:: Beautiful Castle Combe in the Cotswalds ::

A quick sketch — we are really travelling and on the go so it is difficult to find any time to sketch. Next week we are spending the entire week in London so there I will have more opportunities -)))

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Roman Baths

My second day with Jane Blundell and her 5-day bootcamp and I have to say that it is quite wonderful… was and is as she is a natural teacher, very nice, knowledgeable and has a good rhythm. Not too many demos, always interesting information and we learn a ton! And it is pertinent information, not common or generic knowledge, which I appreciate -) Being a teacher myself, I am aware that teachers tend to be very fussy students –)

Guy and I went to the Roman Baths after the workshop today and we were impressed. It is funny.. when I was in Istanbul and Ephesus two years ago and we were visiting the ruings, these ruins belonged to the Greeks. Today I had the same feeling, to the Romans that arrived in 46 AD! However, as I am presently reading Rutherford’s Londinium book on the history of this city, I know that these ruins belong here and not elsewhere… reading is impoortant for understanding our world.

Paper: Stillman & Birns / Colours: Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine & Pyrrol Crimson / Location: Pulteney Bridge, Bath, UK.

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Pulteney Bridge, Bath, UK

We arrived in Bath late Saturday afternoon and were completely bushed as we had been up for  18 hours… hey! Everyone that travels knows about this -) On Sunday we had one day off so Guy and I did some heavy sightseeing — and it was a delight for the eyes and soul. Here is a drawing of Pulteney Bridge, dating from the 1700s and I am planning on adding colour, at some point in time. Instead of scanning I held my painting as the Urban Sketchers do! I think that this is a first for moi.

Today I was in Jane Blundell’s wonderful worshop! Willl post on this one tomorrow -)

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:: New scan with Snapseed ::

A new scan of the same image listed in the previous blog… Snapseed really works well for this -) This software will work well for England — yeah!!!

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Prepping for England

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
— Georgia O’Keefe

We are preparing for our trip to England and I am testing out my setup with my iPhone and my very small Bluetooth keyboard. I scanned it with CamScanner which worked out well. Later on this week I will test out another app too. The scan lost alot of colours and is far from accurate, but it will have to do. If some of you use a really good app for scanning and colour correcting images, let me know which ones that you use? I still have one week to practice -)

Paper: Hand•book Field Watercolor Journal 7″x10″
Colours: Azo Yellow, Raw Siena, Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Crimson, Mineral Violet, Sap Green  & Indanthrone Blue
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Sandy Beach, Hudson ::

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
― George Carlin

Like every Tuesday during the summer about 10 plein air artists gathered at Sandy Beach today. No one was talking and everyone was concentrating on their artwork when the skies opened up and it started raining. Not for too long though, so we were saved and could continue later on. The joys of plein air painting. It was surprising to see how much the beach has receded because of the high water level.

I am still on my summer quest to paint with no ink lines and I am trudging on! For this painting I started painting the sky, then the lake and then finished with the mountains. For the sky colour I used Cerulean Blue Chromium mixed with some Raw Sienna and Q. Rose. For the lake I added Burnt Sienna as it was greyer than the sky. I will have to practice my water as it is not looking up to par. I am quite happy with my skies and the constant practice that I have been doing this past week is paying off.

Paper: Handbook Field Watercolour Journal
Colours: N. Gambodge, Q. Gold, Q. Rose, Raw Sienna, B. Sienna, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cobalt Blue.
Location: Sandy Beach, Hudson, Québec, Canada

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:: Rigaud Mountain in summer ::

What has roots that nobody sees and is taller than trees?
Up, up, up it goes, and yet never grows.
— JRR Tolkien

We had beautiful day, 21C with the sun shining on the plain and on the mountain… and almost no clouds. A blue sky I have not seen in awhile so I was quite happy to paint it today. One of my greatest difficulties is painting without any ink lines… I love drawing, especially with a fountain pen and to me to let go of that fine tool is scary! So I mustered my courage again and started painting my mountain in Rigaud. Well the first painting was quite overdone as I seem to want to compensate with the colour saturation due to the lack of ink lines -))) My second one is better even though overworked and most colours are too strong, but heck it is presentable.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x12″
Location: Rigaud West, 4 km from the Ontario border.

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:: Sowing clouds ::

Sow a thought, reap an action;
sow an action, reap a habit;
sow a habit, reap a character;
sow a character, reap a destiny.
— Stephen R. Covey from the excellent blog The Painter’s Keys

Even though the weather has been somewhat more autumn-like — many days of rain interspersed with a few beautiful days — I must admit the clouds have been gorgeous. They are rolling, tumbling over each other, heavy to get where they need to go… light on top and heavy on the bottom, some zooming ahead while others linger as though they wanted to stay a tad longer? Yesterday my husband and I deciphered countries, continents, lions and bears in the cloud formations and yes, even a dragon or two. So today is the same story, rain is coming and the beautiful clouds too.

My first test was with French Ultramarine mixed with some Pyrrol Crimson and Burnt Sienna and the clouds turned out too purplish, in some ways too cute. Then I tried French Ultramarine mixed only with Burnt Sienna and they turned out flat. Then I tried Cerulean Blue Chromium, mixed with Burnt Sienna and that worked. Yeah! So here they are… I did wet my paper a bit beforehand, but not entirely — only some areas running across in a zigzag motion. Then I waited a bit and painted in the Cerulean followed by the Burnt Sienna. Touch and go!

I wanted to mention that I am subscribed to the excellent blog Painter’s Keys and their latest article was on the Seven habits of highly effective artists. It is well worth reading and if you are an artist, you will truly enjoy the depth and sensitivity of their articles.

Paper: Do not know, might be Saunders Waterford CP 9″ x 5.5″
Colours: Q. Gold, DS Cerulean Blue Chromium, WN Burnt Sienna
Location: In my street in Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Summer solstice ::

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
— James Dent

In the beautiful Jack Layton Park in Hudson I sat at one of their picnic tables and pondered how I would paint the magnificent view right in front of me. The Mont Calvaire perched high up, the Ottawa River lapping at my feet and no boats ringing in my ears… heaven -) The wind was feisty and my papers kept blowing about, but ohhh isn’t plein air painting all about this?

Today is the summer solstice and it is always something to honour as I feel that living in the northern regions of North America, you cannot take summer for granted — you cherish it. The longest day of the of year is today, and it is important! Tonight I will sit on my back porch and look at the stars as past 21:00 it will still be light -) I will remember these moments in December on the shortest day of the year…

When I got back home I looked at my painting and thought that there was something wrong with it… until I realized that I had to glaze the clouds with a golden colour. So a wash of Raw Sienna was added on top of my painting for the clouds only and that made it. A much softer result. See the bottom painting without the glaze, the top painting has it.

Paper: Handbook Sketchbook 10″ x 7″
Colours: Q. Rose, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Location: Jack Layton Park in Hudson, Québec, Canada

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:: Both sides now ::

     Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
     But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
     I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
     Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
     But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away
     I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all
     Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
     But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day
     I’ve looked at life from both sides now 
From win and lose and still somehow 
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
     I’ve looked at life from both sides now 
From up and down and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
–Joni Mitchell

Today I went to the Parc de la Visitation to paint with a group of painters… and I did not find them. I looked all over, I walked through the whole park, to no avail. No matter, as I found myself a spot and painted away, with no results. I tried painting behind the Maison Meunière on top of the rapids the old stone buildings, but my eyes were not keen on the subject and I overdid it. As I was coming back home, the clouds were simply amazing so I looked and looked at them intently, took a picture as reference and got home to paint this. When I was gazing at them I started thinking that if I put the strong colours in first, and then added white on top that it might work? There are two places that I put in some white top quarter and bottom of the clouds… Let me know what you think.

Paper: Handbook Sketchbook 7″ x 10″
Colours: Titanium White, Q. Gold, B. Sienna, French Ultramarine

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:: Baie d’Urfé Town Hall ::

A distinction is made between artists who work directly from nature and those who work purely from imagination. Neither of these methods should be preferred to the exclusion of the other. Often both are used in turn by the same artist.
— Henri Matisse

With Linda Drewry’s outings we were about 15 people painting away on this beautiful & sunless day. We were really going at it! So much so, that I was taken by surprise when they told me that it was time to lunch… lunch already? I am not ready for that! Since June 1st of this “about to become” summer, I decided that I would withhold any pen use… ink pens, ball point pens, technical pens… none at all to force myself to paint without the “lines” that I am so used to. So “this” fact turned me into something or someone else. As one of the gentlest women that were out today, she just said to me: “You are discovering another artist in yourself Jane!” Well I believe her as I cannot see myself in this painting at all — but we are all on a journey, huh?

Paper: Handbook Sketchbook 10″x7″
Colours: New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Deep Sap Green
Location: Baie d’Urfé Town Hall, Québec, Canada

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:: Dog days ::

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
— Emma Goldman

We actually had a wonderfully hot, humid day that was accompanied by warm gusts of wind — so wonderful to feel the soft wind on our bare skin! Bare skin, we have not seen here for quite awhile as the temperature has been somewhat on the cold side.

So few flowers that I have painted in my life that today, when I decided to paint these beauties that trump the steps of the backyard porch I thought that they would be easy… easy I said? Did you hear that? Humph! Well no, they were not… and when is painting easy? Drawing for me is easy, but painting? No way Jose -))) Still I had the courage to continue and that is good especially that I did not use any ink lines… which makes me uneasy in a way.

For those of you who are interested in painting or drawing with a group of people, Linda Drewry is still at it after 23 years. Here is this Tuesday’s location…

June 13 – Baie D’Urfe Town Hall for 10:00 am. There is a beautiful rock garden here, with ponds and water plants. The Town Hall building itself is charming, and there are usually sailboats moored in the bay. Highway 20, exit Morgan road to the end. I will be there!!!

Paper: Arches Cold Press 5″ x 8″
Colours: Q. Gold, New Gambodge, Pyrrol Scarlet, Q. Rose, Pyrrol Crimson, Phthalo Blue
Ink?: No ink -))) See Shari?

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:: All hushed and still within the house ::

All hushed and still within the house;
Without – all wind and driving rain;
But something whispers to my mind,
Through rain and through the wailing wind,
Never again.
Never again? Why not again?
Memory has power as real as thine.
— Emily Brontë

After having bought most of our train tickets for our England trip this morning, I went to my new beautiful painting/work studio and painted inside, with heat, lights and some nice music on to put the gloom out of the day! Thankfully they are announcing that starting this Thursday we will have near summer temperatures and see the sun again.

The weather here in Quebec is awful this year. It is cold and wet! The trees, grass and shrubs seem to love it as the greens are resplendent and lush… now my job is to capture this greenness right? Well, not so fast! When do you stop splashing on paint? So that the painting is not overdone? How do you convey those soft spring like greens on paper? I guess that this lesson comes with experience, time, a mindful eye and sometimes you get it just right, and some other times, less. When the watercolour has a bead in it, I am painting and not dry-brushing! Yeah!

Sketchbook: Handbook field watercolor journal, 10″ x 7″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen Black — Extra Fine – DP-1000AN-Red (for Larry)
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Colours: Hansa Yellow Light (DV), Raw Sienna (DS), Burnt Sienna (W&N) Cobalt Blue (W&N) and Pyrrol Crimson (DS)
Location: Studio painting

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:: Sketchbook Skool & Koosje Koene ::

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
— Greg Anderson

Woke up this morning and to my surprise, I had a good night’s sleep (for those of you who are wondering, just read my previous post) and I was rested and ready to go. Picked up my drawing/watercolour paraphernalia and headed for Old Montreal where I met Larry Marshall from Quebec City and as we sat down to sketch it started raining. So we decided to move and find another vista, which we did, sat down and it started raining again… by this time it was 11:30 am and high time to get back to the Nelson Statue to meet up with Sketchbook Skool Koosje Koene and some USK Montrealers… and guess what? It was still raining. So we actually decided to head towards the Jardin Nelson which has been restored beautifully! They kept the old outside and inside architecture intact and took down all of the inside walls AND the roof and created an indoor café/restaurant with jazz musicians playing throughout the day, huge parasols to keep us safe from the rain and good lighting for sketching! Could you actually ask for more? Other than this, Koosje is a really nice person and the group was in awe! I met some kind-hearted people today…

To stay true to the Urban Sketchers manifest, I drew this on location. Tomorrow I will be painting it in from my house. When I drew this, I was looking towards the sky and seeing these huge parasols that must have at least 30 feet wide or more? Not sure of their size, but they actually looked life flowers to me.

Sketchbook: Handbook field watercolor journal, 10″ x 7″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen Black — Extra Fine – DP-1000AN-Red (for Larry)
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Location: Jardin Nelson in Old Montreal

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:: Just one of those days… ::

 “Is the moon or the sun more important?”
and the answer is:
“The moon gives us light at night when we need it.
The sun only provides light in the day when we don’t.
Therefore the moon is more important”.
— Richard Benson “F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers”

Oh what a day that I have just passed! Full of positive and negative emotions, a real coaster ride. First I woke up from a very disturbed night, full of dreams, dreads and tense emotions. Then I received two emails in a row from John Abbott, asking me to be present for the Deans’ List where I was asked to represent two of my students (one in first year, the other in third year) that had achieved the highest honour in their program. Wow! This blew me, made my day! “If you are one of the top 35 students in the College based on overall average, regardless of your program, you will be placed on the Dean’s List. To be eligible for this honour, you must have followed all the courses that are required by your program for the semester. Dean’s List students may also invite to the reception one of their teachers or other college staff member who has made a difference during their course of study.” 35 students out of a possible 7000 the odds are small! So honoured to be a part of this and I am sooo bloody proud of these students — they truly deserve it! They work hard, are passionate, love what they do, and are just brilliant -)

So after a day of ups and downs… one of the downs was that one of my molars broke and I am still trying to find someone to repair it, but I guess that it will have to wait until this coming Monday, I cancelled a meeting tonight that I was really looking forward to, and then another urban sketching drawing meetup with a rep from Sketch Skool that is supposed to take place tomorrow… I guess that I am tired and a bit disoriented. If my tooth is doing well tomorrow, here I come! Tomorrow will be a new day -)

On a final note I met with one of my dearest past students this week from 19 years ago, and he gave me a small booklet named “F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers”. Coming back from my day with him, I sat down and started reading it and I cried of laughter all through.  As an example for the final exams in Physics one of the questions was this: Is the moon or the sun more important? and the answer is: The moon gives us light at night when we need it. The sun only provides light in the day when we don’t. Therefore the moon is more important. Just love it! On my test exams I always put a bonus question and usually it goes like this: What is the colour of my Golden Retriever? and I have had a multitude of different answers from my 17-19 year old students ranging from: transparent to brown to you do not have a dog, etc. You just have to love them!!!

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:: Heritage Montreal Day & USK:Mtl ::

You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.
— John Singer Sargent

Today was a big day as Heritage Montreal was co-hosting with the Montreal Urban Sketchers in Old Montreal and there were many things that were organized. A morning sketchout, a monument and buildings heritage tour, one in English and one in French, an Urban Sketchers how-to workshop on how-to draw on location, co-hosted by myself, Susan Cooke and Raynald Murphy for the English group. It was wonderful and everyone there seemed quite happy as I had to rush out as my husband was waiting for me back home for a small commemorative supper. This was a long day, but I am happy to have done it! The next outing is on Sunday June 25th at the Montreal Botanical Gardens.

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:: Colour Palette ::

Spotlessness is the niece of inspiration.
— Billy Collins advice to writers.

Here is my newly filled-up juicy colour palette ready for tomorrow’s Montreal Urban Sketchers outing in Old Montreal with Heritage Montreal as co-host. We are meeting at 10:00 am in front of Bonsecour Market.  If you are interested, go on our USK:Mtl blog to find out more information.

… material orderliness, he (Billy Collins) reminds us, fosters mental orderliness, and a mind unassaulted by chaos is a mind free to create. Not sure if this applies to everyone, but it sure does apply to me! Before I start to work, paint, cook, whatever I have to do, the space must be clean “beforehand”… and after I am finished I clean up again to clean up the mess that I created -LOL -)

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:: England Trip ::

I am planning our England trip and what better way of remembering where you are going than actually drawing a Great Britain map? So here are the highlights. We arrive in London and immediately travel to Bath, Britain’s Belle of the Ball as they say. I am taking a 5-day watercolour workshop there which I am looking forward to. Then we travel to the Cotswalds to see Castle Combe Village, Lacock Village, Silbury Hill, Avebury Stone Circles and finally Stonehenge. Then off to York by way of ancient Roman roads to see Viking heritage, walk in medieval streets with beautiful canals and gaze up York Minster Cathedral. Then off to London by train for six days of sightseeing and one day to Oxford to see its famous university and city. BTW, my ancestors come from Dunoon, Scotland and that is why I singled it out! All mingled in this tour are short spurts and periods of sketching, drawing and painting — can’t wait!

Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″
Sailor Desk EF with DeAtramentis Document Black Ink

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:: Chagall Exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ::

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
— Marc Chagall

Went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts today with one of my dear friends and we had the time to examine the whole exhibit from head to toe. It is a beautifully set exhibit with costumes, musical instruments and paintings that are joyful for the eyes. Chagall’s life impressed me as his life was one of a true artist. My friend remarked that because the exhibit was not really set in chronological order, it was difficult to understand the artist’s development and outcome… I wonder why the museum did not explain at some point why they had not done so? I drew one of the dresses that Chagall drew for the theatre.

On Sunday I also went with the Montreal Urban Sketchers as we were invited by Les amis de la montagne to sketch the beautiful Mount-Royal and 35 sketchers joined us. My two paintings were terrible, saturated — I really did not have the colours in my eyes that day and I was almost shy to show what I had done… alas, it was one of those days of painting but wonderful for everything else! One of the reasons why I did not succeed is that I have not painted in a long while, secondly I did not do a value sketch which is always very helpful. Next time -)

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 3.5″x5.5″
Description: Costume for Aleko, Society Lady, Scene IV. 1942. Dress of painted silk taffeta, silk leno and tulle.

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Draw me a Mountain on Sunday May 21st

Artists and art lovers are welcome to take part in an art day on Mount Royal with the Urban Sketchers of Montreal and Les Amis de la Montagne on Sunday May 21st.

* 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Join the Urban Sketchers Montreal for a sketching/drawing/painting day on the mountain.

* 3 to 4:30 p.m.: Exhibition of works by all participants at the Beaver Lake Pavilion Café des Amis.

Free admission
• Meeting point at 10 a.m.: Smith House, 1260 Remembrance Road, Mount Royal
• Meeting point at 3 p.m.: Beaver Lake Pavilion Café des Amis
• 
For lunch: Café des Amis or bring your own lunch on the lawns of this majestic mountain.
• This year, enjoy the hospitality of the Café des Amis in two stunning venues – Smith House and the Beaver Lake Pavilion. Menu includes full meals, sandwiches, salads, desserts, hot and cold beverages.

This activity is presented as part of May : Mount Royal Month.

Those interested in acting as volunteers to help new sketchers should arrive at 9:30 am so that we can share responsibilities.

Facebook LINK — for more information on this activity and future activities, please join us on Facebook -)

For additional information, please contact:
• Danielle Desnoyers :: danielledesnoyers(at)me.com
• Jane Hannah :: jane.hannah(at)csur.ca
• Jean-Claude Boivin :: boivin442(at)videotron.ca

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point-dessin-urban-sketchers
DESSINE-MOI UNE MONTAGNE, une journée en arts

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal en collaboration avec les Amis de la montagne invitent les artistes et amateurs à venir dessiner sur le Mont Royal dimanche le 21 mai. L’activité s’inscrit dans le cadre du Mois du Mont-Royal.

* 10 h à 15 h : Joignez-vous au groupe Urban Sketchers Montréal pour réaliser des dessins/peintures/croquis du Mont Royal.

* 15 h à 16 h 30 : Exposition des œuvres de l’ensemble des participants au Café des Amis au Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors.

Activité gratuite.
• Point de départ à 10 h : Maison Smith, située au 1260 chemin Remembrance. Danielle Desnoyers et  Jane Hannah seront là pour vous accueillir.
• Rendez-vous à 15 h : Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors
• Pour le repas : Le Café des Amis ou vous apporter votre lunch et profitez de la nature.
• Le Café des Amis vous accueille cette année dans deux lieux distincts – à la Maison Smith ou au Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors. Vous trouverez au menu : repas complets, sandwichs, salades, desserts, boissons chaudes et froides.
• Les personnes intéressées à agir comme bénévoles pour guider les néophytes peuvent arriver vers 9 h 30 afin que nous puissions répartir les responsabilités.

Page Facebook LIEN — pour avoir plus d’informations et demander des détails joignez-vous à nous -)

Pour renseignements supplémentaires :
• Danielle Desnoyers :: danielledesnoyers(at)me.com
• Jane Hannah :: jane.hannah(at)csur.ca
• Jean-Claude Boivin :: boivin442(at)videotron.ca


 

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:: Église St-Enfant-Jésus du Mile End ::

“There is no such thing as an amateur artist as different from a professional artist,”
wrote Paul Cezanne,
“There is only good art and bad art.”

The Montreal Urban Sketchers were out sketching out today and the weather was beautiful, even though a tad cold with the wind. Surprisingly it was colder in Montreal than in Rigaud… as we live in the forest, there is rarely any wind. When I first decided to draw this majestic building, I did not know how intricate that it would be… and I kept thinking, “why did I choose to draw this building?” However, in the end I was quite happy to have completed it! I might have time tomorrow to paint it… I hope so -)

Paper: Field Watercolor journal 7″ x 10″
Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Église St-Enfant-Jésus du Mile End

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:: Easter Monday Flower ::

Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers
and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
— Gabriel García Márquez

The hour is growing late on this Easter Monday afternoon and I have to report to school tomorrow. My classes for the week have all been prepared and I am enjoying the music of Leon Bridges “River”, Agnes Obel’s “September Song” and the Villagers “Nothing Arrived”.

I have been intermittently reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” and it reminds me that to be an artist, any type of artist, we have to make a clearing through the chaos of our senses & events. When I first saw Kim’s photograph that she sent me, I sat down to study it… I had to make sense of it all before even starting to draw. Figure things out in a way that works for me.

I decided that I would start at the top and work through the first big flower as an outline, then move below to the second flower and then finish off with the leaves. Then fill everything in. What I actually did was start at the top with the first flower, filled it with the flowing lines, drew the stem and leaves, left them blank, and then finished with the second flower to finish everything off. So much for my plan!

Moleskine Sketchbook: 5″ x 8″
Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black
Photograph: Taken by Kim Thuy Ly Thanh

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:: Kim Thuy ::

It’s not because we’re given a life that we know how to live.
I think we need to learn to live.
— Kim Thùy

Kim Thuy posted a beautiful flower on Facebook today and it inspired me… and I just drew it. She is an amazing writer, author & person and shows the resilience of refugees. She also has a great sense of humour, which makes us love her even more.

Today I studied for my Spanish course as I had been lagging behind in the past few weeks… so much catching on to do! Can’t wait for the semester to be over and really delve into what I love doing… time to paint… and paint. This will be forfeited for awhile as there are tons of correcting to do in the very near future.

Yesterday we cleaned up one of the patios at our house and it felt really good as Spring really seems to be have sprung upon us… let’s hope that it continues.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Reference photograph from Kim Thuy

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Posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings | 4 Comments

:: Coneflowers ::

Educating the mind
without educating the heart
is no education at all.
— Aristotle

I must be ready for summer as I bought these beautiful flowers Echinacea Angustifolia or Coneflowers and decided to draw them. These flowers are part of the sunflower family and oh boy, the chickadees, nuthatches & goldfinches are having a field day with the sunflower seeds in my backyard. They are voracious. My husband and I sunbathed for awhile today and we think that there is a Pileated Woodpecker couple that are nesting in our backyard. These are very private birds and we feel cherished that they are staying in our wood.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black

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:: A little spring in the air ::

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”
— Stephen King On Writing book and some of his tips on Openculture

Even though there is still alot of snow here, Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, the beautiful shadows are long and the birds are chirping. The quality of the light flooding my window is soft and tender…

I have been reading Marc-Aurèle Fortin’s The Experience of Colour and he was known as the poet of painting. One critic said of him: “the poet and painter of summer” after seeing his beautiful paintings of majestic elms in Laval in the 1920s. It is quite inspiring to read on the artistic lives of painters as well as writers. Marc-Aurèle said: “Painting is nothing but visual poetry” I like that!

Another book that I am presently reading is Stephen King’s On Writing which surprisingly, talks about how to become a writer and I am loving every word in it. What a storyteller that he is. It is part memoir and part master class and well worth the read. Have a nice day -)

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″
Pen: Sailor Desk Pen EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Ink Black

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Posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings | 2 Comments