When we first moved to Rigaud, our neighbours told us that the birds disappeared… to my house. I feed all of them, the hummingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, rose-breasted cardinal, woodpeckers, they are all most welcome, and the table is always set. So here is a painting of one of my feeders. For those of you who do not know this, hummers are very territorial… you can hear them buzzing around whenever a visitor tries to snap some of “their” sugar water.
Sugar water recipe:
4 parts water for 1 part white sugar, boil for 1 minute and voilà!
My own hometown, Ste-Madeleine de Rigaud, more commonly known as Rigaud, has many old buildings and was officially founded in 1732. This is an attempt at painting one of its buildings, which was once a sports supply shop, a library and until very recently, an antique shop. This building is situated on St. Pierre Street, next to the Presbytère Ste-Madeleine. The reason that I picked this building was because of its fabulous clock and its metal roof which has a really interesting shape–certainly a challenge in perspective drawing.
One of the first paintings that I did when I decided to pull out my old watercolours out of the closet — close to 30 years. Well, as you might guess, the effect is very grainy and opaque… still surprisingly good, even after all of these years.
I am learning so much from this author. The name of the book that I have is Charles Reid’s Watercolor Secrets and it is very good. He explains how to proceed, in gradual steps. What I find is that I tend to overdraw and overpaint, trying to fill all of the space with colour and lines? He limits me thus it is very helpful.
As you have already seen the left side of my fireplace, I decided to do the right side. The colours are more intense, so I feel more satisfied.
The scanner that I am using seems to dilute the colours of my painting, and my painting is already quite diluted. I will have to go in Photoshop to bring back the colours… but to me it feels a bit like a travesty to do this… humph — will wait and see.
I have to thank Shari Blaukopf www.shariblaukopf.com for inspiring me to start painting and drawing. She has a blog where she posts her daily drawings, rain or sun or no parking spaces, every day of the year — quite a feat in my point of view and reading and looking at her paintings have certainly inspired me…
I have just bought a book from Charles Reid and I was taken by one of his paintings in the book. I can, not so easily “replicate” what another painter has done, but when it comes to painting on my own, with my own eyes, the act of painting becomes much more difficult.
Today the Viburnums are so beautiful on my lot that I decided to draw and then add colour to them.
I have been using the Watercolour Notebooks from Moleskins and I love them — to paint, draw, muse and sketch on– maybe this is an expensive way to use them but I like regrouping everything in one place. The size of these booklets are 21 x 13 cm (8.25″ x 5″) with 72 pages. Sometimes I reserve both opened pages for one drawing, and then it doubles in size and some other times I test out my sketch on the facing page and finish on the other page. Quite nice.
First and foremost, I need learn how to draw… or at least draw in a more profound and satisfactory fashion, with more depth. Thus, I have just bought a book named Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. Tonight I am starting his lesson plan…
The first exercise is to attempt to draw my feet, using blind drawing and taking about 1/2 hour to complete it in. He calls it the “look-hold-draw” process which means that we need to look at the feet much more than at the drawing that we are drawing… and stop drawing while you are looking by keeping the pen or pencil on the paper and not moving it… well let’s give it a try. You are also allowed “restatements” in the drawing, meaning that we can have double and triple lines where the drawing seems to be lopsided…. that! without taking your pen or pencil off of the page. Hah!
However, the first shoes that I tried were black chinese slippers with very little detail, and this is what it gave me… so the moral of the story is, find an “interesting” object, not a plain old doddy one.
I gave back to my little niece, who is now 13 years old and has just come back from Italy, some books that she had lent me that were required readings at her school, Bourget College. These are nice and easy readings that you can read in one afternoon. Very light and enjoyable reading.
Un homme et son péché by Claude Henri Grignon
Rouge Poison by Michèle Marineau
La chèvre de bois by Maryse Rouy
La dernière nuit de l’Empress of Ireland de Josée Ouimet
Here is a doodle that I drew when I was about 15 years old. I had no idea that it looked like a horse… can you see it?
To me my home is not a building with no life… it lives with us, for us. It sheds some tiles from the roof once in awhile, it pops nails when the temperature goes below -20 degrees celsius, it loses its luster if not washed properly, it ticks and tocks at night and even sometimes receives some unaccounted guests that scritch and scratch. A few years back, we rented a summer house and we left our home for a period of two months, and when we came back, it looked so lonely. Do you see your house as a living entity or is it just a building with four walls? I would really like to know some of your thoughts…
For a very long time I have not been back to post anything… so now I am back. We cleaned the spa, made a fire and burned the branches on the lot, cleaned the floors inside and out, did a bit of writing for the Masters degree. The Spring day was fabulous… the buds looked like very small gifts in the trees. Suz and I went for a robust walk on the Rigaud Mountain with Pyper, we went up and up and up… and tumbled down. Nice.