"Twisted Realism" A visual artist, creating moody black and white tonal drawings in charcoal, pastel and graphite. Inspired by the human figure, story telling and Europe.


Last Days

From Chinon we drive back to Paris and return the car.

The little Citroen C3 has been great and served us well.
But what we really enjoyed was that roof!
The roof rolled back to the 'B' pillar, 
and the huge windscreen 
allowed the driver and front passenger to have a panoramic vision 
of everything around them.
A lot of fun!

A final stroll around Paris. 
Pont Neuf, the famous bridge across the Seine, 
that every artist has stood on throughout history 
and painted from.

 Just on the other side of the bridge, a final fling with Sennelier.

A matter of timing.

Even the Louvre has a sense of humour.

We got our old room back for the final evening in Paris. 
Tea on my Van Gogh chair in the loft. 

Midnight light on the ceiling.

Lost and in love. 


Along The Loire To Chinon

Tonight Wendy pre-books a hotel on line.

The lane leading to the hotel.

The Manoir de la Giraudiere.
Built in the 17C.

Chinon sits on the banks of Le Vienne, a tributary of the Loire River.

Tea that night at the local Pizzeria in Chinon.

Loire Valley

From the Bretagne peninsula, we decide to make our way back across France, 
and head in the general direction of Paris, to eventually return our car.
We drive through the Loire Valley.
Looking for a hotel late in the day, 
we drive into the rather large city of Angers, 
and again, another revelation.

Chateau D'Angers, High on a hill overlooking the city and river.

I love what they do with trams in French cities.
Stylish, colourful and quiet, the trams run down the major roads 
on tracks laid in thick, lush, grass.

And in the nearby town of Saumur, dealing with dog droppings.

The Lady In The Tourism Office...

... at Huelgoat, told us about a little coastal village to the south named Pont Aven. 
She said it was full of Artists. 
We headed off.
There were no Artists, they're all off painting as winter approaches, and then they return to their galleries in Pont Aven in spring to sell their works.
No artists, but certainly evidence of their presence here. 
Must have walked past 50 galleries around the little town. 
There are whole roads of galleries.

Again, this place is beautiful and real. Everywhere is evidence of people's lives as they go about their daily business. The town sits on the upper reaches of a tidal river, and is lined with small fishing boats. Many of the stone houses ford the small river that feeds the estuary, and the locals have channelled sections off to drive small wheels and water their gardens.

The use of rock and stone throughout Bretagne is delightful. 
There is a wonderful harmony between the way the people work with it, and how it appears in nature.


From the northern coast we head inland and to the west of the Bretagne peninsula, 
up into the hilly region known as the Monts d'Aree, 
which is part of a large regional natural park. 
In this area is a little town named Huelgoat,
 which sits amidst magnificent forests on a serene woodland lake. 
We arrive during the the annual food and wine festival, and the town is buzzing.

But later in the day, it becomes eerily quiet.

The town is old and lovely, but it seems like no-one lives here any more.
A beautiful 3 storey building right in the heart of the village, 
has a large shop (gallery) and storage area on the ground floor; 
2 bedrooms, bathroom, toilet, kitchen and living on the first floor; 
3 bedrooms, bathroom, toilet, kitchen and living on the second floor; 
and a large loft that could be turned into accommodation
a group of artists studios!

There was a lot of evidence of the Arts, 
empty galleries and art schools in grand old buildings,
and an open air ampitheatre in the woods, 
but I was told they all move out when it starts to get cold.
Rich pickings for a bunch of artists from Australia to move into and revive the little towns 
art and soul.

At the end of the lake are the woodlands.
Enchanted and fairytale like, everything Robin Hood would have dreamed off, 
and a Hobbit would die for!
You walk down to the woods through a river gorge filled with huge tumbling granite boulders covered in thick lichens and mosses.
The path leads under rock bridges and down into waterfall caverns.
 Light filters through the canopy of elm, birch and maple, and because the season is slowly turning, there is the constant flutter of auburn-brown leaves creating a soft carpet under your feet.

The woods were also the hiding place for the French Resistance during the war, 
and there are a number of grave sites dotted along the walk.
In  another area there are remnants of a large rampart, dating back to the times of Julius Caesar.  

Like the forest, Huelgoat intrigued and enchanted.
But where is the fire?


The Tour Of Bretagne

From Mont St-Michel
 we wander along the northern coastline of the Bretagne Peninsula (Brittany).
The coast looks out onto the English Channel,
and is dotted with rugged islands, and small bays and inlets.
We make it up as we go, 
and there are always delightful discoveries.
We come across

As we drive around the little streets, we find Hotel Jacquet.
Very friendly, large room, delightful breakfast.
Above, the hotel and the views from the rooms.
Another gem.

The boardwalk from beach to marina.                      Beach house with cat and art gates.


Early morning fitness group.


Mont St-Michel

Barely a French tourist promotion passes without a picture of the 
quite amazing island monastery that is 


Travelling south from Granville, 
early morning, 
we roll over a crest of a hill and there in the distant bay 
is the unmistakeable silhouette of Mont St-Michel.

Situated in the borderlands of Normandy and Brittany
 it's a wonder from the Middle Ages.
The island's first building began in 708 AD.

It lies in the outlet where three small rivers all empty into the English Channel.
It is slowly giving away to erosion and the deposits of silt from extreme tides and the rivers.
Apart from being an eyesore to this magnificent spot, the causeway is a part of the problem due to the changes of water flow it has caused around the island. 
There are plans to construct an elevated footbridge as the only access, in the near future.

I must admit I thought it was going to be just another monastery and church.
I was delighted to find that it is a fully functioning village, with shops, cafes, hotels, gardens, 
vege plots, smaller church and a cemetery with quite recent additions. 
A maze of narrow stairways and tiny footpaths, lead through, over and under, and open windows reveal the lives of the locals, who seem happy to share their town.

High tide covers all but the central part of this road, 
and motorists are warned to move their cars before the posted high tide times.

The spring tide in this bay is 15 metres (the highest in France) 
and the sea can recede 17 kms out into the bay. 
It returns at an average speed of 62 metres/minute.