:: Ode to my students ::

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

Last May I while I was in correcting mode, my mind would wander too often to my next course preparations that I would be engaging in this August. Throughout the summer, even though I was on holidays and had a good deal of great times with family and friends and a bit of travelling and giving & attending watercolour workshops, my mind often wandered to my new courses that I would be preparing… and slowly but surely, I would add a paper to the existing pile of “new” ideas that I had. All through the summer for a few days a week I would add to the pile. And the pile grew, and grew, and grew! So now I have too many new ideas for my new courses and I have to cut back! Can you imagine that? To build and then to simplify. But I guess that I am lucky, as now my students are receiving the best from all of my arcane ideas.

Today was a beautiful Montreal day, with a gentle warm breeze and when I woke up I decided that my students and I would go outside to draw. Off we went, and the students made me walk and walk and walk… and we drew all kinds of trees. Pine trees, spruce trees, chestnuts & hemlocks. For my second group, we walked just a few meters and sat down on huge stones… and again we drew trees. Such a pleasant experience and I think/hope that they did get something out of it.

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 5″x8″
Colours: Q. Orange, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Serpentine Genuine & Alizarin Crimson
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk
Ink: Noodlers’ Ink Lexington Grey
Location: Cégep John Abbott College, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada

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:: Devil’s Ivy ::

My view of human nature is that all of us are just holding it together in various ways — and that’s okay, and we just need to go easy with one another, knowing that we’re all these incredibly fragile beings.
— Alain de Botton

I sketched this last night while my husband was watching the Olympics. It is a Golden Pathos Vine or commonly known as Devil’s Ivy. I was wondering what the mesh-like background was and I just realized that when I took the picture I took it in the screen porch. So you can see the mesh -)

I have been working on difficult computer tasks these past few weeks and I am happy to say that they are finished. First, I needed to transfer my self-hosted blog on Bluehost.com to WordPress.com as I was simply getting too many spam and unwanted subscribers. I was getting up to 50 a day! So now my blog is safely hosted on WordPress.com and the added bonus is that it is hassle-free. Yeah! The second computer task was to reformat my main computer as it was getting very sluggish and I had not reformatted it for awhile. I erased the whole drive, and reinstalled all of my software Now it feels like a new computer, even though it is 6 years old. Very happy -)

We have our Welcome Back Breakfast this coming Wednesday and the regular college semester is starting in exactly one week! So guess what I will be doing this week? Preparing for my courses, one new and one not so new.

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Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Large
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

:: The Tin Man ::

Fact is, perfection is boring.
(Robert Genn)

We were about 12 painters today at Pointe-du-Moulin in Île Perrot. There is a beautiful windmill out there, but today the wind flaps were missing… I wondered what had happened to them. Looking at my painting I am torn between seeing the windmill and seeing Hickory The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Hah-hah!

When I find my spot to paint, I think of which blue I will be using. To me, blue is the most important colour to choose and I always choose it first. Is today a cobalt type of day or is it an ultramarine day? What type of day is it? I look at the sky and the general luminosity to get the answer. On a very clear morning, it will be Cerulean. On winter days, when it is very very cold, I often choose Manganese blue. So today I chose Ultramarine. I started with the sky and worked myself down behind the trees. Ultramarine is a warm blue that has some reds in it and to me the sky today had that quality. Do you do that too? Or is it another colour that you start with? Let me know -)

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Perylene Maroon & Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Pointe-du-Moulin, Ïle Perrot, Québec, Canada

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