Yesterday I came back from Aix En Provence, a city in Provence (South of France). Last summer I visited Paris with my partner and we found it fascinating in many ways, so this time round we decided to take on another side of France. France seems to have a very strong comic culture. Bookshops have whole sections of comics, which is grand for comic enthusiasts like us.
Of course what happens when an illustrator gets to look at a lot of illustrated books and comics, is that they get a sudden urge to draw.. and that's what happened! At first I was hesitant whether I should take my sketchbook to Provence or not, so I took my smallest one and I'm glad I did. In the gallery below you can see my sketches from one of the squares of Aix En Provence, a sketch of a lady who was sipping coffee at 'Book in a Bar' a beautiful bookshop/cafe in Aix, a pre-flight sketch, and a sketch of a man and his daughter, based on a scene at Avignon. Oh, and our lunch from the flea market that consisted of delicious fromage, jambon, and home made apricot & hazelnut bread :)
My favourite purchased illustrated book from this trip was 'The Parisianer' which is an imaginary collection of magazine covers. Here is a better decription of it from 'The New Yorker':
"Last January, the French graphic artists Aurélie Pollet and Michael Prigent, living in Paris and “entourés d’artistes,” invited illustrators to envision the Gallic capital. Under the imprimatur of their association, La Lettre P, they gave them, Prigent told me last week, “a carte blanche to express with the greatest possible force their vision of Paris in an image”—all this “with the covers of The New Yorker in mind.” In implicit homage, Pollet continued, “we wanted to imagine the covers of an imaginary magazine: The Parisianer.”
I also had the pleasure of visiting Paul Cezanne's Atelier, unfortunately we couldn't take any picture inside, but the surrounding gardens are just as beautiful as the studio itself (which was left untouched, as he left it). The great thing about these kind of vacations is that I never feel sad that I'm coming back home, but rather I feel inspired to draw, and draw, and draw even more :)