Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year - 2010!!!

In addition to having some 450 full-page color cartoons published in Playboy - his first was in September 1964, Doug has submitted thousands of cartoon roughs to Playboy.

Naturally, not all can be selected for final art and ultimate publication in the magazine, but we thought readers of the blog might enjoy the humor of this gag rough reject as they celebrate the advent of the new decade.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Marseille Airport

While waiting for our flight from Marseille to Amsterdam, then Toronto, we learned about Henri Fabre, father of the seaplane, who took the world's first seaplane flight on March 28, 1910.  (The restored plane is on display in the terminal.)

Marseille is the fifth busiest French airport by passenger traffic and second largest by cargo traffic.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Our Last Afternoon in Provence

Les Baux de Provence is perched on a rock in the Alpilles mountains.

The narrow streets made the climb even more interesting.

Stained glass windows by Max Ingrand make Saint Vincent's church even more beautiful.

The small village church is a popular wedding site. In fact, the flowers had already been delivered for the afternoon wedding ceremony the Saturday we were there, and when we were walking down to the main entrance, we saw several members of the bridal party coming up the walkway.

After a steep climb, we reached the highest point in Les Baux de Provence and had a chance to watch students - while we sipped wine at one of the terrace cafes - giving a stone cutting demonstration.

It was easy to see how Les Baux de Provence was listed as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France" in 1999.

The medieval city had a number of interesting galleries.

One of the linen shops had an authentic loom on display.

We rode through Camargue to visit a privately owned olive mill, learning about pruning and harvesting the trees and the process of turning the olives into oils and tapenade.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Vincent van Gogh in Arles

The hospital where van Gogh stayed is now a cultural center, offering extensive information about the most productive period in his life; more than 300 paintings and drawings were done in the 15 months he was in Arles. He died at age 37 in July 1890.

The intense yellows, blues and greens of van Gogh's work in Arles is evident when visiting the courtyard of the hospital where van Gogh spent time recovering from self-inflicted injuries.

The interior courtyard of the former hospital where van Gogh was treated after cutting off a portion of his ear has been meticulously restored and landscaped to match his painting. This print was for sale at one of the shops now open onto the courtyard.

There's a walking tour map of 10 reproductions depicting actual places in Arles that van Gogh painted; this shows one version of Le Jardin de la Maison de Sante.

A marble statue in the Place du Forum honors the 19th century Provencal patriot and poet Frederic Mistral.

Van Gogh painted some of this most famous paintings in Arles, including The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum; the cafe is still operational today and called - what else? - Cafe Van Gogh. It was one of the first paintings in which he used starry backgrounds.

After a busy morning visiting historical sites, the bustling farmers' market and the haunts of the troubled Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, it was time for a leisurely walk along the Rhone back to the River Royale.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Arles

The amphitheatre dates from about AD 75 and could hold a crowd of nearly 20,000, who came to see gladiator combats, small game hunts and prisoner executions.

Arles has preserved impressive remains from its Roman and Medieval past. It was originally a Greek settlement and became a Roman colony in 46 BC.

The famous Obelisk Fountain in the Town Hall Square affords weary tourists a chance to rest and just "watch the world go by."

A major point of interest when visiting the Town Hall Square is St. Trophime church, a Romanesque church built in the 12th century.

The bountiful Saturday morning farmers' market, considered to be the largest weekly outdoor market in Provence, showcased wonderful fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, seasonings, herbs and many more specialties of southern France.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Uzes Village

The cathedral tower could be seen for miles on the drive up to the medieval town of Uzes.

The well preserved Duchy of Uzes castle still belongs to the descendants of the Duke of Uzes.

Whether one bought a delicious ice cream or a glass of locally produced Tavel rose, quiet seating was available all around the central marketplace.

Boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and cafes made the small square very inviting.

It was a delight shopping in the central marketplace of the Place aux Herbes.

The main square was very pleasant; shop entrances were inside the arched walkways.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

In the years since Doug's first cartoon was published in Playboy - September 1964, he's submitted thousands of cartoon roughs, and for Unpublished Sneyd he selected some of his favorite unpublished roughs.

This Santa gag rough appeared on pg. 33 of Unpublished Sneyd - Enjoy!

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Pont du Gard Aqueduct

After the morning in Avignon and lunch onboard the River Royale, we traveled by bus through the Languedoc vineyards to reach the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. The tri-level aqueduct has stood over the Gardon Valley since the middle of the 1st century AD. It was constructed without the use of mortar in a period of 3 years by 1,000 workers.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Avignon

The Les Halles indoor market is a relatively new tourist destination in Avignon because of its Plant Wall, debuting in 2005 on the north face of the building. Its the work of French botanist Patrick Blanc, who trademarked the Plant Wall concept.

His Plant Wall is a dense sheet of vegetation that can grow against any surface or even in mid-air. It works, according to a Business Week article, by doing away with dirt, instead growing plants hydroponically in felt pockets attached to a rigid plastic backing.

His concept was first exhibited in 1994 at the International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-Loire, France; Blanc's latest Plant Wall is at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, which features art and culture of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The south-facing Plant Wall in the $300 million dollar building is nearly 8,600 square feet and contains 15,000 plants from 170 species originating in North America, Europe, Himalaya, China and Japan.

Doug and I saw the Plant Wall at the new Musee du Quai Branly while on a Paris City Tour a few days earlier so when we learned of the one in Avignon, we made sure to stop by Les Halles.

One could find almost any food item, fresh from the shops and farms of Provence, beautifully displayed at the Les Halles indoor market, which also featured live entertainment. Why, this American (me at the far left) was even invited to join in the group sing-along.

The ancient city of Avignon is famous for its history and architecture, but the lovely main square Place de L'Horloge is equally inviting for tourists because of its quaint cafes and unique shops.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Avignon Papal Palace

The Palace of the Popes is an impressive example of architecture built between 1335 and 1364. In the history of the Catholic Church, the Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1377, during which 7 Popes, all French, resided in Avignon.

This is the inner courtyard of the gothic Papal Palace. With walls more than 17 feet thick and sitting on a 190-foot high limestone hill overlooking the city and the valley, the palace is virtually impregnable.

It's hard to imagine the size of the main banquet hall, but Doug had no trouble standing in the fireplace.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)