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 580-One Last Chateau Gaillard


I sat on the corner in Les Andelys watching my cruising companions hiking up the hill from which “many don’t return” according to my new friend Gus’ husband Bob. Gus and Bob have done the Paris to Normandy cruise several times annually. 

This painting was done wet on wet and is one of my favorite paintings to date. I felt like I was finally getting Charles Reid!! 

Since hill hikes make my asthma go crazy I elected to draw while they hiked.  Les Andelys is just a charming tiny village. A cute row of shops. A church dating to 1200! Half timber buildings. 
What’s not to love?! And Richard the Lionhearted walked these streets. Fascinating to me with our young American history. 

Once again same colors. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret xxx 

Day 578 – Chateau Gaillard

I drew Chateau Gaillard several times while we were in Les Andelys. It sits high above the Seine Valley dominating the river and the quintessential French village  at its base. 

Richard the Lionhearted built it to control access to Normandy via the Seine around 1180-1200. No housing could be built until the Chateau aka castle was finished in a record ten years. Imagine a French winter in what tents?! Or sleeping outside for ten years?! 

The second son of Henry II of England spent most of his life in Normandy even when he became king of England.

Legendary characters in Bristish history surround King Richard  from his parents Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane to Robin Hood who came to his aide. 

The  machinations of Richards younger brother, Eleanor’s favorite son -the notorious King John Lackland,  and the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham who had the Germans kidnap and held him for ransom on his return from the crusades in the Holy Land are the stuff of many movies. 

So there it’s sits wrapped in legend glowing in the French sun begging to be drawn. And I did.  

This was drawn sitting in the warm lounge of the Viking Pride. Talk about cushy urban sketching!! Does not get any better!! Comfy chair, feet up, huge glass windows with incredible views and a glass of wine! What more could you ask for??! 

Colors used – DS Green apatite, dioxzine purple, Quin gold Quin red orange. The castle is Winsor yellow and cerulean with raw umber and yellow ochre. 

Read more about the Chateau at

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret off to enjoy this gorgeous 70 day. 


Day 501 – Photoshop ExpressΒ 

    Another free download is Photoshop Epxress. Great for doctoring those thousand photos you took on grey days in France. Easy enough that my three year old grandson had fun using it. He loved clicking on the different photo effects and changing the pictures.  

Watermill at Bayeux France


 Before photoshop express

  APanorama shot of the same mill. 

Before Photoshop express. Big difference. 



Before Photoshop express- taken into the sun. Never a good idea but sometimes the only choice. 


Ranville church panorama – dream in photoshop express


Before photoshop express. Late afternoon dark gloomy afternoon. 
A lot of fun. Go download it and have fun exploring. 

   View from the Eiffel Tower on a grey rainy day.

 Before pse

 Can’t decide which I like better.  I think the second one. 
 Thanks for reading!

Margaret xxx


Day 494 -Vive La France!! πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·

πŸ‡«πŸ‡·Feel free to use this image. Posting France sketches on my website and will continue til they are done. πŸ‡«πŸ‡·

Gussie and Bob in front of pregothic Saint Sauveur Eglise in Les Andelys. 

First a Bob joke. We discussed whether or not to do the climb to Chateau Gaillard. Bob told me it was the third worst climb on the trip and many were known not to ever return from it. Lol. 

Started in 1220 and finished 100 years later Saint Saveur Eglise was one of the first churches with Gothic elements. A rooster or chanticleer  tops the spire as they do most churches in France. They represent the denial of Peter and from the blog “Thereafter, the kings of France will adopt the cock out of bravado. When meeting their rivals who treated them as roosters, they would say that the cock is a brave and early rising fighter.

The cock is also the bird of light and faith, the enemy of evil and darkness, etc….”

πŸ‡«πŸ‡·As most of you know we are just back from the best trip ever is Viking from Paris to Normandy and well not quite back because of the bombings. We stayed in Conflans near Paris and disembarked from there instead of a few blocks from the awesome Eiffel Tower. πŸ˜’πŸ‡«πŸ‡·

 Leonard Porkchop Zimmermans Happy sticker I stuck on a street post near the Eiffel Tower.  He’s blanketing the world with these free stickers. Check him out on Facebook. 

πŸ‡«πŸ‡·A chilly nite in St Germain en Laye section of Paris. πŸ‡«πŸ‡·

The day after the bombing Parisians were out doing what they do best enjoying the city. 


Richard the Lionhearted’s Chateau Gaillard in Les Andelys. The chateau and the town were built in the lye twelfth century. Of course they had to build the chateau before he permitted them to build the town. Hmm 

Les Andelys from the boat. So charming. Did I say that already!!?

Map of Les Andelys borrowed from the Viking bulletin board. It changes with each port of call. 
Garden in Conflans 
  The rooftops of Conflan  From the Chateau Mountjoie. All the chateaus sat above the river to command the river. 

   The Cpunt of Montjoies tomb in the Conflan church. Too cool. i have read about crusaders tombs but never seen one. 

  The tomb below the church window.   The Viking chefs favorite fromagerie in Conflans and  Tetons de Venus. Yes it means nipples of Venus. Wonder if hers were encrusted with mold? Guess they are by now. Lol

  More mold encrusted cheeses. 

That’s a lot of mold to make that delicious cheese!! 😳 Of course my son Ben said that’s how they make cheese. I guess like everything else in the US ours is sanitized before we see it. 

The Viking chefs favorite chocolate shop in Conflans. Lots of deliciousness there. 

My sis at the Eiffel Tower on a rainy gloomy day. 

Sacre Couer. 

Well enough photos for the day. Go forth and book a Viking cruise. They are awesome. There were people on our cruise who had been on six or seven. Some had done the Seine cruise more than once. 

Thanks for reading. 

Margaret in Atlanta recovering jet lag!