Just before I left for France my dear friends Jack and Mikki sent me some wonderful books on travel sketching. My favorite from the group is Artist En Routeby Betty Lynch. (A quick look at the price that this book is now going for makes me glad that I got this as a gift!) Betty is a very talented watercolorist, but I am partial to her simple pen and ink sketches, and they inspired me to keep my own little art journal for my trip.
I brought a 5x8" moleskine journal with me, which fit nicely into my carryall bag. Never one to be without as many options as possible, I chose the notebook that would accept watercolors (though most of my sketches were pen and ink.) Here's one with my notes of the Abbey I blogged about yesterday:
Most of these were just quick little jots, but the journal really helped me to lock in the memories in place, and keep track of the places we visited in sequential order. So many times on action packed trips like these, all of the memories start to blend together after a while, so I really recommend this combination of traveling, sketching and journaling.
On the same day that we visited Abbaye Nouvelle, we also visited the village of Beynac (in the Dordogne), with its fascinating 12th century chateau perched atop dramatic limestone cliffs. Only time for a quick sketch for this part of the itinerary, which I did after our picnic lunch by the river bank. We are steeped deep into Medieval history here; this castle is where Richard the Lionheart met his death!
***And now, we interrupt this art travel log for a quick brag ;-). There is a fine new oil painter in the Young family, and she's got a blog! Check out my very talented niece, Molly Young and her Daily Painting blog.
Molly came all the way up from Texas to take my April workshop this past spring, and I got the chance to see her talent in person. I wish I could say I had something to do with it, but she's been cutting her own path for a while now and I look forward to seeing where she takes it. Her blog is brand new, but she's been painting for a couple of years, and she's a quick study to boot.
The fruit trees of early spring were all abloom while Molly was here visiting, and we took advantage of it by heading up to Monticello for a quick visit. Here's a shot of the two of us at Monticello:
Molly's got some wonderful new paintings from that visit on her blog. Here's one of my faves.