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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

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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


Snowy Cottage

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

Snowy Cottage by Lita Judge


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


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



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



Cold Days

I thought I'd share an oil painting I painted on location when we first moved to New Hampshire. What a cold, beautiful day it was, like today.

New Hampshire by Lita Judge



The beginning stage of creating a book is such a delightful time for me. Lots of unanswered questions of course, and yes, many doubts, but it's also the high octane exciting time of creating. Knowing which idea, from hundreds that occur to the one that becomes the main focus of a year's work, can be a bit of a mystery as well.

Some of my books have come from true life events that I wanted to record, or consider more deeply, or share with others. More and more my stories are completely fictional, growing out of my own imagination. But these still have true life experiences and emotions that rest close to the surface. I find for me the most important thing that allows me to "notice" or "grow" a story is just to be open to the beauty around me. To do this I carry a sketchbook just about everywhere, recording life through drawings and writing. I try never to judge the work when writing in a journal, just record. More often than not, I'm so completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the thing I'm recording, there's no time to judge. Later is the time for thoughtful contemplation and a "going over" of these ideas. That’s when the "one" rises to the top and becomes a full fledged story.

Notre Dame, Paris

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