Archive for October 2013

Guest Bath Remodel Update

The guest bath remodel phase one is almost complete…

This is the new vanity in the guest bath. The mirror needs to be hung, the plumbing hooked up, the drawers modified to fit around the plumbing, baseboard installed and ultimately the counter-top will be a beautiful piece of limestone.

Phase two will be the installation of a free standing tub and putting a more attractive tile on the floor.


Aigues-Mortes is a beautiful little town along the Canal du Rhone and about four miles in from the Mediterranean Sea. It was established in the early 13th century as a trading port and was fortified in the mid to late 13th to protect it as it had become an important outpost of King Louis IX of France. King Louis ruled from here as he was an active participant in the crusades and in fact died on his last crusade to the Holy Land from Aigues-Mortes. For that he was Canonized; now you know who Saint Louis is!

More about Aigues-Mortes

Frontignan Quayside

I’m starting to get back into the swing of things after having not painted for more than two years. I have to think about what I’m doing whereas before it just… flowed. But I’m pretty happy with the way this is turning out and it is going to hang over the side-board at Maison Barbara.

Guest Bath Remodel Part One

I spent the weekend at Maison Barbara working in the guest bathroom. The ultimate goal is to make it spa-like…  The immediate goal is to make it usable! We took out the old ’70’s era vanity and are replacing it with a re-purposed chest of drawers. In due time the modular tub/shower will come out and will be replaced with a freestanding soaking tub.

Click here to continue

Bridges Along the Canal…

As one would expect, bridges cross the canal system quite regularly. Some are beautiful and some…  aren’t. Some are quite old – the canals were predominantly built in the late 17th century – and some are new. The old ones seem to be respected but the newer ones are often covered with graffiti, some of it spectacular.

The older bridges present a challenge to navigation, sometimes the arches are barely wider than the boat. It’s a good thing that the current in the canal is negligible! The other thing to consider when piloting the boat under the old, lower bridges is to… duck!

Click here to see more bridges along the canal

Painting again after a two year hiatus…

It’s been about two years since I last picked up a paint brush… Lannie started teaching a painting class at the Grapevine Unity Church, patterned after a class taught by a beloved teacher – Leslie Carter – back in Corona, CA. In fact, that’s where we met.

Leslie taught a method that used a subtractive process monochromatic underpainting. While I no longer strictly use that process, I still like to rough in my painting with the values in a mixture of burnt sienna and burnt umber. That way I can see if the composition and balance are good. It also gives me a bit of a road map!

This painting is of the canal-side quay in Frontignan, on the Canal du Rhone. (Frontignan is just about ten kilometers or so from the Mediterranean port of Sete.) These boats were probably restored just to look good tied up along the quay. I wonder how often they actually got out!

Click here to see more paintings