Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Antiques & Art Fair Luxembourg

Béliza nous attendait ce 1er dimanche de février dans le sas d'entrée de la foire des Arts et Antiquaires au Kirchberg et nous a très gentiment négocié un accès de groupe. Merci mille fois! La tentation de flâner et chiner entre les stands était vraiment très forte, mais nous étions là pour dessiner.
Ce foisonnement d'objets, de transparences, de couleurs et de brillances empêchait mon regard de se poser. Après avoir réussi à choisir une étagère de figurines colorées, peut-être un peu kitsch, il a fallu trouver un endroit pour s'installer. Je me sentais comme une pierre dans le flux d'un torrent de badauds que je ne voulais pas gêner, ni encombrer les commerçants. Enfin, j'ai trouvé le seul point me permettant l'immobilité sans cacher une quelconque vitrine. Pas de chaise, donc dessiner debout. Il y avait tant de choses, je voulais rendre l'amoncellement, la fragilité, les reflets, le cache-cache entre les étagères.
Les négociations chuchotées, les commentaires en aparté accompagnaient le défilement des visiteurs. Pas une seconde d'ennui. Un spectacle permanent de "murmures et lueurs" à défaut de "sons et lumières". Au risque de m'enraciner, je n'ai fini qu'une étagère. Dommage que je n'ai pas osé la couleur.
Après nous être retrouvés, nous avons tous pensé qu'une heure ne suffisait pas à relater cette belle ambiance et nous voici repartis pour un tour.

Une seconde étagère de vases des années 20-30 avec leurs motifs de volutes végétales et leurs teintes douces sur des matières translucides. Une impression de grande fragilité. Pas le temps de faire tous les étages…
…il était déjà l'heure du café.

Je me suis un peu perdue entre les stands, et finalement j'ai retrouvé mes amis sketchers dans la seconde cafétéria bien cachée dans une salle un peu en retrait de la halle principale…et enfin un siège!! 


 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Mudam en janvier

Avec un bon mois de retard voici les impressions sur notre sortie de janvier dernier au Mudam. C'était le dernier jour de l'exposition Wim Delvoye. Comme je l'avais déjà vue mon choix a été facilité, mais pas le dessin!
J'ai d'abord choisi de me cacher dans la salle des "Truck Tyres".
Tranquille dans le noir, enveloppée de l'odeur insistante du caoutchouc, seule avec ces énormes pneus de camion que juste quelques rais de lumière font apparaître dans la pénombre en éclairant leurs folles ciselures.
J'aurais aimé mieux rendre la finesse de ce travail de dentelière absurde grignotant petit à petit la grossièreté du profil qui se troue en arabesques et volutes parfaitement inutiles…mais si élégantes. 
Je me suis trop longtemps acharnée dans ces noirs et ombres pour qu'il me reste assez de temps pour dessiner une autre de ses œuvres particulièrement tourmentées.

Finalement j'ai tenté, avec un feutre grossier, une rapide esquisse du "Dual Moebius Quad Corpus", objet beaucoup plus lumineux installé dans un espace immense. Tout le contraire de la précédente salle sombre et confinée. C'est un christ en croix, doré, brillant, tordu à souhaits au point de rendre le sujet méconnaissable…et auquel mon esquisse achève hélas d'ôter son restant d'identité.

Enfin, la récompense, se retrouver à la cafétéria pour siroter cafés, thés et chocolats en échangeant et commentant nos esquisses.
Leen discutant



Monday, 13 February 2017

‘DRINK & DRAW', or rather ‘TASTE & DRAW’


luxemburg riesling tasting

I am blessed with a wine loving husband, but not with delicate taste buds. So when we were invited to join a select club of wine tasters in Luxemburg, I agreed on the condition that I could sketch while tasting.

We meet once every six weeks or so. The host couple chooses a specific wine region, grape or label and every couple brings one bottle in a price range from 5 to 30 euro. It is a ‘horizontal’ and blind tasting, during which all the aspects of the wine are discussed and noted: appearance, aroma, in-mouth-sensations and aftertaste. At the end the one who brought the winning wine receives a little award.
aloxe-corton wine tasting, luxemburg...and the winner is: aloxe-corton premier cru 'les valozières' 2005
I love the terminology: leathery, tar, stewed prunes, chocolate, liquorice, roses, prunes, bramble fruits, earthy, smoky, wet wool, petrol... But I quickly lose track and then I start to observe and try to sketch my fellow tasters. I always spit the wine in a spittoon, but is true that some alcohol can loosen up the sketches!
south american chardonnay wine tasting
south american chardonnay wine tasting: taking notes
saint-joseph (rhone) wine tasting
alentejo white wine tasting: looking, tasting, thinking
alentejo white wine tasting: smelling, tasting and taking notes


Adding some colour to the wine!


malbec wine tasting, luxemburg: the winner is catena alta 2011





vacqueyras wine tasting, luxemburg, and the winner is: les halos de jupiter 2010

Once in a while the wine tasting club goes on a little wine trip to a famous wine region. Last weekend we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the club with a trip to the nearby Alsace wine region, where we visited some remarkable producers:



Bernard Weber tasting



Réné Boehler tasting

Here a link to our Piemonte trip in 2015.

And here  you can see the whole collection of my wine tasting sketches PLUS some useful information about lesser known wines, and even more useful, the winning wines...

Monday, 30 January 2017

February Sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

Since the cold still bites too much, we will find refuge at the LuxExpo for our meeting of February.

We'll have plenty of choice of subject between the Antiques and Art Fair and the Wine Salon.

Let's meet at the entrance of the LuxExpo (Kirchberg) at 14:00 this Sunday 5 February 2017.

See you on Sunday!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Belated accounts

I have been remiss with publishing my sketches form the last Urban Sketchers' sketchcrawls, so here they are now.

In December we went to the Christmas market, which is slowly becoming a tradition of ours.

The Christmas market in the capital has grown a lot over the years an can now boast three main locations. This time I focused on the small ice skating rink on Place Guillaume II. The day was wonderfully sunny and the rink was full of people.


A mulled wine at a nearby café surrounded by friends were the perfect end to a lovely aftenoon.



In January we went to the Mudam. I was very pleasantly surprised at the big turnout: 17 people came to sketch with us this time!

It was the last day of the Wim Delvoye exhibit, an artist that has already been shown at the Mudam several years ago. Here are a few of his works. Tattooed pigs (I have mixed feelings about them, but they looked so friendly I couldn't resist sketching them).


One of his Cloaca machines.


I'm not sure these metal trees were part of his exhibit but I really liked this view, specially with two of my fellow sketchers in the background.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Sketching at the Mudam

Amazing turnout at our last sketchcrawl in the Mudam museum! 17 sketchers, old friends and new came to start the year on a merry note.




Sunday, 8 January 2017

Place Guillaume patinoire de Noel

Ce dimanche 4 décembre 2016 je retrouvais avec plaisir les Urban Sketchers que je n'avais pas pu accompagner le mois dernier. Comme chaque hiver, nous nous retrouvons à la place d'Armes pour croquer le marché de Noël. Mais ces manifestations ne se concentrent plus, depuis quelques années, seulement sur la place d'Armes. Nous nous sommes donc éparpillés entre la place d'Armes avec le marché de Noël traditionnel, la place Guillaume avec sa patinoire éphémère et la place de la Constitution avec la grande roue qui partage le ciel avec la Gëlle Fra.


Comme j'étais tentée de raviver mes souvenirs d'enfance sportive, j'ai plutôt choisi la place Guillaume. Sans difficulté j'ai résisté à la tentation de m'aventurer sur la piste, et me suis bien bravement contentée de saisir du regard, et du pinceau le joyeux brouhaha dérapant sous les yeux mi-réjouis, mi-inquiets des spectateurs. Les exclamations s'échappant des tenues emmitouflantes bigarrées méritaient la couleur. L'aquarelle c'était pour le "sport", histoire d'oser aussi quelque chose devant tant d'audace de la part des patineurs.

Nous n'avons pas fait durer la congélation des doigts trop longtemps et, le Kaale Kaffi étant complet, nous nous sommes retrouvés au Friquet's au rez-de-chaussée de l'Hôtel Beaux-Arts devant des boissons chaudes. Le beau pull de Carlo me rappelait les sports d'hiver en famille. Bavardages feutrés entre compagnons sketchers et la traditionnelle photo groupée de la récolte d'esquisses.
 


Encore un bon dimanche convivial.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

January sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

Happy new Year 2017, full of joy and many sketches!

For the first sketchcrawl of the year, let's meet at the entrance of the Mudam (Kirchberg) at 14:00 this Sunday 8 January 2017.

See you on Sunday!

Friday, 9 December 2016

A sunny, freezing afternoon at the Christmas Market


For the last years the Luxemburg Christmas Market has been the traditional meeting point for our December sketchcrawl. This year it was freezing with a bright blue sky. We were quite a big group this time - welcome to the newcomers!
Warmly dressed with gloves and hats we explored the different places of sketching interest: the colourful stalls at the Place d’Armes and the Place de la Consitiution, and the skating ring at the Place Guillaume. I tried to capture the clumsy movements of some inexperienced skaters:
A band of musicians dressed as Father Christmas braved the cold to keep us company:






When sketching became impossible due to frozen fingers and toes we went for a hot drink. Our favourite bar ‘Kaale Kaffi’ was too crowded for our group, but we went to a bar next door to warm up, take the' family photo', drink + draw, and enjoy the company of fellow-sketchers.

Carlo with a Norwegian patterned sweater



Monday, 5 December 2016

December Sketchcrawl-Luxemburg

Despite cold, I manage to make one drawing!





Thank you so much Beliza for the fun!! It is always such a pleasure to be part of this incredible group!!

Looking forward for the next one!!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A journey through time at the Tramsmusée

When you look at old photos of Luxembourg-City you may be surprised at finding out that there used to be trams all over the city. Unfortunately they were completely removed in the 1960s in favour of buses, which were more fashionable and more economical at that time. I love trams, so I can't help feeling that the city lost part of its character in favour of being more mainstream and modern.

So it was with some curiosity that I participated to latest urban sketching session organised by LUCA at the museum of public transportation, commonly known as "Tramsmusée".


In a small room, you can go through the evolution of public transport in Luxembourg, with one example of electric tram, horse tram, tram coach, bus, etc. on display. There was even a bus just like the old school buses that used to take me to highschool. The common colour to all is a dark, almost indigo, blue with creamy yellow borders.

Nowadays there is not just one colour of bus. Depending on the model, the operating company and even possible advertising they can range from white to red to rainbow-coloured and the occasional old-fashioned dark blue reminiscent of the ancient trams. 


At the moment there are construction sites all over the city, the biggest project being... to reintroduce trams to replace a big part of the buses. They say that only idiots don't change their minds, but I find it a pity that we lost the historic trams and their charm, which cannot really be replaced by modern models. 

 

It would be quaint to see a few old rickety trams run through the city, like Lisbon and its yellow trams. Maybe they will use the old carriages on special occasions. I would definitely be in line to take a ride in one of them.

Monday, 28 November 2016

December sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

For our December sketchcrawl, let's go sketch at the Christmas market in Luxembourg city.

If the weather is too bad, we will find refuge in one of the cafés in the centre.

Let's meet in front of the Cercle Cité (Place d'Armes) at 14:00 this Sunday 4 December 2015.

Don't forget your gloves, scarves and anything that can help to fight the cold ;)

See you on Sunday!

Monday, 21 November 2016

USK + LUCA at the Luxembourg Trammusee

It was a great session last Saterday afternoon at the Tram Museum of Luxembourg with a nice group of fellow sketchers.






Tuesday, 8 November 2016

November colours


For our November Sketchcrawl we met at the Notre Dame cemetery in Limpertsberg, Luxemburg.

With its beautifully carved tombstones and funerary sculptures it is a place of meditation and calm. And especially in November, after the visits of the families, the chrysanthemums, the autumn colours and the monuments make for an interesting painting palette.


We were happy to welcome two new members, Nico and Manon (our youngest urban sketcher).

We were lucky that it did not rain, but there was a cold wind and you could feel snow in the air even if it was only the beginning of November. But the November light was beautiful, so we were courageous and we sketched for about an hour in the cemetery.

We made the traditional ‘family photo’ of our sketchbooks:



With the cemetery as background it has a special melancholic ring to it:



Here are my own sketches - I focused on the ‘Angel of Grief’, a replica of the Rome sculpture by the American sculptor William Wetmore Story.







Afterwards we went for a hot drink in the Hitch on the Glacis. When our fingers and toes were warm again we could go on sketching in a drink&draw session!

Manon sketching

Maria Grazia

Nico