Jean Marquay at the Buddha Bar

Indonesian Lava stone Stutue of The Buddha
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.
Jean Marquay on the Drums
five minute pose whilst drummin’ away
A5 sketch book
© the artist
Groovy, dimly lit jazz bar in bergerac with a theme deco of some good quality statues of The Buddha, smiling beniegnly on at the cocktails & other alcoholic beverages.

Jean is a local painter. I think I’ve spelt his name wrong. He used to have a gallery in the old town of Bergerac but got bored stiff of sitting in, so he sold it & now plays the drums … John Coltrane, sort of cool sixties type of be-bop


China Moses & Danny Le Duc

China Moses & Danny Le Duc
ink & pencil
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

Well, that’s the end of the exhibition in Bergerac. All went well, with lots of visits, interesting conversations & sales. Confess to being somewhat tired. Exhausted even. Emtied out. End of large exhibitions are interesting times as it often marks the end of a cycle of work. Eighty paintings & drawings…

Sitting in on the show, looking at my work in a new light, in a new context, clarifying my thoughts. Shifting out new directions & new understandings.

So let the new cycle begin…. not however before I blog the drawings that I did during these last two weeks of summer holiday buzz in a tourist hot spot in the Dordogne.

‘Un été musical en Bergeracois’

The above was a blues concert that took place nextdoor to my show, part of  ‘Un été musical en Bergeracois’ – Dee Dee Bridgewater’s daughter-in-law I think I heard. Fun concert.

‘Three Sketches of a Jazz Cornet Player’
five minute poses whilst playing JAZZZ!
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

‘Les Mercredis de Jazz’ at La Maison de Vins de Bergerac

‘Les Mercredis de Jazz’ at La Maison de Vins de Bergerac ( La Cloître des Recollets) … Jazz on a summer’s eve outside my exhibition, in a fiiteenth century cloister, under the huge tree ‘Paloania Tormentosia’… cool man!

My exhibition going well, with many visitors, may up to five or six hunred a day. Many interesting conversation & sales.

About eighty oils, watercolours & drawings on show.

1 to 13 AUGUST


‘Concert at Beduer’
Graphite pencil
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

During the second week of the Chateaux Painting Holidays that I lead about a week ago, there was a classical concert in the chateau itself. It was a Bach evening; a celloist who played some of the solo cello pieces with beautiful sonority. And a violonist of talent, Monsiuer Oliver PONS, who interpreted the “Ciaccona” from the D flat violin Partita no.2 beautifully… & slowly. I like to listen to these pieces whilst painting anyway, & so I feel I know them fairly well. They put my brain in the right state of mind to create. The violin partita is a wild & fantastic piece I feel, a veritable firework display of the imagination.

Drawing from the balcony of Chateau de Beduer , up in the ‘gods’, the setting was ripe & conducive for a flight of imagination….

The most amazing eighteenth century Venetian Candlerabra in wrought iron weighing over a ton

the seventeenth century fireplace, fit for a lord with it’s motif, almost like something from Batman’s house…

The antique painted bems high up in the gods….

Drawings of a Guitar Player

Inigo 1
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

Inigo 2
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.
Inigo 3
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.

 Living a Creative Life – The Importance of Significant Others

Yesterday I spent the day with my old friend Inigo ROSE. One of the things I cherish about being an artist is the important friendships that sometimes happen between fellow artists (great rivalries, frail, over-sized egos & petty jealousies as well, it is true). Here in France, someone who has the métier is known as a ‘Conseour’ or ‘Confrére’. Progressing along a common path , albeit with differences & with different discoveries, different aims & different priorities. Good company stimulates creativity.

What we can can also learn is that it is up to us to reach towards multiple definitions of creativity and, in doing so, to rethink worn-out concepts of autonomy, compromise & success. It is not our intention to underestimate, or oversimplify, the exquisite complications of leading creative lives and living affective lives; nor do do we in any way mean to belittle the agonising lonliness of artistic & literary production. All of us involved in this book know the wrenching pain of sitting alone in front of a blank page or a blank canvas. But we also know that the story doesn’t end – or for that matter doesn’t begin – there.

– Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, Introduction, ‘Significant Others – Creativity & Intimate partnership’ Thames & Hudson, 1996.

Inigo Rose
Lime Fresco Lime Fresco mounted on board
about 1994
about one meter

I meet him in Bath, UK about sixteen year ago. In 1995, he invited me down to his house in SW France for a season. We painted lots & lots. We also learnt so much of each other. Seeing him paint frescoes convinced me of:

  • The importance of learning from an artist with more painting experience than oneself.
  • Watching an artist paint (ie demonstrations).
  • Dialoguing with other artists (whom you esteem) about your aims, hopes, beliefs & more concretely, about your upcoming painting projects.
  • Having the courage to expose oneself to other artist’s opinions & feedback about your own paintings.
  • Creative thought & vision. Art isn’t just about technique. It’s also about self-expression & can have a playful aspect.

Here’s a picture of him in his atelier. Observe the sand, the spade & the cement mixer!

And here’s his official press-photo, slaking lime putty in California. Again note the spade… and I thought I had a thing about brushes??? 😉

Inigo ROSE, fresco artist

Inigo Rose paints frescoes. Proper frescoes in lime, the same technique as used in the Quattrocento in Italy & South West France. Inigo learnt the techniques in Italy from whom he says is the greatest living master. Note that the are NOT acrylic nor emulsion.

Inigo Rose
Fresco Sketches on the studio wall Inigo Rose
approx 1,5 x 1,5 metres
He’s also plays the guitar & is a well-known yoga teacher. Philosopher, he’s just come back from the Amazon jungle, where he studied the shamans. Free-spirit, he’s an ‘international person’, having lived in many countries (England, west coast of USA, Italy). Convivial personality, he believes in creativity in all spheres of life, including friendship & just having fun.

‘Taurus – Wheel of Life’
Inigo Rose
Lime Frescoe on wall in SW England
about four metres


pencil drawing of a buskers palying guitar

Pencil drawing, A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.
“‘A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.’ – Steve Martin”

‘Alison & her Cello’ # 6 1999
approx 30 x 40 cm
© The Artist.

Yesterday’s post about Menuhin & Romani violinist got me reminiscing about the time a rare bird flew into my studio. A young American trying out France, a concert cello-ist, classically trained, an orchestra player on the west coast, with a very beautiful antique cello (which withstood the airflight), a music teacher….. all that talent with a career path but in love, in France (not with me, I was only her art teacher), footloose & soaking up Europe.

Alison played beautifully. We talked about Pablo Casals. The above drawing is one of her playing a saraband from one of Bach’s solo cello. Very beautiful, very vigorous, very ‘earthy’ (which is not to say dirty but rather something that has it’s roots outside of upper-class cultural clichés).


” Ce qui j’admire particuliérement en lui, c’est sa firme attitude à l’égard des oppresseurs, mais également à l’endroit des opportunistes tourjours prêts à pactiser avec le diable. Il a su comprendre, avec beaucoup de clairvoyance, que le monde corut un plus grand danger de la part de ceux qui tolérant le mal on l’encouragant, que de la part de ceux-là mêmes qui le cormettent.”

rough translation in haste : what i particularly admired in him, was his firm attitude in regard to not only the oppressors, but equally to the opportunists always ready to make a pact with the devil. he knew & understood, with a great deal of foresight, that the world runs a greater danger from the part of those who tolerate evil,& thus encourage evil than from the part of those very ones who commit evil.

‘Romani Duet’
dessin sur la vif
A5 sketchbook
© The Artist.
struck me as pretty unwashed & hairy…

Romani Musicians Busking in the Street, Paris

Came reeling out of the Centre de Pomdiou, my head full of great art, into La Place Beauborg to be meet with some beautiful spanish feeling ….. duendé… sotto, low & subtle. Fine. The violinist was a Romany from somewhere near India, at a guess, & he had a crazy hair-do. The guitarist had a southern European/Romany air; he picked, strummed & accompanied very well, a bit like Paco de Lucia.I only had one hour in the Pompidou & had to get back to the gallery, pick up bag & get quickly to Montparnasse for my train, leaving to go back home to the South West.Drawing ‘sur la vif’ for the brief duration of a song. The time of a song. Le temps d’une chanson. Never to be repeated. Never to pass again. I love a gypsy lilt to the violin. Makes me think of Yehudi Menuhin playing Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. The guitarist called the Duendé, the accords in duo were struck, the lilt danced for a perfect moment & then the event came to an end. I left to catch my train, not forgetting to throw some coins in the hat (music case).



Another violonist (on the right) (…Tzigane, not Romani, I think…)
Karpatz, Sarlat 2006
© the artist

Each human being has the eternal duty of transforming what is hard and brutal into a subtle and tender offering, what is crude into refinement, what is ugly into beauty, ignorance into knowledge, confrontation into collaboration, thereby rediscovering the child’s dream of a creative reality incessantly renewed by death, the servant of life, and by life the servant of love –  Yehudi Menuhin

busker – les artistes de la rue en Dordogne

‘Patrice’ #1
© adam cope

‘Patrice’ #2
© adam cope
don’t he look like bob dylan? sounds just like him too…  hhhhhhahahahahhahahaaaaaaaaaaaa

Hey mister tamborine man

Hey mister tamborine man play a song for me i ain’t going no where & it all seems the same to me…
in the jingle jangle morningggggggggggg……..

cold morning in Issigeac market, the winter wind whistling in the narrow streets. Patrice tells me that he can’t make any money playing his own songs but that the public like to hear a tune that they can instantly ‘click into’, recognise. he plays brillantly & the odd euro goes into the hat.


les Artistes de la Rue à Issigeac

kazouuuuuuu oouuuuu zoooooo kkaaa zoooo uuuu

bucket & thumper, grooveey french lads these

A5 sketchbook drawing – pencil & ink
Buskers – ‘les artistes de la rue’ – market day at Issigeac.