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


Monday, 31 October 2016

November sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

For this November's sketchcrawl, we will explore the Limpertsberg area and its cemetery in particular.

After the visits of families on 1 November, it will be the occasion to discover the location in a different light.

Let's meet in front of cinema Utopia on the avenue de la Faïencerie in Limpertsberg on Sunday 6th November at 14:00.

Don't forget to wear warm clothes and bring mittens or gloves!

See you on Sunday!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Vide-greniers place Guillaume II le 2 octobre 2016

C'était une grande joie de retrouver notre groupe d'Urban Sketchers après la rentrée pour se balader entre les tentes et étals de ce vide-greniers sur la place Guillaume II. Le temps automnal hésitait encore entre un vague rayon de soleil et une petite pluie. Nous ne nous sentions pas très courageux pour braver longtemps les éléments, donc une petite heure pour récolter des impressions et faire le point si on continue en plein air ou à l'abri.
Je me suis confortablement installée en haut des escaliers de la mairie, pour avoir une vue d'ensemble et être à l'abri des courants d'air.  J'avais envie d'exprimer l'ambiance colorée des tables et présentoirs qui défiait l'incertitude du temps…mais je me suis trop attardée sur la mine de plomb, et voilà:

…un peu terne!… mais il y a tout de même un des lions de Trémont et plus loin Guillaume II qui tente  sur son cheval de dominer la place et de concurrencer les grues du chantier en cours.
Finalement, nous avons opté pour un cocooning au Kaale Kaffi autour d'une boisson chaude.
Là, je ne voulais pas rater la couleur et le savant désordre alentour…j'ai peut-être exagéré et étouffé Marianne et Veronica sous les contrastes colorés de cet univers bariolé. 

C'était un beau dimanche de plus.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

October sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers,

For our October sketchcrawl, let's visit the vide-grenier in Luxembourg city.

Weather permitting, we will be able to sketch visitors and exhibitors on the Guillaume II square. We can always take refuge on one of the surrounding cafés if needed.

Let's meet in front of Cercle Cité on the Place d'Armes on Sunday 2nd October at 14:00.

See you soon and don't forget your pencils! :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Vacances autour du lac d'Annecy

Pendant que les Urban Sketchers L esquissaient l'ambiance festive de la Schoberfourer à Luxembourg, je me reposais paresseusement au bord du lac d'Annecy dont voici quelques moments contemplatifs tout d'abord depuis la plage de Saint-Jorioz…

puis sur les hauteurs depuis le parc de la maison d'hôtes. Quelle quiétude!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Sketching at the Schueberfouer

For this month's sketchcrawl, we visited the Schueberfouer, one of the oldest and most beloved Luxembourg traditions. Every year, starting around mid-August, this event, a mixture of market and funfair, takes place for three whole weeks.

The Schueberfouer was founded in 1340 by John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg. It was initially a huge market where people from all around the Greater Region came to sell their products, ranging from agricultural products and livestock to cloth, pottery and other household products.

Over the centuries shows and games started to become part of the fair, and the Ferris wheel and rollercoaster became permanent fixtures in the 20th century, later joined by more and more sophisticated attractions, some of them not meant for the faint of heart.

The beginning of the Schueberfouer always feels bittersweet to me, as it brings loads of fun but also announces the end of the summer holidays.

On Sunday, we went there with Leen and Maria Grazia for the monthly USk sketchcrawl. I focused on the Ferris wheel, which I find immensely photogenic. The owners of the attraction came regularly to see how our sketches were progressing.

I am pleased to say that they loved them and even asked if they could buy my sketch. I told them that unfortunately, as it was part of my sketchbook, it was not possible, but I later sent them a scanned image.

One ride on the carousel and a drink later, I was ready to call it a day and to say goodbye to the Schueberfouer for this year and mentally prepare for the arrival of autumn.

I sketched at the Schueberfouer on another occasion. You can see more of my sketches on my blog

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Moment de ville: excavation Centre Hamilius

Samedi dernier, 27 août, j'ai eu le privilège d'accéder le matin au 9ème étage d'un immeuble en chantier au coin du boulevard Royal et de l'avenue Emile Reuter. Privilège aussi de monter à pieds par une journée qui s'annonçait torride… mais l'effort en valait la peine! Un panorama plongeant sur les excavations ayant remplacé le Centre Hamilius s'ouvre à mes pieds. Depuis que ces immeubles ont été démolis, un espace long, comme une place cadrée par la rue Aldringen d'un côté et les façades du boulevard Royal de l'autre, s'est dégagé dans le tissu urbain. Seul un immeuble isolé émerge de l'excavation gigantesque, comme une bateau à la dérive, en vague équilibre.  Cet arraché dans la substance urbaine laisse depuis quelques mois la lumière baigner les façades de la rue Aldringen dont on peut maintenant apprécier la qualité. Avant que le nouveau projet referme ces ouvertures sur le paysage urbain, je voulais profiter de l'opportunité d'accès pour saisir aussi bien que possible ce moment unique de la ville.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Moments volés en juin et juillet

Juin et juillet ne m'ont pas laissé le temps de me joindre aux urban sketchers, alors quelques instants volés …un petit quart d'heure "café"

…puis pendant ma marche du soir, un arrêt sur un banc place d'Armes pour capter la lumière d'une journée finissante…

…enfin, petite méditation solitaire sous le soleil de juillet à Lasauvage, en attendant les autres participants à une réunion. Parfois j'aime bien qu'on oublie.

Monday, 29 August 2016

September sketchcrawl

Hello dear sketchers

This month we will sketch at the Schueberfouer, the annual funfair taking place on the Glacis parking in Limperstberg.

We will be able to sketch fairground people, visitors and the various amusements while eating Gromperekichelcher and other treats.

Let's meet in front of the ferris wheel at 14.00 on Sunday 4 September 2016.

See you on Sunday!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Discovering London

I didn't get to go to the symposium in Manchester this year, so I decided to compensate by spending a week in London instead. As happens with most symposiums, sketchers started flocking to the United Kingdom already the week before the event and this year was no exception.

I spent the week in a shared apartment in Piccadilly Circus with Stephanie Bower, Anne Percival and Gail Wong. It was so much fun to catch up with Stephanie and Anne, and to finally meet Gail, whose name and sketches I already knew from the online community.

Graduation in Greenwich

Westminster Palace

As the days passed, we were joined by other sketchers, first the Asian contingent with Tia, KK, Pramote, Nicholas and many more. I got a lot of inspiration from them, from Pramote in particular, who was showing me how to let loose and just have jun with my sketches.

Piccadilly Circus

Over the weekend, we joined two sketchcrawld, the first, on Saturday, organised by Urban Sketchers London. We met on Trafalgar square, continuing on the direction of Buckingham Palace(but not getting that far).

Trafalgar Square

Admiral's gate

On Sunday, we met by St Paul's cathedral to "Sketch Wren's London", a sketching tour organised by Pete Scully. He even gave us a short speech on Wren and his work. I was very impressed with all the preparations he made.

St Paul's cathedral

This week was like having a tiny bit of the symposium fever without the stress of attending all workshops and as many activities and lectures as possible.

It was my first actual visit to London and what a fun way to discover this amazing city!

You can see more of my sketches from that week on my blog.