Sunday, December 29, 2013


Above: after many different ways of trying to depict the oak tree out my window, I ended up combining watercolor, ink, pastel pencils & colored pencils.
Earlier version.

 My challenge was to focus on this young tree so weighed down by ice & snow, an image that was not inherently pleasing to me, & was even distrubing as there are many broken branches of local trees on the ground.  As described in my previous post, I was also caught by the chaos of lines & forms that I saw, & the variety. There are times when patience & persistence are handy tools. 
Sometime ago I'd asked Malyss from Le blog de Marie (La Tortue), click here , if I could make a drawing from a photo  she posted on December 12 of trees near her home in southern France. (Merci, Malyss! et voila...) Imagine: mandarin, orange & lemon trees in December rather than ice!) She wrote that while so many other places were covered with a heavy coat of white, her region was sprinkled  with sparkles of sunlight. (my translation doesn't do her beautiful French poetry justice.) This drawing required no drafts & was completed quickly: partly because artistic decisions had already been made by Malyss in her exquisite photo, & partly because it was so appealing & refreshing to my gray filled eyes.

The scene chez moi, continues to be gray, white, umber, & cold. Inspired by 3 other blogs that I follow, I will continue to refocus my "lenses" to discover what is interesting & beautiful & to discover the wonder of what is right here in front of me. It's not a coincidence that there are very few tourists here, comparing to the summer.


  1. You made me smile the streets are bare of people here in winter and buzz gaily with tourists in summer..
    Christmas day was brillaint skies..but ever since..oh very doldrumy..I am most certain that is not a word but it is what it is:)

    I like your mixed media..and Malyss' tree..yes imagine all that bounty right now!
    The fruits your painted look like JEWELS.
    and always so much movement in your sketching.
    I just mentioned to you..that because of you I did take out a journal and paint today..Is it so much to ask to just be a bit good?LOL.
    My hyacinth in it's petit pot ..starting to form roots..looks..positively awful.
    I think I try too hard for fluid lines..they are worse!
    and my tea forte teacup..I tried times..quite pas beau.
    J'aime beaucoup votre travail.

  2. Your trees are very appealing, and think that you did a wonderfully visual job on the images.

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  4. Twoj EFEKT końcowy zimowego dębu podoba mi sie BARDZO. NIE mniej jednak podoba mi sie na zdjęciu poniżej oo lewej Strony. Ze zdjecia Malyss zrobiłaś śliczny szkic. Ona swoje zdjecie opisała, Ty swietnie zrozumiałaś. Pozdrawiam cieplutko.

  5. Just beautiful, dear Rita! I life your sketching - it's so loose and full of life and movement. Gorgeous!! Hope you had a good Christmas! xoxo Silke

  6. I really hope one day you come on french Riviera during winter , and I'll show you many pretty spots where to sit down and paint!
    Your interpretation of "my" orange is simply perfect!Thank you so much!
    This year , we had a storm for Christmas!I hope you had nice holidays, and I wish you a fabulous and Happy New Year!
    Hugs, La Tortue

  7. I hope the young tree survives the Winter. However it does make for a beautiful painting.

  8. This new snowfall has added lots more possibilities. Get painting!

  9. From icy Maine to southern France you capture the spirit of nature both in warm climates and cold. The oaks trees were my favorite -- barbara

  10. Your use of the mixed media makes for an image that makes me feel I were looking out the window with you. I do feel sad when there is tree damage. The tree you painted on my envelope is so pretty, and I adore my new book! Did you actually stitch the book, too?


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