mercredi 4 décembre 2019

MI-LAB Moku Hanga Training Program

Ko Umi Park
The Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory (MI-LAB) Studio is located on the banks of the Kawaguchi Lake. It hosts several times a year Moku hanga training programs for foreign artists.
MI-Lab Kawaguchiko Studio
I attended to the fall session from October 27th to November 30th 2019 with five other artists. The residency is ideally situated at the foot of Mount Fuji in a traditional Japanese land house.
Fuji San 富士山
Our studious days were punctuated by the sound of the primary school bell, the call of our house keeper Sato San for lunchtime and the fleeting apparitions of Fuji San between the clouds.
Katsuyama middle school students - 勝山中学生

Our teachers were very talented and, whilst teaching us the basics of Moku hanga, they opened doors to infinite fields of graphic experimentation.
The neighbourhood of MI-Lab - 勝山
 Every day we had delicious lunch and dinner from the local catering Samurai
体験食館 侍
Moku Hanga woodblock printing 木版画
 The five weeks of the program passed so quickly. I only made four prints…

…and didn't even have the time to paint my own thirty-six views of Mount Fuji.

lundi 28 octobre 2019

Hiking in Japan

Kyoto Imperial Palace
As a preamble to the woodblock printing program I was following during the whole month of November, I went ten days before in order to visit some famous places and also hike in the countryside. 
Fushimi Inari Taisha
First, I visited Kyoto for a very short couple of days. I must say that I missed everything there but hat I had at least a whole day in Fushimi Inari Taisha which compensated for this frustration.
Bamboo forest
Then, according to the accurate advices of Johanna Krimmel, a fellow sketcher and Japan lover, I walked along the Nakasendo Trail, from Magome to Narai. This route wasn't difficult at all but brought me the opportunity to see a wild black bear.

A two-day break in Matsumoto was essential, just to recharge the batteries and see the legendary castle. 
I planned then to climb one of the highest peak of Japan in the Kamikochi valley but had to give up because of the bad weather. This setback allowed me to discover the city of Takayama before joining Kawaguchiko where the MI-Lab programs take place.

En préambule au stage d'estampe que j'ai suivi pendant tout le mois de novembre, je suis arrivé dix jours plus tôt pour visiter quelques sites emblématiques du Japon, mais aussi pour randonner dans la campagne et la montagne.
Fushimi Inari Taisha

J'ai tout d'abord visité Kyoto pendant quelques jours très courts. Je dois dire que j'ai tout raté là-bas, mais j'ai eu au moins une journée entière à Fushimi Inari Taisha qui a compensé cette frustration.
Ensuite, grâce aux conseils judicieux de Johanna Krimmel, une amie Sketcher amoureuse du Japon, j'ai marché sur le Nakasendo, entre Magome et Narai. Une pause de deux jours à Matsumoto s'est imposée, histoire de me resourcer et de voir le légendaire château.
J'avais prévu ensuite de gravir l'un des plus hauts sommets du Japon dans la vallée de Kamikochi mais ai dû renoncer à cause du mauvais temps. Ce contretemps m'a permis de découvrir la ville de Takayama avant de rejoindre Kawaguchiko où se déroulait le stage d'estampe de MI-Lab.

Hida no sato

lundi 23 septembre 2019

USk Swiss symposium 2019 in Zuoz

The Swiss Urban Sketchers chapter organised its first symposium in the mountains of the Canton of Graubünden on September 21/22 2019. Thanks to the huge work of few organizers (Mario, André and Heidi) we were host in a magical location: the Lyceum Alpinum of Zuoz. I had the honor of being one of the faculty teachers.
I led two workshops about "mountain sketching" with enthusiasm, in a gorgeous valley under a bright sun. The symposium gathered around fifty people and was a great success. We all hope to meet again next year for such a friendly time.

Les Urban Sketchers de Suisse (principalement Suisse-Allemands) ont organisé leur premier symposium dans les montagnes du canton des Grisons les 21 et 22 septembre 2019. Grâce au travail colossal d'une poignée d'organisateurs (Mario, André et Heidi), nous avons été accueillis dans un lieu magique : le Lyceum Alpinum de Zuoz. J'ai eu l'honneur de faire partie du groupe d'enseignants.
J'ai animé avec enthousiasme deux ateliers de "croquis de montagnes", dans une magnifique vallée sous un soleil radieux. Le symposium, qui a réuni une cinquantaine de personnes, a été une grande réussite. Nous espérons tous nous revoir l'année prochaine pour un moment aussi convivial.

jeudi 22 août 2019

Liber Azoth

Guillaume Grenard and his band "la Table de Mendeleïev" (LTDM) recorded their seventh opus with Andrea Parkins, accordeonist of the experimental scene of New York City. The album is called Liber Azoth in reference to the book of Paracelsus, famous alchimist from the german renaissance16th century.
Since the beginning of LTDM discography, I had the great honor to be in charge of the cover design. And, according to the graphic guideline of the collection, the visuals are drawn by the symbols and enigmatic engravings of the alchimists books.

Thus, this seventh volume uses the symbol of the green lion flanked by seven stars devouring the sun, who opens and closes the indissoluble seals of the seven mettalic spirits. All the compositions are inspired by the elements of the famous periodic table and the composer already announced me that the next volume would be the last of the project and should be recorded in live. We also evoqued the eventuality of live painting on stage during the concerts. To be continued…

mercredi 31 juillet 2019

USk Amsterdam 2019

 The annual world meeting of sketchers is getting bigger and bigger every year. This 10th symposium 2019 took place in Amsterdam. It was my first time in this famous city and I must admit that I was a little disapointed by the city centre, the red light streets and coffee shops, the crowd and the poor quality of the food. But when We got a little familiar with the place my opinion changed significantly
Obiously, this year's symposium was the "no time" symposium.
No time to bump into all the sketchers I know. And almost no way to have the opportunity to sketch with them. Anyway I had the chance to see many.
No time to make many sketches. I was travelling with my two kids who have not the same need to engrave their visual impressions on paper.
No time to visit many quarters of this amazing city. It was my first time there and the extreme heat of the first two days hit me hard on the head. I then had a migraine for 2 days and no energy to move too much.
Not enough time at all but still enough to have great moments, to chat, to sketch, to make new friends, to roam around and visit, to discover and enjoy Amsterdam.
Next symposium 2020 will be in Hong Kong, will I go ?
I'd love though.

vendredi 7 juin 2019

Rencontre nationale 2019 Urban Sketchers à Dijon

La région Bourgogne - Franche-Comté, a été choisie pour être l'hôte de USk France Rencontre 2019 à Dijon.
Christine Deschamps, Marie-Odile Mourel et Arnaud Heidet, entourés d'une grande équipe de bénévoles ont parfaitement organisé la neuvième et la plus grande des rencontres nationales.
Tout était parfaitement réglé et d'une très grande qualité : l'accueil chaleureux des participants, la com ingénieuse avec une mignonne petite chouette, les savoureuses bières de la Brasserie La Truite,
les vins délicats du Domaine Céline Coté, les nombreux goodies de Hahnemühle,
les parcours dans la ville, le grand banquet (il ne manquait que le barde)…
Tout était si réussi que je trouve ma maigre production (seulement 4 double-pages) pas vraiment à la hauteur. Ces rencontres, on en ferait bien toute l'année. Merci Dijon et à bientôt les USk !