Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Everyday places

I've been sketching with my daughter this afternoon under a wonderful sun. This is the ancient customs office between Switzerland and France, in Mategnin. My husband passes by this little stony road in his way to work everyday, and suggested the place. When we got there, we chose to sat in the Swiss part because the French one was in the shadow. A tiny pedestrian road which still got the name of a big one, probably from when not that many cars circulated around. Now, this road, the abandoned little building, and the fields around, are there to remind us how small was the world just a few decades ago.

And my daughter's sketch, she's 11 and she's really catching me up! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

An unexpected sketch

I clearly wasn't expecting to be able to go out to sketch this afternoon, but, as it happened, I had a moment, and I just took it. So today December 24th it seems it's going to be a full day. Mountain in the morning, sketching in the afternoon, cooking in the evening, dinner and opening presents at night. Let's get to the cooking now!

A quiet afternoon in Pregnin... 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home sweet home

Cold, foggy, small children in holidays, my husband still working... not ideal to find places to draw outside. Still, I find little moments to draw at home. 


This is a view of my living room from what we could call my sofa spot. I use to sit in this corner of the sofa because I have the bookcase next to me, and I can easily put there my mug, my computer, my books... So as it happens, I have drawn this view more than once already... and also in these three last days!


Yesterday I engaged one of my sons to sketch objects while the other was taking his nap. It was so fun, and he was eager to use the water brush. So I just used it a bit, then I had to do with markers or no color ;)

Later in the night, just sketching the chaos in my room... The sketch is clean and it makes it look better than it actually is.


Late in the morning my sons have watched a bit of TV. Even like this, peace lasts only a bit... they don't stop moving. Ever.

In fact, after few minutes the youngest was already climbing over my back while I was trying to sketch the dog, Ludo, who was napping next to me. This has of course made Ludo move before I had finished... so only the silhouette.

And the last one of today, already tonight, again from my sofa spot, but this time trying to just draw lines, and also getting to that really busy corner at the right, which is really really chaotic, and my father tells me I leave out on purpose. But, as I told him, I had already drawn it once... 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Drawing by the fire

Things that start well go well and end well. Sometimes at least. Like this weekend. I really feel like I couldn't ask for more. Nothing extraordinary happened, and maybe that's the most extraordinary of all, just enjoy the ordinary. Isn't it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December baking

This is a busy month for everyone. Exams, deadlines, school parties, Christmas and holiday preparations... the list can go on and on. December is, also for me, a particularly challenging month. Because to the above list I still add a couple of birthdays of my own children. And, as every mother will know, besides the parties themselves, each child may need a cake for the family party, a cake to bring to school, a cake for his birthday party with friends at home... 

Today, while baking the fourth cake in a week, and seeing a fifth one coming for this weekend, I just felt this was the right thing to do!

Friday, December 9, 2016

La Campagne

This illustration actually came up while thinking on the landscape and atmosphere for a book I am working on with a friend. Then it was put away in a folder for some time, while other more immediate things kept coming up. And yesterday, after a wonderful walk in the mountains, I finally found the time and the mood to finish it. And yes, this landscape is in a way so similar to the fields around my house, where I always walk my dog, and where I never get to stop and sketch.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Avouzon, for a friend's 40th birthday

Yesterday people was telling me how lucky I was, because I could always offer my drawings as birthday presents, while they often struggle finding them. And I told them that not really, that I don't offer illustrations as a normal thing, since, as everything in life, not everyone may be excited about getting such a present. And drawings have a very special value. 

But, this week a friend has turned 40, and yes, for him it was an easy decision. And it was an enormous pleasure to see him so happy and touched when he saw it was a drawing already when he sensed the package's shape and weight, and later when he realised it was his house in which he has been working now for a long time. And, it is thanks to his party that today is going to be a long long day!

The Place de la Fontaine in Avouzon, Crozet.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mothers Talking

Thursday evening, waiting for my daughter to finish her dance class, other mothers were waiting too :) They were talking, I was quickly sketching them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Wednesday afternoon. Gex. It is a bit too humid and rainy, and I feel lazy to draw outside. I go to a bar, and I try something else. Once there I think it is funny how often I drew in bars during my youth, and how little I get to do it now. So I enjoy the moment. It is early afternoon and the bar is calm. There's only few people who seem to be the habituals, as the bartender seems to know everyone by their name. Almost everyone watches the horse races displayed in the TV, and one of the clients wins 4 euros. Then is time for me to go. I ask the lady, and she kindly stamps my sketch. 

As a side note: This is an example on how inspiration works. Because without yesterday's drawing, I probably wouldn't have thought of trying this today ;)
Letting myself go

Drawing is for me, before anything else, a pleasure. And yes, in the end, in life, one must have fun. Because it is only by having fun drawing, that we will draw over and over again, and while drawing, get better. It is funny how often people think we can develop muscle to run a race, but not to draw. And, by "getting better" I don't necessarily mean, as often people think, to be able to draw exactly what you see in front of your eyes. It is more about developing your own unique way to express yourself. To give this special value to things. Think it this way: it is obvious we all have our own handwriting, all beautiful and unique in their own way. Why, if drawing is so much related to handwriting, should be different? 

If you like to draw, just do it. Without thinking too much. This is a free drawing I made yesterday night in one of my multiple "telephone drawing" notebooks, and doing it was fun, and it gave me new ideas for newer drawings that I might think better :) In the end, inspiration, creativity... is all about this. Letting yourself go. Free.

PS. When doing classes I am always faced with the preconception (or misconception!) that drawing well means being able to transfer the reality as it is to a paper with your hands. And how wrong is that. Maybe I'll get to show this one to my students so they'll also learn to let themselves go, without any fear or complex!! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Windy, warm and sunny Sergy

This afternoon it was windy, but it was one of these warm winds from the south, so I actually enjoyed it. It was sunny too, perfect for drawing. Also perfect that my youngest son is still in need of a nap so I have an hour to sneak out :) So I went off, and found again this little corner in the Place de la Mairie, in Sergy. I had been here a bit more than a year ago, when that tree still had leaves, and had drawn a larger view. Today I just focused on this tiny and charming shack. 

I will be back here again, some other day, in the morning, because this square has so many more beautiful corners on the other side, today in the shadow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rooftops in Gex

Another Wednesday afternoon in Gex, but today with my dog. 
In the morning we'd been in the mountain, so I thought he wouldn't mind some rest laying down next to me while I drew. But oh! how mistaken I was!! I got the first whining after 10 minutes! But this time, although he didn't remember the mountain but I did, I ignored him for a bit longer than usual, and then gave him a walk :)

This is the drawing I managed in the end. It's a spot I always walk by on Wednesdays and think, I should sketch this. Well, finally today I felt like it was the day.

And my nice dog, aka "the victim". He really looks bored, poor him :D

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Washed out

Today we've had the first real snow of the season. You can picture it: everything is white and calm and beautiful, and I am eager to go out and draw. Like every Wednesday afternoon, I have to go to Gex, so I plan to sketch something there. Everything seems to just fit: it is still snowing on my way on to Gex, I have an umbrella, snow is calm and easier to manage than water. I also know beforehand where to go, since some days ago I had discovered a nice spot while walking my dog during my daughter's dancing class. Like I said, everything is just OK.

But oh, when I get myself installed, which is no easy thing (imagine: the snow, my back-pack, the coat, the gloves, my stool... and the umbrella), some wind starts blowing... not too strong, but enough to move my umbrella which I am only keeping in place with my armpit. My sketchbook starts getting soaked in water. I discover that my marker does not work in too wet paper. I turn my stool a bit to at least partially stop the wind with my back. Of course part of my stuff fells down in the snow. I pick it. All OK again. I manage to start. My expectations of what I will manage to do get downer every passing second, but I am OK. It is fun. Then at some point it starts raining, and then yes, that's a mess. Everything is soaked in water. My umbrella never seems to be big enough, and ok, I end up managing something as dirty as the washed snow, and I run away as quick as I can!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Autumn Leaves

It is snowing here, but it is still autumn isn't it? Or at least this is my calendar says. Not the temperatures outside though! 

Anyways, I had some leaves prepared for my students to draw, and there is no better motivation than seeing the drawing of the teacher first, so I went ahead, and I had a lot of fun. I hope they'll enjoy the exercise too :)

Click on the image to view it larger

Friday, November 4, 2016

The post office

This morning it was sunny and beautiful, and not too cold if under the sun. I could have done many things, but what I needed was that bit of time for myself. So I took my stuff and went to sketch the post office in Chevry. I made myself happy, and also my father, since he'd been asking me for this drawing since some time, before that monster that we call progress replaces it by something more modern, more functional, but less charming.

Añadir leyenda

Friday, October 28, 2016

Drawing Dinosaurs

Today my husband and I brought the children to an exhibition about dinosaurs that is now taking place in Palexpo, next to the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. In fact, going there it was my idea. And yes, I have to recognise I had a hidden agenda this time: while they were looking around, I sketched! Because it is great to profit of these opportunities to draw things we don't get to usually draw. After the tour, my daughter joined me drawing, and, really, she's got a brilliant future ahead!

This one is my daughter's sketch. So good. She's 10, turning 11 at the end of this year. And no, she's not drawing dinosaurs in her free time :) (I deserved a proud mother time, didn't I?)

During the visit I got to sketch four dinosaurs, and this is the summary:
And here some details:

1. Brontosaurus

2. Stegosaurus

3. T-Rex head, real size (compare to the people below!)

If it wasn't so expensive (Swiss price), I think I would go back to sketch the rest of them! So funny!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rainy Sunday

While my children go on Halloween fever decoration, I get to do some drawing. Inside, at home, because outside it's raining. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

A special colouring book

Back in Spring last year I worked on a project... Now, just this week, this project has been made public, and I can also share it with you! Because yes, there's sometimes a long time passing between the moment when I finish something and the moment when comes to light.

My part in all this was making a series of illustrations for a special colouring book for children, a book thought to encourage them to ask questions about the world, about its elements, about how matter is formed, about how and why things happen, and maybe, with luck, get few of them to continue asking themselves these questions in the future, as scientists, when they will be adults. 

The book is edited by the ATLAS experiment at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and they have posted a video here to present it:

The whole idea of the book was to introduce the particles as ingredients using the analogy with a cooking recipe book. My work consisted of creating and illustrating the elementary particles we know the Universe is made from, in a way that young children will find them funny and engaging. Here's a taste of the elementary particles I drew:

The book is available here, for all children (and adults!). If yours are curious, or you are, and love colouring, maybe you can print it for them (or for you!):

Have fun colouring!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

And the day ends... it had started. 
My daughter watching a film in the computer. Me sketching her. The same sofa spot.

A good start of the day

Finally a moment very much needed by everyone of us at home: first morning of school autumn holidays!! This year, the rentrée has been quite charged, we were all tired, and we have all taken this moment very easy. Also myself :)

So while my daughter was building something, and my sons were watching TV, I did this sketch of my son while he was mesmerised by Tom And Jerry. So good to start the day sketching with a hot coffee in my hands. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesdays in Gex

As many mothers, I pass my afternoons driving my children around to different activities. Not every afternoon, but some. Wednesdays I have to go to Gex, one of the largest villages around, and which is like 15 minutes away from my home. Although I have time to go back at home, I prefer to stay in Gex to sketch. The Vieux Gex is beautiful, and I always discover amazing places. This one is a little passage that starts in the Rue du Commerce, a small rue where cars are not allowed, and which ends going up and up surrounding the Château de Gex, high in the hill in Gex, and right next to the forest. A really beautiful and quiet place.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A typical Sunday afternoon

Yesterday I had a lot of fun drawing my husband so today I came back to it. I feel like I found a jackpot for this coming winter!! :D

This is how a typical Sunday afternoon at home looks like: little one takes a nap, the other two play or watch a film, my husband corrects exams or prepares his classes. Myself, sometimes I am working, others doing housework, others sketching! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday night good deal

Don't you agree this is a good deal I got myself today: my husband does the dishes, and I draw him :) Today, using something different: a colored paper, and color pencils. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Autumn Rain

It is in autumn, and only in autumn, when I reconcile myself with the rain. 

Have a nice weekend!

Click on the image to view it full size

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Going towards winter

I had happily forgotten what it is to sketch when it is cold. This afternoon, back in Gex as I'll be every Wednesday for a while, the 12 degrees Celsius reminded me of it. Yes, it is not that low, but after a bit sitting still, and when few days ago I was happy with my 25 degrees Celsius, well, it felt cool, at the very least!

This is a little square without a name, in Rue de la Fontaine, in the center of Gex.

You can click on the image to view it larger.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

And the Expo, again

And to finish this super productive weekend, the last sketch I made this afternoon of the Art Exhibition taking place in Crozet this weekend. This was my first exhibition as president of the Arts Association in my village, and I am happy everything went so well. Also for me, since I sold 9 artworks, got a couple of visits planned to my art studio, and won the first artist prize! 

La Foulée

This weekend has been very busy, with the exhibition and then today the cross in Crozet. Because it is difficult to have a lot people to draw in small villages, I always want to profit of the events taking place in mine. I get people to draw, but also a nice diary of what goes around here, which is also fun and interesting.

Today it was the 14 edition of the cross in Crozet. Many people run, from the eldest to the youngest children in the village. The foulée is fun, not only to draw, but also to be there. Today I was there with my dog, and I moved around to sketch different people. Some of them I knew, others I didn't. And it was tricky, because everyone, public and runners, moved a lot around!

The image is very wide, and you can click on it to view it larger.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Quiet moments during the Exhibition

There were some quiet moments during my afternoon shift today at the Art Exhibition in Crozet. Some of the artists sharing shift with me were talking, and I was sketching them. We're 13 in total, so this is just a small sample, but which illustrates the variety of the works exposed. 

Tomorrow is the last day, and maybe I'll get to sketch some more of them, but this will be tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In Gex

Today is a beautiful day, sunny, warm, and quiet. Yes, quiet because I already did the hard work for this week, so today I took it easy, and I relaxed. And when I am really relaxed it seems like the noises are less noisy, and that everything in general is more calm. Gex was calm today. Quiet, nice, sunny, and welcoming. Because the center of Gex is beautiful. With its little steep streets, with the old village houses all with their colored shutters, the squares lost in between the houses, and the atmosphere of a still a small village, even though Gex became a city many years ago. 

In the center of Gex there are two main streets, both going upwards to the city hall. Today, I first draw one, in one of these little squares. Rue des Terreaux is where the weekly market in Gex takes place, every Saturday morning.

When I had finished I had still some time, so I just walked around, and took the other street, which goes mostly parallel to the first one, and that is called Rue du Commerce. Rue du Commerce is narrower and steeper than Rue des Terreaux, and is full of nice village houses with shutters. I found one spot in the shadow, facing downwards, and just did a quick quick sketch, before running to pick up my daughter from her theatre class.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sketching the Vide Grenier in Crozet

Once a year people in Crozet empty their houses of the stuff they don't use anymore, and a big market is organised. It is like a giant garage-sell, where everyone from the villages, or from neighboring villages, can participate. It is called a "vide grenier", which literally means "empty barn", because probably the barn, or the grenier, is where people used to accumulate the stuff they wouldn't use anymore. 

In a vide grenier you can find almost everything, toys, clothes, bikes, books, music, useful things and things that you have no idea what are they for. You can also find all types of sellers: professional ones, with high prices and who participate in all possible vide greniers; normal people who are still attached to their things so they put as well very high prices and sell little. And others who just want to not come back home with their stuff and they almost give away their things. 

And yes, the other thing you find it the vide greniers is buyers, or people walking around, people talking, touching, negotiating. People. People everywhere!! So that's what I drew today :)

This is the first sketch of today. In the background you may recognise the mairie of Crozet, which I sketched yesterday with my daughter.

The second sketch, people shopping, looking around and passing by, with the chapiteau in the background.

And the third and last of my sketches. The little bar restaurant where everyone buys their lunch, also myself :)

The day has been great. Super sunny, but not hot, nice environment, and nice people who stopped next to me while I was drawing and gave me nice conversation. Few of them also posed in funny ways and had a good laugh. So I'm looking forward to sketching La Foulée in Crozet next week!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Place de la Mairie

It is already several days I want to go out and sketch something, but I have so many things going on at the moment, I really don't find the time. And I keep doing all the stuff in my to do list, but it never seems to get shorter. 
But then, if I never stop, then things aren't as fun anymore. Indeed, it's all about balance! And it is not that I did this whole reflexion, not consciously at least, but finally, today, I took my bike, my stuff, and my daughter, and we went off to draw. It was something very quick, but oh, it felt so good.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Expo Crozet 2016

And, finally, all that brainstorming I started talking about two entries ago was about this. This poster. For some of you it might seem a bit too much... whaaat?? for a poster?! but yes, indeed after a well done poster there's a lot of thought and care! This one is for an Art Exhibition, in Crozet, the first weekend of October.

Each year during the exhibition the artists have a contest among themselves about a given topic. This year the contest is themed "Black and White" (Le blanc et le noir), and that's why I was forced to go back in time, to what it seemed ages ago, when I mostly drew but seldom colored my drawings, and my brainstorming brought back illustrations like the ones in my twenties. Even these patterns, they go all the way back to my seventeens. Although the patterns, they never completely abandoned me.

So, if you are around, you are all invited to the Art Exhibition. As last year, I will be exposing my latest works, together with other artists of my village. And there will be paintings, photography, and other craft arts like clothing works. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Patterns, it's all about patterns

And voilà the peacock finished. That was a hell of a work, and I don't know why, but it gave me a lot of thirst! I drank a lot of water while doing it!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Work in progress

Here's a video of the last illustration I'm working on... while working on it! The illustration is part of this same project I was brainstorming about the other day. So all this brainstorming lead me from that illustration to this one. They are quite different, yes, and this difference gives a very good idea of what the creative process involves, and how random it can be. 

It is my first video and there's room for improvement, but I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Sketching ideas for a fast project, this little drawing popped up. It was a long long time since the last one I'd made like this.