Saturday, September 30, 2017

This year's art exhibition

Still ongoing, this weekend takes place the annual art and artisan exhibition in Crozet. This year I am exposing around 20 artworks, four of them illustrations, and the other sketches that I've done around in the Pays de Gex. So far the balance is very good, many people joined us yesterday for the vernissage, and this afternoon, although quieter than during the inauguration (of course!), the flow of people was constant and the room was never empty. And, at this point I've sold three of my works, all of them from Crozet!

This is a scene I sketched this afternoon during my shift. Maybe tomorrow I get to sketch some more... or not, one never knows!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vide grenier 2017

Another year, another vide grenier in Crozet! 
And, for the second year in a row, under a beautiful sun!

(If you don't remember what a vide grenier is, I invite you to check last year's entry, where I explain it in detail.)

This year, as usual, the night before I planned to get there very early, at first hour. And as usual, reality was way more relaxed and we only got there at around 10:30 in the morning. We walked around, got a little dinosaur for our youngest kid, and then I just looked for a spot to draw while my daughter had some fun with her old school friends and my husband and the two boys walked our dog back home. 

Drawing in the vide grenier is always funny, because there's lots of people who come by, comment, and give me nice conversation. The most eager talkers are children!
 After this first sketch we've grabbed some food at the buvette (the bar) for lunch. At the vide grenier, food is cooked by Crozet's grannies, and there are also hot dogs for the kids, so the choice to stay is easy! After lunch, I've stayed a bit longer for another quick sketch while my family went back home. 

Next week, La Foulée, and also the Arts Association in Crozet annual exhibition! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Running pal

I think it was in my latest "little girl" post that I said that my dog had brought me closer to nature. This has happened in many ways but the most evident one is the passion we have developed, together, to run and climb mountains. 

More than a year ago, I started doing this just to give us a different walk. Because, really, every day, three times per day, doing the same three walks, for I don't know how many years... Oh, boy, I understand why people stops getting their dogs regular walks! We are lucky to live in the mountains, close to fields, forests and places full with trails with no cars around. So the option was obvious. We started with "special" walks, that then became more regular and longer, that with time became faster, with us running part of the time and which later became a real sport that we practise together. I even ended up having all the special gear, a GPS watch and one of these applications where you can compete with other people who passed by the same trail. 

Now, several days a week, we run and climb together the mountains and forests close by. And how much fun this is. I like the effort up, the speed running down, and the sound of my dog's sleigh bell around. These days, my dog is happy because cooler days are here, I am happy because he cares to wait for me (in Summer he's behind all times), and we both enjoy the mud when it rains :)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Los colores de Jujuy
Jujuy's colours

This week that I've been back to work and the children to school I've found some calm to draw for my pleasure again. I didn't have a clear idea of what to do, just let the pencil move in the paper. And then this came out. The beautiful and impossible colors of Jujuy. 
I hope I will be back again, to run in those mountains some more, and to draw them some more. Because one cannot ever get enough of them.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back to reality

Yesterday it was the first day of school, and today it has been the first drawing class of the school year. This has pushed me back to my real life, and yes, I am not on holidays anymore, not in Argentina anymore. I will keep explaining the trip and sharing the sketches, but I guess real life will interrupt me more often now! 

In this year classes I have few new children, the groups have been reshaped, and my little school has grown a bit more. It is a "contained growth", manageable and one which still allows me to do all the other things I like to do besides teaching. And as it turns out, I was ready for the first class: the studio clean, more organised, more space, activity ready. But already tonight I haven't slept well. I had a torticollis which tortured me during the whole night, because I was tense and nervous. Today as the time approached my stomach was hard as a stone... One would think these things pass with experience but apparently not in my case!

Despite all my nervousness and excitement, the class has been great, kids have been fantastic, we've had fun with a drawing game, and we're all ready for the coming classes. I am happy :) 

Then, as reality is hard, I've come back to driving my daughter around (yay!). This year however she has dropped some of the things she was doing so both her and I will be more relaxed (real yay!). Today, she has started with her new guitar class, and while I was waiting for her, outside the school, with the perfect temperature, I could only do one thing, sketch! 

This is a foldable bike at the door of the music school. I didn't ask them why they have it there because it gives the impression of just being decorative. A bike is always a nice subject to draw. And yes, reality is not that bad :) Keep bringing me days like this one please, it was perfect :)


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Already in Tilcara

We passed the first day in Jujuy right there where we were staying, in Tilcara. The car stayed parked at the hostel, and we visited everything by foot, starting with the ancient village of El Pucará, and after that hiking to La Garganta del Diablo, a waterfall at about 5km from Tilcara.

The visit to the Pucará was impressive: the place, its situation and also the explanations by the native guide, who already from the first moment gave us a nice perspective about the place we were in. And yes, Jujuy is The Earth, and the Human connected to it, a profound bond that travels back in time to the most ancient civilizations. Jujuy is the earth, the dust, the mountains and its canyons open like if they were wounds. Jujuy is color contrast, nature and ancestral cultures. And still many things I could not finish to describe.

While children were playing among the reconstructed houses of the Pucará, I managed to sketch the view of the valley towards Humahuaca. Light wasn't yet at its most, but what a wonder anyway.

Then we got lost in the streets of that ancient town that in its best times was home to a thousand, enjoying the landscape, the stones, and the giant cactus (cardones). 

After the Pucará, we bought some tortillas with ham and cheese and started our hiking towards La Garganta del Diablo. Even in winter, there, in the north, right in the tropic, with the sun over our heads, weather was ideal for an excursion. In the way in I stopped at a crossing for a quick sketch, while everyone took a sip of water.

We finally got there, had lunch and spent a bit playing with the water. My husband and I ran to the natural waterfall together with a street dog that had accompanied us since Tilcara. He was black as our dog Ludo, and it almost felt like having him with us. In the way back to Tilcara I stayed a bit longer to sketch some little stands by the road, and ran part of the way back to catch up with the family. That day was great. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

En Route!!

The road to Jujuy from Buenos Aires is long. In fact almost everyone looked as us as we were crazy because we were going by car. We were 10 in total, my family of 5, plus my sister's family of 4, plus their little dog Cambá. We rented a van for the trip, which worked wonderfully. The trip passed very well for everyone, despite the large distances.

It is a bit more than 1500 km from Buenos Aires to Tilcara, in Jujuy, which we did in two stages. The way-in route is marked in red in the map below. The first night we spent it in Fernandez in the province of Santiago del Estero, and then the day after we arrived in Tilcara, where we spent 5 nights.

To avoid the big cities beltways, at some point we deviated from the main Route 9 and took a smaller one. We weren't super lucky because the route was full of trucks. Really full. Like it must have been a ban for trucks some days before and they left all at the same time, together with us. Right after passing Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, already the first trucks...

We arrived late in the night to our hotel, but happy.

The day after things were calmer, and we traveled much faster. In the afternoon we were already in the beautiful Jujuy, in Tilcara. Oh, that was a moment, really. During the trip we also passed interesting places. For example Güemes, where its multiple red lights allowed me to sketch its main road :) 

Already quite in the north, weather was also getting warmer, sunnier, and we felt welcome and happy for the days to come.