Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Exploring Sweden ...The Flowers are Calling

'Just Before the Rain'. 5x7. Pastel. Karen Margulis

Flowers are everywhere I look. I really didn't know what to expect about the landscape in Sweden. But I can say that I love it. Flowers are everywhere. Poppies and daisies by the roadside. Tiny yellow flowers an tiny little daisies carpet the grass. Today was about the flowers.

We began a full day of exploring with a drive to Landskrona to see the castle and the surrounding colony gardens.

These little garden plots with their tiny houses were fascinating. According. to my friend the plots are like community gardens only you have to buy the plot. The houses are only meant for overnight or daytime use... Not to live in. Many were quite elaborate. We got to tour one of them.

 

A few of them had small structures filled with sticks, bark and other wood. They were housing for insects so they had a place to live over the winter.

 

We also visited a wonderful garden by the sea. I will share more about it tomorrow. We made it part of an art project! More tomorrow!

 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hello Sweden....The Painting Adventure Continues

 

'Evening Comes Late'. 5x7. Pastel. Karen Margulis

I had no plans and no expectations. Sometimes it is more fun that way. I decided to come to Sweden to visit my friend Riley. She has been wanting to show me Sweden and possibly host a future workshop here. I told her to surprise me with our itinerary. The first day has been amazing!

We are renting a house in the countryside near Lund. It is picture perfect and a great place to paint. I shot a video tour of the home which I will post tomorrow. Here is one of our neighhhhhbors.(I couldn't resist)

This morning we drove to Lund to check out the art store. I love exploring art stores in other countries! They are dangerous though! I can never resist a few unique goodies. I bought a beautiful coloring book and brush markers, a pale yellow unison pastel and a limited edition tin of Conte sticks.

We walked for 5 miles around the downtown area stopping for some salmon soup. Yumm! After a full morning we headed back to the house to paint. I set up outside and started a quick demo for Riley. I was almost finished when it began to rain. We quickly moved into the mud room where we kept painting!

Tomorrow we will head out at 9:00 and our destination will be a surprise. I can't wait!

Today's painting is a familiar motif for me but with the added magic of Sweden mixed in. This was the view out the window around 9:00 pm.

 

 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Painters Passport France Expedition....Saying Au Revoir to France

'The Cows of Meuvaines'. 5x7. Pastel. Karen Margulis

The days flew by yet they were long and languid at the same time. Sunset at 10:30 will do that. But after a week in the countryside of Normandy it was time to say Au revoir. Our last full day was a mix of painting and shopping. Stan did another couple of demos....cows and some trees. Both things I had been wanting to paint as well. The painting in this post was my last painting done in France.

Then it was time for a bit of shopping in Bayeux and lunch with the ladies. It was a fun afternoon with new friends. I bought a new painting apron with the Bayeux Tapestry. It will be a wonderful reminder of my trip. Then it was back to the mansion to pack.

Leaving was bittersweet. We were sad to leave but anxious to get home or to our next destination. Stan was ready for the second group to arrive. It was a wonderful week and many memories and paintings were made. I will be putting together photos of my paintings and stories from the trip in the coming days.

The next part of my adventure is a week in Sweden. I will be visiting a friend who lives in Sweden. I met her on last year's Iceland trip. The trip to Sweden almost came to a screeching halt when someone mistakenly grabbed my passport and boarding pass from the security line. After a harrowing 30 minutes it was turned in and I was on my way. I will go into more details in a future travel tip post.

We arrived at our home base for the week and I was greeted with a glass of homemade elderberry lemonade. Very unique and delicious. Our rented home is wonderful! Look for a video tour later this week. I can't wait to begin my exploration of Sweden!

 

 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Painter's Passport France Expedition....Wheat Fields and the Sea

'Cliff side Beauty'. 5x7. Pastel. Karen Margulis

Beauty is everywhere. There is so much to paint right around us that we all opted to stay local again. So we painted all day. We began with an early morning demo by Stan. We had a couple of hours to paint on our own. I chose to paint the wheat fields. I did several studies. I wanted to paint as many studies as I could!

 

One of my morning paintings

After lunch it was my turn to demo. I did a painting of the wheat fields from one of my morning studies. I demonstrated an alcohol wash. It was a lot of fun to share again. The day continued back at the beach. This time we set up on some cliffs. I painted 4 studies of this beautiful area.

After a wonderful dinner back at our home we took another great walk through the wheat fields. Here are a few photos from the walk.

 

 

 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Painter's Passport France Expedition...Painting the Beach

'Gold Beach Afternoon'. 8x10. Pastel. Karen Margulis
It has been an artist's dream come true. Long days spent painting in the French countryside. There has been no reason to leave our manor and little town of Meuvaines. It is like a fairytale village. Stone farmhouses surrounded by fields of wheat and flax. We paint to the sound of cows and the cooing of doves.
This morning we painted on the grounds. I decided I would paint some minis. I did 12 of the before lunch. I sat outside but glanced at my camera for inspiration. Does that count as plein air? Here we are in front of our mansion along with some of my minis.
After lunch a few of us decided to go paint at the beach. Gold Beach is only about a mile from the house. When we got yo the beach the tide was coming in. Stan did a demo first then I did a quick one as well.
 

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Painter's Passport France Expedition...More Painting and Exploring

'Road to the Wheat Fields'. 5x7. Pastel. Karen Margulis

It was another full day int the countryside of Normandy. We woke up to sunshine and the sounds of roosters and cows. After breakfast Stan did a morning demo. The topic of the demo was painting architecture...how to measure and how to suggest.

The morning was ours to paint what we wanted around the property and town. We were supposed to include buildings. I painted the wash house and then worked by way toward the wheat fields.

After lunch it was time for some exploring. We are very close to the D-Day Beaches of Normandy. Since we have 4 Canadians in our group we visited Juno Beach first. I took a walk on the beach.

Next we went to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetary. It was incredibly moving.

The day ended with a stop at the town of Bayeux. We were on our own for dinner and We ended up having a sandwich on the best baguette ever. I was disappointed that the patisserie was closed. We'll be going back before the end of the week.

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Painter's Passport France Expedition ...Visiting Mount St Michel

'Counting Sheep'. 5x7. Pastel Karen Margulis

We were up at 5 am. The goal was to make the 2 hour drive to Mount St Michel before the crowds. It was worth the early morning wake up call. We didn't have it all to ourselves but the crowds definitely started pouting in as we were finished touring. It was a wonderful sight although some in the group said it used to be more dramatic before the causeway was built.

After our visit we drove to a spot that had a view of Mont St Michel in the distance. It was the perfect spot for a picnic and a quick painting. Stan gave us an assignment. We were to do a quick painting using only six sticks of pastel. I got so caught up in the moment that I forgot the assignment and used 8 sticks!

Stan doing a 6 value painting
We had a relaxing late afternoon lounging around the mansion. I decided it was time to do some wash. I had to use the clothesline to hang my clothes to dry. After dinner they were dry and made a great photo op!

Tomorrow is another day around the house. We will paint in the morning and visit Omaha Beach and Bayeuux in the afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Painter's Passport France Expedition ... Cows and Wheat

'The Cows In the Backyard'. 5x7. Pastel Karen Margulis
We woke up to rain. It was time for plan B. There are worse places to spend a rainy day. Our manor had plenty of room for us all to spread out and paint. Stan began the day with a few demo paintings and talk. Our assignment...see the big shapes and carve into them. The rain let up for a couple of hours so I went to paint in the barn. I wanted to paint some cows.

After lunch it was my turn to do another demo. Since it was still raining I painted from my camera. The lesson was how to simplify and interpret a photo. It was great to share again! Before dinner the sun came out. It was glorious! We all took a big walk. The area right around the house is amazing! Here are a few photos.

Stan talks to us about the colors in the sky.

Tomorrow is a big day. We visit Mt. St Michel. We'll paint and sketch and take lots of pictures.

I made a video tour of our mansion. Check it out on You Tube. Here is the link : https://youtu.be/APt3GnDKhkU