mercredi 22 mai 2024

USk Nantes 2024

The annual USk France meeting took place in Nantes from May 17 to 20.

After having organised the meeting in Toulouse in 2023, I had the pleasure to attend as a simple participant.

However, I only stayed 2 days and a half, that was too short to see all the places indicated in the program, but enough to see the ever-growing success of the USk.

In my sketchbook I am amazed by the oversized skies and the omnipresent boats.


 La rencontre annuelle des Urban Sketchers de France avait lieu à Nantes du 17 au 20 mai 2024.

Après l'avoir accueillie l'an dernier à Toulouse en 2023, j'avais le plaisir cette année d'y figurer en simple participant.

En revanche, je n'y suis resté que 2 jours et demi, ce qui était trop court pour voir tout ce qui était au programme mais suffisant pour constater le succès toujours grandissant des Urban sketchers.

 Dans mon carnet je remarque la taille démesurée des ciels et les bateaux omniprésents.

mercredi 20 mars 2024

Montagne de Tabe

wood plate carving

printing the first block

printing the red seal on the final print

 Moku Hanga woodblock print. Sumi ink on Awagami Shiramine paper.
This print is inspired from the following sketch done at the break of day in the Pyrenees.

samedi 24 février 2024

Basilique St Sernin

The Urban Sketchers chapter of Toulouse uses to meet at least once a month, on the last Sunday. February's meeting leaded us to sketch the iconic basilica of Saint Sernin. This huge and richly ornamented church is nothing less than the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe.

On this cold and rainy winter Sunday, there was almost no way to sketch from outside the bell tower or the imposant apse and its nine chapels. Most of the participants took refuge in the Saint Raymond museum of antiquity next door. But not far from here, the Chapelle des Carmélites, fully covered by XVIIIth century baroque paintings, was also a pretty nice shelter.

We were less numerous to stay inside the church under the barrel vaults of the nave and the ambulatory. I always feel comforted by the harmony of the semicircular arches and by the sensation of being able to see the interior volumes much better than in Gothic and its countless angles and edges.

Since the organization of the USk national meeting in May 2023, each local event now brings together at least 25 people in winter and 50 the rest of the year.

lundi 12 février 2024

Friday night sketcher

In this early February Friday night, the temperature is pretty cool. I go out to sketch the church chancel that has just been renovated.

Tonight the cultural center is hosting a concert of groovy Indian music. From the aisles I can feel the excitement and joy of the participants who come outside to refresh their overheated bodies in a too long winter night.

Then the music fades, the crowd disperses, the streets are quiet again. At 00:40 the cats come out and the public lightning goes out.

lundi 5 février 2024

mardi 19 décembre 2023

Long Time No See


I hadn't been to the mountains in months, partly because my car wasn't working properly. Luckily I found a way to get there by train. I had planned a hike, starting from the station, towards a series of shepherds' huts just above the edge of the forest with a beautiful view of the snow-capped peaks.

The whole climb was in the shade and the cold, but from the edge of the forest, 800 m higher, I was able to enjoy both the warm rays of the sun and the breathtaking view all around.

I know these peaks having already climbed them, Pic de Tarbesou, Dent d'Orlu, Roc Blanc, Pic St Barthélémy. They are not the tallest but they can be seen and recognized from a long distance. And what's more, they have very interesting profiles to draw.


I was ready to draw as much as possible but I left out two things. First, the frost arrived very early, at 4 p.m. Second, I forgot to put alcohol in my water bottle.

The next day I drew the same mountains again and also spent a lot of time gazing at the peaks on the horizon. I guess I needed to contemplate more than to draw.