‘Mains dans les Poches’ – Marché d’Issigeac
© The Artist.

Mains dans les poches = hands in the pockets, which is a saying that means not spending, just looking.
Here’s another old boy in a berry, one of my neighbours & his dog. Observe that he is wearing no socks inside his plastic clogs. I took this photo when the temperatures were COLD, the evening I painted that last blogged oil, when it went sub zero. COLD. I admire this generation of old boys. He told me that during Feb 1956, it rarely went above zero all month. Bad news for a plein-air painter.

NOTAN – Winter Sun – Marché d’Issigeac

‘NOTAN – Winter Sun – Marché d’Issigeac’
one half times A5
© The Artist.
150 € / 100 £ UK / 200 US dollars.

NOTAN – Jour du Marché

Jour du Marché
Watercolour & felt tip.
A5 sketchbook, Double Spread (well almost)
© The Artist.
Another ‘attack of the giant white trades vans’… this time, a seller of black clothes of all things.


Half-tone is a real mental discipline. My felt tip pens have dried out. Short life product, the alcohol evapourates. Not very ecological. So back to the brush & watercolour. All good practice.


A5 scribble in ink
Market day in Bergerac. Busker with electric guitar & vox-box on the pavements. I particularily liked the juxtaposition between him, the artist doubtlessly living in precarity, and the publicity for life insurance. Everything has its price & the price of a life of creativity is often financial insecurity. I thinK maybe this is part of the public’s attraction for buskers, other than of course, the fact they (sometimes…) make beautiful music.
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. – Steve Martin

NOTAN – Market Day Crowds

Pencil & felt-tips
© The Artist.
And do you think we could get a table? Market day crowds drinking their coffee & meeting up & being friendly. We are currently having an indian summer so the light is bright & intense. Frequently this southern light gives a lovely white fringe or halo around things. On the painting course there was a couple of Americans, who commented just how the light of south-west France is like the light of California.


28 x 38 cm (15″ x 11″)
Toutes Droits Reservés© The Artist.
Click on image to enlarge (& see without the blur).

Quatorze Juilliet in Beaumont town. Tressel tables, vin, grillade & frites. Everybody in town, including all the farming families. Disco, dancing, people watching, laughter & neighbours.

Painting in monochrome, using Winsor & Newton Neutral tint on Arches quarter sheet. Night time painting. ‘Sur la vif’, very much on the hoof as people moving very quickly, milling about in visual confusion, difficult to pick out a target, but I enjoyed the fun of the fair. Something about crowds & music that appeals to my painter-self.

Then later on,when the crowd had thinned out, white plastic cups & on-loookers & a few adolescents still eager to play the flirting mating game. The white tressle tables & black sillohouttes making a good tonal subject.

28 x 38 cm (15″ x 11″)
Toutes Droits Reservés© The Artist.


What I particularly like was the sweetie- candy floss stall. If I knew how, I would have painted this but then at half one in the morning, it was not long till the stall & tables would be packed away. The fifth repubique was saved & we all had a good time.

felt tip pens
© The Artist.

Sellers of tins of conserved duck at the french market place
Attack of the giant white trades vans!!

notan = design in black & white, tonality

NOTAN : ‘Poisson Frais du Marché’

15 x 21 cm. Felt Tip Pens on Paper. Notan study.
Tous droits reservés. Copyright – The Artist.
BTW, this was a demonstration piece of last week’s painting workshop here in france

French Market Places

The fish-monger’s wife was a cubist delight, a three tone design with a flip of a fin.

Market day is wonderfully animated with lots of commotion & visual complexity. Learning to concentrate under such lively conditions can be of great use to a plein-airist. Working ‘sur la vif’, sketching in public, on location, with people looking at you, these elements require a kind of opening oneself up to moving world of passers by, which can ,actually & surprisingly, be very inspiring. Rather than being a distraction, people’s curiousity can actually be a spur for inspiration. Here in France, most people reallly want you to succeed & paint a master piece!

Here’s a night-time ink drawing from Sarlat, where there was literally THOUSANDS of people milling about, watching the spectacles. All the fun of the fair, the world & his wife. Artist stay inside your bubble of concentration and gently sway with the commotion, remember you do not own the scene in front of you but like everyone else, are merely moving through – ‘du passage.’

‘Belle Nuit d’Été à Sarlat’
Encre chine, papier Moulin de la Rouzique.
Tous droits reservés. Copyright – the artist.