'Aller au fil de l'eau' means to go with the flow. It is also, appropriately, the name of the café in the small French village where I live. On the terrace, the atmosphere is relaxed, life seems to mosey along no faster than the river that slips lazily by. In spring and early summer, conversations are often accompanied by a chorus of croaking frogs. Creating this blog is some kind of commitment to take brush or pen or pencil in hand every day and make art. As Julia Cameron says: "...creativity is not a marathon event that we must gird ourselves for, whacking off great swaths of life as we know it to make room for it. Creativity is not aberrant, not dramatic, not dangerous. If anything, it is the pent-up energy of not using our creativity that feels that way". Not making art is like trying to stop the flow of the river. I surrender to the flow and watch where it takes me.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Orange Chillies

A parcel arrived in the post the other day, packed with dried chillies of all shapes and sizes, colours ranging from palest yellow through burnt orange and garnet red to dark brown. All the way from Devon. Now shipping chillies from England to the south of France sounds a bit like carrying coals to Newcastle... but here in the foothills of the Pyrenees they are a rarity. And apart from liking spicy food, I've found that they are a perfect still life subject.

Here are my first two line and wash drawings of one of the varieties.


  1. Very nice work! Like the colour/wash achieved.

  2. Really good effects! I like the unusual look that the first two have with their ink/line shadows. For me the first of these two works better, with the more tightly compact lines giving the shadow an almost "wet" look. I do love the third picture with it's beautiful contrast of colours.

  3. Thanks to both for your comments. The images are actually in reverse chronological order! I also like the first (i.e. the latest) one best: I was aiming for a neater 'graphic design' effect. The third one is more of a classic line and wash and I'm not too happy with the composition of that one. Something about the angles is not right. I'm very much enjoying this series anyway and plan to do a few more.