On my first sketch (below), a preserved old tower from the 14th century (the Tour Tanguy) stands alongside a huge concrete bridge (the Pont de Recouvrance) rebuilt in 1947. There is even a tree sculpture (to the right of the sketch) added to the mix. Even for the concrete bridge and the apartment blocks, I decided to use some warm colors to express the cheerful feeling of this (at last!) sunny day.
When a nice woman suddenly told me, “You are so beautiful when you paint!” I thought I had to keep the memory of it (in speech balloons). Another woman told me, “The colors on the page are gorgeous, but there will be also some colors on you!” mentioning my already reddish shoulders. She was right. Even with the sunscreen, I am now scarlet!
I then spotted another interesting building, the American Monument (Le Monument Américain). This tower is meant to commemorate the role of the U.S. during WW1. It was then blown up during WW2 and rebuilt identically in 1958. There is an inscription carved in the tower in French and in English: "Erected by the United States of America to commemorate the achievements of the naval forces of the United States and France during the world war.”
It was really touching to sketch and discover the story of this monument. It made me think again of the old English man in a wheelchair I met just a few days ago, the 6th of June. It was not random; indeed, he was in Caen for the D-Day anniversary (“le Débarquement”). The man fought at Pegasus Bridge. My husband and I took the chance to thank him for freeing us all.
I bought a salad and some fruits to eat on the lawn, near the castle, which is another preserved old building in a typical French style (started to be built by the Romans in the third century).
I knew that I had to leave, it was late, but I didn’t resist a final sketch of this other style of boat, probably in the process of being restored, on the dockyard (with a lot of splatters for the derelict look and fun, of course!).
I don’t live far from this city, but I didn’t know it well yet. I am really happy I got the chance to discover it through sketching. I will have to go back there to sketch some other nice vestiges, and the enormous impressive military boats, too.