Oh boy, what a shock!

Meraki [may-rah-kee]
Meraki is doing something with total love and pure soul.
It is leaving a little piece of yourself in your creative work.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 am and as I was getting up I noticed that the light outside was very bright and I mustered to myself: “Is it a full moon?” Lo and behold, there was crisp white snow on the ground. I woke up my husband so that he could see this too. What a shock! I went back to bed and when I got up at around 7:00 am it had melted away… fiou!

I was early today at the Grande Bibliothèque and I drew two scenes… the backstreet of St. Denis where houses and establishments meet. This is where many people walk in from St. Denis street to warm up and head for the bibliothèque so I had alot of onlookers commenting on what I was drawing (at the bibliothèque we are only allowed to draw, not paint). At noon I was finished so I headed back home as I still had some correcting to do. Once my corrections done, I painted in the colours from memory. I only met two other Montreal Urban Sketchers and many passsersby asked me what was happening as they said that on the 4th floor there were many people painting… I explained and they seemed pleasantly surprised.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: Yellow Ochre (WN), Venetian Red (DS) and Cerulean Blue (WN)
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Grande bibliothèque de Montréal, facing west


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:: La grande bibliothèque ::

“Each of us is an atlas of sorts, already knowing how to navigate some portion of the world, containing innumerable versions of place as experience and desire and fear, as route and landmark and memory.”
— E. B. White, found on Brainpickings.org

The Montreal Urban Sketchers are meeting tomorrow at the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal and at this very moment they are predicting partly cloudy and the rain finishing for 7:00 am. We can always go outside if the weather is warm, even though they are announcing 9C maximum. Brrrr… we are not used to this as our bones are still in warm weather mode.

One of my favourite pine trees just lies about 500 feet from my house and today even though it was rainy, it was singing. The wind gently lifted its arms and it seemed as though it was looking up to the sky. I do have imagination, I know!

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: Yellow Ochre (WN), Venetian Red (DS) & Cerulean Blue (WN)
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk EF
Location: Rigaud, QC, Canada


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:: Traditional Colour Wheel ::

“In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere. With that state comes an enlarging: of what may be known, what may be felt, what may be done.”
— Jane Hirshfield, poet.

Four pears painted with a traditional colour wheel theme, as seen below. What is weird is that I really have trouble with backgrounds… they seem so easy, but to me they are not! I am also impatient and never wait for the watercolours to dry… so you can see that result with the top right pear bleeding into the bottom one. Humph! No matter, this exercise was really beneficial for my brain, my heart and my weary and tired eyes after prepping for two new courses from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm today. November is looming and the correcting frenzy for my courses has already begun. My heart is soothed as I read excerpts from Robert Henri’s book The Art Spirit. In his book, he says: “Art is life, an expression of life, an expression of the artist and an interpretation of life.”

Reading and thinking about Robert Henri made me think of Jane Blundell’s workshop as she noted that when we practice watercolour painting, we should actually be testing out water intake versus pigment. If you dip your brush once in water and shake it three times… look at the result. If you dip your brush twice… what happens? If your brush is dry, that is pure watercolour… which we rarely use or only use at the end, to put some calligraphy onto our painting.

Handprint.com also has an excellent section on these exercises.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Da Vinci Hansa Yellow Light, Daniel Smith Pyrrol Scarlet & Winsor & Newton French Ultramarine
Location: Rigaud, Quebec, Canada



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:: Different techniques ::

I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for. – Georgia O’Keeffe

During Jane Blundell’s workshop this weekend, we drew and painted from a reference photo using different watercolour techniques. During the workshop I did not really kow where she was taking us, but she knew “exactly” what she was doing. Bravo Jane -)

Techniques used: Toothbrush flecking, salt on wet canvas, watercolour pencil shavings dropped on wet pear, indenting with end of brush, dip pen brushed on with colour to create stem effects.

First we need to look at what we are painting and decide then if we need a warm or a cool blue… and onwards for the three primary colours. I then painted the background colour with Cerulean Blue (cool) and Q. Gold (warm) going over the six pears. I then “lifted” with a Scott Towel the bottom right pear in its entirety first (as it was the lightest one) and then lifted out the highlights from all of the other pears only.

The top left pear I used Goethite pigment first and then finished with Raw Umber as these are granulating pigments that will enhance the dots on the pear. One of the techniques was to use salt on a still wet pear (see pear at the bottom left–even though I forgot to add it in when it was time to), then the bottom right pear has three grated watercolour crayons dropped onto the wet pear.The top right pear we used an underlying green colour mix that we mixed ourselves and topped it with its shadow equivalent (adding red to the green mix), the middle pears I did with one application and the right middle and I could have taken the end of my brush while my pear was still wet to create dents in the pear and the right hand middle pear I had to wait until the pear dried fully before putting in the final crimson mixed with phthalo blue-green pigment. Fiew! I am amazed that I can still remember all of the steps without having to look in my notebook -) Was great fun and I would redo it in a jiffy!

She also spoke of the different water textures that we can expect… from directly from the tube, to butter, to coffee, to milk and then weak tea.

Paper: Arches Cold Press
Colours: Quinachridone Gold (DS), Goethite (DS), Pyrrol Crimson (DS), Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue (W&N), Raw Umber (DS), Viridian (DS).
Location: Centre communautaire de Lachine, Québec, Canada


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:: Jane Blundell’s Workshop ::

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon.
In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
For nothing is more precious than the life force & may the love of that force guide you as you go.
― Patti Smith.

What an incredible weekend filled with watercolour demos, instruction, theory & practical hands-on exercises… which I have not finished yet, I might add. Jane Blundell is an amazing watercolour teacher — her speciality is really colours and the theory behind it, but she is also an amazing artist. We were 11 students at the Centre communautaire de Lachine which is perfect workshop space… we all had good chairs, good tables, good lighting and it was mostly quiet… apart from a few musical bursts that were flowing in from downstairs as there was a wedding preparation going on, and eventually the ceremony started.

I received so much information that my head is still whirling, in a good way. One of the things that I retained is that when starting a new sketchbook, as the first page is always daunting, why not create a colour wheel of your present palette? An idea… She also made us create five different colour wheels, going from bright clean colours to earth colours and then we had to apply that colour wheel to a pear painting, only using those three primary colours — the triad. Here is one example. We painted from a reference photo and the aim was to get the colours down and not try to paint perfectly… with that I am quite good! Ask me to mess up a painting, and I can! Well joke aside, it was really nice to do and the only ting that I would change is the background colour … I should have put a cool colour combo in the background and that would have helped the foreground to move forward… as everyone knows that warm colours move forward and cool colours move backwards? Just testing you -)))

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Sketchbook
Colours: New Gambodge (warm), Sennelier Red (cool) & French Ultramarine (warm)
Location: Centre communautaire de Lachine




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:: Dancing Barefoot ::

Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith

She is benediction
She is addicted to thee
She is the root connection
She is connecting with he
     Here I go and I don’t know why
I flow so ceaselessly
Could it be he’s taking over me
     I’m dancing barefoot
Headin’ for a spin
Some strange music draws me in
It makes me come up like some heroine
     She is sublimation
She is the essence of thee
She is concentrating on
He who is chosen by she
     Here I go when I don’t know why
I spin so ceaselessly
Could it be he’s taking over me
     I’m dancing barefoot
Headin’ for a spin
Some strange music drags me in
Makes me come up like some heroine
     She is recreation
She intoxicated by thee
She has the slow sensation that
He is levitating with she
     Here I go when I don’t know why
I spin so ceaselessly
‘Til I lose my sense of gravity
     I’m dancing barefoot
Heading for a spin
Some strange music draws me in
Makes me come up like some heroine
     Oh God I fell for you

Oh boy! Preparing new courses takes everything out of you! I prepped my courses this morning, corrected on Saturday as I have been working six days weekly since the semester has begun… and this has been gruesome and is taking its toll. Today I actually had the time to squeeze in a small drawing, made quickly and so out of tune that it came out rusty-looking -) My hand-eye coordination was simply not there. In frustration, after three different tries, I settled on this version even though it is not up to par.

However would you like to know the most amazing thing in this whole affair? I feel elated and content-)  Why is that do you think? I do not really know… but as I grow in age and wisdom (huh-huh) the process is more important than the result and in art, the process is everything. The act of drawing relaxes me like no other activity can… apart from playing music and perhaps tai chi. So just doodle away tonight or tomorrow or on the next day as it feels so good -))) Love it!


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:: Digital drawing of an Old Truck ::

What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way. — Winslow Homer

Even though I have not been posting much, this does not mean that I have not been busy doing artistic works & readings. I am happily, but busily, preparing a new course that has to do with digital drawing with a tablet this semester. It is taking up much of my time as in order to teach something well, you need to know it well! The tablet that I am using is an Intuos 4 Wacom Tablet with a grip pen… fabulous tool, and it takes a long time to master. So I have been busily mastering digital drawing techniques and here is one of the results.

I was also given a book by one of my friends that is amazing! It is a book that follows me throughout my daily chores and this has not happened in a while. It is called How to Read a Modern Painting: Lessons from the Modern Masters by Jon Thompson. I absolutely love it & I read one page per day as it shifts my mood into amazement and perplexity and how to really “look” at a painting. Thank you Linda -)

Software: Photoshop CS6
Tools: Pencil & Mixer Brush
Computer digital drawing


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:: Grungy Tree for Amelia ::

“The world is a better place to live in because it contains human beings who will give up ease and security and stake their own lives in order to do what they themselves think worth doing.”
— Requiem for Amelia: Walter Lippmann on What Makes a Hero and the True Measure of the Human Spirit

I love Moleskine Sketchbooks as they are great with line drawings… be it with Pigma Micron Pens or Fountain Pens…. and they are not made for watercolour washes and paints. However, some artists love the look that they give as you have to scrub the watercolour paints into the paper and this gives the paintings a grungy look. Will Freeborn is one of these artists — LINK –. Here is a drawing that I did while I was out drawing with my students on the lawn, under the canopy of two huge pine & chestnut trees. Quite cool -)

So here is one of my versions that I did a few years back too — LINK –. If you like these type of watercolour sketches, you might like purchasing a Moleskine Sketchbook.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook large
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: John Abbott College with my students.


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:: Ode to my students ::

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

Last May I while I was in correcting mode, my mind would wander too often to my next course preparations that I would be engaging in this August. Throughout the summer, even though I was on holidays and had a good deal of great times with family and friends and a bit of travelling and giving & attending watercolour workshops, my mind often wandered to my new courses that I would be preparing… and slowly but surely, I would add a paper to the existing pile of “new” ideas that I had. All through the summer for a few days a week I would add to the pile. And the pile grew, and grew, and grew! So now I have too many new ideas for my new courses and I have to cut back! Can you imagine that? To build and then to simplify. But I guess that I am lucky, as now my students are receiving the best from all of my arcane ideas.

Today was a beautiful Montreal day, with a gentle warm breeze and when I woke up I decided that my students and I would go outside to draw. Off we went, and the students made me walk and walk and walk… and we drew all kinds of trees. Pine trees, spruce trees, chestnuts & hemlocks. For my second group, we walked just a few meters and sat down on huge stones… and again we drew trees. Such a pleasant experience and I think/hope that they did get something out of it.

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 5″x8″
Colours: Q. Orange, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Serpentine Genuine & Alizarin Crimson
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk
Ink: Noodlers’ Ink Lexington Grey
Location: Cégep John Abbott College, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada


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:: Devil’s Ivy ::

My view of human nature is that all of us are just holding it together in various ways — and that’s okay, and we just need to go easy with one another, knowing that we’re all these incredibly fragile beings.
— Alain de Botton

I sketched this last night while my husband was watching the Olympics. It is a Golden Pathos Vine or commonly known as Devil’s Ivy. I was wondering what the mesh-like background was and I just realized that when I took the picture I took it in the screen porch. So you can see the mesh -)

I have been working on difficult computer tasks these past few weeks and I am happy to say that they are finished. First, I needed to transfer my self-hosted blog on Bluehost.com to WordPress.com as I was simply getting too many spam and unwanted subscribers. I was getting up to 50 a day! So now my blog is safely hosted on WordPress.com and the added bonus is that it is hassle-free. Yeah! The second computer task was to reformat my main computer as it was getting very sluggish and I had not reformatted it for awhile. I erased the whole drive, and reinstalled all of my software Now it feels like a new computer, even though it is 6 years old. Very happy -)

We have our Welcome Back Breakfast this coming Wednesday and the regular college semester is starting in exactly one week! So guess what I will be doing this week? Preparing for my courses, one new and one not so new.


Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Large
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: The Tin Man ::

Fact is, perfection is boring.
(Robert Genn)

We were about 12 painters today at Pointe-du-Moulin in Île Perrot. There is a beautiful windmill out there, but today the wind flaps were missing… I wondered what had happened to them. Looking at my painting I am torn between seeing the windmill and seeing Hickory The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Hah-hah!

When I find my spot to paint, I think of which blue I will be using. To me, blue is the most important colour to choose and I always choose it first. Is today a cobalt type of day or is it an ultramarine day? What type of day is it? I look at the sky and the general luminosity to get the answer. On a very clear morning, it will be Cerulean. On winter days, when it is very very cold, I often choose Manganese blue. So today I chose Ultramarine. I started with the sky and worked myself down behind the trees. Ultramarine is a warm blue that has some reds in it and to me the sky today had that quality. Do you do that too? Or is it another colour that you start with? Let me know -)

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Perylene Maroon & Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Pointe-du-Moulin, Ïle Perrot, Québec, Canada


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:: Lachine Canal ::

Birth place: Earth
Race: Human
Politics: Freedom
Religion: Love

Today I met up with Linda Drewry’s gang of painters in the beautiful setting of Parc René-Lévesque. There is everything that a plein air painter needs! A quaint little ice cream parlor with sunny umbrellas and bikes to rent, views of distant bridges, a marina, church views, waterways, Lake St. Louis and all kinds of stone statues dispersed throughout the park, and mind you, I just walked about the first quarter of it. Great day -)

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP
Colours: New Gambodge, Q. Rose, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue & some Ultramarine
Location: Parc René Lévesque, Canal Lachine, Québec, Canada


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:: Picnic vernissage day at Stewart Hall ::

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

— Lord Byron


For the month of July the Montreal Urban Sketchers met up at Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire to draw, paint and picnic at the same time and even though the weather was dreary and almost cold, there were 16 brave souls that came to paint from all over the island of Montreal. The staff at Stewart Hall always treat us really well, they have some food, water and coffee for us and it was a really enjoyable day.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8″
Colours: Naples Yellow, New Gambodge, Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire, Québec, Canada

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:: Moody blues ::

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send
— Moody Blues

20160702-burlington-jane-hannah-value-sketchValue sketchings — oooh how important they are! They permit you to see through one colour the three, four or five different values that exist (perhaps even more). For this painting there are five values… from white to very dark violet (you could actually think in percentages of tints if you prefer). Sometimes I explain this by using the analogy of adding milk or white paint to a colour. The more white paint that you add, the lower it lies on the value scale. If you think of value scales as being zero for white and 10 for black, these five values would be in the range of 0, 3, 5, 8 and 10. Can you see them? Once you start seeing these values, you are ready to paint or appreciate photographs… the principles of design are the same for all art forms. Once these values are set, and the value sketch makes sense, then I know that the painting will be fine….

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″ x 8″
Colours: Carbazole Violet
Location: 24 Penny Lane, Burlington, Vermont, USA

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:: Penny Lane ::

If, when facing the paper, you say to yourself, ‘I’m an artist,’ you haven’t a clue as to what to do! If, however, you say, ‘I am an entertainer, a shapemaker and an expressive symbol collector,’ you know the task ahead and how to proceed. (Edgar A. Whitney)

20160702-burlington-jane-hannah-watercolorHad a wonderful time this weekend in Burlington under the watchful gaze of Shari and 14 other sketchers. We painted for two full days, and I was pooped at the end of both days. Burlington is a beautiful city with magnificent views of the mountains. My challenge for the weekend was to paint without the use of an ink line… just lead. For some this might appear trivial, but for me it was definitely a challenge as being a graphic artist for all of my life, I have relied heavily on the line for everything that I had to do. For this sketch, I tried to apply the principle that cold colours recede in the distance and warm colours move up, grow forward. I also tried to apply atmospheric perspective to the clouds with the closest clouds being big while the far away clouds were small. I also liked the way that with one sweep of the brush, I could leave some white in the water (bottom left-hand side).

Paper: Arches CP
Colours: Yellow Primary, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: NONE -)))
Location: Penny Lane in Burlington, Vermont, USA

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:: Mont Calvaire ::

J’ai vu le soleil se lever
dans tant et tant de pays
je ne savais plus lequel
était le mien
le jour oscillait
lampe incertaine dans ma nuit
le rif le souk le môle
la vallée millénaire
bergers de l’Atlas
boutre coutre Seychelles
je l’ai vu se coucher
le jour passait comme une flèche
et chaque soir me frappait en plein coeur
comme le dernier
— Gérald Godin, Québec Poet

20160628-sailboat-lake-2-mountains-jane-hannahMont Calvaire is the highest peak looking northwards from Hudson across the Lake of Two Mountains. Calvaire in French is a Québécois swear word as French Québécois swear words mostly stem from Catholic artefacts and the different synonyms are used regionally. Some synonyms for “calvaire” are calvâsse, calvinsse, calvinouche, calvinus, calvinisse, calverasse. 

The lake was named Lac des Médicis in 1612 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, then renamed Lac des Soissons about 1632. By around 1684 French colonists named it as Lac des Deux Montagnes. The name refers to Calvaire Mountain and Saint-Joseph-du-Lac Hill, the two highest peaks of Mont Oka that face the lake on its northern shore. (Information taken from Wikipedia).

Paper: Fluid 8″x8″
Colours: Sennelier Primary Yellow, New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Location: Sandy Beach, Hudson, Québec, Canada

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Sunday Sketching, Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire on July 10th

20160627-stewart-hall-jane-hannah-watercolor“Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love,”
— Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother.

On Sunday July 10th the Montreal Urban Sketchers  have been invited to a Picnic Vernissage Day at Stewart Hall’s Cultural Centre in Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall is situated in a gorgeous historic mansion and is a unique cultural venue located on the bank of Lake Saint-Louis. Everyone is invited to sketch with us on that day starting at 10:00 am. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch, in all seasons! To note that this date replaces the fourth Sunday for the month of July.

• 10:00 am START: on the lawn at the right side of the main entrance.
• 2:00 pm INVITATION: The vernissage of the exhibition Suspended Time – Caroline Cloutier & Joëlle Morosoli will take place on the 3rd floor, in the Art Gallery. Everybody is invited to go upstairs at 2 p.m.
• 3:00 pm END: we will gather on the patio facing the lake to share our drawings.
• There will be two very impressive performances on the stage that day as well, (at noon and at 3 pm), it could be an interesting thing to draw as well!
• In the event of rain, there is a room on the first floor that has been reserved for us; we will still have a nice view over the lake and everything; (but let’s cross our fingers that it won’t rain!)
• Directions Stewart Hall on Google Maps: LINK

Hope to see you there -)))


Le dimanche 10 juillet 2016, les Urban Sketchers de Montréal sont invités à participer à un pique-nique Vernissage au Centre culturel Stewart Hall de Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall est une demeure historique sur un lieu enchanteur situé aux abords du Lac Saint-Louis. Tout le monde est invité à esquisser avec nous ce jour-là à partir de 10h00. Un endroit absolument magnifique pour faire des croquis, en toutes saisons!  À noter que cette journée remplace le quatrième dimanche du mois de juillet.

• 10h00 DÉBUT: on se rencontre à droite de l’entrée principale sur le parterre.
• 14h00 INVITATION: Le vernissage de l’exposition Les temps suspendus – Caroline Cloutier and Joëlle Morosoli se tiendra au 3e étage, dans la galerie d’art. Tout le monde est invité.
• 15h00 FIN: nous nous rencontrerons sur le patio face au lac St-Louis pour partager nos croquis/dessins/peintures et voir ce que les autres ont croqué.
• Pendant cette journée il va y avoir deux performances, une à midi et l’autre à 15h00 qui pourraient être fort intéressantes à peindre aussi.
• Dans l’éventualité de pluie, il y a une pièce qui nous a été réservée face au lac au rez-de-chaussée.
• Directions Stewart Hall sur Google Maps: LINK

En espérant vous voir -)

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Botanical Gardens :: Jardin botanique

Art happens — no hovel is safe from it, no prince can depend on it, the vastest intelligence cannot bring it about.
— (James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1834–1903)

Today the Urban Sketchers of Montreal were out strong even though the heat moved up to 35C. But as we were in the shade, all was good. My idea this morning when I arrived was to draw/paint the Montreal olympic tower from many different viewpoints.

So my search brought me to the Rose Garden where I sat on a park bench in the comfortable shade to paint this. I started with a value sketch (see below) to figure out where my darks and lights should be. And as you guessed it, once I was finished my quest stopped as I coud not find any other view of the beautiful tower! Geez! And lo and behold, as I had just finished my third and last sketch of the day, view after wonderful view popped up in the skyline as I was walking back to meet the other sketchers. So the moral of the story is, that you never know exactly how your sketching day will go, but take it with a chuckle.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″x8″
Colours: Hansa Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine & Violet
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Montreal Botanical Gardens


Value Sketch

Value Sketch


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:: C2 Montreal ::

“What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as-you-were?”
— Mary McArthy, writer & political activist, 1912–1989

Some USK Montreal sketchers were invited to paint/draw during a full day of C2 Montreal events.  C2 means “Commerce & Creativity” and it was just an amazing day! It was joyful, full of artists & company owners from Quebec & many international personas. I was so excited in the morning that for my first sketch, I could not stop shaking… By my second sketch, I had calmed down & I actually drew 7 paintings… which is a feat for me. These paintings are now owned by C2 Montreal & they graciously gave me the rights to self-promote.


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:: Centennial Park ::

A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.
— Eugène Ionesco (1909-94), Romanian-French playwright 

Went painting today with Linda Drewry & her companions & the danger of rain or thunderstorms did not seem to phase us. We were there, puddling around with our paints, just glad to be painting with others. Very nice.

I, on the other hand, did two paintings before this one… until I was satisfied that I had something that was presentable. In the end, I like it as it is somber looking and reflects well the cloudy day. While I was painting, 22 baby geese headed by parents filed in front of me, one behind the other in army-like fashion and at the end of the line, more parents. What a sight! It was quite sweet.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine & some Sap Green
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk fountain pen
Ink: De Atrementis Document Ink Black
Location: Centennial Park, Dollard des Ormeaux, Québec


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:: Rigaud Mountain ::

“Perhaps there is still time to take a stand for the Kingdom of Life; it needs defenders. Perhaps, mighty as its enemies may be, allies will come who are even mightier.”
— Henry Beston

Last night Rigaud residents were invited to join our elected municipal reps to debate on the future of our mountain & of its own environmental sustainability. What a thrill to hear the different perspectives & opinions as well as the definite push towards a small environmental footprint & how we will preserve the mountain for future generations. It made me proud to be a Rigaudine -)

While I was listening to the debates I drew in three of my Rigaud neighbours…

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Pen: Pigma Micron .005
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


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:: Value sketches ::

“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.”
— Unknown author

Here is the value sketch that I did for yesterday’s painting. This sketch uses the same colour but using different values of that colour, or intensities of that colour. My darkest colour is too dark but still I ended up with four different values representing white, lightest colour or highlight, midtones and dark values (shadows). Value sketches are great for evaluating a composition and seeing if it will work, or not.

There are two added bonuses to these value sketches and it is to get the intensity of the colours just right… and by practicing with only one colour, we get a “feel” for what is right. The other added value is that the eye, hand coordination gets a practice run and gets a feel for the architecture/texture/newness of the place.

Paper: Fluid 100 4″x4″
Colour: Carbazole Violet (PV23RS)
Location: Parc des ancres, Pointe des cascades, Québec, Canada


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:: Parc des ancres ::

“The world is what exists and what happens, but we gain enormous insight by talking about it — telling its story — in different ways.”
— Physicist Sean Carroll

Every Tuesday mornings from the middle of May to the end of August, Linda Drewry has been inviting plein air sketchers/painters to join her. She has been doing this for the past 22 years — quite a feat if you ask me! Today was a breezy summer day, full of sunlight and I counted about 15 painters dispersed here and there on the beautiful grounds. The east lighthouse was one of two, each one illuminating its end of the Canal Soulanges, indicating east or west.

I first drew in a value sketch to see where my lights and darks should be and of course I forgot to scan it in tonight… will do so tomorrow. Then I drew on a quarter sheet, light pencil lines, followed by ink lines and finished off with the watercolour paints.

Paper: Fluid 100
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Parc des ancres, Pointe des Cascades


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Summer day :: Journée d’été

“The protection of minorities is vitally important; and even the most orthodox of us may find himself in a minority some day, so that we all have an interest in restraining the tyranny of majorities.”
— Maria Popova

The Urban Sketchers of Montreal met up today at the Maison Smith on Mount Royal. We had been invited by Les amis de la montagne to sketch/draw/paint the mountain and at 15:00 we went up to the second floor to show our paintings. I counted 65 paintings! The ambiance was relaxed and friendly and the Amis de la montagne had prepared munchies and drinks and someone was scanning & printing our paintings for those of us who lived too far away to come back to fetch our paintings in one week or had painted in a sketchbook. Very nice indeed! These will be shown on the second floor of Maison Smith until the end of next week.

It took me quite awhile today to find a spot in the shade that was not already taken with a spot that I liked. Once I found it, I stayed put for the whole day -)

Les Sketchers urbains de Montréal se sont rencontrés aujourd’hui sur le Mont Royal. Nous avons été invités par Les amis de la montagne pour esquisser/dessiner/peindre la montagne et à 15h00, nous sommes allés au deuxième étage pour regarder toutes les peintures — 65 peintures!. Un festin pour les yeux. L’ambiance était détendue et amicale et les Amis de la montagne avaient préparé des grignotines et des boissons et quelqu’un numérisait et imprimait nos peintures pour ceux et celles d’entre nous qui demeurent trop loin pour revenir chercher leurs peintures dans une semaine ou avaient peint dans un sketchbook. Ceux-ci seront affichés au deuxième étage de la Maison Smith jusqu’à la fin de la semaine prochaine.

Il m’a fallu un certain temps aujourd’hui pour trouver en endroit à l’ombre qui n’était pas déjà pris avec une vue qui me plaisait. Une fois que je l’ai trouvé, je suis resté sur place toute la journée -)

Paper: Fluid 100
Colours: New Gambodge, Hansa Yellow, Burnt Umber, Q. Rose, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Location: Belvedere Lookout, Mount Royal, Montreal, Québec, Canada


I am showing my working setup (below)  as a few people really liked it. I took my 12″ x 9″ Fluid 100 paper and put a masking tape vertically three-quarters of the way through so that I had a square painting area but also an area to create a thumbnail and test out my colours. Very handy & practical.

Je montre ma configuration de travail (ci-dessous) car des peintres ont vraiment aimé. J’ai pris mon 12 “x 9” 100 papier fluide et j’ai mis un ruban de masquage verticalement aux trois-quarts du chemin pour que j’aille une zone de peinture carrée, avec un espace pour créer une vignette et tester mes couleurs. Très pratique.20160522_WorkingCoroplast

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USK:MTL Sunday Sketching Sunday Sketching May 22 : Draw me a Mountain!

Hello everyone — I will be there with many others this coming Sunday and the weather will be gorgeous. Come and join us -)

It is time again for the Mois du Mont-Royal / Month of the Mountain! For the second year we will meet on the 4th Sunday in May to sketch and paint in Mount Royal Park.

  • Sunday May 22d:
  • Meet at the Smith House / Maison Smith in Mount Royal Park at 10 AM
  • Go sketching together!
  • Return to the Smith House at 3 PM for an impromptu exhibition in the upstairs gallery of everything we drew that day. Everyone is invited to show their work.
    There will be tables and some wall space to display artwork.

There also will be free art supplies available on loan from les Amis de la montagne. Just look for our USK:MTL volunteers at the Smith House, the Belvedere and Beaver Lake to pick up a sketching kit. This might be a great day to come out with the kids and have them draw along.

More info here: https://urbansketchersmontreal.wordpress.com/


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