:: Magic light ::

I was not ready for abstraction. I clung to earth and her dear shapes, her density, her herbage, her juice. I wanted her volume, and I wanted to hear her throb.
— Emily Carr

I met with the Linda Drewry group of painters today and we painted in Parc Valois on the Lake of Two Mountains in Vaudreuil. The first painting that I did this morning is the top one which is outlined in ink and the second one I tried tonight from a reference photo that I took. If I could work magin, I would take the upper half of the bottom one and take the bottom half of the top one to create a nicer painting… alas, this will not happen and that is fine too.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: New Gambodge, Maroon Perylene, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue & Violet.
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Black Carbon Ink
Location: Parc Valois in Vaudreuil, Québec, Canada



:: Kalkan Bay ::

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers, that the mind can never break off from the journey.
— (Pat Conroy)

Kalkan Bay on the Turquoise Coast is stunning! Stunningly beautiful, stunningly hot and stunningly steep… One of the advantages to this steep landscape is that almost everyone has a view… and what a view! It took my breath away, with every glance.

La baie de Kalkan sur la côte turquoise est magnifique! Incroyablement belle, incroyablement chaude et incroyablement arpentée. Un des avantages de ce paysage est que presque tout le monde ont une vue… et quelle vue! Elle m’a coupée le souffle, avec chaque regard.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: Azzo Yellow, New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Maroon Perylene, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue and French Ultramarine.
Fountain Pen: Carbon Pen Desk
Ink: Carbon Ink
Location: Kalkan, Turkey


:: Anecdoche ::

Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening, simply overlaying disconnected words like a game of Scrabble, with each player borrowing bits of other anecdotes as a way to increase their own score, until we all run out of things to say.
— Dictionary of obscure sorrows (The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.)

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met up today at the Marché Jean Talon Market and we must have been around 12-15 people, even though it rained all day and only 16°C. These sketchers are a sturdy bunch as our Montreal summer has been fresh. As I was painting today I was listening to the sounds of voices surrounding me and the rhythm that followed was almost musical…. I caught bits of words, parts of sentences, high and low voices and some mumbling. It was nice to hear all of the different accents, intonations and meanings and made me think that painting is just another form of “silent” communication -)

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal se sont regroupés ce matin au Marché Jean Talon et nous étions 12-15 braves, étant donné qu’il pleuvait et que la température était 16°C. Comme je peignais, j’écoutais les voix des passants autour de moi et le rythme qu’elles créaient… c’était presque musical…. j’entendais des mots, parfois des parties de phrases, des voix hautes ou basses et un peu de marmonnage. C’était trippant d’entendre tous ces différents accents et intonations et m’a fait penser que peindre n’est qu’une autre forme de communication… silencieuse -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: Azo Yellow, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Maroon Perylene, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada




Rückkerhrunruhe: the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.

I am wondering about the way our brain and memories function. Two days ago I was on a 9 hour flight back home, exhausted but happy at having encountered such a beautiful people. Then, all of a sudden, “my” life caught me in a whirlwind of appointments, laundry, hopping at the grocery store to restock the refrigerator (or our stomachs), mow the lawn, cook, answer emails… and this beautiful country which I encountered and loved, is slowly fading! Such vivid memories that were such a part of my life have been shoved aside by the demands of my current life. Hum… no matter, the memories are sweet. Coming back we had two weeks of vegetables waiting for us at the cooperative farm Tourne-Sol and we are grateful. Here is a leek.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: Azo Yellow, Serpentine Genuine, French Ultramarine & Violet
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


Patara Beach II

Patara Beach. Boy am I having a hard time painting in 40C full blasting sun. Really not my environment and I am feeling a tad overwhelmed by everything that I am seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. What a beautiful country! Tomorrow we are leaving Kalkan for Istanbul, where we will stay for 3 days and then heading back home. Can’t wait to see Pyper, family and friends but will sorely miss this wondrous country.

Travelogue Skechbook :: Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Blue Teal and Cobalt Blue :: Location: Patara Beach, Turkey


:: Patara Beach ::

During my travels to Turkey I had some troubles uploading paintings… so here is one that did not upload…

The temperatures here in Kalkan are 35C and with the humidex levels probably over 40C between noon and 5:000 pm. In Québécois there is a saying for this: “Un soleil de plomb”.  So we went to the beach today and it was totally wonderful! Patara Beach is 18 km wide with mountains backstaging it on three sides, and it has a beautiful sandy beach without one little tiny rock. A feat in itself -) It is 18 km northwest of Kalkan and we took a dolmus (minibus) to get there — cost $1.50 Cdn each — which is nothing (like everything else in Turkey).

The picture that I took with my iPhone does not render the colours correctly but at least you can imagine, a bit, what it looks like. I am slowly adjusting to the weather in Turkey when painting…. I painted a scene three times today before giving up on it. I do not know if it is the breeze that was blowing a bit and drying my paints a tad too fast, or the water that affects the watercolour or that my paper is reacting in a different way to my brush. Anyway painting watercolours is always a new experience, and today was not any different!

Thank you for reading -)

Sapristi que la Turquie est belle — Guy et moi sommes en amour avec! Nous avons passé la journée à Patara Beach et elle est magnifique! Il y avait une belle brise pour apaiser de la chaleur intense, la mer était fraîche, le sable superbe sans petits cailloux. Comme je n’ai pas de numériseur, je dois prendre une photo avec mon Iphone donc les couleurs de ma peinture ne sont pas bien rendues. Mais ça vous donne un aperçu de la beauté de la place.

Merci de lire -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook :: Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue :: Location: Patara Beach, Turkey.



Ephesus is grandiose… that is the word. Nothing more, nothing less. This painting was really nice to create as I had tons of people looking over my shoulder commenting and letting me paint. Mose of them were Italians and Chinese and that is the wonder of being an Urban Sketcher. Not painting in a studio, but painting in plein-air, with the wind for company, or the rain, or people! I used a large petit gris mop for this painting and did not use a small brush… I am trying to steer away from adding in too much detail with small brushes. Large washes are the way to go for me, for now -)

Éphèse! Quel site magnifique. La magie des Urban Sketchers s’est manifestée hier pendant que je peignais cette peinture car il y avait beaucoup de personnes qui regardaient par-dessus mon épaule et me laissait peindre. Des italiens, des chinois. Je me suis restreinte et je nai utilisé qu’un petit-gris comme pinceau car je m’éloigne des petits pinceaux car je veux créer de grands lavis -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook /// Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Maroon Perylene and French Ultramarine // Ephesus, Turkey


Galata Tower

The most prominent edifice in the New District of the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built by the Genoese in the 14th century. It has been used as a fire tower, a barracks, a dungeon, and even as a launch pad to test human flight -) In the Middle Ages this territory was Genoa as Italy controlled most of the Mediterranean. As Guy and I were sitting on the Galata Bridge sipping a glass of wine this afternoon, my view was constantly perusing this tower…. thus the painting. Many people came watching me paint over my shoulder and were making little sounds of praise, which was really nice. 

La tour Galata est la bâtisse la plus prominente du Nouveau District du Golden Horn à Istanbul et il a été construit par les Génois au 14e centenaire. Dans ce temps-la, les Italiens controlaient toute la Méditerranée (ou presque). Comme nous étions en train de siroter un verre de vin sur le pont Galata cet après-midi, j’ai décidé de peindre cette tour majestueuse. Beaucoup de personnes sont venues voir par-dessus mon épaule et me donner des signes d’encouragement. Une couple avaient des questions sur les instruments et sur le progrès que je faisais, donc c’était très agréable de leur répondre.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook // Colours: Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Maroon Perylene and Cobalt Blue // Location: Istanbul, Turkey.  

Haghia Sofia

I sat amongst many other tourists and Istanbullu in the Sultanahmet Park today with Hagya Sofia in front of me and the Blue Mosque with its six minarets behind me. Hagya Sofya means “divine wisdom” and is the most famous Byzantine building in Turkey. The soaring dome gleaming gold mosaics and innumerable stained-glass windows give it an extraordinary sense of space, mystery and  majesty. Built by Emperor Justinian it was completed in 532 — yes you have read correctly — 1500 years ago! It was proclaimed a museum by Ataturk in 1934. You could fit Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral under its’ dome.

Je me suis assise dans le parc Suntanahmet au milieu de touristes et de Turques avec Hagya Sofia en avant de moi et la Mosquée Bleue dans mon dos. Hagya Sofya veut dire “sagesse divine” et est l’immeuble Byzantin le plus reconnu dans toute la Turquie. Construite par l’empereur Justinien elle a été complétée en 532 — oui oui, vous avez bien lu — 532, il y a 1500 ans! En 1934 le grand Ataturk l’a transformée en musée. Vous pourriez mettre la cathédrale de Paris sous son dome -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook // Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Perrol, Serpentine, Deep Sap Green & French Ultramarine,  



Remnants of a bygone bridge :: Les vestiges d’un pont disparu

It’s the writing that teaches you.
— Isaac Asimov

There is something about painting that satisfies me at a level rarely equalled by any other form of activity. The combination of painting & writing about a historical event or building moves me like no other activity. If I do not do both, there is something missing. While I am painting there are words that come and visit me and when I am writing, there are bits of the painting that float in my eyes as I reflect on the process of painting. The writing helps me to reflect on what happened while I was painting. So even though I painted the remnants of a bygone bridge, it is very much alive for me.

These components come from a Canadian National Bridge span built in 1899 by the Pennsylvania Steel Company. They illustrate a bridge assembly technique that was very popular from the 1860s to the early 20th century.
— This paragraph was taken from the Park Canada placard.

Il y a quelque chose qui me satisfait énormément quand je peins qui est inégalé par aucune autre forme d’activité. La combinaison de peindre et d’écrire, surtout sur un contexte historique me touche. Si je ne combine pas ces deux formes d’art, il y a quelque chose qui me manque. Quand je peins, il y a des mots qui viennent me rendre visite et quand j’écris, il y a des morceaux de peinture qui flottent dans mes yeux alors que je réfléchis sur la peinture. L’écriture m’aide à comprendre ce que j’ai fait. Donc, même si je peins les vestiges d’un pont disparu, il est très vivant pour moi!

Ces pièces proviennent d’une travée du pont du Canadien National, construite par la Pennsylvania Steel Company en 1899. Elles illustrent une technique d’assemblage de ponts fort populaire entre les années 1860 et le début du XXe siècle.
— Texte tiré des pancartes de Parcs Canada.