Thursday, 29 August 2013


The jug on the left here came from a local pottery hidden away down the narrow lanes between the sea and the golf course. We went there to find a wedding present for Luba and HervĂ© when they married 5 years ago and I couldn't resist getting something for myself!  I think the other one came from a craft market in Guildford.
This was a challenge to draw entirely in dots using a marker pen.  It's actual colour is a lot darker but I like the way this turned out.
We found these 2 little snack bowls at Huelgoat during a day out in the forest there. It's a wonderful place to walk through, following the stream and looking at the huge boulders strewn around covered in bright green moss.
A large part of this challenge was to practise drawing ellipses. As you can see, I got this one completely wrong, but that's the idea, you can't erase and start again, just learn from the mistakes!
In 2011 I finally realised a long held dream to visit Roussillon in Provence.  It's the source of ochre pigments in many shades from yellow through red to brown. The village is built on a hill with fabulous views towards the old quarries as well as over the landscape. All the buildings are painted in shades of yellow and at sunset the effect is magical.  We visited the fascinating museum housing the equipment used for turning basic rocks into fine coloured powders for use by artists and the building trade. The factory only closed in the 1960s and seeing everything covered in a fine layer of yellow dust made us wonder about the health of the workers and if they used masks to protect their lungs.
In the village I found a delightful gift shop full of beautiful pottery and I found it hard to choose from the different colours but finally this one seemed to best display the local shades. The sales lady was very helpful and told me where to find the actual pottery where it's made at Bonnieux so I could complete my set. I bought 2 coffee cups and saucers, a wine jug and an oil bottle with a tray to stand it on. I also bought a set of 8 different pigments to make into watercolour paints. The lady gave me the recipe with the quantities of gum arabic and clove oil to use. They turned out very well and have been used for several paintings.