with a lot of action, but also a very interesting psychological angle and great characters you can really care about. I need to read other books by this author!

And two faces, I think I saw on flickr. A long time ago.
I miss blogging, so I'll try to keep up... Days are so short!

dimanche 29 août 2010

Books and balusters

My last reads. First I read the one on the right, a story by Cathy Kelly, and I hated it. It was boring, and it was aggravating, and I wonder why I read it to the end. I thought something interesting was going to happen. But no, never. Also, I was busy with no time to go to the library...

On the left is a story by Ed McBain, and it was good. I've enjoyed all the books I've read by this author, great plots, great dialogues and characters, always.

And this is a trompe l'oeil I did in May for my parents, to replace the broken balusters temporarily. I drew them in chalk on a large wooden board and a friend sprayed some waterproof varnish on the whole thing.

I've not been drawing lately and I miss it, but I had absolutely no motivation for it. Now, seeing all the cool posts of everyone via the EDM group, I feel the motivation creeping back... Crossing my fingers.

mercredi 18 août 2010

Books and something completely different

I've been not drawing a lot, lately. Last week I had some time to myself and this came out. It was fun to do and took a long time with all the little details to color... (I think you can see it bigger if you click on it).

Then I had to do something with the cluster in my appartment and basement, and I received the Chuck season 2 dvds, and I had to go to the beach not to lose my suntan, and the rest of the week disapeared very fast.
But I also managed to finish that - not reading much lately, so it's easier to keep update with drawing my books ^^!

On the left is a strange book by Kelly Kaplan about a village famous for its frog cooking restaurants. There's violence, jealousy, sects, sex, crimes,  lies... it's very weird. I liked it mostly because it was told in a way that made me see the pictures really well (and no, I'm not talking about the sex part, that was not graphic at all), I could picture the story like in a child book. Otherwise it was a little too weird for my liking.
The one on the right was great fun. It's a thriller by Andy Mc Dermott with a lot of action and explosions, the characters are fun, I enjoyed it a lot!! Will read anything by this author now!

dimanche 25 juillet 2010

Bouquins, portraits, comme d'hab...

 The book on the left tells life as seen by a six year old little girl. It was rather sad.  I wanted to beat the mother during all the book. The ending was great, though : the little girl leanrs how to read, and her world changes!

On the right is a book by Rose Tremaine, called "Trespass" in English, "les silences" in french. It was excellent, great characters, great story, beautiful writing. The story takes place in the Cevennes, that's in the south of France, it's very rural, and rough, and not very touristic. I could feel the place, reading, it was so well written (and it's a place I know well).

And a few portraits, again... Third one is my daughter, quickly sketched as she was reading. She said, "it's okay, but do I really have that many freckles?" I said no, you have more, but I'm bad at drawing freckles...
 She wasn't all that pleased.

mercredi 7 juillet 2010

2 bouquins 8 portrait et 1 carte

Time really flies! I've been busy drinking and eating a lot, and dancing and getting into swimming pools and the sea - that was nice! June is worse (better?) than december in terms of social gathering, I think.
Still had time to read, since this is a vital activity!

The book on the right was okay. In french, I'd say that "it doesn't breack bricks" (ça ne casse pas des briques") meaning it's okay but not that fabulous. It didn't help that the french translation was horrible.

On the left is Kundera's "the unbearable lightness of being", which I hadn't read yet. I should have read it sooner. I'm lacking words to talk about it, because if I had the words, I'd be Kundera and write 464 pages to explain... He has open eyes about humanity, what makes us love, what makes us follow.
He's not politically correct, he doesn't have pink glasses, but he's not cynical either. It's about love and totalitarism, and what in us make them happen.
I was intimidated with drawing the cover, as the picture is a reproduction of a Picasso painting! (not that you'd guess it now, seeing my version ^^).

Faces! All ofund on the internet. The last one is Katie Melua as seen on the cover of her CD (and for once I'm not too far from the original).
And faces again. The laughing boy was very difficult to draw. He looked very smug on the photo and I wanted to get that on paper. I'm not sure I managed.

And this is a card I made for Father's day. The lady is my father's wife and someone I love too. For the first time I did the drawing without looking at the photo, trying to get the feeling of her face. Copying was too difficult, it came out better with this method. It's not exactly her, but it's in the spirit!
Well, that's all!
I have more time on my hands now, so I'm going to go and enjoy all your blogs!

mercredi 16 juin 2010

Books and faces, as usual...

For a change, this week... Books!
On the right is a book by Jean Hatzfeld who has written several books about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In this book are the stories told by the survivors of the massacres and by the killers. They're now all forced to live together by the "reconciliation" political program.

I couldn't put this book down and was frustrated when I finished it. It's not a nice read, of course, but it adresses essential questions about being human, living, forgiving, believing (or not)... What's frustrating is that there is no answer, only more stories, more ways of coping, more questions.
On another level, the French spoken by Rwandese people is particularly beautiful, and precise, and I enjoyed that a lot. (not sure how it comes across with the translation). All his books are available at in english. This one is called "the antelope strategy". There are two others about Rwanda, and I intend to read them very soon too.
On the left is a book I read a few years ago (but I didn't want a "fun" book beside the Hatzfeld one). It's a young German officer (Ernst Jünger himself) telling his life during the 14-18 war. No answers here either, but it's a powerful, essential book. There's no judgement and no propaganda there, just noise, fear, and people trying to stay human.

To keep this post very original... portraits!
A young girl from Togo, a boy from Republic Tcheque, and the last one is a girl from Liberia, all copied from photos in the book "Si tous les enfants du monde".  The third girl I saw on "Photo of the" and she was called "Cambodian Princess".

I'll be at my sister's wedding this weekend (providing the airport is open since it was flooded and closed yesterday...). Will I have the courage to draw out my sketchbook and draw in public?
I'll tell you in a few days!

mercredi 9 juin 2010

2 books, 12 portraits

 New books, for a change... Actually I have read another one since but haven't had the time to draw it yet.
Those two were fantastic. I'm not sure the first one has been translated in English yet. French title is Battements d'ailes, Ali di Babbo in Italian, from Milena Agus (author from Sardaigne). It's a small book, magical, poetical, funny, strange, with wonderful characters and a very original voice.
 The other one, I couldn't let go, and "ate" very fast : ) ! The third angel, by Alice Hoffman.

 I really want to read all their other books now.

I've been asked how many books I read a month, I don't know, it depends. Four, five, six, not counting those I read very slowly because they make me work, (personnal development books, for example), or the illustrated books... I read fast, and I need to read as much as I need to breath. I read a lot more when I was young - I had four library cards ^^ !

These portraits, I copied from a wonderful book called "Si tous les enfants du monde" (If all the children in the world). The girls are from Espana and Guinée Equatoriale and the boys from Haïti and Malta.
Two more children from the book, little girl from Cambodge, looking up, little boy from Ivory Coast (he's much cuter in reality, I didn't manage to get the cuteness on paper, he's very small, my version looks older...)
Men from Parker Fitzgerald and Arte te tra flickr streams.
A young woman from David Urbanke flickr stream - my version is not as beautiful as she is in the photo... For some reason, my version looks a bit like my grandmother (must be the sad expression and thin neck - my grandmother was from Flanders and not beautiful at all...)
A young girl from Kazakhtan (and I made her look older, once more...)
A woman from Tibet seen on Falsalama flickr stream, and a woman seen on Internet, random search, no name.

I find it very hard to draw the small children, and the women. The more cute and/or beautiful they are, the more difficult.
And, also, people showing their teeth! Much harder!

I haven't had the time to admire anyone's blog but I'm going to get to it now!
 This weekend I had the first year final exam for the course of Sophrology I'm following. I had a little problem with the time, almost didn't manage to finish... But I think it went well.
It's a fantastic course, I'm very glad I'm doing it. Hopefully I'll graduate next year and be able to begin practicing!

dimanche 30 mai 2010

Street scene and portraits

So this is the street concert in Collobrières, in color this time! And the reference photo below.


 Collobrières is a small and lovely village, very isolated, and well known for its production of chestnuts (and chestnut cream, icecream and so on). This was during the chestnut festival in october 2008.

This is my dad. I took an old photo and tried to make him look older to match better with him now. The hair is not right  but the rest is him, I think. I offered it to his wife for Mother's day (because she's important to me too) and she loved it.

Those little ones are Maxime and Pauline, my friend's children. This was for her birthday.
 I loved drawing them, I felt the cuteness, it was like being with them. They're all far away and I miss them.


And my last series of portraits found on the net!
Man and woman from Milano, seen on The Sartorialist's blog (I think they look like brother and sister), Nat King Cole, and a Japanese young woman with red hair seen also on the Sartorialist's blog (she's my personal favorite!).

I'm off to draw the last book I read!

samedi 22 mai 2010

2 books, 4 faces, 1 street concert

As usual, books! On the left a book by Jacques Salomé, a French author who writes about communication between people with very interesting ideas and views. The other book is a thriller.

I usually don't like very much this type of stories with a lot of action, and perfect heroes who are so incredibly intelligent, skilled and beautiful. But James Rollins'stories have something more, despite the clichés, and I enjoy them. The end of this one was awesome, and in complete synchronicity with my current spiritual fumblings, that was amazing (I won't tell, I don't want to spoil it if you want to read the book! - I think the English title must be "the Darwin Bible".)

 Faces again. A girl in Berlin (seen in the Sartorialist's blog). A London portrait from Paul Bence's Flickr stream (great gallery!). A not very good version of Jean Seberg (and it's not the first time I try... - one day, I'll succeed!) . A young teen from Hans Silvester's book about the Omoo people (Ethiopia).

This is from a photo I took last year in a nearby village. I'm going to color it, but I like it in black and white, too, so here it is. The group was playing Tzigane music, and they were so good. The kids were sons of some of the band members and they were really funny to watch!
(You can click on the drawing if you want to see it bigger).

jeudi 13 mai 2010

2 bouquins, 1 collage et 12 portraits

I just finished "The elephant vanishes", by Haruki Murakami, and it was fantastic. At first I didn't want to read it because it's short stories - and I usually don't enjoy reading these. But I couldn't find another Murakami at the library that day, so I tried - and was enlighted!

The other one, by David Foenkinos, was great, too. Very orginal, funny, with a lot of unforgettable and delightful moments.

A little collage.  From a set I made on the Polyvore site.


Portraits! From photos in my Geo magazines collection, and some from Flickr.
Here, a girl from Logan Jack's flickr stream, Commandant Cousteau, a Svanetian woman (from Georgia), a Japanese man.

The first two don't look like the originals at all... The third one is Marguerite Barankitse, a fabulous woman who has saved and helped hundreds of children in Rwanda and Burundi (I made her look a little older than she does in reality : (  - The little girl is from a photo on Rebecca 812 flickr stream.

A young Australian man in a rodeo contest, girl from Yuna's flickr stream, Javanese man.... and Mitchum again (I needed one more drawing to complete the squares...)

I've got the day off and it's not raining. Isn't that great?