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Viewing Blog: Adventures at Wilder Farm, Most Recent at Top
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Lita Judge
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1. Dordogne Sketchbook and Paintings

I’ve gathered a small collection of the many sketches I did on a trip to France this spring. Dave and I traveled to the Dordogne region to see the prehistoric cave art of Lascaux, Font de Gaume, and other caves. The experience of walking through these caves by flashlight and seeing these ancient paintings on the walls, especially in Font de Gaume, where we walked through the original cave and saw paintings dating back 15,000 years, was awe inspiring. I will carry the images of those sacred paintings forever in my mind.

sx370 Bison Sculpture, La Madeleine

sx371 Lascaux

sx372 Lascaux

When not exploring the ancient caves, Dave and I rode our fold-up bikes around this beautiful countryside of walnut orchards and poppy fields, small farms, and medieval villages made of golden stone. I carried a sketchbook wherever we went, painting along the way. I try not to have any preconceptions of the subjects I will paint on a trip like this, only to react to the beauty around me and paint whatever catches my eye. Some sketches are done very quickly. In just a few moments I try to capture the gesture of an ancient roof, or weathered stone sculpture, or the color of a blooming wisteria. 

sx381 Beynac

sx363 Rocamadour

sx380 Beynac

sx375 Wisteria, Brenac

sx379 Sarlat

sx382 Rooftops, Sarlat

sx365 Cabanes, Sireuil

sx377 Medieval Sculpture, St. Amand

sx362 Walnut Orchard

sx368 First Night, Les Eyzies

sx369 Sarlat

sx372a Medieval Church Sculpture

sx373 Poppies, St. Cirq

sx374 Shop Window, Sarlat

sx376 Les Cabanes de Breuil

sx378 Churchyard, Fayrac

sx383 Mont St. Michel

sx384 Gull, Mont St. Michel

Other sketches are more like a complete painting done in the field. They represent a place where I found joy sitting in a beautiful spot for a couple of hours, pulling the details from the scene in front of me and recording them into a painting I can carry home as a reminder of all I saw and felt. The paintings are rarely perfect. Wind and rain, shifting light, cold fingers, thistles and mud encroach where I sit and keep any thought of seeking perfection far from my mind. But all of these obstacles combined with the beauty of a stone building, the music of the birds, the heavy scent of spring flowers, and the mystery of the rich history of this place create a kind of painting that I could never complete in the studio. Experiences like this are a wellspring for later inspiration. They are an opportunity to grow, and to learn to see new things. Most of all, they offer the experience of just seeing, and then reacting through through brush and pigment with an urgency that ignites the passion I have for painting. It is a restorative act that shelters the creative drive to make art each day.

sx364 Limeuil

sx366 Limeuil

sx361 St. Amand

sx360 Marquay

sx367 St. Julien

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10 Comments on Dordogne Sketchbook and Paintings, last added: 6/21/2016
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2. Raccoon

raccoon

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3. New Online Shop

I'm really excited today to launch my online gallery and shop which features prints of illustrations from several of my books and original art work. There are several images available now and I'll be adding more in coming weeks. Here's a link: http://litajudgeshop.com

Lita Judge Shop

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4. Hoot and Peep

At last - two little owls who live on the rooftops of my dreams get to live for real in my book, Hoot and Peep! Book birthdays are always the best - this one especially so.

Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge

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5. Barn Owl

I felt like painting a moody piece in preparation for a book I'm beginning. It's always challenging and fun to break into new territory.

Barn Owl by Lita Judge

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6. Snowy Cottage

Here's a snowy cottage from my daily painting-sketch journal.

Snowy Cottage by Lita Judge

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7. Daily Sketch

From my daily painting-sketch journal - this little downy woodpecker has been frequenting the suet feeder outside my studio window. One perk to these cold winter days is how much I get to enjoy watching the critters around our feeder.

woodpecker sketch by Lita Judge

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8. Hoot and Peep

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3 Comments on Hoot and Peep, last added: 1/12/2016
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9. New Year!

Wishing you all a beautiful New Year!

New Year

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10. TBT – Wisconsin

For TBT - a painting of my grandmother's front door. How I miss that old farmhouse in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin by Lita Judge

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11. Peeps, Hoot and Mouse

Meet Peeps, Hoot and Mouse. I'm having a ball bringing these characters out for another adventure. Hmmmm, so many wonderful things floating around in my imagination, can't wait to get it all down on paper.

Hoot, Peep and Mouse by Lita Judge

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12. TBT Italy

Fond memories of a trip we took in the fall to paint in Italy. This is one of the paintings born of that lovely adventure.

Italy by Lita Judge

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13. Good morning all!

Chimp by Lita Judge

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14. Painting Again

Have been working in words and sketching rough sketches for weeks. It's wonderful to break out the paint again!

Hoot and Peep Study by Lita Judge

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15. Flight School in France

It's so much fun to see Flight School heading out into the big wide world. I love the thought of kids in many different countries reading a story I was lucky enough to create. And now I can practice my french!

Flight School by Lita Judge

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16. Sketch of the Day

Sketch of the day - another pair of inhabitants to our land enjoying the nest box we put up. Each spring for my birthday, Dave puts oodles of nesting boxes in our yard and I enjoy the cycle of life all year round.

Sketch Lita Judge

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17. Thankful

I have much to be thankful for this year. People and critters to love, improved health, and projects I'm really excited about. This picture sums up my joy. May you all have many blessings that you carry in your heart.

Born in the Wild by Lita Judge

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18. Bobcat

This bobcat shares our land. I'm so lucky to have such inspiration and beauty surrounding me.

Bobcat Peterborough NH

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19. Hawley Elementary School

Happiness is arriving at Hawley Elementary School to find every student has made a red hat to wear and drawn a picture of their favorite animal wearing a red hat. Here is just one class. So fun to see the whole school in red! Thank you all of Newtown, CT for an awesome week!!

Hawley_Red

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20. Creative Play

It is always so inspiring when I get to step out of the studio and work in the field with sketchbook in hand. My most recent painting trip was in France.

Bicycling

My goal was to gather ideas for a book I am just starting that is set in France, but even more importantly, to take some time away from the intense studio work and create an atmosphere of creative play and exploration. I want to see and record as much as I can when I am working in a sketchbook. But I also want to stretch myself as an artist, try new methods, experiment with new surfaces, tackle paintings I would never do in the studio, basically just climb out on a limb and PAINT. On this trip I painted in gardens and on street corners, I painted rooftops and sculptures, I even painted self portraits of myself because I wanted to record how happy I was while exploring. I worked in ink and watercolor, fountain pen and pencil. I had fun collecting bags from Paris shops and experimented with watercolor on toned surfaces. The warm brown paper bags made a wonderful surface to bounce the blue skies and dazzling light of Paris. Sketch trips are always a wonderful time to really push yourself to see new things and play with ideas on how to capture them in paint. I always feel thankful after painting trips and even a little reluctant to give up the freedom I find in the field as apposed to the studio. But journeys with sketchbooks always recharge me and fuel my ideas for stories. They make the work I create in the studio all the more meaningful because the work was started during such joyful adventures.

Here are a few of the sketches from this last trip.

Amboise 2015

Amboise, France

Amboise, France

Amboise, France

Amboise, France

Amboise, France

Degas bather, Musee d'Orsay

Degas bather, Musee d'Orsay

Gates of Hell, Musee d'Orsay

Rodin, Gates of Hell, Musee d'Orsay

Iranian pot, Louvre

Iranian pot, Louvre

Mesopotamian Stone, Louvre

Mesopotamian Stone, Louvre

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame, Paris

Paris

Paris, night scene

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame, Paris

The Burghers of Calais, Rodin Museum

The Burghers of Calais, Rodin Museum

Tours, France

Tours, France

Villandry, Loire

Villandry, Loire

Villandry, Loire

Villandry, Loire

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21. Beatrix at the Toadstool Bookshop

Book signings with your birdie are so much more fun! Thank you all for a lovely day at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough. Beatrix had a ball.

Lita Judge Good Morning to Me

Lita Judge Good Morning to Me

Lita Judge Good Morning to Me

Lita Judge Good Morning to Me

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22. Flight School Musical

OH what HEAVEN to see the birdies of Flight School finally take flight on stage!! Really an amazing day. I am so thankful to the incredibly talented people that poured all of their passion into this. Thank you ALL! If you want more information, or to get tickets, check the Vital Theatre site.

flightschool_3

flightschool_2

flightschool_1

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23. Flight School Nominated to State Reading Lists

Flight

Flight School has been nominated to three state reading lists for 2015!

New Hampshire Ladybug Picture Book Award

Texas 2x2 List

Wyoming Reads 2015

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24. Cornwall

A painting for today. After working so long on sketches for books, it is fun to be painting!!

Cornwall

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25. Hoot and Peep

Less than three months till my new book baby is released - getting very excited for this one!

Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge

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