Sketching in France – Island


Île Saint Honorat
Île Saint Honorat

Day 3 – to the Lérins islands. We take the local bus number 1 into Cannes, a 10 minute ride, to stroll and sketch at the colourful Forville Market. Enjoying the scene over coffee, and drawing the fruit and the archways and the shoppers.


We pack a picnic lunch and head along the quay to the boat to Île Saint Honorat, the smaller and less visited of the Lérins islands. It has been a monastic retreat since the fifth century, where a community of monks continues to cultivate vineyards and olive groves. A place of quiet contemplation, far from the noise and rush of Cannes yet just across the water.


The island is a haven of peace – forest trails, vineyards and olive groves all surrounded by breathtaking blue sea. the sun has come out and we sit on warm rocks to sketch the view and enjoy our picnic from the market


Maria sketching at Abbaye de Lérins
Brenda - initial pen sketch at Abbaye de Lérins
Brenda – initial pen sketch at Abbaye de Lérins
Simple tools - sketchbook, pen, watercolours
Simple tools – sketchbook, pen, watercolours

Pauline finds a quiet spot with an incredible vista of sea and sky

Colette explores and finds hidden corners full of interest, while Kieran completes a lovely study of the Lérins abbey

I have a few minutes for a quick pen sketch of the Abbey before we have to head for the last boat back to Cannes.


Back in Cannes, the boats in the harbour and reflections in the water offer still more subject matter for our sketches.

Cannes Harbour
Cannes Harbour – reflections in the water

We have a little time to stroll Cannes and sip an apéritif on the Croisette before taking the 1 bus back to Le Cannet. I direct shoppers to either “cheap n cheerful” Rue Meynadier, or to gawk in the windows on posh Rue d’Antibes! We are here a month before the Cannes Film Festival, but the air of exclusivity, extravagance and wealth is always in the air – in the Bentleys and Porsches on the street, and the €800 jeans in the shop window!

Tonight we treat ourselves to dinner in the Michelin guide recommended Bistrot Saint Sauveur in Le Cannet.  A fabulous meal at a reasonable price, and a grand finale for our last night here.

It has been a day of so many impressions – the market, city, island, monastery, boats, beaches and vineyards. A tantalising glimpse of the beauty and interest that this region offers in such abundance.  An artist’s paradise, and a feast for the senses!







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