It doesn’t happen very often, so time with my South African family is very precious. This year I’ve had a week with my mother when we discovered the history of Bury St Edmunds and went over to Sutton Hoo. And now I have a week in France with my sister, my niece and nephew, and the rest of my family. We certainly fill the house.
What a brilliant week we’ve had. I’ve written before about my sister’s amazing way with drawing and design. She’s the one in the family with all the art knowledge. So it’s wonderful to be able to spend time with her in Europe where we are surrounded by art history. I learn so much every time.
We’ve explored the Art Nouveau trail in Nancy and been enthralled by the magnificence of the Renaissance cathedral at Reims (where we made the surprise discovery of a set of glorious Marc Chagall stained glass windows).
Yesterday, we decided to have a chilled day at the house. Lori and I got the paintbrushes out and painted up a storm. Well, to be accurate, she painted at an astounding pace, producing a wonderful collection of pieces for Running With Brushes.
I was struck (yet again) by the different styles of our painting. Lori’s strength is capturing the character of a people and animals. I’ve watched in amazement as she drew three pairs of eyes which, with only the irises coloured, were absolutely indisputably the eyes of her three children. This was just a holiday sketch.
These two paintings of animals have her characteristic style, in which she captures the mood and personality of the subject so well. I think I have confessed before that I am still too daunted by the prospect of painting people to try portraits, or figure painting. The same has always applied to animals. It’s really a ‘living thing’ barrier.
But this time I took a leap and managed to knock out a little frog. I’m fairly proud of this effort, particularly as I probably wouldn’t have attempted it without the backup of Lori sitting across the table from me.
And then I reverted to painting things that don’t move again. 🙂 Somehow they feel so much safer. They’re certainly less complicated.
But watch this space – you may find a lizard next time….
PS: Lori has just set up a Facebook Page for her designs and illustrations. It will be well worth following.