Day 44 A Day in Provence with Vlad

Did a paint along with Vlad Yesilesev today. He will be doing some more. Think it’s a great format that lets what he says sink in. And you get a copy of the class to download. Some dummy didn’t get that 911. They expire after a couple of days. OPPPSEY. I Will do it this time. Using a 2B mechanical pencil we all do a value sketch under his tutelage. Lots of squinting.

Light washes of yellow ochre cobalt and dioxzine and alizarin.

First wash. Oopsey. Always leave holidays and then duh go back and repaint. That does NOT work on damp watercolor. You get blooms.

And opps forgot to take more photos duh. Next time.

Hugs Margaret. Xoxoxoxo

Day 2119 Van Gogh did NOT commit suicide

Auvers Van Goghs Blue Church on the hill my version

But I knew that.

Auver from the Oise River Bridge. Ravouxs Auberge (Inn) where Van Gogh died on far left

This article based on a forensic analysis of his death says otherwise.

Van Goghs famous blue church

Of course I can’t get to my sketchbook and share a map of Auvers. It’s in Augusta and I am not.

Go on a Viking Seine River cruise in the winter and they will take you to Auvers since Monets Giverny near Normandy closes in October.

Margaret in Atlanta with the grandkids. Xoxoxox

Day 2074 Rue de Gros Horlage part deux

Been working on this all day today. Takes a while in between washes to dry.

Rue de Gros Horlage in Rouen Normandy France. Thinking maybe it’s done or close?! Now to stare at it a while. It will tell me one way or the other. rough 300# fabriano

adding more darks to windows and doors and people.

Wash on wash.

First wash

The sketch.

Now Officially too tahred to type more

Margaret staring at the painting

Day 2069 French cars

Took a photo of this small wagon in Rouen. I love old French cars and all the fabulous French doors.

Rue de Florence Rouen Normandy France

Why didnt I use the second one. Duh. I know redo time. Another sketch. Lol.

Twisbee pen Dartrementis document brown Ink hahnemuhle journal. Not liking the paper a lot. Charles Reid palette colors.

Margaret Xoxoxox who has one more Baldacci book to read before her Amos Decker binge is done. Xoxoxo

Day 1042 – Happy Memorial Day

Which somehow seems an odd thing to say when you are remembering the deaths of millions of young men in battles.

American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandie. 

The 73rd anniversary of the D Day Invasions is coming up June 6 so Memorial Day seems like a good time to revisit the invasion sites in Normandy and remember the many brave young men who died there so long ago. 

Bytw Rick Stevens visits all the places we want to in Normandie including Rouen the Norse capital and of course d Day sites. 

Arrowmanches les Bains, Normandy, France in the heart of the invasion zone.  

Last night I watched a Pbs show about a group of D Day survivors who returned to Allemanche and the landing beaches on the 75th Anniversary in 2014. They had not wanted to go do fear the French would reject them. 

The D-Day Landing map 

It was so touching to see how much the French of all ages opened their arms to the returning soldiers now extremely old men giving them many hugs and kisses and thanking them for giving them their freedom that they still enjoy 70 years later. In Normandy they still celebrate the arrival of the Allies every June 6 so that it will never be forgotten. 

 The Pegasus Bridge Commander, General Hill, and the US Divisions who were at Normandy

The one of the old men said they were not the Beatles but to the French of Normandy they were something better. Men who had fought and died to free the French. Such a touching show. 

 This is the Canadian WW2 Cemetery at Bien Sur Mer. A touching spot it’s a beautiful parklike  place where 70 years later everything is in pristine condition bushes trimmed gravestones scrubbed and flowers planted everywhere. 

The Canadian Museum at Juno Beach. Gleaming in the afternoon sunshine if viewed from the air it looks like a large maple leaf. The exhibits are all up to date state of the art interactive exhibits.  It sits on the bluff above the beaches and La Manche -the Arm- what the French call the English Channel. 

Pegasus Bridge. The spot where the Brits lead by Gen Hill parachuted into Caen, Normandy the DAY BEFORE the  D Day Invasions. And of course many died there. Some never touched the ground. One hung from the church tower acting like he was dead and lived to tell the story. Brave Man!!

This fascinating museum is shaped like one of the gliders they parachuted out of. 

Pock marked with bullet holes, Eglise de Ranville, the site of another allied cemetery, where even on a cold grey November day there were bright flowers marking the graves. This Ranville, Basse-Normandy, France claims to be the first village freed by the Allies in June 6 1944. 

Another Map of the D Day Invasion. 

The full spread from my sketchbook. 

And a journal page of a few other places we visited on our trip to Normandy to the D Day sites.  

Happy Memorial Day! 

Margaret xoxoxo whose going to listen to old WW 2 movies on TCM while she paints.  #usk #urbansketcher #traveljournal #watercolor #aquarelle #ink #strathmore #viking #strathmore500 #arrowmanches #normandy #normandie #normandietourisme #vikingcruises #PegasusBridge #bayeux #Ranville #beny-sur-mer #Rouen #omahabeach #junobeach #dday #alliedinvasion 

Day 726 – Almost two years. 

My Van Gogh Sunflowers 20×24 Acrylic For Sale 
Coming up on two years of daily posting on Day 730 or at least attempting to do that. 

One of the things I learned this year – if you are taking a Viking cruise up the Seine River the wifi is definitely UNdependable. Have to think about a cure for that next time we go. 
My friends and fellow artists say they have seen a lot of growth since I started this journey. I started out to do a month then 50 days then 90. It grew like topsy. 

Auvers sur L’Oise – Prints available Watercolor 8 x 11″ approximately 

I love Van Gogh. Ever since the Viking Cruise and a tour of Auvers where he died I have been thinking about painting sunflowers because I knew I could never afford a real Van Gogh. I had to paint my own another that mine is in his league!! 
This week was the week. I bought a bunch of sunflowers at Krogers and Costco to paint in my blue Shishir pot from Tire City Potters in Augusta.  

Colors used – Pthalo blue, cerulean, ultramarine blue, golden Green Gold and nickel Azo gold, hookers Green, cad yellow medium, cad yellow light, cad red light, burnt umber, titanium white. 
I had a lot of trouble with the yellows. They tend to be transparent which did not work well over the turquoise background. I finally found a tune of Golden Primary Yellow that I drew petals on straight out of the tube. The impasto ( thick) paint finally did the trick. 

Day 593 – Back to Rouen 

  Somehow I forgot to post this sketch I did of Rue Martainville from the square in front of St Maclou in Rouen.

 These half timber frame houses proliferated in the Rouenduring the medieval period.  More still remain here than anywhere else in France. The medieval Europeans thought they were more fireproof than timber houses. Hmm?!

 Notice how the bottom leans. Oh my!! 
 Rouen has them in great variety and shape, overhanging streets, leaning crazily. Often doors and windows are totally leaning a kilter on the front of the houses. Nothing is square though we were told they were inside. How is that possible. Je ne sais pas. I don’t know! But I have seen them with my own two eyes. Now you have too. 

   Lining an alley. 
 And how is it that these crazy wonky leaning buildings don’t fall down upon our heads. Once again. Je ne sais pas! C’est un miracle. 

Surrounding the market place. 

  Marching toward St. Mclou. 

And of course cheek to jowl with St Maclou. 
Rouen has street after street lined with these teetering ancient beauties like old women in spikes towering and tilting down the narrow cobbled lanes waiting to tumble down momentarily. 
Thanks for reading. 
Margaret xxx hot planning maps to make to fill in blanks in my French travel Journals. 

Day 587 – The Bény Sur Mer Cemetery


Is a beautiful four acre cemetery where the Canadians buried their dead after the D Day invasions. Americans have 170 acres of cemetery. 

Something about spot is poignant. This is the favorite sketch of many on our cruise. They eventually started looking over my shoulder to see what I was drawing. This one got alot of that’s my favorite sketch. 

It was quite an easy one to do so I find the comments interesting. Not complicated like the Centee Juno Beach sketch or the Pegasus Bridge sketch. 

Simple colors too. A bright cobalt blue sky. Cerulean and Quin sienna for greys. Hookers with Quin yellow in the grass. Quin burnt orange for trees. Cerulean jeans.   And  that’s about it. 

As I said a simple sketch and painting. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx

Day 585 – Juno Beach

The Canadians built this beautiful museum to remember the D Day Invasion and the valiant men who fought there on June 6 1944. From above its shaped like a maple leaf. 

The museum sits on the shore at Les Courselles in Normandie above La Manche, the Sleeve, as the French call the English Channel. Below are the beaches where the brave British, Canadian and Australian forces staged their D Day invasion. 

  Eventfully more than 4500 of them died during the invasion of Normandie. 

Colors used. First a wash of Winsor yellow on the buildings. Next a wash of Cerulean and Quin burnt orange and Quin sienna. Shadows cobalt and dioxzine purple and more sienna and Quin burnt orange. Windows and sky cerulean.  Grass yellow green and olive green with Quin burnt orange. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx  


Day 584 Inside St Sauveurs

A quick sketch drawn while sitting in the lovely early morning quiet of the church. Not that Les Andelys is a hub bub of noise and activity!!  It was lovely to sit in the still in the old rush seated chairs and admire the 16th century stained glass windows.

I think I really enjoyed drawing this one because we could not even stick our noses into the Rouen Cathedral or even see the whole facade due to the Christmas market construction at the base. 

All that way and no good looks at Monets famed cathedral. Sigh! I guess I will just have to go back!!! 

I coated the sketch with an initial coat of Winsor yellow and let it dry. I also used a lot of Quin burnt orange on the walls of the apex. 

Shadows are burnt orange and Inathrodone. Not quite as dark as burnt umber and Inathrodone. A nice light alternative. 

Windows – marine blue, ultramarine blue, purple and bits of Winsor yellow. Each color was allowed to dry before the next was added. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx