Friday, June 27, 2008

GELATERIA ARTISIANALE ink and watercolor painting

One of 3 gelaterias in the tiny village of Vernazza, Italy. I painted this on my recent trip to the Cinque Terre, Italy. Continue through the older posts and you can follow my journey painting in Italy and France.

Ink and Watercolor, 6" x 6" $250.00 framed 15" x 15". Exhibited at Elliott Fouts Gallery, 4749 J Street, Sacramento, California (916)736-1429

ITALIAN TOWELS Ink and Watercolor painting

I posted this painting from Italy, but made a couple of changes after returning home, so I am posting it again. It was painted from the Marina in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy. As I painted an American lady sat down beside me and introduced herself as Katherine. She said her husband was also here painting, but had taken a break to swim in the sea. He walked up a few minutes later, and asked if I knew Victoria Brooks. It was Silvio Silvestri, a local oil painter who goes plein aire painting with my friend, and neighbor Victoria Brooks. Talk about a small world!
ink and watercolor 6" x 6" $250. framed (frame size 15" x 15". Exhibited at Elliott Fouts Gallery, 4749 J Street, Sacramento, California. (916) 736-1429


This little painting was begun on the main street of the tiny Cinque Terre village of Manarola in Italy, but it began raining so I finished it after returning home from my trip. The Cinque Terre is a National Park in Italy where cars are not allowed. The park consists of 5 tiny villages on the Italian coast and the coastal waters around the villages. The villages are connected by train, or boat, or hiking trail, no roads. So the locals own boats not cars, and park them where ever they can, in Manarola that means on the street. I had 5 wonderful days to paint in these tiny villages in May.

Ink and Watercolor Painting, 6" x 6" $250. framed. On exhibit at Elliott Fouts Gallery, 4749 J Street, Sacramento, California. 916-736-1429

La Maison Pinard by Linda Marie

This fun painting of Chantal Pinard's home was painted by Linda Marie. Those of you who know Linda's studio work may be surprised by the different look of this painting. It has a wonderful charm that is oh-so-French, I just love it!

Linda Marie Carroll painting in France

I have been home from France and the French Escapade for awhile now, but wanted to post a couple more times about our wonderful painting trip just to say how much I enjoyed the painters who accompanied me on this trip, Linda, Jackie, Shelley, Bonnie, Josephine and Kathy. You ladies "rock" and I would go anywhere with you again.

I also want to say that in spite of the rainy weather, these ladies created some really wonderful paintings, often very different from the work that they do in their studios at home. I will do one more post to illustrate this point, those of you who know Linda will recognize this photo of her, but next I will post her painting, which you may not recognize as her work at all.

And to Jackie and Valerie, of French Escapade, thank you so much for a wonderful painting trip. This was my second trip with French Escapade and they really know what artists like and how to make the perfect trip. And yes, I am planning more Watercolor Workshops with them in the future. My next French Escapade painting trip will be to Provence, France, May 2 - 9, 2009. For more information about the trip you can email me at, or check out the French Escapade website at

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Well in Chantal's garden by Kathy Young Ross

Kathy did a great job of capturing the rainy day mood in this painting of the well in Chantal's garden. She plans a few finishing touches and it will be done.

Berlioz by Josephine Takamoto

One rainy day we opted for plan B and went to paint in the Berlioz Museum, talk about a creative Guide, Jac really saved the day with that move. Anyway, Josephine tackled the marble bust of Berlioz that was sitting on the mantle in the salon room. When the painting is completed it will have music in the background, but here is the way it looked at the end of the museum visit. A tough subject handled well, congratulations Josephine.

Jackie's painting of the pump in the garden

Jackie is new to watercolor, but loves being creative so she took to painting very quickly.

Bonnie Cross paints on the French Escapade

Bonnie is such a passionate painter she was the first one up each morning and she could be found busy painting in her "corner" in the French Escapade house before the rest of us made it to breakfast.

French Stillife by Bonnie Crosse

One cold rainy day Bonnie stayed in by the fire in our lovely home and painted this painting while the rest of us were all painting in Virieu. She paints with true passion and this painting shows it.

Bonnie's painting of a little shop not quite done

This is my favorite of the paintings Bonnie did on our French Escapade. I know she worked to finish it when she returned home and I hope she brings it to our reunion.

Bonnie's work in progress, Pont-en-royans

Bonnie's painting has some lovely vibrant colors and with a few adjustments we suggested at critique, I know it will be a fun painting. I'd love to see it completed.

Pont-en-Royans view from the road

This is the view that Josephine, Kathy and Shelley painted.

Josephine's painting, not done yet

Josephine got off to a great start with this painting and I am sure it will be lovely when she gets it finished. I will post a photo of the view she was painting next.

My Painting of Pont-en-Royans, France

This is a little ink and watercolor painting I did of Pont-en-Royans, France. I want to go back and paint there again sometime.

Pont-en-Royans my favorite painting site

I have been so busy since returning from France I am just now getting around to posting the photos from our last day of painting on the French Escapade. This is my favorite painting site of all the ones we visited on this trip. Pont-en-Royans is a medieval village that literally hangs on to the cliffs above this river in the Vercors region which is in the Isere Department of France. It threatened rain all day and the sun only peaked out for a few seconds, when I snapped this photo, but the setting was so amazing we all just painted like crazy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Linda's view of Annecy Lake

Linda's painting of Annecy Lake has a unique style, almost a Gaughin feel to it. I like the way she echos the shapes of her clouds in the shapes on the land, rounded voluminous shapes. Cool!

Josephine's painting of Annecy passage way

While most of us painted Annecy Lake, Josephine painted this scene of an Annecy walk way. The painting is not complete as she was planning to make a change to the angle of the window, and a few other things but I love her treatment of the trees and light coming through the trees and wanted to share it. Good job Josephine!

Jackie's painting of Annecy Lake

Jackie is very new to the medium of watercolor, but as you can see here she is making friends with it. She really concentrated on the limestone cliffs above Annecy Lake and captured them nicely, even while being photographed by the Japanese tourists.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jackie and Kathy painting Annecy Lake

Jackie and Kathy were photographed by a group of Japanese tourists as they painted the lake. Then a group of Chinese tourists also photographed them, guess they looked like typical French artists????

Annecy Lake

This lovely mountain lake lies on the edge of the city and was the choice for most to the painters to paint today. The sky was amazing as thunder heads scooted across the tops of the mountains and provided constantly changing shadows a real challenge to paint.

The Cheese guy in the Annecy Market

This guy was very busy, France has so many types of cheese it is dizzying. Every night Valerie served a cheese course as part of her 4 course dinners and educated us on the types of cheese and how to cut each type.

Strawberries in a French Market

Don't these look delicious?

The Market at Annecy

Jac scheduled our visit to Annecy on market day, and what a colorful market it was! Love this photo...

Boat shaped medival building was once a prison

We were told that this building is the second most photographed structure in all of France, second only to the Eiffel Tour in Paris. I can see why.

The Annecy Swan

The Annecy canals are home to several beautiful swans.

Annecy market umbrellas on the canal bridge

Annecy was the only place we visited in the entire French Escapade itinerary where we encountered any tourists. However, it is such a colorful little city I can't blame the tourists for finding it!

Annecy the Little Venice of the Alps

I am home now, and getting caught up on my journal on this blog. The last two days I was too busy to download photos and prepare them for the blog, so I am getting caught up now.

On Tuesday June 3 we went to the lovely city of Annecy and explored the old medieval center of the city along the canal and painted along Annecy lake. ..and the SUN SHONE ALL DAY!!!!!! Yeah, this is the type of weather that one would normally find in the Rhone Alps region this time of year.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Valerie and Jac at Valerie's house

Monday today, still raining! We started the day by heading to the Virieu Castle to paint but it was too cold and rainy up there so we headed for the town where Valerie lives and had lunch at her darling home, shown here. Then we explored the town and took some photos while waiting for a school group to finish at the Berlioz Museum where Jac had hastily arranged for us to paint, out of the rain. The museum is Berlioz's home, with a concert hall added. There was a performance of his music going on in the hall, lovely female voices accompanied by a flute. Kathy painted in the kitchen, the fireplace and pots, Josephine tackled the marble bust of Berlioz and did a fabulous job, and the rest of us painted on the balcony under the eaves. The sun came out late in the day and we got about 45 minutes of sun and shadow for which we were all very grateful. We did not get finished with our paintings but we got close, so hopefully I can post some paintings soon. We caught a bit of the French Open on TV at lunch, looks like its been raining in Paris too.

Virieu Castle

After painting in the village of Virieu yesterday, we drove up the hill to Virieu Castle to take a tour with an English speaking guide that was arranged by French Escapade. The tour was fascinating, the gardens beautiful, but the best part perhaps, was the festival. The village and castle of Virieu were having some kind of a local celebration, we were not sure what the were celebrating, but were invited to take part. We saw the paintings that were painted of the castle by local artist that day, and agreed with the judges choice of the prize winners. We were offered a new spiced wine created in honor of the castle with a photo of the castle on the label, and lots of lovely appetizers. We could not converse with most of the villagers present, but those that could speak English made us feel very welcome. Such fun, and Josephine loved the spiced wine!

Liam, age 4, paints a painting for Shelley

Liam, age 4, and Daddy stopped by to visit with us. Liam is fluent in English and France since Mommy is English and Daddy French. Liam painted a painting for Shelley and signed his name, note the tongue while he concentrates, and invited us to his house here in Virieu.

Look closely at The Last Super

from Pierre's art collection Pierre's favorite work of art in his collection, this poster was given to him by his daughter, when she returned from studying at Boston University.  He could not wait to show this to us artists!

Pierre and Jac in Pierre's garden

Pierre and Jac in Pierre's garden Pierre's garden was very lush, and although his space was small he had a huge variety of herbs and vegetables growing in it.

Pierre's home, I painted his window last time

Virieu window I painted on my last trip here This window might look familiar, Lisa, Sylvia and I painted on my last French Escapade.

Virieu the friendliest Village in France

Picnic lunch in Virieu June 1st we painted in the friendliest village in all of France, Virieu.  Raining again, so we sat under the old covered market roof to paint, and Valerie brought our lunch and created a picnic for us complete with table cloth, fine food and even candles.  As we were finishing lunch a villager named Pierre stopped by and offered to bring us hot coffee from his home.  He brought delicious coffee, china cups, suger in a cute box, so sweet.  Then he invited us to visit his home and see his garden.

Linda painting in the garden

Linda painting in the garden of La Maison Pinaud.  She did such a cute painting, I will post it when she decides it is finished. 

Linda painting La Maison Pinard

We are invited for Walnut Wine

Louis pours walnut wine What I love about this part of France is that there are no tourists.  That means that the local villagers are happy that we American's discovered their village and are so proud to show us around. The lady in the check shirt is Chantel Pinaurd, she invited us into her beautiful garden to paint her charming house, garden or whatever.  When it rained she quickly made room for us in her house.

When we asked if we could buy a book that her neighbor wrote about the village of Virieu, she called him to see if he had anymore books.  His name is Louis Fournier.  He invited all of us into his home, poured his homemade walnut wine for everyone and autographed books for us while he and Chantel told stories about the village.   A very special afternoon I shall not forget.  

Crêpes, Walnut Wine and other good stuff

 Josephine flips a crepeTonight was crepe night, and of course Josephine and Shelley tried their hands at making our desert crepes.  Here Josephine flipped hers up in the air and actually caught it to her great surprise!

Main course crepes created by Valerie

Main course tonight's dinner The painters are not the only artists here, check this out.  These cute crepes were filled with ham, mushrooms, cheese and a wonderful sauce, created by the French Escapade Chef, Valerie.  Really yummy!