'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, 28 November 2011

Footbridge at Dusk

It's getting chilly as well as dark in the evenings now. Did this from the car while Delphine was at dance class. I realise I should have shifted my position to avoid the church tower looking like an extension of the bridge support... oh well.

Drawn on the spot, washes added at home.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


On both the houses in this sketch you can see the génoises which are a common architectural feature on old houses here in Languedoc Roussillon and other parts of southern France. These are single, double or even triple rows of canal tiles fitted under the eaves and filled in with mortar. Their purpose, I've learned, is to protect the walls of the building from rainwater, in the absence of guttering. The taller the house, the more rows of génoises are needed to do the job.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

White Van

The village was rockin' last night with the blues gig at Café de Fa, back to its usual quiet self this afternoon. I rarely put parked vehicles in my sketches, let alone people, because they have a habit of moving. This white van looked like it was there for a while however so I took a risk and managed to finish it before the owner came back. And what do you know, it belonged to Uncl'Stf, the blues man from last night.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Potasse d'Alsace

Now we are well into November, there are not many minutes of daylight left for my weekly sketching slot while my daughter is at dance class. Tonight I took a wander over the footbridge in Espéraza and noticed what I presume is an old agricultural merchants building with a faded Potasse d'Alsace logo with its stork emblem painted on the facade. The light was fading fast but I just had time to get down the pen drawing. The colour was added at home with Derwent coloured pencils.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Simon's Boots

Proud of myself for taking advantage of an odd ten minutes, while my husband was getting ready for the market, to sketch his boots, just where they lay, nonchalantly discarded in the hallway when he came in from a gig last night.
Pilot marker coloured later with Derwent watercolour pencils.