France Sketches: Le Potager du Prince

The Potager du Prince is an adorable interactive garden/museum in Chantilly that lies on the remainder of the grand garden that served the castle. Here most of the food for the nobility residing, or visiting, the castle was grown or raised. We had a wonderful up-close view of rabbits, goats, pidgeons, chickens, and many different fruits and vegetables. It’s the sort of museum that I love to draw in!

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2015_06_Potager 2

France Sketches: Prix de Diane

Woefully, this post has more interesting links in photos than it does sketches. The Prix de Diane is a horserace, the equivalent of the Kentucky Derby in the US. It is a wonderful opportunity for women to show off their hats. It’s also in Chantilly, one of the most beautiful (and horse-centric) towns in France.

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I was able to sketch some of the race horses as they cooled down, walking, post-race. The crowd at this is intense! We walked a couple of miles through dust with a toddler in a stroller for the opportunity to down chablis and sandwiches in the hot sun. You know what? It was WORTH IT.

France Sketches: Chantilly Interior

I’ve been working on this sketch for about six months now, I started it in December 2014, and continued it on this last trip in June. It’s a bit of a relief that this room doesn’t change too much, and yet at the same time I am challenged to make alterations that are both honest to the source and to what I found charming about the composition in the first place.

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click to enlarge

When I showed it to her, my mother-in-law asked me if I liked to do comics. Yes! Yes I do. ūüôā Coming from the French, who take their comics very seriously, I consider that quite a compliment.

France Sketches: √Čtangs de Commelle

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The √Čtangs de Commelle are a series of large man-made ponds that cascade into one another in the Forest of Chantilly. They are quite beautiful, and were originally built by monks to stock with fish for food (you can still fish in them today). Coincidentally they also happened to be a great spot to corner and drown deer when hunting. I’ll stick to painting them in early September, though, and enjoy walking around them–lovely greens! Near the edge of the last √Čtang is the Castle of the White Queen, an 11th century (recently remodeled in 1825) ¬†luncheon spot for nobility after a hard day of watching your servants and hired hunters chase down and kill a deer.

Watercolor Sketch: Les Grandes Ecuries à Chantilly

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An overcast day makes for a moody watercolor sketch of the Grandes Ecuries (the Great Stables) in Chantilly, France. No horses there on the track that day, they were all inside the stables and arena, staying warm and dry and getting ready for the Christmas performance!

www.grandesecuries.com

My Facebook cover photo is me in the middle of this sketch: facebook.com.