France: Summer Solstice

My last full day in Europe lands on the summer solstice.  It is windy and cool again, but I’ve been wanting to sketch these trees that form a leafy canopy over the town’s parking spots.  I know there are fairy muses hiding there and as I sit to sketch, they reveal themselves.

The group follows me out for a quick sketch demo, but by the time I am finished we are all too cold to remain outside sketching.

The evening weather is milder, and the townspeople are out celebrating the solstice with a music festival!  It is not a typical performer – audience type of festival.  Everyone seems to get involved, from little children to the town elders.  I wish I could understand French in order to catch the light hearted humor being bandied about.

In a small room off the street a singer and pianist entertain a group of about 20 on folding chairs.  The music is exceptional, full of passion, a skilled performance.  I feel so fortunate to be included.

And in the square by the fountain the town elders hold sheets of music and sing the songs I can only imagine they have sung for a lifetime.  The lady with the orange hair and red cloth flower is so flamboyently colorful, as if to say “Yes, let’s celebrate this time so we won’t forget.”

A very fine ending to a very fine trip.  The next day, two weeks after first landing in Barcelona, I fly back to the U.S. with sketches right up to the last page of my little book.



  1. Susan –
    I have followed your travels in Europe by your emails/blog. I have loved them all. If you ever take a sketching group to Europe again, I would be interested in going along.

    Thanks for sharing your sketches.


  2. Charming litlle sketches, Susan! II miss Europe! a bit!)
    Have a nice day, week and summer. DAnu, le caricaturiste en Estrie.
    (Next time take me with you as an interpreter… I eat like a bird and if it<s summer I will sleep outside, under the bridges…)


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