Skies :: Ciels

Lately the skies in Quebec are outstanding… big fluffy clouds, with all kinds of colours moving through them. I was wondering if it is the time of the year, or is this year an exceptional year for clouds? Can that be? I therefore bought the book: “Skies in watercolour” by Ron Ranson. So here are a few of the exercises that he gets us to do to start understanding the different types of clouds and how to paint them. From left to right, top to bottom.
1. Simple skies:
2. Cirrus skies:
3. Rain Clouds:
4. Evening Sky:  (I messed this one up so started over).
5. Evening Sky:

Les nuages au Québec ces temps-ci sont tellement beaux que je devais les peindre… mais comment? Donc j’ai ouvert un de mes livres: “Skies in watercolour” de Ron Ranson et il explique les différentes sortes de nuages.
1. Nuages simples:
2. Nuages cirrus:
3. Nuages de pluie:
4. Couchers de soleil:
5. Couchers de soleil:

Colours: Raw Sienna, French Ultramarine, Aureolin Yellow with Alizarin Crimson and Payne’s Grey
Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook

Skies

Lake of two mountains :: Lac des deux montagnes

Two weekends ago I went to visit the John Singer Sargent exhibit in Brooklyn, NY. It was utterly amazing as I had never seen this type of watercolour work before… meaning the way that JSS seems to work with watercolour as if it was oil. He uses diluted paints, but also almost dry watercolour and sometimes he actually stretches the paint until it creates jagged stretches on top of the other paint. He also used very dark colours and some white paint, which seemed to act like white gouache. So for this painting, I used white gouache in the clouds. It was fun trying it… As you can see I overdid it, and my painting lost its freshness as I put on too many layers of different colours.

Il y a deux fin de semaine nous asommes allés voir au musée Brooklyn l’exposition de John Singer Sargent. C’était la première fois que je voyais quelqu’un travailler les aquarelles de cette façon. La plupart du temps, les aquarellistes travaillent en couleurs pastels… pas JSS. Tons très foncés et couche par-dessus couche, comme si il travaillait la peinture à l’huile. C’était très impressionnant et aussi très instructif. En plus, il semblait beaucoup travailler avec de la peinture blanche, des fois secs et des fois diluée. Donc pour mes nuages aujourd’hui j’ai essayé d’appliquer sa technique… comme vous pouvez le voir, ce n’est pas une réussite parce que j’ai trop travaillé ma peinture et elle a perdu sa fraîcheur.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Aureolin Yellow

20130729_twoMountains

Balm for the soul :: Baume pour l’âme

Four Urban Sketchers of Montreal gathered together today to paint in Place D’Armes in Old Montreal. Place D’Armes is the second oldest public site in Montreal and dates back from 1693. In front of us was the Notre. Dame Basilica gothic revival style architecture (1672), Saint. Sulpice Seminary (1657) which is the oldest edifice in Montreal, the Bank of Montreal’s head office  (1817) which is the oldest bank in Canada, New York Life Insurance building (1887) and finally the art deco Aldred building (1931) which resembles the NYC Empire State building which was completed in the same year. Even though I painted parts of some of these buildings and roofs, it architecture surrounding us was quite impressive and beautiful.

I have not painted nor drawn for more than a week and I felt quite rusty… and painting today did its amazing work and quieted and soothed my mind while creating a balm for the soul… which has been in a whirlwind of thoughts and of letting go’s. Last Sunday, my beloved 88 year old scottish father Dorland died, letting his head fall on my Mom’s shoulder during Mass at the Notre. Dame de Lourdes Sanctuary in Rigaud.
___________

Quatre sketchers urbains de Montréal se sont rencontrés aujourd’hui pour peindre à la Place D’Armes dans le Vieux-Montréal. Cet endroit est magnifique en histoire. En-avant de nous il y avait la Basilique Notre-Dame (1672), le Séminaire Saint-Sulpice qui est le plus vieux bâtiment de Montréal (1657), le siège social de la Banque de Montréal (1817), l’édifice art déco Aldred (1931) qui est très similaire au Empire State Building à NYC et qui date de la même année, et bien d’autres.

Je n’avais pas peint depuis plus d’une semaine et j’étais bien rouillée, et le fait de peindre m’a donnée ses effets bénéfiques… entre autre de calmer mes esprits et d’agir comme un baume sur l’âme. J’en avais bien besoin car mon père bien-aimé est mort dimanche passé au Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Lourdes à Rigaud, pendant la messe. Sa tête est tout simplement tombée sur l’épaule de ma mère… il avait 88 ans.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Mayan Blue, Raw Sienna, Aureolin Yellow, Q. Burnt Orange

20130728_PlaceDArmes_OldMtl

 

 

Take two :: Deuxième prise

The same house as yesterday but with ink lines. As it is my second try, I am happier with it… but really not there yet! No matter, it is practice and I really enjoy it. What do you think? Your input has been very helpful and I wish to thank all of you for it. Do you know what I am thinking? Tomorrow I will throw some paints on the paper… and afterwards only draw in the ink lines and then paint on top of it. As this house is “beige” it is hard to give it some umph… this way, I could succeed. Let’s hope ;-)

La même maison que hier, saut avec des lignes en encre… je suis plus satisfaite avec cette version, même si elle laisse toujours à désirer. C’est pas grave, car ça me donne de la pratique et c’est très bien ainisi. Vous ne pouvez pas vous imaginer comment vos opinions m’ont aidée dans cette recherche et je vous en remercie. Je pense que demain je vais lancer des couleurs sur le papier et ensuite dessiner avec de l’encre et ensuite peinturer.

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook 5″x8″
Colours: Raw Umber, French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson

20130720_take2

Challenge :: Défi

Last year someone asked me to paint their house for a commission… and I have waited until today to start working on it. Why did it take me so long to start? Is it because I did not feel ready? Did not feel up to it? Or simply that I was not capable of doing it? It is one thing to paint whatever our heart desires on a weekly basis, but when someone asks us to paint a “specific” theme, or a house, it is quite daunting. However, I am constantly pushing myself to discover new ways of painting, drawing… there are so many things out there that I still have not painted! So I should be seeing this as a very welcome challenge -). At the same time I am extremely excited to start working on it… and I am scared shitless too. So weird. So this is my plan… to paint it until I am satisfied with the result. I am posting this painting as it is a rough sketch, and I will not be posting the final one. I am also very thankful that this is just a rough one, as this painting needs my “beloved” ink lines… I am pretty sure of that. Let me know what you think… With ink line or without?

Il y a plus d’un an qu’une amie m’a demandée de peindre sa maison pour une commission. J’ai attendu jusqu’à aujourd’hui pour commencer… pourquoi est-ce que j’ai pris tant de temps? Est-ce que c’est à cause que je ne me sentais pas prête? Tout probablement… et je suis très excitée par ce project. Ceci est un croquis très préliminaire… je vais en faire jusqu’à temps que je suis satisfaite… et ensuite je la ferai sur un grand papier aquarelle. Je suis pas mal sûre que je devrais faire cette maison avec mes lignes à l’encre plus aquarelle… qu’est-ce que vous en pensez? Avec ligne ou sans ligne?

Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook 5″ x 8″

20130719_commission

 

Two for one :: Deux pour un

Went to my parents house today and painted my bedroom that I had in my teens… any teen would love to have this type of room. Separate from the house, right on the waterfront! It was quite wonderful.

I really overworked the first painting today… I kept going back to it and adding and adding… so it created a huge mess even though the bones are good. It is not fresh as watercolours should be.

Colours: Cobalt Blue, New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson
Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co.
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″

20130717_Bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second painting I did was from memory back home… I was not on the premises anymore and just painted it from memory. And the memories sent me to my teen years, the way that it looked way back then. Very intriguing to me. I used exactly the same colours for the two paintings, but they turned out quite differently. The only colours that I added to the previous colour combination was Serpentine Green. Let me know which one that you prefer?

Colours: Cobalt Blue, New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson, Serpentine Green

20130717_Bedroom2

 

Manhattan View :: Vue de Manhattan

This is the only painting that I was able to do in NYC. It was done from the window in our room on the 14th floor of our hotel, Pod 51. During our stay, it was mostly overcast and it rained quite a bit, but we were very happy with this situation as the sun, if it had peeked out, would have made our walking trips very hard indeed as the humidity was daunting. I finally visited the John Singer Sargent Watercolour Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and I was extremely touched with his 96 watercolours… all grander than the other. I was moved by it.

Voici la seule peinture que j’ai pu faire à NYC car on était tellement occupé et on a marché, marché et marché ;-) C’était tellement intéressant et j’ai vu l’exposition de John Singer Sargent… magnifique!!! J’était très émue en voyant ses 96 aquarelles,  aussi belles les unes que les autres. J’étais très émue.

Colours: Indigo, Cadmium Yellow Light, Raw Sienna, Q. Orange, Burnt Sienna & Burnt Umber
Paper:  Moleskine Watercolour
Size: 5.25″ x 8.5″

20130713_pod51view

Those eyes :: Ces yeux…

Drawing faces is my next challenge… so I started with the eyes. I am also letting you know that we are going to NYC… so I will probably not be able to post as we will be quite busy. I am going to see John Singer Sargent’s watercolour exhibit. Yeah! The exhibit will be at the Brooklyn Museum until July 28th, 2013 if you want to catch it.

Peindre des visages est mon prochain challenge… donc j’ai commencé avec les yeux. Je vous laisse savoir que nous partons pour NYC pour aller voir, entre autre, les aquarelles de John Singer Sargent. Si vous êtes intéressé à y aller, cette exposition va être présente au Musée de Brooklyn jusqu’au 28 juillet 2013. Yeah!

Colours: Payne’s Grey
Paper:  Trav•e•logue series artist journals by Hand•book Journal Co.
Size: 5.5″ x 5.5″

20130710_eyes1 20130710_eyes2

 

Patient Peonies :: Pivoines patientes

On Friday I stopped at the Atwater Market, my favourite market in Montreal.  They always have beautiful cut flowers at a very good price.

Painting flowers is difficult for me, and I have to be very patient… there are many abstract details to put in… and there is alot of waiting. Waiting for the paint to dry, waiting to put in the second layer, waiting to see the overall effect, then take a step back and really look. Put down the painting and then come back to it 15 minutes later. When I first started painting last year, I was very impatient… would not even think of painting more than one hour! And I could not set it aside, I had to finish it then and there. Now, I am much more patient and am willing to set it aside to come back to it later.

Vendredi je me suis retrouvée au Marché Atwater à Montréal, qui est mon marché préféré. Ils ont toujours de très belles fleurs coupées à un bon prix.

Peindre des fleurs pour moi est bien difficile et j’apprends à être très patiente. Il y a beaucoup de détails abstraits à insérer, je dois attendre que la peinture sèche pour mettre la deuxième couche, je dois regarder de près, de loin, prendre un pas en-arrière, me demander si c’est assez ou pas… sans tuer l’aquarelle. Une bonne façon de manquer une aquarelle, est de trop la travailler. Un des buts est de garder sa spontanéité, sa fraîcheur…  être prête à arrêter de peindre pour y revenir 15 minutes ou 3 heures plus tard… tout ça travaille sur ma patience et je me rends compte que je suis plus patiente qu’avant ;-)

Colours: Winsor Blue, Aureolin Yellow, Q. Rose, Q. Violet
Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co. #8
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″

20130707_Peonies

Lake Breeze :: La brise de l’eau

Today I spent some time at my parents’ house with my dog, chatting, giving each other philosophical points of view and painting at the same time–nice! There was a wonderful breeze on the waterfront and no “bibittes”… very different from where I live — as in the forest there is no wind and alot of “bibittes”. For those of you who do not know the québécois term, “bibittes” mean flying bugs that bite or harass you.

Aujourd’hui j’ai passé du temps avec mes parents… en jasant en prenant notre lunch, e philosophant un petit peu et en peignant. Il y avait une brise douce qui venait du lac et pas de “bibittes” qui est tout à fait différent de chez moi où il n’y a jamais de vent avec beaucoup de bibittes.

Colours: French Ultramarine, News Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber
Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co.
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
20130706_ParentsView

 

Tourne-sol Cooperative Farm :: Ferme coopérative Tourne-sol

One of the best things that we did this year is to become a member of the CSA Community Supported Agriculture farm Tournesol. Every Thursday we pick up our vegetables directly at the farm in Les Cèdres and they are so tasty, so fresh and stay fresh for a very long time in the fridge too and the price is very good.  We have a variety of vegetables and the quality is outstanding. Bravo! So here are the radishes… On a side note, the more that I paint with this new paper, the more that I am falling in love with it… simply outstanding!

Devenir membre de la Ferme coopérative Tourne-Sol à Les Cèdres est un des meilleurs investissements que nous avons faits cette année. Les légumes, fines herbes, etc. sont tellement frais, bons, avec une telle diversité que c’est un plaisir de se rendre à la ferme à tous les jeudis. Si vous le pouvez, essayez-le. Vous pouvez aussi vous abonner à toutes les deux semaines si vous le préférez. C’est bon pour l’environnement, c’est bio, de jeunes agriculteurs dynamiques et pas de transport sur des dizaines de mille kilomètres. Yeah!

Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co. #8
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
Colours: Quinacridone Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue and New Gambodge.

20130605_Radishes

Solitary bougainvillea :: Bougainvillier solitaire

Here is the last sketch from Cuba. I had so much trouble finding a composition on that day… can you believe it? I turned round and round and round… and then my eyes floated downwards to this very old tree stub where a very lonely bougainvilla was trying to grow — so lonely and beautiful at the same time. So I painted it. I first drew in the lines with a fountain pen and then applied the watercolours. The square format and the bigger size paper permits me to be more creative.

Voici mon dernier sketch fait de Cuba. J’ai tellement eu de la misère à trouver un sujet… pourtant… donc je tournais en rond et en rond, jusqu’au point où mes yeux se sont abaissés pour voir un morceau de bois mort, ou qui semblait mort, et ce bougainvillier qui poussait tant bien que mal. J’ai dessiné les lignes avec ma plume fontaine et ensuite mis les couleurs aquarelle. Le format de ce paper me permet d’être plus créative…

Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co. #8
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
Colours: French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Aureolin Yellow and Winsor Red.

20130626_bougainvilla

200th post :: 200e blog

This is my 200th post since I started my blog last May and I am very proud of this painting. First, because I managed to paint without using an ink pen, which I have been very reliant upon in these past few months. Second, because I painted using different layers of washes instead of painting within the ink lines… yeah! Thanks for Marc Taro Holmes for explaining to me the concept of the consistency of the watercolours as being like tea, followed by milk and finishing with honey! Third, painting has changed my life in many ways… some days it makes ma very proud, others not so much but there is always this urgency to at least try and do better. And when I do, I get such a sense of accomplishment that no job can give. Lastly but not least, I have met such a great group of people in the sketching community as well as received so much great feedback from  them, as well as from the viewers/followers on my blog — I thank thee ;-)

C’est ma 200e peinture que je poste sur mon blog depuis mai 2012 et j’en suis très fière. La première raison est que ça fait exactement 1 an que j’essaie de peindre sans utiliser une ligne d’encre et je n’y arrivais pas. Deuxièmement, j’ai peint en plusieurs couches… donc en commençant par un lavis ensuite mettre des couches subséquentes en changeant l’épaisseur de l’aquarelle. Comme Marc Taro Holmes dit: consistence du thé, ensuite celle du lait pour finir avec le miel. Troisièmement, la peinture a changé ma vie dans bien des senses. J’ai rencontré des sketchers incroyables et tous les commentaires d’encouragement que je reçois des personnes qui suivent le blog m’aident tellement… j’en suis très reconnaissante — merci!

Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co.
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
Colours: Schminke Cerulean Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Aureolin Yellow

20130622_PlayaSirena

A room with a view :: Chambre avec vue

In Cayo Largo they gave us a beautiful room with a sea view, a free upgrade. So this is the view.

I am very excited as my spouse and I have just booked our hotel for NYC as we are going to see John Singer Sargent’s Watercolor exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. If you have not heard of it, here is the link so that you can peruse it. This exhibit will close on July 28th and will move to Boston afterwards, so there is not much time left to view it.

Colours: Cobalt Blue, Mayan Blue, Aureolin Yellow, Raw Sienna & Burnt Sienna
Sketchbook:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co.Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″

20130627_RoomWithAView

Plage Cayo Largo Beach

This is a sideview from our beach in Cayo Largo… quite nice. The sea was much more feisty than it seems in my painting — but hey! I was just happy to get the colours right!
__________
Voici la vue de la plage de notre hôtel… la mer était beaucoup plus tumultueuse qu’elle en a de l’air — mais hey! J’étais juste contente d’avoir réussi la couleur.

Colours: Prussian Blue, Aureolin Yellow, Raw Sienna & Burnt Sienna
Sketchbook:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co.Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″20130625_CayoLargo