Friday, July 31, 2009

Moleskine drawings - Limousin and Dordogne, France - Summer 2009

Here's the rest of the work I did in my Moleskines for my travels in France this summer. I now have 5 Molekines dedicated to my trips to France ... hmmm, addicted.

Where the rental house was:
Château Chervix - Haute Vienne, Limousin - France.

The Limousin region of France is quite hilly. Steep, steep hills, covered in trees and beautiful valleys with lakes and rivers running through and fields peppered with beautiful Limousin cattle. The region is not as populated as the northern or coastal parts of France and it's not such a touristy area either...which is fine with me. It's lovely, peaceful, and green.

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"The Limousin Cattle in a Field Around Château Chervix - Haute Vienne, Limousin - France"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

The Limousin cattle are so beautiful; that gingery gold color, and I had the perfect watercolor color for them : Quinacridone Gold. I love that color! (thanks Aunt T for sending me this color).

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Valley View in Château Chervix - Haute Vienne, Limousin - France"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

The only remaining part of the Château Chervix (castle chervix) is the dungeon, but it is high up a steep hill behind that view I was drawing. I didn't even think about climbing up there ... this was enough of a steep walk up for me. I'm a born flatlander... lol.

Although we did spend a lot of time at the rental house, because it was so pleasent, we did take lots of day trips to different villages around the Limousin and into the next region - the Dordogne.

Here are some of those trips:

A day trip to Sègeur Le Château - Corrèze department in the Limousin region.
A very well-preserved, 15 century medieval commune, Ségur-le-Château is located in a corner of the Limousin region on the edge of the Dordogne region towards the south-southeast. It was very pretty, very forresty - set in the hillside. The commune/village is at the base of an old medieval castle which we didn't get to see...too high up for these old legs to climb, plus I think you had to be on a tour to see it. The inhabitors of the 15th century commune would have served the noble lord of the castle - it is a feudel village.

Although very, very old (undestatement) many of the houses are still lived in and some are hotels and taverns - lots of rennovation work was being done. It felt as though we were in a movie set, or something. Loved being there, would love to rent a gite there some day.

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"From a Stone Bridge in Sèguer le Château in the Corrèze - Limousin, France"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

The water wasn't really that blue ... it was more muddy greenish-blue, but I didn't like that, so I drastically changed

Here's what "the kermits" were doing on that bridge while I was drawing:

photos copyright 2009, J.Nijholt-Strong
"Kermits on Vacation - Ségur-le-Château, France - summer 2009"

A view of a mud & wattle, or " tudor style", building on a crossroads in the village. The road sign points to Pompadour.

photo copyright 2009, J.Nijholt-Strong
"Ségur-le-Château, France - summer 2009"

A day trip to St. Jean de Côle: Perigord Vert - upper Dordogne region.
The Perigord Vert is a department just below the Limousin region towards the south-southwest; it is part of the Dordogne region. France is a bit confusing, if you're not French, with her regions, departments, parishes, communes, villages, etc. ...

These are some drawings/paintings I did in the really pretty village of St. Jean de Côle (the Côle is a river that runs through this village).

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
left: "Mill House and River Côle at St. Jean de Côle - Perigord Vert, Dordogne,France"
right: "Romanesque Cathedral Architecture in St. Jean de Côle -

Perigord Vert, Dordogne, France"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

A view from where we were sitting, at a café on the square, while I drew the some of the features of the cathedral.
It was an extremely hot day.

photo copyright 2009, J.Nijholt-Strong
"St. Jean de Côle, France - Romanesque cathedral, St. Etienne - summer 2009"

Having a place to get a cool drink was great and we also ducked inside the church to escape the heat; the temp inside was considerably lower.

A day trip to Jumilhac le Grand.
I didn't sketch here, but wanted to show you some pictures of the castle at Jumilhac le Grand.

photo copyright 2009, J.Nijholt-Strong
"Château de Jumilhac - Jumilhac Le Grand, France - Dordogne - Summer 2009"

This privately owned castle, originally built as a feudel fortress in the 12th century, is still owned by the descendants of the original Baron/Lord/Count/whatever ... lol. I can't keep up! There were so many castles in this area, as it follows the route of Richard the Lionheart (King of England) and this particular castle is on a medieval religious pilgrim route, the Camino de Santiago, to Spain - the castle used to house the pilgrims on their way to Spain. We toured the inside of this castle (no photos allowed inside) and we were the only ones on the tour, which is always nice because I ask a million questions . ha! Oh, I have to say the young guide was excellent! She was worried her english wasn't good, but it was great - far better than my french which is virtually non-existant.

However, you could take pics in the castle garden ....

photo copyright 2009, J. Nijholt-Strong
"Jumilhac Le Grand, France - Castle Garden - summer 2009"

This incredible tree is in the castle garden. That's my husband sitting under the tree....freaking huge tree!

And a view from the front balcony of the castle, over the courtyard to the outer fortress wall, and out to the village main street (handy to see the "enemy"approaching).

photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Inner castle balcony view - Jumilhac le Grand, France - summer 2009"

Just have to say, I loved that tree... too bad my garden in Holland is so small that it would fit in that tree and you'd miss it! LOL

Back to Normandy.... last of the drawings for this summer.
We spent our last 2 weeks back in Normandy in the Hameau le Hetre (hamlet of Hetre), Sassetot-Le-Mauconduit (the bigger village), Haute Normandy (the area), Seine Maritime (the department), Normandy (the region), France. See, I told you it's a lil confusing if you're not French ... I hope I got that all correct!

Every time we've been here, on the first day I always insist we go down to the ocean to see the cliffs at the Les Grande Dalles by Sassetot-le-Mauconduit. They are just so inspring to me. I love this view so much - this is about a short 15 minute ride from the house we stay in.

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Les Grande Dalles - Sassetot-le-Mauconduit, Normandy - France 2009"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

Last year, I was on crutches due to knee surgery, so I couldn't get down to the beach area (a very rocky beach), but this year I could! It's so peaceful to just sit and take in that view.

So, this time I could pick up some whelk shells on the beach at Les Grande Dalles. I think they're whelk shells?! This one was done back at the rental house. The drawing and painting only took about 25 minutes, but that cross-hatching in the background took me 3 days! hahaha! I did the cross-hatching work late at night ... that'll teach me.

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Whelks from Les Grandes Dalles at Sassetot-le-Mauconduit, Normandy-France, 2009"
watercolor, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

And the last of the drawings from Normandy.

copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong
left: "Tart Framboise de Fécamp - summer 2009"
right: "The last drawing of summer vacation 2009 - Normandy, France"
watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink - Moleskine sketchbook

Yes, the raspberry tart was good! So good that I should have bought two ... heh heh.
I only had a few minutes to do the very last drawing, on the right side of the Moleskine, as the owners were coming to collect the key to the rental house. We'll be back there again though, of that I'm sure....besides, I miss the donkey!

So, that's all for now. I've spent all day on this post. I find it so annoying trying to move images around and having to redo the text alignments every time I upload ... ouf! I need another vacation now!!! lol ;o)
tot ziens


Elaine said...

It looks/sounds like you had a wonderful time. Lots of great shots. Love all the sketches, but I think the cattle is my fave.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by and commenting Elaine.
TY for the compliments.


CarolArtlett said...

Fabulous drawings. It sounds a s though you had a load of fun. I am jealous especially about the raspberry tart.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hey Miss C!
Thanks for stopping by. :o)
If I could, I'd send ya some tarts from France...but I'd probably eat them all before they made it into the box.

Robyn said...

I haven't visited your blog for ages but you certainly haven't lost your touch for beautiful holiday sketches, Judy.

And Happy Birthday to Sasha. Five! Goodness time flies.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hi Robyn! Thanks for stopping by. :o)
Yep, time sure does fly....just wish this hot weather would fly by as well! lol
Give my love to the doggies.

K.O. said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog and love the drawings! I was wondering what "tools" you use to create them. Do you draw in ink first and then color them in? What do you use to make the colors--watercolor, markers, etc.? Thanks! :)

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks K.O.!

Most times I draw in ink first with archival waterproof ink(Sakura Pigma Micron pens or Staedtler Pigment Liner pens), especially in my regular Moleskine sketchbooks.

However, I sometimes do the watercolors first and then ink in. My "technique" changes with my moods and often times it changes with where I am and what I can, or can't, do (can't do much "watery" stuff in museums, for instance).

I've tried everything for colors, but I prefer Winsor&Newton pan & tube watercolors, and/or Caran d'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils and Faber-Castell Abrecht Durer watercolor pencils. Those are my standard color tools for my Moleskine work.

Tried Copic markers once, but they bleed through and I don't like that. And I rarely use regular colored pencils (not watercolor pencils) in my Moleskines as the paper is too slick.

Thanks for your comment and compliment. :o)



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