Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo Gallery

 Road out of town

I am about to leave for a visit to England and Ireland. I have many adventures planned and will come back with tales to tell and photos to share. In the meantime, I thought I would leave you with a little sampling of some photos I recently processed in Photoshop. I took an on-line class from (highly recommended) and learned so much that I was able to apply to my tremendously large stack of old photos. Be sure to click on a photo if you'd like to see it at its original size.

Spooky night in Montmirail

Evening falls in Amsterdam

Portrait of Emily

View from our window

Two photos merged to create an abstract painting. Andalusia & garden gate

 The Palazzo in Amsterdam

Backstage at the Palazzo in Amsterdam

Playing chess in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris

Fall wheat harvest, Montmirail

Christmas in London

Above the canal, Paris

The gate, Montmirail

Flower fairy

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn Moments

We gathered our last bouquet from the garden this week, some very spectacular dahlias and even two amazingly perfect roses. The weather has provided just about everything in equal measures, rain, cold, blue balmy days, crisp mornings, warm afternoons. It's that time of year where bird populations stop by for a day or two on their way south, and when the colors mellow and the rhythm of life changes. These moments of transition in the year are among my favorites.

Since our high season is over, we've had time to refresh the house a little. This is our guest sitting room, which I had become entirely bored with. I recovered the velvet chairs and painted the table which I posted photos of a few weeks ago. I felt that the whole space had to be much more lightened up.

The green couch had to be reupholstered too, which was a much bigger challenge than the chairs, but we did accomplish it. I also wanted to paint over the mural on the back wall, which was beginning to seem far too busy to me. We mixed up a batch of lime wash (lime, pigment, water and a bit of glue) and covered the wall. So gratifyingly easy.

I think it looks much better now, cleaner and lighter.

Next we went on to the dining room wall, which was also one of those things I felt I could no longer live with. I'm not sure what this old effect was trying to be, but it really wasn't working.

For the wall, I mixed up some of my Annie Sloan paint, (Antique White and Greek Blue). The trim is a mix of Antique White and Paris Gray. I added a little dark wax and clear wax on top after the paint had dried to age it a little. I painted some flowers in the top panels. I am much happier with this effect.

These lovely days with their swiftly changing moods, are perfect for long walks. The woods are particularly charming this time of year. I like to bring a basket when we go and gather some forest bounty: berries, pine cones, chestnuts, rose hips, leaves and even twigs. Last time we went, I collected a huge number of sticks which are stacked up on my art table waiting for their turn. I intend to use them for mobiles, sculptures, book elements.

The leaves have not yet completely fallen from the trees, but the ground is certainly covered with crackly leaves.

The family visited the weekend of Toussaint, better known as Halloween in the States. Trick or Treat is not much of a concept here in France, so Quinn has not yet learned much about how that works. Instead, he spent two days at the Pony Club riding his favorite horse Helico.