11 October 2013


The reason I am blogging about all of this a week and a half late, in case you were wondering, is that the WiFi at Bandouille was a bit spotty and wouldn't send my very large photos from my phone to my email, and also I was using my Kindle, which involves two-fingered typing at best, and I had neither the time nor the patience to write an extensive blog entry by poking at a screen with my index fingers (especially when I could be painting instead), so I made notes and am doing it now. Here is the "sweet spot" from which I emailed my cat-sitter each day, outside the house; the stone walls blocked the signal indoors from virtually every angle, but from this little bench under the window I could access the magic channel to California.

Tuesday we went on our first outing. I think I remember that the town's name was Thouars, but that could have been the name of the river--Bixxy will correct me if I'm wrong. This village (town?) had an odd landmark--a French chateau built up on a hill completely inside a much older (think hundreds of years) hill fort.

We strolled around to the best vantage point, which was from the (closed for winter hours) garden of a café owned by fellow expatriate Brits, who let us sit there to sketch and brought us coffee. I made a contour drawing in pencil of the part with just the ruins (I found the idea of drawing the chateau INSIDE the ruins just too daunting) and plan to paint it using the reference photo I took for that purpose. Here is my drawing:

And here are some lovely sketches that Jane made--vignettes of portions of both the ruins and the chateau:

And now, back to our home base to share a few more photos:

Here are my hosts, Drew Owen and Bixxy Nash...

And here is the front (back?) view of the house (my window is top left).

Here is one of the many amazing architectural features of the property that I photographed with a mind to painting it one Sunday afternoon soon...

And here is me, in front of the lake at sunset (just to prove I was really there and didn't get all of these off of some website!)...

More blogging tomorrow! (Still waiting for some of my pix to download--I discovered Dropbox, so I can quit emailing them to myself individually. What a relief!)


  1. Beautiful M! I love the reflection of trees on the lake in back of you. And you look GREAT!

  2. It looks like a fairytale castle, your sketch is good too. What a lovely place!

  3. Bix tells me this town is called Bressuire. I stand corrected. I knew I would mix them all up!