Drawing at the Pont du Gard

Jerry’s last post amusingly describes the experience of driving in France but, he did not say where we were driving to! We were tootling all over the place. One of our destinations was the Pont Du Gard a UNESCO world heritage listed site which amazes me. The Pont du Gard was built just before the Christian era so that the aqueduct of Nîmes could cross a river.

As an Aussie who has seen fire, flood, earthquake and drought in my life I am always a bit dazed at how Roman engineers and architects controlled nature. In the case of Pont du Gard they are controlling water to meet the need of a community. I appreciate the achievement but there is always an irrational feeling that nature can not be shaped to our will as it goes counter to my life experience. So when ever I encounter Roman engineering that accomplishes something like this I am always in awe of the fact that they did it but also it has stood a couple of thousand years. I know that is what humans do, but the child in me is always surprised to encounter it.

sketch of Pont du Gard bridgeAnyway while Jerry scrambled over rocks to take photos of it I did some sketching. These thoughts filtered through my mind as I drew one section of the bridge in my travel journal. I chose to do a section as the structure is large and I need to realistic about time. This took me about an hour and half . This drawing is of part of the top section. If you click on the drawing you will see a larger version.

page spread of travel journalI added a postcard to the page spread of my travel journal to remind me of the monumental size, as this bridge stands almost 50m high and has three levels of arches.

If you are interested in this site there is very good article in Wikipedia about The Pont du Gard

Drawing in the Roman Theatre in Arles

Sketch of Roman theatre Arles in FranceArles is dotted with ruins and I have decided there is nothing like a good ruin. Actually flippant attitudes aside, many of the monuments at Arles are UNESCO world heritage listed.

The other day we visited the Roman theatre and off to one side is a collection of carved and plane stones.  I had a delightful time sitting in the shade of  a tree, drawing the image above. Click the image to see a larger version

This is what the travel journal page spread looked like. The green half disk is a paper patty that held a lavender  cake – yes that is right a a cake made with lavender. It was lovely.

photo of travel journal page spread

Video of Travel Journal

I mentioned yesterday I had filled my first travel journal and was on to the second. I thought I would share a flip through the pages so you could see how I keep a travel journal. I hope you enjoy the journal flip.


Sharing a few travel sketches

Well I am being nagged by a good friend to share more travel sketches. To be honest I am finding it easy to keep the travel journal but hard to fit sketching into the day. In fact I have already filled one book and half way through the second, but it is mainly writing!

The first sketch I would like to share is one I did while on a day visit to Chartres. We went of course to see the cathedral. (Jerry has not yet shared his photos of the day so I am getting in first – pokes tongue at Jerry and chants nyah nyah )

Garden behind Chartres CathedralI discovered a little park behind the cathedral and spent a pleasant hour and half using my  inktense pencils and Pitt pens to represent what I saw. (Click on the image and you will see a larger version)

page spreadThis is the page spread.

Next I discovered an art shop on St Germain Boulevard and could not resist buying gesso. I had not packed gesso as I was trying to travel light but I have wanted to create some images that were more impressionistic to describe my mood in Paris. So I indulged in a little pot of gesso and some very cheap stiff brushes to apply it.

image of collageThis collage is intense pencils, pitt pens, gesso and collaged paper scraps from tourist brochures. The intense pencils responded will to being moistened by the gesso. I liked it and will explore more  this accidently discovered technique. (Click on the image and you will see a larger version)

page spreadThis is the page spread

Next is a small figure I drew in the Louvre. We went back there on Friday as  it is a place you can never really see all of! We spent quite a bit of time in the Greek Etruscan and Roman antiquities section. I fell in love with this cycladic figurine which dates from between 2700 BC – 3000 BC. (Click on the image and you will see a larger version)

Cycladic figureThis is the page spread.

Anyway I hope people have enjoyed these pages. As I say I have filled one book and am half way through the second. If I have time I will make a video of a flip through the pages.