Cup of tea :: Tasse de thé

Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”
― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

I had a gruelling day of corrections to do… it all started at 8:30 am and by 3:00 pm I was exhausted. I ignored the pains that my body was emitting and dashed off to visit my godmother who is in the hospital and then head off to visit my mother at the same time who unfortunately, was not there as she was visiting a friend in need. Painting a teacup seems simple if you realize that it has three ovals within it… once you get that, then it is simpler… A whiz at painting teacups is Liz Steel as she paints them almost on a daily basis… you can check out her blog here. So I am offering you a cup of tea today and I hope that you can savour its essence -)

J’ai commencé à corriger ce matin à 8h30 et à 15h00 j’étais totalement brûlée et épuisée. Ignorant les signes que mon corps me donnaient, je me suis précipitée pour aller voir ma marraîne qui est à l’hôpital et ensuite me rendre chez ma mère qui n’était pas là… j’ai su plus tard qu’elle visitait une amie en besoin. Donc aujourd’hui je vous offre une tasse de thé et j’espère que vous allez la savourer. Une fois qu’on comprend qu’une tasse a trois ovals, la tâche est moins difficile. Si vous aimeriez voir une whiz des tasses de thé, allez voir le site de Liz Steel, une australienne ici.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Series
Colours: Q. Deep Gold, Q. Violet, Serpentine Genuine, Vivianite
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship (Flexigrip) EF
Ink: Noodlers “Bulletproof” Lexington Grey


Air of spring :: Air printanier

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 
― Albert Camus

This morning when I woke up there was a mini snowstorm going on and as the day wore on, the temperatures went up… a bit. It felt balmy at 3ºC and it was raining by 10:00 am — a sure sign that spring is in the air. This painting was done this week for a commission that I had… one painting is on its way to Colorado  as a reminder of a dream that once was while this one is staying here…

Quand je me suis réveillée ce matin, il y avait une mini-tempête de neige… ensuite elle s’est calmée, et il a commencé à pleuvoir vers 10h00, un signe certain que le printemps s’en vient. Ooooh! Que j’ai hâte. Cette peinture a été complétée cette semaine pour une commission… l’autre est sur son chemin pour le Colorado rejoindre quelqu’un avec un rêve qui a été…

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 8″ x 8″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Bulletproof Lexington Grey


Dominical Dim Sums :: Dim sum dominical

L’expérience est une lanterne que l’on porte sur le dos et qui n’éclaire jamais que le chemin parcouru
— Confucius

While dim sum (literally meaning: touch the heart) was originally not a main meal, only a snack, and therefore only meant to touch the heart, it is now a staple of Cantonese dining culture, especially in Hong Kong. — Wikipedia

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met today at Restaurant Kam Fung in the Chinese District. The room was packed and we were 20+ urban sketchers that regrouped to draw…. and eat. When the waiter came to serve us the fish plate and started digging into it in order to divide it amongst us, we stopped him as we were seeing a work of art as opposed to something to eat… so we painted this beauty, and of course ate it afterwards.

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal se sont regroupés aujourd’hui au joyeux Restaurant Kam Fungdans le quartier chinois. Leur spécialité sont les Dim Sums et ils sont exquis. Nous étions 20+ qui se sont regroupés ensemble pour peindre… et ensuite manger. Quand le serveur est arrivé avec l’assiette de poisson et s’est mis à le couper en quartiers pour qu’on se le partage, nous lui avons demandé d’arrêter car nous voulions peindre cette oeuvre d’art! Pour ensuite pouvoir la manger -)

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Series
Paint: Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey




Vernal Equinox :: L’Équinoxe du printemps

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” 
― Yoko Ono

Even though the vernal equinox arrived yesterday, it is still winter here. The sun is getting hotter and it is making the snow melt… but oooh so slowly. The rivulets of water running down the street are just starting and they have announced more snow for tomorrow. I will not despair though as I can see that the birds are arriving in great flocks, my dog has been howling and prowling throughout the nights as the critters are waking up from their long nights’ sleep and I am happy. Happy that spring has arrived.

L’équinoxe du printemps est arrivé hier et nous sommes encore en hiver…. même si le soleil est de plus en chaud, et qu’il réussit à faire fondre un peu de neige, ohhh à quelle lenteur. Et en plus, ils annoncent d’autre neige pour demain. Mais je ne désespère pas car je sais qu’il va poindre son nez très bientôt car les oiseaux arrivent en grande envolée, les animaux nocturnes se réveillent et mon chien hurle et se promène de long en large pendant toute la nuit… donc ce n’est pas surprenant qu’il dorme toute la journée! Il est épuisé -))) Ces sons me rendent heureuse. Heureuse que le printemps soit enfin arrivé.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 140 lbs
Colours: Q. Gold, Q. Orange, Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Colour Palette :: Palette de couleurs

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not surprising that this morning I woke up with chills and feeling feverish as we have had below normal temperatures for the past 5 months. I had the courage to clean up my colour palette and I threw about 1/3 of my paints out as they were largely unused — such a waste of money for a scottish woman, but I am happy to have clean and new colours in my watercolour palette. This is my Mijello Fusion Airtight/Leakproof palette that holds 18 different colours but mostly it is wonderful because of the mixing area which is quite big.

Ce matin je me suis réveilllée avec des frissons et quand j’ai ouvert la porte pour faire sortir le chien je savais que la grippe me guettait. J’ai décidé de nettoyer ma palette d’aquarelles qui en avait bien besoin car j’avais au moins 1/3 de mes couleurs que je n’utilise jamais. Ceci est ma palette Mijello Fusion qui est très bonne car la surface de mélange est très grande et bien lisse et peut contenir jusqu’à 18 couleurs.

Colours: 1. W&N Indigo, 2. Sch. Prussian Blue, 3. W&N French Ultramarine, 4. W&N Cobalt Blue, 5. W&N Cerulean Blue, 6. DS Serpentine Genuine, 7. DS Chrinacridone Gold, 8. W&N Raw Sienna, 9. W&N Burnt Umber, 10. W&N Burnt Sienna, 11. DS Chrinacridone Burnt Orange, 12. DS Mayan Violet, 13. DS Alizarin Crimson, 14. DS Cadmium Red, 15. W&N Red Madder Genuine, 16. DS New Gambodge, 17. W&N Cadmium Yellow, 18. W&N Aureolin Yellow.




Spring Cleaning :: Ménage du printemps

When I am finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it–a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand–as a kind of final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it is bad art.
— Marc Chagall

Being cheap in painting is a sure way of ruining a fine drawing. (Note to myself: please remember this one Jane!) I have been yearning to clean up my colour palette and add some new paints for quite awhile now… So as a true representative of the scottish tribe that I am–let’s say frugal–I have been trying to finish off the unused paints before cleaning up my palette… with the disastrous effect that there is a reason why I have not been using them… they are just bad colours, for me anyway. So tomorrow I will be spring cleaning my palette and start fresh. Let’s stop this frugalness… for now -)))

Étant une vraie écossaise — donc frugale — j’ai tendance à garder certaines couleurs dans ma palette, même celles qui ne m’interpellent pas — en essayant de les utiliser quand même! Donc demain je vais faire le ménage du printemps dans mes couleurs et repartir à neuf. C’est assez les niaiseries -)

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray


Shadows :: Ombres

“Art actually happens somewhere in the space between clarity and ambiguity, concept and intuition, thought and feeling.” 
― Bert Dodson, Keys to Drawing

I have been pondering on the quality of shadows and how to paint them and one of my Belgian WordPress friends came to the rescue. She did a bit of research and found that to have an acceptable colour for the shadows, in principle we mix three colours: the darkest shadow tone of the object with its complementary and some blue. I tried it today and she is right! Yeah! I am very happy as I have been struggling with my shadow colours. Merci Christine! This apartment building stands on the rue Champlain in front of Jamunik in Valleyfield and it was a beautiful spring day today — finally starting to get warmer.

Ça fait des lunes que j’ai de la misère à trouver la bonne couleur pour mes ombres et une de mes amies WordPress de la Belgique est venue à mon secours. Pour obtenir une couleur correcte de l’ombre on mélange en principe 3 couleurs : la tonalité la plus sombre de l’objet, sa complémentaire et du bleu. Et ça l’a fonctionné Christine — merci -) Ce bloc appartements est situé sur la rue Champlain, just en face de la Librairie Jamunik à Valleyfield. C’était une superbe journée de printemps aujourd’hui — finalement le temps se réchauffe -)

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Q. Gold, Q. Deep Gold, Alizarin Crimson & Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Corner of Du Marché Street :: Coin rue Du Marché

When I was very very young, my mother had told me that I could not go further than this corner… I remember full well one day of setting foot on the “other” side of that corner — the forbidden one!

Je me rappelle, étant très très jeune, que ma mère m’avait dit que je ne pouvais pas dépasser ce coin! Le coin de la rue Du Marché et du Chemin Larocque… je me rappelle très bien de la journée que j’ai déposé le pied sur le territoire “interdit”.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Sketchbook
Colours: Alizarin Yellow, Q. Deep Gold, French Ultramarine & Alizarin Crimson
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey


WordPress Login

If you are interested in commenting on my website, there are a few easy steps that you need to take. I find that this is the easiest way of becoming a subscriber. Here goes…



1. You need to click at the bottom of the image that you wish to comment on. You will need to click on “Leave a comment”

Now you need to login to be able to post a comment. However, the first time that you do this, you will be asked to “Register” a username and an email account. You will do this.

2. Click on “Login” and a popup window will appear.

3. This popup window appears once you click on “Login” and the first time you will need to click on “Register”. Once you have become a subscriber, this step will not be needed anymore.













4. The first time that you register, you will put in a username of your choice, and then your email address. WordPress will then send you an email to your email account, and give you a temporary password to login. There is also a CAPTCHA Anti Spam section that you need to fill-out… just look at the letters (in caps or lower case) and numbers, and repeat the same numbers.

5.  In your Email account, you will then receive an email with your email address and your password information.The password is WordPress that has generated it for you.






6. Now you will click on the blue link at the bottom which will bring you back to the login page. You will enter your username with the password that WordPress generated for you.














7. You will then be guided to your Profile page, where you will be able to change your password and generate your own.


8. Final step, change your password at the bottom of your Profile page. You will be asked to write it twice.


Voilà! Now you will simply need to put in your Username and password anytime that you wish to comment -))) And no worries, I or no one else, can see your password.

Take 1, 2 & 3 :: Prise 1, 2 & 3

My mother gave fancy teacups to my little sister, who in turn has handed them over to me — so this is my chance to paint these dainty teacups. They look easy to paint, but I struggled. I struggled with my shadows — I always do — so after being unsatisfied with my first attempt, I ended up doing three. Let me know which one that you prefer? And is there anyone out there that has a recipe for shadows? I know that they should be a complementary colour, but phew! Not enough water or too much water on top of that. All in all I am happy with my teacups as when I paint, I am happy -)

Ma mère a donné de belles tasses à thé à ma soeur, qui à son tour me les a données. Donc voici ma chance de peindre ces beaux objets qui ont de l’air si facile à peindre… mais vraiment pas! Donc insatisfaite de ma première tasse de thé, j’en ai repaint deux autres, pour faire un trio. Dites-moi celle que vous préférez le plus? Et quelqu’un d’entre vous avez-vous une recette pour les ombrages? Moi ce que je fais est plutôt de prendre la couleur complémentaire, mais si vous avez une autre solution, j’aimerais bien la savoir. J’ai finalement eu le temps de peindre ce soir, et quand je peins, je suis heureuse )

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Sketchbook
Colours: Q. Gold, Q. Deep Gold, Q. Rose, Q. Violet and Schminke Cerulean Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey

20140304_teacup 20140304_teacup2 20140304_teacup3