Friday, September 2, 2011

After Lisbon... France

After the anticipation, preparation and high excitement of Lisbon, it was a different kind of joy to unwind in the northern French countryside of Pas de Calais. Our daughter and her boyfriend welcomed us to their lovely farmhouse home and we proceeded to enjoy all the charms of a tiny French village - from the noisy next-door rooster to the cow who craved human company, the visiting Dutch orchestra, the family jam-producing homestead, and the drives to surrounding Somme battlefields, village markets and sea and riverside towns, it was a feast of new, blissful and picturesque experiences. I would have to spend weeks, slowly, to sketch even a tenth of it, but this was a sociable, and mobile - lots more walking! - time with family and friends, so these were the few scenes I did get into my sketchbook. I hope to get the chance to do lots more some day.  

Sitting on the doorstep of the house, looking out of the gate to 'The Cité' - all of ...six? houses in a row, with the cow's field behind them.

The gateway to The Abbaye, where we gathered one evening with the villagers to listen to the orchestra and choir from Holland - heralded by a march through the town with bagpipes (?!) and a very quaint sort of barrel orchestrion.


The garage housing a very old Landrover that valiantly transported its travellers most of the way round Europe, but depositing them rather suddenly near Barcelona, and needing to be towed back to its resting place under the grape vines.

11 comments:

Felicity said...

Really lovely watercolour sketches, Cathy, so summery and warm! It sounds like you've had a wonderful summer, and now back home in time for Spring - I'm jealous! :)

A Brush with Color said...

These are wonderful! Your work never disappoints. I feel like I've been there.

Maryh K. said...

So beautiful!!!! I've just been to Britain (south Finistere). The countryside is lovely and its accomodations and plants (not factories but gardens and nature) too. Thanks for sharing so nice pictures. Friendly, Marie K.

africantapestry said...

Wonderful to see you sketching some of our area Cathy and seeing it through your eyes! Beautiful sketches.. I have a lot to catch up on...Lisbon, France...which will be of course nothing but a feast for the eye.. I hope the next time you can make a stop here on our doorstep?
Ronelle

Cathy Gatland said...

Felicity, thanks - we were so glad to miss three of the worst weeks of winter here!

Thank you Sue, Marie K. and Ronelle - I do hope so and will certainly try hard!

Liz Steel said...

oh! these are SO beautiful Cathy - relaxing just to look at them!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wonderful feeling of real French village life. The musical evening sounded a delight.

Carol King said...

Beautiful!

Barbara said...

Hi Cathy. I am so interested in your trip to the Somme...we were in Belgium in August and visited Flanders, around Ypres. Would love to compare notes with you sometime soon - meet for coffee? Best to reply on barbara@lowveldart.com and I'll be back in Jozi this weekend. Regards, Barbara

Cathy said...

Simply beautiful! You've captured it magnificently!

Poor In Java said...

You have a gift Cathy, you really do. I am glad that I bumped into your blog and I am just falling in love with every post and illustration, painting, sketch, everything :)