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Sketching in Amboise with Laura

November 15, 2007

The beautiful and talented Laura from Laurelines has been visiting my small city here in the Loire Valley, and yesterday we went to the local castle to sketch. It took a visitor from the US to get me inside the castle walls with a sketchpad!

Here’s a view of the castle from behind, up high in the gardens

As it was freezing outside, we spent most of our drawing time in the council room, sketching gargoyles. Laura had already drawn copies of some of them in the States, but I’ll let her tell you about that.

The first one, which is right next to the fireplace, has huge ears, to remind those councilors of the king who might be discussing secret information that “the walls have ears” as anyone next to the fireplace on the floor just above could hear what they were saying….

No one knows who the other gargoyles are modeled on – sometimes the sculptors used local people as models or even a contre-maître, who forgot to pay their wages….These faces all look so happy and friendly that I don’t imagine there were any bad feelings among the sculptors working in this room!


I got really cold, I drew this little face who was actually on the fireplace – I don’t know what you think, but those look like awfully big ears to me too….

At the end of the day, we finally went over to a little café on the Place du Chateau and had a hot drink. They have bookshelves filled with all kinds of books that you’re allowed to read while you have a coffeee or a hot chocolate. Here’s a sketch done there:

20 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2007 2:57 pm

    I really enjoyed the pictures in this post. You didn’t stop drawing did you?! Can I ask what colours you’ve used in the gargoyle paintings?

  2. November 15, 2007 4:14 pm

    These are beautiful – I wish I was better at this kind of stuff… (working on it!)

  3. sandy permalink
    November 15, 2007 7:53 pm

    Oh I have been waiting for these, I knew you and Laura would have some wonderful entries. I love the castle, most enchanting and the gargoyles are actually charming! stay warm and keep posting!

  4. November 15, 2007 7:56 pm

    These are just wonderful despite the cold. What a fun day getting to spend with someone like Laura.

  5. November 16, 2007 5:12 am

    Great sketches Casey!

  6. November 16, 2007 5:23 am

    Theya are all beautiful! And of course I know what fun it is to hang out with you and sketch and share conversation over hot drinks! I love the character in all the faces ….. you do such great work! I’m not going to rub it in that tonight Dianne and I sipped margharitas outside under palm trees before the figure drawing session…..hehehehe
    ps…I love the sketch in the cafe…..the colors make the sketch!

  7. November 16, 2007 6:54 am

    I love seeing these pictures from your world, and the stories connected to the drawings are just as wonderful. Those big ears are hilarious. It’s so cool to hear of the visits from other other bloggers and the personal webs we’re making in the real world as well as on the virtual web.

  8. November 16, 2007 2:41 pm

    Oh, these are beautiful! I’ve never seen such lovely gargoyles – all the ones here look like gremlins, meant to scare evil spirits away. I like that kind too, but it’s nice to see something different. Thanks for sharing.

  9. November 16, 2007 5:59 pm

    these are wonderful, I especially love the first one!!

  10. November 17, 2007 2:45 am

    “We went over to the local castle to sketch.” Ahh, those are lovely words – and pretty foreign here in Ohio. 🙂 Great sketches, Casey. Your day sounds delicious.

  11. November 17, 2007 2:35 pm

    I can always fell the Loire Valey – Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chambord, Chenonceaux, Loches and all of others. Calm places, without the hords of tourists, where I could touch peace. At Amboise I remember the house of Leonor Clos de Lucé. If I could I was bound towards there.

    Great drawings and the beauties of the gargoyles.

  12. November 17, 2007 3:05 pm

    Oh! Oh! I love these and suddenly think that gargoyles are the perfect sketch subject. I felt the cold with you. It must have fueled our passion for sketching though because what you ended up with is so full.

  13. November 18, 2007 2:58 am

    This was so great to see!! Love them all. I love Laura’s blog so gosh you two must have had a great time.


  14. November 19, 2007 5:30 pm

    Fantastic job on the gargoyles, Casey. So full of character. You just go from strength to strength. What wonderful fun for you and Laura to have a day together sketching. Sorry to hear the weather was bad the next day but I bet eating and chatting together wasn’t half bad either!

  15. November 20, 2007 3:20 pm

    These are a lovely suite of faces. Too bad it was so cold but it sounds like you and L had a good time.

  16. November 21, 2007 8:15 pm

    Wonderful lively sketches – like being there with you…

  17. November 22, 2007 9:20 pm

    What can I say that I haven’t said already? I’m in love with your art. Always it’s a perfect combination of colours, lines, composition. It all seems to come out so naturally. PERFECT!

  18. November 24, 2007 3:05 am

    Your gargoyles look very much alive, I expect to see one wink. Yes of course you just strolled over to the castle to draw. Of course. And lovely sketches they are.

  19. November 26, 2007 12:29 pm

    How interesting to see your different interpretations of the stone gargoyles. Isn’t it always the case that we only ever places on our doorsteps when we have guests?!!!

  20. November 27, 2007 6:43 pm

    Wow. I love the pic of the castle.

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