The local 4-H Arts program had a workshop where the kids could learn to make acrylic-pour art on canvas. Since I’d been looking at exactly that just a few weeks earlier and thinking that I wanted to try it out, I jumped at the chance to sign up with my two younger children.
We did a ‘flip cup’ pour with only 3-4 colors as this was suggested to get the best results for the kids. And I held back a bit to watch how everything turned out. Part of the secret seems to be patience – don’t rush the process of letting the colors spread out.
I happen to like the one made by my youngest best, I think choosing highly contrasting colors help the final outcome. I also noticed that the color I used most in the cup isn’t necessarily what you get most of on the canvas. (For mine, I used nearly 1/2 purple, but it’s not dominant in the final painting).
They are still drying right now and will have a poly finish applied before they are ready to go.
In addition to the mushroom cave, we went to 4 other caves during this trip: Lascaux 4 (reproduction), Font-de-Gaume, Chauvet-Pont d’Arc (reproduction) and one more where the kids went spelunking and rappelling (and I did not!).
The ones that I went to are all caves that have famous cave paintings in them. Lascaux is the most famous, but I think the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc paintings may be more beautiful.
The reproductions were interesting. I had some hesitation about going, thinking ‘why would I spend my time going to a fake cave, better to just see the real one and skip the others.’ I’m glad I didn’t do that.
For Lascaux 4 and Pont d’Arc, the process of making the reproductions was just fascinating. They are full size, to-the-millimeter, faithful reproductions of the inside of the cave. To the extent possible the paintings were replicated using original techniques. My favorite bit: they hired a ‘professional nose’ to visit the caves and replicate the SCENT – which is now pumped into the replica, so that it will feel even more like you are in the real thing. No photos are allowed inside the full reproductions (or in Font-de-Gaume – the only original cave I visited) so all of my photos are from the museum at Lascaux.
This was not the only place, but Lascaux 4 was the first place we encountered armed military guards. They’ve been taking things seriously since the terror attacks.
In Lascaux 4 the most common animals were aurochs and horses (17,000 years old). Reindeer were the most common food but were not depicted with nearly the same frequency. In Chauvet-Pont d’Arc is by far older than Lascaux, at over 30,000 years old and had good preservation as the entrance to the cave was blocked for tens of thousands of years. Font-de-Gaume has some as old, and is primarily a bison cave. No photos were allowed here. I bought a book, but the photos don’t do it justice. The drawings aren’t in as good condition but in the dimly lit cave, with a light playing over them, much as it must have been with crude lamps when they were drawn, the animals seemed to reveal themselves more clearly.
Common to all the caves: predators were rare and were always ‘hidden’ they were in the shadows, in the cracks, hard to see. Humans were rare and crudely drawn, especially compared to the beauty of the horses and bison.
PS We got lost looking for Pont d’Arc cave and accidentally drove past the actual Pont d’Arc – a natural bridge, and the original cave sight, although we didn’t know it at the time.
PPS We also drove past some signs indicating that the road would be closed for the Tour de France, but I didn’t get a shot of it 🙁
Or at least – ‘artists impression of a sandalwood tree’. I admit it looks more like a madrone (and like all my other trees so far), but I’m happy with it.
A little break from photos of France. I am getting ready for my fall soaps and thinking of new labels in color. I wanted a wood grain, but when I tried looking for photos of that I was disappointed in the results.
And if you are thinking “what is a madrone tree?” They have a very striking cinnamon color bark that peels. The outer bark can get rough and darker, the inner bark is smooth, flowing and can be orange to green. They are a broad leaf evergreen that lives in the pacific northwest.
This is a chateau and large garden on a ridge-line above the Dordogne river. Normally open during the day, it sometimes opens in the evening for a candlelit view of the gardens along with music. I would go back in a heartbeat. I’d love to also see it during the day.
As we were about to walk in, the light glowing through a grape arbor caught my eye.
Inside, in addition to musicians, there were ‘fairies’, colorfully lit fountains and these little goblins popping out of the earth. In the daytime there was a mini rope-net course for the kids to play on, but we didn’t have much time there before it became too dark to see.
This soap turned out beautifully, and I think the name is funny AND I’ve been spending way too much time trying to think of labels for it.
Now the fragrance is called “blue sugar” which I gather is a famous fragrance but the name mostly reminds me of this:
If I had to describe it, I’d say it smells like “masculine cotton candy”. With that description in mind, my friend started calling it “man candy” and that name ALSO amuses me, but makes me think of this:
Alas, I cannot use either of those on a soap label, so my next thought was to follow-up on that theme. Maybe the statue of Leonidas? Or maybe this?
But then, my best Man Candy fan came through with a suggestion and the labels will look like this:
I’ve been trying to come up with a very stylized fox to fit with the tree & owl and so far that’s not been working out so great. I may need to go back to some sort of ancient technology like paper and pencil to get the sketch done first!
Instead I made another color-block fox. This time I tried to use simpler lines, but I may need to ‘cartoonify’ him even more to get him to fit the scene. Still, I like him.
I may try this again with flatter colors to see if I can still convey the roundness without using a gradient and get more variation in the color (and a background). But in the meantime, here are some blueberries:
I added a background to the new oak tree with owls. Getting the blur effect around the moon was fun. I’m not entirely happy with the background trees but we were watching Bob Ross while I was thinking about them and it turns out that things he can do easily are going to take some time and thought for me.