New Year’s Eve :: Veille du Jour de l’an

Tonight for the New Year, or Saint Sylvester, there will be many festivities, family reunions and friends feasting together…  I will be one of those. I am lucky to have a few good friends, a wonderful family and a loving husband. This was painted in the St. James Church park. Here is my toast to you.

I wish you health, love, wisdom and a long life!

Ce soir pour le Nouvel an, ou la Saint-Sylvestre, autour de la planète il va y avoir beaucoup de festivités entre amis et familles. J’y serai! Voici mes salutations à vous -)

Je vous souhaite santé, amour, sagesse et une très longue vie!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt Blue
Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

Knowledge & words & lines :: Le savoir & les mots & les lignes

All knowledge cannot be expressed in words, yet our education is based almost exclusively on its written or spoken forms. But the artist, dancer, and mystic have learned to develop the nonverbal portion of intelligence.
― Robert Ornstein, american psychologist

I will mention something that has become quite evident for me over time, but when you are drawing, you should always start drawing with the  foreground objects first and the background objects last… especially when you are drawing with indelible ink. That way you do not get caught crossed over lines that should not have been! This is a farm on Route 201 in St. Clet, Québec, Canada.

Mon expérience en dessin m’amène à partager ce que j’ai appris au fil du temps… quand vous dessinez, surtout avec une plume indélibile, toujours commencer par les objets qui se trouvent en-avant et finir avec ceux qui sont dans le fond… de cette façon vous allez éviter de faire des lignes qui ne doivent pas apparaître!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue
Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray



Dominical painting :: Peinture dominicale

“An artist painting a picture should have at his side a man with a club to hit him over the head when the picture is finished.” 
― John Singer Sargent

We have had so many parties, family encounters and friend requests, that I have not had the time to paint as I have wished. So I told my husband today that painting was my priority for this dominical day. So here is a sketch of St. James Church in Hudson. Because I have not painted in 6 days, I felt quite rusty and my hand-eye coordination was off, as were my colours. In the hope of painting during this coming week to get the colours back in my eyes -) — I love this quote by Sargent… it represents well today’s painting, I was so happy to be painting that I overworked it and in some parts it has become muddy.

Les deux dernières semaines ont été tellement occupées par des partys, des rencontres de famille et des requêtes d’amis pour se voir que je n’ai pas pu peindre autant que j’aurais voulu. Donc en ce matin dominical, j’ai dit à mon chum que ma priorité était de peindre… même si je suis tout à fait rouillée et que les couleurs ne sont plus présentes dans mes yeux. -)

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, B. Orange, Raw Sienna
Fountain Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ #41


Happy Holidays :: Joyeuses Fêtes

Contour Drawing: Sit close to the model or object and lean forward in your chair. Focus your eyes on some point along the contour of the model. Place the point of your pencil on the paper. Imagine that your pencil point is touching the model instead of the paper. Without taking your eyes off the model, wait until your are convinced that the pencil is touching the model upon which your eyes are fastened. Then move your eye slowly along the contour of the model and move the pencil slowly along the paper. As you do this, keep the conviction that the pencil point is actually touching the model. Be guided more by the sense of touch than by sight.
— The Natural way to draw by Nicolaides.

I wish you peace, love and wisdom. Je vous souhaite de la paix, de l’amour et de la sagesse.




Winter solstice :: Solstice d’hiver

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” 
― Hermann Hesse

After our -25ºC temperatures, we received flurries, freezing rain, freezing pellets and a very slippery and grey day. It is the winter solstice… the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the longest one in the southern hemisphere. I always look forward to this day as it gives me hope! Hope that tomorrow the day will grow longer and that Spring is coming… slowly but surely.

Aujourd’hui nous avons reçu de la neige, du verglas, du grésille et c’était la plus courte journée de l’hiver — ceci me réjouit — à partir de demain, les journées rallongent et le printemps s’en vient, à petits pas, tout doucement… mais sûrement!

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook II
Colours: Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Orange and White Gouache
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Gray


Baby it’s cold outside :: Sapristi, y fait frette dehors

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.” 
― Marcel Proust

After correcting some of my students’ work, I hopped into the car and realized that it would be too cold to paint in the car. In the past few days, temperatures went down to -25ºC! So I took a photograph of this old farm in Hudson, and dashed back home. It is not as fresh as when I paint en plein-air, but still. It felt good to paint in my studio-kitchen with a warm cup of green tea by my side and the full sun falling on my back. Some days I have alot to be grateful for.

Après avoir corrigé quelques travaux d’élèves ce matin, je suis partie en automobile pour peindre… et j’ai réalisé qu’il faisait encore trop froid pour pouvoir confortablement peindre dans mon auto. Les derniers jours ont vu la température descendre à -25ºC! Donc j’ai pris une photo de cette vieille grange et je suis revenue chez moi pour peindre dans mon studio-cuisine avec une bonne tasse de thé vert avec le soleil plombant dans mon dos. Il y a des jours où la vie est douce.

Larolan Sketchbook #10
Colours: Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber & White gouache
Fountain pen: Pilot penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray
Reference photo taken by Jane Hannah

First snow :: Première neige

We had our first snow “storm?” last night and woke up to 12 inches of snow… my husband actually measured it this morning -) So this afternoon, at about 3:00 pm, I decided to paint one of the scenes that caught my eye. It was still snowing lightly, very softly…

Notre première vraie neige de la saison avec 12 pouces ce matin… mon chum l’a mesurée -) Cet après-midi, vers 3:00 pm, j’ai décidé de peindre cette scène qui a capté mon regard. Il neigeait tout doucement…

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook II
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Payne’s Grey


Painting as music :: Peindre comme la musique

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death” 
― Leonardo da Vinci

Today I was ruminating on the process of painting and I suddenly realized that the musical process is very similar to the painting process (as some of you know, my first degree was in music). In learning a musical piece, we actually cut it up into small sequences, and concentrate on the very demanding parts… once these parts have been mastered, then all parts can be played in a seamless manner.

Painting is similar…. as we tend to look at the most difficult parts of the painting, we practice them on scrap paper… once the logic of the angle, or of the perspective or the values or of the colours have been solved, then we can start painting our piece. So here are little bits of practice drawings to show the process… these are called thumbnails.

Aujourd’hui j’ai beaucoup réfléchi sur le processus de peindre… et il ressemble beaucoup à celui de jouer de la musique. Pour apprendre une pièce, nous nous concentrons sur les parties plus difficiles pour les maîtriser et ensuite, nous regardons la pièce dans son ensemble. Pour peindre, nous regardons les niveaux de difficulté de certaines régions de la pièce… les valeurs de tonalité, la perspective, les couleurs à utiliser, et une fois que nous avons pris la décision, nous sommes prêts à peindre le tout.

Moleskine Sketchbook
Pen: Twisbi Mini Classic EF
Colour: Noodlers #41 Brown


In the hope of painting :: Dans l’espoir de peindre

Here is the St. James Cemetery in Hudson that I painted yesterday… but only had time to scan in today. Winter is upon us and we had 10 cm of snow today, which felt really nice and my road is white with snow. Tomorrow is my last day of official teaching for this fall semester… I say official as I am far from finished. I have to correct a total of 86 students, with multiple projects each, plus meetings and then starting to prep for the new semester. But no matter, I will have more time to paint, I hope, on a daily basis.

Voici le cimetière St-James de Hudson que j’ai peint hier et que je n’ai eu le temps de numériser qu’aujourd’hui. L’hiver est arrivé et ma rue est toute blanche de neige — c’est beau et ça fait du bien! Demain est ma dernière journée officielle d’enseignement mais je suis loin d’avoir fini. Avec 86 élèves, et plusieurs projets chaque à corriger, plus les réunions et la nouvelle préparation pour l’hiver, je ne chômerai pas. Par contre, je souhaite de tout coeur pouvoir au moins peindre à tous les jours à partir de la semaine prochaine -)

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue


Drawing for painting :: Dessiner pour peindre

I love drawing and during my class with Marc, he told us many times that if our drawing is not good, the painting will not improve it! So a painting needs good bones — or should I say a good drawing, either in pencil or ink… I myself love to draw in ink so I drew this with grey ink. Now this drawing is ready for painting! I should not have outlined the base of the trees as there is snow that is going there… and I did not outline the bricks of the small shed. The location is the St. James Cemetery in Hudson.

J’aime dessiner et dans le cours à Marc il nous a répété bien des fois que si le dessin n’est pas bon, la peinture ne l’améliorera pas! Donc une peinture doit avoir un bon squelette, ou un bon dessin que je devrais dire. J’aime dessiner à l’encre grise et je n’aurais pas dû délimiter la base des arbres car c’est de la neige qui va là et je n’ai pas contourner les briques de la shed. Cet endroit est le cimetière St-James à Hudson.

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