We're back home from our week in France and finally seem to have caught up with the laundry and backlog of emails and post etc. It has been an interesting week looking at Sea Themes in many guises. After two days of leisurely driving to the west coast of France, with a stop in Tours, Stewart and I met up with the other six "embroiderers" at the beautiful home of Val Holmes. Our week started with a day visiting various ports and beaches. There was plenty of opportunity to sketch, beachcomb and take literally hundreds of photographs. Far too many to post here but these are a couple of my favourites - the sun shining through the fence onto the rippled sand.
and a lovely example of a rusted hull... perfect for my summer project on layers of rust!
And here we all are (well not me as I'm taking the photo!) sitting sketching the waves!
The day also included a fabulous lunch of locally harvested mussels. I'd never really enjoyed mussels before but these were superb... they did not all belong to me and Stewart!
Our second day was spent working in the studio which you can see here - very light and spacious.
Then late afternoon we made our way to La Rochelle for a visit to the Aquarium for more photos and sketching. As we entered the aquarium we walked through a tunnel of these jellyfish which were amazing. Just so beautiful and delicate.
Lots of really stunning fish with the most amazing colours and shapes.
But best of all was Napoleon... so ugly he was beautiful! He was huge and was the most amazing colour blue with fabulous patterns on his scales. Don't think I'm going to worry about cellulite any more!
Back in the studio over the next three days, we worked from our photographs and drawings interpreting the theme in textiles and embroidery. For some reason I struggled with this and didn't really do any embroidery or stitching. I played a lot with ideas but they are not something I feel I can develop now I'm home as the Opus degree starts... TODAY! But maybe I will return to my sketchbook another time. I did spend all of Wednesday reinterpreting one of my drawings on a larger scale and ended up with an A1 oil pastel drawing of ropes! I've never really tried oil pastels before but I loved using them.
The others did some lovely work over the week and I'll post pictures of that tomorrow. I should also mention we had some fabulous meals as both Val and her husband Claude are excellent cooks, and we sat eating and drinking until late every evening. At dinner on the last night, the others presented Stewart with a medal for being such a good sport all week - looking after us all at breakfast, getting our shopping while we were working and generally putting up with our all our girly gossiping and laughter all week. So here he is... my medallion man!