Brittany, Breton Dancing and Pages from a Sketchbook …

Hello dear reader! The wanderer returns and thanks you for your patience and your kind enquiries.

A month of contrasts, illnesses, a sad death, then a wonderful stay in La Bretagne, France… where we danced, played and sang until the wee small hours of each morning. A reminder of how precious and rich life can be.


Our daughter Ellie, is amongst the Breton dancers here somewhere…

Gite jam Blog

Our last afternoon in Brittany, Ellie (on fiddle), Jean, dance teacher, (on accordion), Alice, his wife (vocals and percussion) and Dave, my better half, (on mandola).

Ellie in costume Blog

Marie-Thérèse kindly dressed Ellie in one of her antique Breton costumes one evening. It’s beautifully worked in hand embroidery. Wish I could have borrowed it to show friends at Ten Plus. I took a photo of the stitching…

stitching on Breton costume Blog

I did a little sketching… nothing exciting.  Here’s a couple of pages…

sketch of tourist BLog

This lovely chap was lit up by the light from the seal tank at Oceanopolis, Brest, we were all waiting for the seals to be fed.

However, I was at the back, peeping through the crowd in the dark,I  could hardly see the white of the page, never mind the marks I was making. Reminded me of night drawing exercise on Foundation at University, it was good fun!

sketch Dave on beach Blog 

Maybe I draw better in the dark? Hehe! This is a sketch of Dave on the beach…why we thought we needed quite so many bags for a walk on the sand I’ll never know…

And finally, fish! Oh I do love to watch and draw fish. It’s so calming. here’s a couple of my fish drawings, made as the fish swam around the tanks at the wonderful Oceanopolis.

Sad Fish blog

This sweet fish had such a long face… it’s mouth turned down too. I called it Le Poisson Triste.

seahorse blog

This was soooo so difficult to sketch. There was very little contrast in the dimly lit tank and it was hard to make out its structure. There was a bit of a drama going on too, as one seahorse had anchored itself, not to seaweed, as the other sleeping seahorses had, but to a disgruntled passing pipefish! The poor pipefish wriggled and wriggled for about ten minutes before it extricated itself from the iron grasp of the dopey seahorse’s tail.



12 thoughts on “Brittany, Breton Dancing and Pages from a Sketchbook …

  1. So happy you’re back and healthy and had a lovely trip. The stitchery on the costume is exquisite and my favorite drawing is the dopey seahorse…the story enhanced it’s charm! Condolences for your loss.


  2. Welcome back my dear friend. Love your drawings. What a lovely way to remember your stay in France. Sorry to here of the illnesses and loss.


  3. Oh Julie, Just love your photographs and your drawings. So sorry about the sadness involved, but sounded like a very meaningful trip to France and just loved hearing about it.


  4. Hi Julie,
    I’ve final got a moment this morning to take a visit to you blog and I’m sorry i’ve not been here for along time. What wonderful photo you share. and thanks for stopping in to my blog. I do love your sketches but I’m personal pulled the seahorse one, I don’t know what it is about those creature but they got me by the heart strings.

    so glad you keep up the sketching.


    1. Hi Laura, thanks for dropping by. I can understand your feeling for seahorses,
      the do have such sweet features and a lovely shape. Until I tried to draw one, I didn’t realise quite how fascinating they are. Lots of sticky-out bits too… (I dropped biology early in my school years… you might have already guessed that!) x


  5. Hi Marge,
    Funny isn’t it, how those of us who make art see the world through a ‘frame’ so-to-speak’? That particular photo reminds me of Japanese woodcut prints. I suppose the art training must kick in when we’re arranging a scene through the viewfinder. I’m not conscious of it at the time, but the ol’ art history stuff must be ticking away in the background! 🙂


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