:: 7 ::

A nursery rhyme offers us a clue:
“One for sorrow / Two for joy / Three for a girl / Four for a boy / Five for silver / Six for gold / Seven for a secret / Never to be told.” What do these mountains and skies know that they are not telling us?

My holidays are drawing to a close as on Monday I have to start prepping for all of my “new” courses for the Fall 2015 semester. It was a very nice summer, even though it went too fast. For the following weeks my schedule will be more conducive to having a daily meeting with my sketchbook and paints, so I am happy for that. For this painting I decided to paint the skies so I kept just a small portion of land and a huge portion of the paper for the skies, as the skies have been beautiful all summer long. We had a very rainy summer and with rain, comes the big beautiful clouds that accompany them. The top painting has about 80% of skies while the second painting has a bit less… is there one that you prefer, and why?

Paper: Travelogue Handbook
Location: Rigaud, Quebec, Canada




:: Skies ::

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Man oh man! My paintings are changing so much that I am having trouble recognizing myself in them…. humph! Is this good? Well at least I am not static and it is evolving… so change must be good — I hope -) My first aim today was to paint the beautiful skies, but even the big blue skies that were in front of me turned quite stormy on my paper… go figure!

Paper: Handbook Travelogue
Colours: Azo Yellow, New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Location: St-Clet, Québec, Canada


:: Extreme Palette ::

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Bernard M. Baruch

Don’t know if it is the extreme temperatures that we are experiencing that are influencing me, but it seems I am pushing my watercolour palette to the extremes. It is fun to experiment -)

Paper: Travelogue Handbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue & French Ultramarine
Location: Craftsy course by S. Blaukopf


:: Stormy Skies ::

When I was a kid, a book I read advised young artists to be themselves. That decided it for me. I was a corny kind of guy, so I went in for corn. (Walt Disney)

Last night the weather was quite outstanding…. thunder rumbling non-stop, lightning and tons of rain. Everything that this girl likes -) So I went out in my car to take a reference photograph and I decided to paint it today.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue
Colours: Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Serpentine Green, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine
Location: Reference photograph taken in Rigaud, late at night


:: People sketching ::

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, for your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
— Dale Carnegie

You have not heard from me in awhile as I caught three successive stiff necks in a row… so instead of dashing into my car and going places, I have been practicing the art of drawing faces and I have improved “because” my faces now have definite emotions and characteristics (in my point of view of course). It is funny that as I am drawing more and more, I realize that I am holding my pen in a different way that when I first started. At first I was holding my fountain pen very close and tightly to the nib, and now I am holding my fountain pen almost at its tip (opposite to the nib)… and this gives an instantaneous freedom in the sketches. Try it and let me know! Hold your pen or pencil or foutain pen by its tail… and see what it gives you -)))

Paper: Moleskine Notebook
Colours: Perylene Maroon, Q. Gold
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada (reference: watching TV)


:: Greenwood Centre for Living History ::

I’m a painter first. I sing my sorrow and I paint my joy.
— Joni Mitchell

This morning I woke up and it was cloudy and they were announcing 40% of rain… so what the heck, this means that there is 60% of sunshine, right? Well, just as we sat down to start sketching it started to rain… and rain… and rain. We scrambled to the screened porch and I drew this view. When you paint in plein air, all kinds of things can happen but what I did not know was that my paints would all turn granular in this type of weather. Is it the paper reacting this way? Or it is it the paints?

To make a short story longer, I was out painting with Linda Drewry today as she does every Tuesday during the summer months (the schedule is on her website). Everyone is welcome, beginner or not, to enjoy the beautiful vistas and to paint with like-hearted people. Today we painted at Greenwood House in Hudson, Quebec and this house dates back from 1732 and was built by the coureurs des bois. We had the privilege of getting a guided tour of the house and the 5$ fee is well worth it to peruse the beautifully maintained grounds and house.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Hudson, Québec, Canada


:: Stewart Hall ::

Artists are among the most generous of people. Perhaps inherent in the appreciation of creativity comes a deep, underlying love of humanity and our Earth.
— Kelly Borsheim

I am happily exhausted at the moment as today was a jaw-dropping day that was filled with about 80 Urban Sketchers that were sketching on the wonderful grounds of Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire. I met people from Texas, Vermont, Toronto,  Quebec City and from around the greater Montreal region and within. A deep thank you to the organizing committee headed by Amanda Johnston from the Cultural Centre in Pointe Claire and of course Shari Blaukopf who was the liaison between Amanda and this wonderful event. A heartfelt thank you to both of you…. and to all of you who came out to sketch with us.

Je suis totalement émue et fatiguée en ce moment après la superbe journée passée sur les terrains du magnifique Centre culturel Stewart Hall à Pointe-Claire. Nous étions 80 Urban Sketchers à se regrouper pour peindre ou dessiner sur ces lieux et j’ai rencontré des personnes du Vermont, Texas, Toronto, la ville de Québec, le grand Montréal et Montréal! Un merci à Amanda Johnston et son équipe ainsi qu’à Shari Blaukopf pour faire la liaison et mettre ce beau projet à jour. Merci à vous tous qui êtes venus pour faire de cet événement un succès -)

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x9″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Pointe Claire, Québec, Canada


:: My life ::

I have a life I can’t escape,
A life that’s mine to mold and shape,
Some things I lack of strength and skill,
I blunder much and fumble; still I can in my own way design
What is to be this life of mine.

It is not mine to say how much
Of gold and silver I shall clutch,
What heights of glory I shall climb,
What splendid deeds achieve in time;
Lacking the genius of the great
The lesser tasks may be my fate.

But I can say what I shall be,
What in my life the world shall see;
Can mold my thoughts and actions here
To what is fine or what is drear.
Through small my skill, I can elect
To keep or lose my self-respect.

No man can kindlier be than I,
No man can more detest a lie,
I can be just as clean and true
As any gifted genius, who
Rises to earthly heights of fame
And wins at last the world’s acclaim.

I can be friendly, blithe of heart,
Can build or tear my life apart.
Can happy-natured smile along
And shrug my shoulders at a wrong
I only choose what is to be
This life which symbolizes me.
— Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest

My father Dorland, the Scotsman, had surprising interests and virtues. I was perusing today one of my bookcases and opened this book of poems that he had. Thanks Dad.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Black Carbon Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


:: Faces ::

The weather is still frisky here in my neck of the woods and they are predicting that for this Sunday it will be beautiful outside. This is great as the Urban Sketchers of Montreal are collaborating with the City of Pointe Claire for a Vernissage this Sunday July 5 at the Stewart Hall Art Gallery. Everyone is welcome to come and sketch, and bring your lunch too as we are meeting at 10:00 am and by 2:00 pm the official opening of the exhibit “A Sketch in Time” will take place where Shari Blaukopf, Marc Taro Holmes and myself will be exhibiting sketches & sketchbooks in the Gallery.

Tonight I did a special exercise… as I was listening to a TV show, I decided to sketch the people that were being interviewed. This is an exercise that helps visual memory and helps to loosen up as it is a very fast process. The minute that you lift your eyes, the image is gone! I will definitely redo this.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Black Carbon Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada