Old Abandoned Farmhouse :: Vieille ferme abandonnée

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields
that it kisses them so gently?
And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt;
and perhaps it says
“Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
— Lewis Carroll

On the last day of February the sun was blazing and it felt hotter than it has in many weeks and the forecast is showing that tomorrow we might actually reach +3°C… which will feel very warm for us. This week is our March Break and it is very welcome, as I do have quite a bit of correcting to do and my plan is to paint, read, soak up a bit of sun and relax… Here is an old farmhouse on St. George Road that I have painted before and which I love, even though it is quite dilapidated as no one has been living there for quite awhile now. No matter, the setting is gorgeous!

Pour la dernière journée de février, le soleil était intense et chaleureux et pour demain ils annoncent des températures de +3°C qui va nous sembler comme les tropiques à comparer des -25°C que nous avons connus ces derniers mois. Cette semaine est la Semaine de relâche et elle va faire un grand bien… je veux peindre évidemment, lire, prendre un peu de soleil (s’il y en a) et relaxer… Voici une vieille maison de ferme sur le chemin St-Georges que j’ai déjà peint et que j’aime beaucoup, même si elle est bien maganée car il n’y a plus personne qui y vit depuis un bon bout de temps. Pas grave, la vue est incroyable!

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″ x 8″
Colours: New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Q. Orange & Prussian Blue
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


Dried Roses :: Roses séchées

Be like the bird that,
passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her,
and yet sings,
knowing that she hath wings.

— Victor Hugo

These are the remnants of Valentine’s Day, my dried up peach roses. I find them as beautiful as the fresh ones, even though they have dropped, are crinkly and shrivelled -) I just wanted to mention that the fountain pen that I used for this drawing is quite special. It is extremely fine and is about 25$, which is a very good deal. I bought it on Amazon and I am extremely happy with it. I also bought a converter to put the ink in it and I think that I paid about 8$.

Voici les roses de la St-Valentin de couleur pêche qui sont toutes séchées, défraîchies, tombantes et recroquevillées sur elles-même, et elles sont toujours aussi belles. Je voulais mentionner que j’utilise souvent cette plume fontaine que j’aime beaucoup car le bout est très fin. Je l’ai acheté sur Amazon avec le convertisseur pour l’encre et je suis très contente de sa qualité. 

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


Moleskine Sketchbook :: Carnet Moleskine

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. 
— Leonard Cohen

I felt like drawing tonight so I decided to use my Moleskine Sketchbook that has a wonderful smooth surface that permits the fountain pen to glide… and when you put watercolour on this paper, the paint pearls instead of gliding blissfully. This makes the drawing look very grungy, which is nice… sometimes. There is an artist named Wil Freeborn that often paints using the Moleskine Sketchbooks.

J’avais le goût de dessiner ce soir et j’ai sorti mon livret à croquis de Moleskine qui est un papier superbe pour les dessins car l’encre glisse et le papier est d’un douceur! Par contre, il donne un effet assez contraire avec les aquarelles car la peinture, au lieu de glisser, semble perler et ceci peut donner des résultats heureux… des fois. Il y a un artiste Wil Freeborn qui peint souvent dans ce style de livret avec de beaux résultats.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Colours: Burnt Umber & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Reference photograph


Mild Grey Day :: Journée grise & douce

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path,
we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path,
we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
—  Henry David Thoreau

This post is for Linda… and I hope that you are enjoying the sun and the warmth of the southern climes. Despite all of the the grading and preparation for my classes that I must do I have managed to enjoy my day. Today everyone in my region seemed to be outdoors as we were hovering near the 0ºC and it felt wonderful, even if there was no sun — we have been living in -20ºC to -30ºC weather for the past month, and today’s temperature was a very sweet change. On grey days, it is hard to make things pop as there are hardly any shadows so I tried experimenting with some colours, and see how I could keep a subdued hue and keep the painting soft. These are the poultry farms on our campus which abuts the McDonald Campus, McGill’s agricultural campus.

En dépit de toutes les corrections et la préparation pour mes cours j’ai réussi à aimer ma journée. Aujourd’hui il semble que tout le monde dans ma région était dehors à prendre plaisir à saluer les températures clémentes… 0ºC pour nous semble bien chaud à comparer aux températures de -20ºC et -30ºC que nous avons eues pendant le dernier mois. Quand les journées sont grises comme aujourd’hui il n’y a pas d’ombres donc les peintures sont moins contrastées et peut-être plus atmosphériques et c’est ceci que j’ai essayé de créer. Voici les poulaillers du campus McDonald, la section agricole de l’université McGill.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Series
Colours: Q. Gold, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada


Reflections :: Reflets

How right it is to love flowers and the greenery of pines
and ivy and hawthorn hedges;
they have been with us from the very beginning.
— Vincent Van Gogh.

One of the advantages to teaching in the mornings is that I have some afternoons free to paint! As the flu seems to be finally over and today was not as frigid as it has been in the past weeks, it just felt good to draw what I was seeing. As you can see, the snow was melting today creating beautiful reflections on the asphalt. Paper quality in watercolour painting is very important as depending on the paper that you are using, the intensity of the colours might change as some papers absorb more than others. The paper that I used seems to let the paint glide on it, and makes some interesting effects (as you can see in the sky).

Un des avantages à enseigner le matin est que je peux prendre certains après-midis pour peindre. La température aujourd’hui était bien plus clémente que dans les dernières semaines permettant aux reflects d’immeubles de se créer dans la neige fondante. Le papier utilisé en aquarelle est très important, car certains papiers absorbent beaucoup trop la peinture — ou pas assez — dans certains cas. Le papier que j’ai utilisé aujourd’hui laisse l’aquarelle glisser sur la feuille avec le résultat que vous voyez dans le ciel… assez intéressant.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Series
Colours: Q. Gold, Q. Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber & Payne’s Gray
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada


Arctic Circle :: Cercle arctique

“The hand-made life is based on having an idea of how you envision your life unfolding, and then proceeding with it slowly, but surely. Not being seduced by the dancing girls or dancing boys along the road; not being taken away by promises of a faster, quicker, easier, more wonderful short cut, but staying with the job of crafting your life very closely and very carefully…
The handcrafted life is very much like this. It takes a lifetime to accomplish. It emerges from a small and infinitely exquisite piecing together of one’s inner and outer lives, these being crafted, played, woven together every day, every week, every month, come summer, come winter, the same. The overall magnificence takes many years. It cannot be fast-forwarded.”

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

For the past two weeks I have been down with the flu, and what a flu was it! I think that I slept more in the past two weeks than in a normal months’ time.  I am sure glad that it is almost over even though there are still remnants of it floating in the air around me. Today was a joyful day as I did two things that I love.  The first one is listening to majestic music such as J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Aria no. 65 and the other is to have the time to paint something that I like and that turned out not too shabbily. So today I happily painted the Arctic Circle where I work at John Abbott College, which is an outside tunnel that has an oval form that links two buildings together.

Les deux dernières semaines j’ai eu la grippe et quelle grippe! Elle m’a assommée d’aplomb et j’ai dormi pendant le jour, une chose qui m’arrive très rarement. Je suis très contente qu’elle soit passée et aujourd’hui j’étais bien heureuse de peindre le Cercle arctique Cégep John Abbott. Il y a deux choses que j’aime beaucoup, la première est d’écouter la majestueuse musique de J. S. Bach La Passion de St-Matthew, Aria no. 65 et d’avoir le temps de peindre en ayant un résultat respectable. 

Paper: Travelogue Handbook Series
Colours: New Gambodge, Q. Orange, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada


Bump, Bump, Bump Little Heart

Bump, bump, bump little heart
along this journey
we’ve gone together,
you piping all the fuel.
You’re fistsize, and fistlike
you clench and unclench,
clench and unclench,
keeping this head upright
to batter its way
through the walls of the day.
— Milton Acorn, the People’s Poet.

Yesterday’s drawings turned into paintings today. The bottom painting was my first one and the face has not enough highlights but I am happy the T-shirt. I am happy with the black dress painting. It was kind of cool to transform a very informal gesture drawing into something more tangible and the way that Marc teaches it makes it nice. I am feeling more at ease now that I have started and I should soon follow up with my next one.

Paper: Bockingford CP 140 lbs.
Colours: Prussian Blue, Aureolin Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey