:: Crack of Dawn ::

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

Listening to the beautiful music of Brahms this afternoon, it snowed all morning and the temperatures have peaked to more comfortable temperatures, I painted the same picture as yesterday, adding some daylight to it as by now we all know that starting today the days are getting longer! Yeahhh!

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″x5″
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Indanthrone Blue
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk
Ink: Artementis Document Ink Black
Reference photo: Eric Girouard

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:: Beginnings & Endings ::

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

     Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
     My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
     He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
     The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
— by Robert Frost

Today is the beginning of winter as the Winter Solstice has officially arrived about 45 minutes ago (5:44 am). I welcome this day every year as I know that by tomorrow the days will start growing longer… and Spring will be around the corner even if still far away. At the end of February I will start feeding my houseplants. Every season brings in new hopes, new beginnings & endings. It is the beginning of the holiday season, flu season, family reunions & festivities with friends & family, it is the end of a teaching semester, of a sketchbook and of yearly resolutions… these will pass and make place for new ones this coming New Year. As the day is at its longest night, I will stay up late tonight, watching the night & the stars, cherishing its deep shadows.
Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x5″
Colours: B. Sienna, Cobalt Teal, Indanthrone Blue
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Ink Black
Location: Reference photograph taken by Eric Girouard
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The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains the solstice this way. “It has the fewest hours of sunlight in the year.The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.”At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.”

:: Wishing you Peace, Love & Joy ::

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Hit it
C’mon, ev’rybody’s talking about
Ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Popeyes and bye-bye, bye-byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations, congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
— John Lennon
Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″x8″
Colours:New Gambodge, Q. Rose, Red Sennelier & French Ultramarine
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada
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:: Beautiful silent skies ::

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. (Hans Jean Arp)

When I want to see huge, beautiful skies there is one place to go in my region and it is just between Rigaud and St. Clet. The skies are always luminous, grand and silent as they stretch west towards the sunset surrounding St. Polycarpe and St. Telesphore! I must have painted this sky many times up to now and here it is an older post. There is always a sense of awe that chokes me a bit in front of these immense skies… an inner peace.

I have been cooped up in the house for the past four days as the flu has hit us… the sniffles, coughing, sneezing and nose blowing type of sessions where you just want to lie down and sleep, and when it is time to sleep, you are wide awake! Have you ever had this? In a sense my husband and I were well timed as it started one day apart from each other, so I did not feel guilty binging on Netflix.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Journal 8″x5″
Colours: Burnt Sienna, Q. Rose, Raw Umber & French Ultramarine
Location: Route 201 between Rigaud and St-Clet, Quebec, Canada.

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:: Three hats for one ::

Get yourself a mirror and paint your own portrait, over and over.
It’s a great chance to experiment, you’ll discover things about yourself,
and you don’t have to pay the model!
— Susan Avishai

Last night I was in the mood for drawing older men with hats, or at least that is what attracted my eye while surfing on Google. Without any live models with hats in front of me (my husband did not feel like putting one on and refused to be my model — he was intent on the soccer game) I drew from reference photos… very handy in these circumstances.

Most of my portrait drawings in the past I was trying to make them portrait perfect, and tonight I tried finding their distinct personalities. The last one is the best one in my point of view. I think that I will try what Susan Avishai says about self-portraits… it might just be very interesting!

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″
Pen: Pigma Micron 1.0
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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