November has past :: Novembre n’est plus…

November has past by and life is speeding… what with Christmas at our doorstep, cooking, shopping and trivial pursuits of all kind, this blog permits me to find gratitude for the life that I have. I am a lucky woman, with many old and dear friends, a wonderful spouse, a smaller older family and a thriving younger one, and me standing right in between! This past wednesday we had our first official snow of the season, and outside everything is white — and I love it -)

Novembre vient de passer et ce blog me donne un certain recul pour regarder ma vie et trouver un moment de gratitude. Je suis une femme choyée par la vie! J’ai de bons vieux amis, un super chum, une famille où les vieux se font plus rares et que les jeunes festoient, et moi qui veille en plein milieu! Mercredi dernier nous avons eu  notre première neige qui est restée au sol et tout est blanc dehors… et j’adore -)

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

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Kamouraska Lighthouse :: Phare de Kamouraska

Try to paint canvases that will show how interesting the landscape is to you — your pleasure in the thing. Wit.
— The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

The Kamouraska lighthouse is something! In front of the majestic St. Lawrence River, facing the Massif mountain and Charlevoix, its beauty is unique and still unknown by many. The village of Kamouraska is quaint, can easily be walked its full width and length and has some fabulous artisanal/culinary shops where they make, bake, cook and create regional delicacies & crafts. I am definitely going back there next summer -)

For once I can say that I am happy with my painting… this is a rare feat. Usually I have to wait until the following morning to have a sense of detachment and be able to judge it as if the painting belonged to someone else. I tell myself: “If someone else had painted this, would you be able to appreciate it?” When Robert Henri says that we must “love” the subject of our painting, he is so right!

Voici le phare de Kamouraska  (dans un petit village avoisinant) qui est situé sur le majestueux fleuve St-Laurent et faisant face à Charlevoix et le mont Massif. Quelle vue et paix! Le village de Kamouraska est un petit village où il fait bon marcher, sentir l’air salin, visiter les boutiques et restos où ils font, cuisinent, inventent, pêchent, produisent de tout, et de haute qualité artisanale. Je vais y retourner l’été prochain!

Pour une fois que je suis contente tout de suite après avoir fini une peinture… celle-ci je l’aime. Elle me rappelle de bons souvenirs, et pendant que je la peignais, je savais que je l’aimerais… quand Robert Henri dit qu’on doit tout d’abord “aimer” notre sujet, il a tellement raison! Une autre leçon pour moi… si le sujet me laisse indifférente, il vaut mieux ne pas le peindre…

Paper: Hank•book Travelogue series
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Red & Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

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At the end of the day :: À la fin du jour

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual—become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.
—The Art Spirit, Robert Henri.

I have been missing painting/drawing/thinking about painting in the past days but either that I am too busy or just too tired… yikes! The semester has been long, with many hardships and some joys. My students are very nice, and most of them seem interested in what I have to say, so this fills most of my days with meaning… other days are filled with grading, course lessons, course plans, correcting, giving back grades, and trying to bring up my energy levels to suffice the requirements of teaching 85 16-18 year olds. I get home happy, fatigued and in great need of some quiet time!

De ce temps-ci, je n’ai que le temps de préparer/corriger/planfier mes cours et très peu pour peindre, dessiner ou même réfléchir sur la peinture. Ça me manque, mais bientôt je vais avoir du temps pour renouer avec ces choses que j’aime tant! 

Paper: Hank•book Travelogue series
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna and Payne’s Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

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Amarone II

You know that I am extremely busy when I publish a value sketch instead of a finished painting… the reason is that I am nearing the end of the semester and I have been correcting non-stop every weekend for the past 3 weekends and will continue doing so for, it seems, eternity -).

This is my brothers’ sailboat, a CS Merlin 36, which I plan on painting from a photograph. I used Payne’s Grey to evaluate the tonal values, about 3 (from light to dark) and plan on the composition of the painting. I am hoping to paint it some time soon. This is a very good way of planning a painting.

Vous savez que je suis très occupée quand je publie un sketch en valeurs de tons au lieu d’une peinture. Par contre, je dois dire que c’est un très bon exercice à faire pour planifier une peinture, car j’évalue les valeurs de tons de l’image ainsi que la composition… un deux en un -)

Paper: Hand•book Travelogue 5″ x 5″
Colours: Payne’s Grey
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
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Memoirs of Hadrian

Do the best one can. Do it over again. Then still improve, even if ever so slightly, those retouches. “It is myself that I re-make,” said the poet Yeats in speaking of his revisions.
— Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar.

I am presently reading Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. A testamentary letter from the emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius and it is  beautifully written…  its accurate historical moments, its psychological depth all work to make it a beautifully written novel. Well worth reading.

Driving back from visiting my mother yesterday, I stopped on Route 201 in St. Clet to paint this landscape. Lo and behold, as I had just finished my painting and was getting ready to put my car into gear, a police car pulls behind me and turns on his flashing lights. Heaven to Betsy! I thought… why do they want to give me a ticket? Then I wait in the car as I know that we should… I wait… I wait… then I turn around to look at the police car and no sign from them. Hum. What to do? Argh. I decided to put on my flasher, and just leave. They followed me until they had to turn to go someplace else. I think that they were trying to keep me safe as there were many cars passing on that road? So I continued on my little merry way, just happy not to get a ticket!!! Phew!

Hier en revenant de visiter ma mère j’ai décidé de peindre ce paysage au bord de la route 201 et tout comme je venais de finir, la police s’arrête derrière moi et met ses girophares clignotants. Eh bien! Je vais me faire donner un ticket? Argh! J’attends… et j’attends pour qu’ils débarquent de leur automobile et me donner le fameux ticket… et rien. Que faire? Je me revire de bord pour les regarder et je ne vois personne dans l’auto car il pleut. Tiens! Je pars, tout de go! Je mets mon signal et je pars. L’automobile de police me suit, éteint ses gyrophares et tourne pour se rendre à sa destination… et moi je continue sur mon petit poutte poutte de chemin. Fiou! Pas de ticket! Je crois qu’ils ont fait ça pour me permettre de décoller sécuritairement sur cette voie assez passante. Merci la police -)

Paper: Hand•Book Travelogue
Colours: Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship “Flexi Grip” EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

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Andrew Wyeth

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
— Andrew Wyeth

This is the Casgrain Building at John Abbott College where I work. Yesterday I received a gift that I made to myself in the form of a book “Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography”. It is an amazingly well thought out and well worded book as it shows in chronological order this amazing artists’ life work accompanied by his own comments on the painting process for each and every painting. I am definitely inspired!

Le building Casgrain au Cégep John Abbott où je travaille. Hier j’ai reçu un cadeau que je me suis fait à moi-même, sous forme de livre intitulé “Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography”. C’est un livre de très haute qualité imprimée, intelligent et démontre, en ordre chronologique, ses toiles ainsi qu’un commentaire de Wyeth sur le procédé encouru avec chaque toile. Ça vaut vraiment la peine et je suis hyper inspirée!

Paper: Hand•book Travelogue
Colours: Raw Sienna, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Q. Burnt Orange, French Ultramarine
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey

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Live Model :: Modèle vivant

There is nothing in all the world more beautiful or significant of the laws of the universe than the nude human body. In fact it is not only among the artists but amongst all people that a greater appreciation and respect for the human body should develop. When we respect the nude we will no longer have any shame about it.
— The Art Spirit, Robert Henri 

A live model opportunity where we had to paint very quickly, in 10 minute passes. For the first 10 minutes with pencil, then 10 minutes for the first wash. Then move on to a new pose, 10 minutes for pencil, then 10 minutes for the first wash. Alternating between two paintings, we finally managed to quickly draw this live model.

Modèle vivant peint très vite. Première étape en crayon pour 10 minutes, ensuite un autre 10 minutes pour mettre le premier lavis. Alterner pour une autre pose pour un autre 10 minutes en crayon, et 10 minutes premier lavis…. ainsi de suite.

Paper: Bockingford 140 lbs CP
Colours: Rose Madder, Cerulean Blue and Aureolin Yellow

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Celtic Goddess :: Déesse celtique

A painting for a children’s story… or someone a tad older. I had the chance to be present when a live model and a few props accompanying her created a very gothic/celtic atmosphere — even halloweenesque? What I really enjoy about this class is that Marc Taro Holmes is really pushing us into unknown territory (at least for me) and is very honest in his critiques.

Une peinture pour un livre d’enfants… ou un peu plus vieux. J’ai eu la chance d’être présente lors de cette séance de modèle vivant et son étayage donnant une atmosphère assez gothique/celtique… même halloweenesque? Ce que j’aime le plus de la classe de Marc Taro Holmes est qu’il nous pousse dans un territoire inconnu (au moins pour moi) et qu’il est très honnête dans ses critiques. 

Paper: Arches paper 140 lb CP
Colours: Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine and Raw Sienna.

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Burning Bush :: Fusain ailé

Perhaps we delight in evening because we have had the day.
— The Art Spirit by Robert Henri.

Today is the day that we switched our clocks backwards by one hour… and this feels very good indeed. To me these are the normal hours that we should be living by in our north easterly region in North America. This feels normal as opposed to the daily savings time DST. Here is a Winged Spindle or commonly known as Burning Bush that I painted on my lot…

Aujourd’hui le temps a reculé d’une heure et ça fait du bien! Je trouve que ce temps, ce temps normal, par rapport à l’heure avancée de l’est que nous venons de quitter, est l’heure où je me sens bien, non précipitée ou bousculée… le temps coule plus facilement… plus facilement qu’à l’heure avancée. Voici ma version de l’arbuste fusain ailé que j’ai peint de notre terrain…

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10
Colours: Alizarin Crimson, Mayan Violet, Q. Burnt Orange, Burnt Sienna, Serpentine Genuine, Raw Sienna and French Ultramarine (such a cacophony of colours)
Pen: Pilot Penmanship Flexi Grip EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

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