Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wednesday Illustrations, Autumn in Bordeaux

I want to offer you something today, but franchement, after this morning's yoga class -- oof! what a workout! -- and given that we're due to meet our French tutor in an hour, I can't summon enough coherent words (although I put quite a few together early this morning for an upcoming post).  Instead, I'll share a couple of pages from my illustrated journal, obvious flaws and all (Admit it, if I hadn't written that those spotted shapes above were "conkers," you'd never recognise them as chestnuts -- the shape's not bad, but I need some help working out how to make them shine. . . )

Another sign that Autumn is getting its hooks in more firmly these days is that I'm reaching for my coat more often. Today, honestly, I'm wishing I could have brought my peacoat, but the trench is not bad if I wear a scarf and gloves, as below.  More soon on how my #10weeks1carryon approach is working -- still a month to go, and temperatures are sure to drop. . .
Meanwhile, though, let's not borrow trouble. Sufficient unto the day, and all that. . . .

For now, I'm continuing to enjoy the colours of Autumn. . .
That potiron, by the way, made the best Winter Squash Pancakes. The persimmon, found below a heavily laden tree in the Jardin Public, was simply brought home, admired, sketched, sniffed, before being tossed -- it had fallen before it was quite ripe and then bruised enough to dissuade us from trying it. But it made a charming subject for my day's sketch just the same.

There you go, a post for Wednesday, and now I must run, trying to switch my brain to French. Poor little brain. . . .


22 comments:

  1. I was sure,before the explanation,about chestnuts (and not all of them shine IRL) :-)
    You look very elegant and very happy-the colour of the trench and the scarf- les couleurs d'automne!
    Winter is comming and what an opportunity to buy a coat (or Uniqlo down, warm and perfect for travel)
    Dottoressa

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    1. As always, you're very kind, Dottoressa.
      Luckily, I did bring a Uniqlo ultra-light, bought here last year, and ideal for travel. Layered under my trench or even under my faux-fur vest, I hope it will get me through the rest of our trip, as I have more than enough winter coats awaiting me at home (although someday, the MaxMara camel. . . it calls me. . . .)

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  2. Loving seeing snippets from your illustrated journal!
    What a keepsake it is going to be for you...
    I bought a new coat in a daring shade of wine (bordeaux!) the weather is stormy here today and I will be wearing it!

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    1. That coat sounds perfect! Something about those rich colours is warming in itself. Enjoy!

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  3. You do yourself a disservice. Your sketching is amazing and what a wonderful record of your travels. The chills are heading your way I'm afraid...more scarves and layers to the ready :) B x

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    1. Aw, thanks, B. I do see that in the forecast, and I notice I'm wanting to pull a scarf around my neck more often now, have been wearing my gloves, thinking I should have brought a hat. . .

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  4. I can't believe you still have a month to go - I'm very interested to hear how you are getting on with your carry-on wardrobe. You look very chic in your trench.

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    1. I know! Such a long time, isn't it? I really wanted this experience, and it's been, it is, interesting. I'll be sorting it for some time, I suspect. Thanks re the trench. I just notice the boxiness of my short-waisted figure, belted. . . oh, we're so hard on ourselves, no?!

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  5. Isn't it fun to be able to live (yoga, French, and sketching) in another country? Your trench looks very European. Great discussion with senior ladies today about The Mayor of Casterbridge! Your sketches are indeed recognizable as depicting conkers.

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    1. It really is, Mme. A completely different kind of travel.
      Envious of that book discussion. And thinking recently about our thoughts of reading Balzac together, peut-être en français -- was it Père Goriot?

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  6. If you return to the Jardin Public when the persimmon tree still has fruit hanging from it, please take and post a photograph of the tree for us. We used to have a neighbor who had espaliered his persimmon tree again a large bare outer street-facing wall of his house. With gorgeous orange fruit hanging from its branches, that tree was the most beautiful Christmas tree on the street each December.

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    1. Done! See my next post -- and what a lovely image of an outdoor "Christmas tree"

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  7. Your sketches are SO charming! And you look dashing in your trench. I'm erring on the side of anticipated colder weather for my trip and will be packing a down puffer.

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    1. Thanks Sue!
      Temps are dropping here this week, and more so, I'm sure, in Paris, considerably north. . . You'll be glad of that down. . .

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  8. lovely outfit! I'm enjoying your art and writing. What type of paper is the sketchbook? ..and do you use water color or gouache?

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    1. Stella, I'm using the Moleskine Watercolour Book in the "large" size (5x8.5) and the paper is cold-pressed, 135 lbs.
      I've got a little Cotman Sketchers' paint box (made by Winsor & Newton) which came with 12 little pans of colour.
      Bumping into some technique issues -- looking forward to chatting with more knowledgeable friends about this when I get back -- but so far, I'm pleased to be creating some sustainable habits, at least.

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  9. I didn't know that those beautiful chestnuts were called "conkers." I recently heard them referred to as "buckeyes" as well. Your sketches are charming.

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    1. It's what my dad always called them, based on his childhood experience with him in Yorkshire where the kids played a game, piercing the chestnuts to tie them on a stout piece of string, then hurling them against their opponent's "conker" until one broke. Apparently it's still played there, and it's part of some Canadian childhoods as well, although it didn't feature in mine except through my dad's stories. Thanks re the sketches.

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  10. I love your updates on your travels, Frances- it sounds so idyllic- yoga, French lessons, potlucks, culture, with time to soak it all in...such bliss. I too am intrigued by your carry on wardrobe- I stream line more each time I travel but end up checking luggage most of the time, so I am looking forward to a lesson in packing even lighter.. Prim and I walk by a chestnut tree on one of favourite walks along the Rivers Trail- the prickly outer layer splitting open to reveal the beautiful smooth conker within takes me right back to childhood in the Kootenays and making necklaces with the conkers- or chucking them in a "war" and conking each other with them- ouch! We also built tree houses in the branches of the chestnut trees- many hours of fun! Your illustrated journal umpires me to get mine out, dust it off and return to this lovely way to capture memories. The dun is shining on the colourful leaves here in Kamloops, but the morning chill reminds me that winter is on its way. I would be purchasing a down jacket for sure. 🙃Jennifer

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    1. Good old autospell has me umpiring rather than inspiring, it would seem! 😱

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    2. Umpiring can be inspiring! ;-)
      I'd forgotten about the necklace potential of a handful of conkers -- they were a bit heavy, weren't they?!
      You'll be needing a much heavier down jacket that mine! No snow falling yet, I hope, but I'm sure the temperature's falling quickly.

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  11. Conkers! Well-remembered from a year in London as a child. The watercolors and their labels are so adorable - sweet.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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