Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Car Culture in Caylus?

Yes! It is hard to believe that there are car nerds and greasers here, but apparently the love of automobiles is alive and well in France. There was a customized car show at the Chateau last Sunday. It was a rally where they travelled the winding country roads to four different villages showing off their customized cars.  It was chance to enter the grounds of the Chateau, which is only about half a block from my house.

The Chateau du Caylus

A 19th C rebuild of a former medieval Chateau. It is privately
owned and in very poor condition.  It sits empty, the grounds (maybe 5 acres) 
somewhat overgrown and unkempt.  Major cracks in the walls and many
broken leaded glass windows.  There was a local movement to have
the village of Caylus buy it and make it into a cultural centre, but the 
council declined because of enormous expense in fixing it up and maintenance.
The gates are locked and access is not allowed, except for the occasional
event, like the 'car show'.  

The name of this car was 'Wiggley'
Looks like it would be fun to drive!

Hanging out my studio window watching the
cars manoeuvring down the narrow Rue du Chateau.

Artist Jeannine Cook's exhibition and talk about Silverpoint

Monks used to use a lead stylus for their manuscripts, using it to outline illuminations and draw guiding lines for their handwritten texts.  By the 13th C, silver had been substituted as the artist's preferred metal for drawings.  Silverpoint's was  most popular in the Renaissance when Da Vinci, Michelangelo  Durer, Raphael etc. did drawings in silver.  When graphite mines were discovered, silver fell out of misuse (you can't erase silver marks).   Artists preferred the more versatile, forgiving drawing media. Now there are only a few artists worldwide using this medium. You can also use copper, platinum and gold. The drawings are very delicate and as they 'tarnish' (especially the silver), they glow with the changes.  Beautiful!

Jeannine Cook was a fellow artist in residence with me at DRAWinternational.

Workshop for participants to try a little silver point drawing.
We used silver spoons, forks, knives, rings etc. as drawing tools
as well as Jeannine's pens with different gauge silver and gold metal.
The drawings are on paper or board that has a special ground that
is receptive to the metal marks.

At the reception/artist talk.  This was held in the gallery at DRAWinternational.

My attempt at silverpoint drawing.  Done with my bracelet and a stylus silverpoint pen. I put the bracelet on its side to get fine lines. 

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