Today it snowed. The day progressed slowly. I un penned the geese who ran noisily to the pond. I fetched hay for the sheep who weren' t too desperate as the grass is richer this year. I made myself a coffee. Eventually after reading I took some photographs and then drew the scene and then played with the drawing. I made bulgur wheat salad with greek yoghurt and mango chutney dressing. I love mixing chutneys with greek yoghurt and then making a dressing out of it. Brinjhal pickle is my current love. I have to make it myself or bring it back from the UK.
My friend here in the village wanted a painting of her house. I used this photo I took back in August; They shut the shutters here so the sun is shut out. She's also got the ribbons over the door. The flowers were really what inspired this view. I couldn't go back from here as there are also sheds opposite.
More sketching on Khadi paper. It's paper that comes from The Khadi Mill in Southern India made from recycled cotton rag. I bought a pack of 100 sheets some years ago from Jackson's Art Suppliers. I don't have access to an art shop here so I rely on going through things I bought in the moment many years ago or when I visit the UK or just once by mail order. I love uneven, rough paper and with a mapping dip style pen it's surprising how refreshing it is to tackle something a bit different. I have just ordered some more things including brush pens that you can fill with water or water soluble paint or ink. It means you can sketch without the need of a pot of water. More free hands and less obvious when sketching out on the move.
Happy New Year everyone!! I have been thinking a little bit about the New Year and how I might make best use of my time. I think we all go through a period of reflection through winter. It can feel tough. Here we are normally quite cold and having to keep fires going. We have to plan meals and make sure we have supplies. Then it's also hard to be so isolated and without neighbours who are usually invisible or even move away to a their Parisian or Dutch homes.This has been the 5th year I have been in France. Although relatively near Britain it is quite different. It is a tiny community that I now belong to. The climate is generally more extreme and the winters really do feel very different. I no longer have the big build up to Christmas and all that shopping. I couldn't afford to shop much before as I rented a flat and had all the expense that comes with that as a single person. Now we just have different demands here. I need to save money and put it into property and my gardening and animals. I may try and expand what I do a bit. There is a small craft market that happens in the warmer months just Friday mornings and then I want to look at producing paintings from drawings rather than use photography so much. I intended to do this last year but we had strange weather for the first part of summer, uncharacteristically rainy.Then I just took on so much gardening it became silly. It could easily all go awry this year. I went to the shops yesterday and was excited to see the sky clearing in patches and the rays of sun pushing through in strong striped beams.