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 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