Travels in watercolor

Pages in Jo Myers-Walker's Rouen sketchbook

My sketchbook helps me get started
designing the next painting

Watercolor painting using a photo of Rouen rooftops for reference

Painting at night from a photo
taken during the day

Watercolor painting of Rouen rooftops by Jo Myers-Walker

Rooftops of Rouen —
fascinated with the shapes here

Watercolor paintings taking over artists' Rouen apartment

Our apartment “gallery”
is closing in on the kitchen!

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Around town

Vegetables and flowers for sale at Rouen market

Our market in Rouen where we can get everything —
food, clothes, antiques, used clothing, even toilet paper —
five days a week

Finds from the Rouen market modeled by Jeanette and Bonnie

Shopping not just for vegetables
(Jeanette and Bonnie
show off some finds)

Carving stone to repair Rouen cathedral

A morning TV show reports as a large piece of stone is carved to repair the cathedral, using a chisel and grinder to cut the ornamentation

Pastry shop in Rouen

Every day a new dessert,
have to try them all!

Jardin des Plantes, Rouen

Sunday afternoon in the botanical garden
(link is to a machine-translated page)

Posted in Travelogue

Painting on a rainy day

Artists working at La Page Blanche studio in Rouen

Marie, Agnès, and Adeline work in their studio on a rainy Monday.
They use the wind, a flute, other music and poems (to name a few)
to paint by, to keep the line moving.

Sketch of artists working at La Page Blanche

While the artists were
painting, I was drawing them
to put in future work.

Rue des Chanoines, Rouen

The studio is off of this narrow walkway that the tour guides say is the oldest passageway in Rouen.

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Monet’s gardens

Lily ponds, a famous subject of Monet's paintings

Water lily pond
at Giverny

Worker maintaining beautiful gardens at Giverny

Gardener cleaning out dead leaves. Monet kept the garden very pristine for his painting.

These photos are from Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, where he lived and painted for many years, and his and wife Alice’s children played. He would paint in his boat en plein air and trees were planted for different kinds of light settings. When we visited the fragrance was wonderful, and the bees and spiders were free. It was like everything was caressing the atmosphere, genial and at peace.

I enjoyed the bright-colored rooms of Monet’s house, with numerous Japanese prints whose influence you can see in his work. His home was filled with the works of Cézanne, Pissarro, and many others in the Impressionist movement. I wonder if he traded like me with other artists.

House formerly owned by Claude Monet in Giverny

Monet’s house

Chickens at Claude Monet's former residence at Giverny

Giverny has chickens!

Posted in Travelogue

Rouen sketchbook

Sketch of table at Rouen market

Buying scarves at the market where you can buy vegetables, meat, recycled clothing, antiques, etc. — my kinda place!

Sketch of Palais de Justice, Rouen

Palais de justice, with gargoyle noted (link is to a machine-translated page)

Value study drawing of Rue Martainville, Rouen

Value study, Rue Martainville

Sketchbook used to help compose a painting

Using a “paper doll”
to help with figure placement

Painting of Rue Martainville, Rouen

The result: Jeanette looking up Rue Martainville to a favorite cafe,
La Walsheim

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Revisiting the studio

Side street in Rouen painted by Jo Myers-Walker

I painted this side street
during our return visit

Painting critique at La Page Blanche

Critiquing my use of values (Jo, Adeline, Marie, Agnès; photo courtesy of Bonnie Dix)

During our studio visit on the weekend, we were invited back to La Page Blanche to paint. New friends Agnès Dévé, Marie-Antoinette Girard, and Adeline Gouarné all studied in Paris. It was a good opportunity for me to receive their critique!

Movie theater in Rouen

After painting, we went to see Shirley: Visions of Reality, a movie inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper

View of rooftops and cathedral spires in Rouen

View from a top-floor apartment above the studio, with cathedral view — amazing shapes and unique perspective

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Visites d’ateliers d’artistes

Jo Myers-Walker with Marie-Antoinette Girard, Agnès Dévé, and Adeline Gouarné

Marie-Antoinette Girard (left), Agnès Dévé (right), and Adeline Gouarné (front) paint in the same studio, and invited us to come back and work with them!

Last weekend nearly 200 artists in a variety of media opened their studios for the fourth annual Visites d’ateliers d’artistes (“Visits to artists’ studios”; link is to a machine-translated page), a chance to talk with the artists and see their artwork and where it was created.

Bonnie and I had several adventures on the way to finding the painters we’d decided to visit. One studio near our apartment was off of a tiny street or walkway where no horseman could ride. In another area we found buildings numbered haphazardly, with the odd numbered 30’s across the street from the even numbered 40’s. The artists were gracious and enthusiastic, and though our French was more like a pidgin mix of speech, art is the universal language.

(Many thanks to Bonnie Dix for co-writing this post, and taking the photos!)

Artist Francis Caudron pictured in his studio with Jo Myers-Walker

The charming Francis Caudron, an artist in many media whose work includes calligraphy-like figures

Artist Lionel LaGrange pictured in his studio with Jo Myers-Walker

Gracious host and acrylic painter Lionel LaGrange, in his studio right on the Seine

Posted in Travelogue

Making friends in Rouen

Painting with friends in Rouen

Painting with Zoe and mom Delphine. Delphine helps us get around and Zoe teaches me French.

Zoe adds to the Rouen sketchbook

Zoe painting in my sketchbook. She reminds me of my grandchildren — I miss them!
(photo courtesy of Bonnie Dix)

Artisan painting a ceramic piece

Amazing artisan:  a neighbor
on our street, creating a
delicate layered design.

Plates and other ceramic ware painted with French roosters

Some of his beautiful work on display in the shop. The rooster is a symbol of France (and a frequent subject of my own painting!).

Bonnie, Bertrand, and Bonnie's dessert at the coffee shop

Bonnie and Bertrand approve of her dessert choice at The CHOColate Bar

Outdoor ping pong in a Rouen park

Playing ping pong in the park near the Church of St. Ouen (they let me win)

Posted in Travelogue

Seeing the sights

Joan of Arc was martyred in Rouen in 1431 AD. This cross now stands as a memorial.

Joan of Arc Memorial Cross
(photo courtesy of Bonnie Dix)

Drum corps on Rouen street

Rocking out with the drum corps

Un Repas de Noces à Yport by Albert Fourié

Coffee at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen,
drawing in my sketchbook from this painting of a wedding meal. All the faces tell a story and their relationship to the others.

Cupid sculpture, Rouen

Sculpture at the Musée des Beaux-Arts — “love is blind” and here Cupid is applying the blindfold!

La rue du Gros-Horloge, Rouen

Our “Main Street,” la rue du Gros-Horloge, with the Gros Horloge in the background (literally “big clock,” dating from the 14th century)

Fleuriste dans la rue du Gros-Horloge, Rouen

Beautiful flowers amid centuries-old buildings on the rue du Gros-Horloge pedestrian street
(link is to a machine-translated page)

Posted in Travelogue

Cathedral of light

Saturday night we went to the “Cathedral of Light” (Cathédrale de Lumière) outdoor sound and light show, with video projected onto the front of Rouen Cathedral. It was spectacular standing with Rouen families, looking 100 ft. in the air and experiencing going through time, starting with the story Joan of Arc who was martyred in Rouen. The cathedral was all in flames with the sounds of wood burning, and the wars were depicted with the clanking of swords and and cries. Later a show of Impressionist art turned the cathedral into a Monet painting.

Video projection on the Rouen Cathedral

Scenes from the “Cathedral of Light” sound and light show
(Many thanks to Bonnie Dix for these photos!)

You can see more of the “Cathedral of Light” show online:

The website Projection Mapping Central has more information about this type of show.

Posted in Travelogue