:: Église St-Enfant-Jésus du Mile End ::

“There is no such thing as an amateur artist as different from a professional artist,”
wrote Paul Cezanne,
“There is only good art and bad art.”

The Montreal Urban Sketchers were out sketching out today and the weather was beautiful, even though a tad cold with the wind. Surprisingly it was colder in Montreal than in Rigaud… as we live in the forest, there is rarely any wind. When I first decided to draw this majestic building, I did not know how intricate that it would be… and I kept thinking, “why did I choose to draw this building?” However, in the end I was quite happy to have completed it! I might have time tomorrow to paint it… I hope so -)

Paper: Field Watercolor journal 7″ x 10″
Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Église St-Enfant-Jésus du Mile End

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:: Easter Monday Flower ::

Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers
and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
— Gabriel García Márquez

The hour is growing late on this Easter Monday afternoon and I have to report to school tomorrow. My classes for the week have all been prepared and I am enjoying the music of Leon Bridges “River”, Agnes Obel’s “September Song” and the Villagers “Nothing Arrived”.

I have been intermittently reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” and it reminds me that to be an artist, any type of artist, we have to make a clearing through the chaos of our senses & events. When I first saw Kim’s photograph that she sent me, I sat down to study it… I had to make sense of it all before even starting to draw. Figure things out in a way that works for me.

I decided that I would start at the top and work through the first big flower as an outline, then move below to the second flower and then finish off with the leaves. Then fill everything in. What I actually did was start at the top with the first flower, filled it with the flowing lines, drew the stem and leaves, left them blank, and then finished with the second flower to finish everything off. So much for my plan!

Moleskine Sketchbook: 5″ x 8″
Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black
Photograph: Taken by Kim Thuy Ly Thanh

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:: Kim Thuy ::

It’s not because we’re given a life that we know how to live.
I think we need to learn to live.
— Kim Thùy

Kim Thuy posted a beautiful flower on Facebook today and it inspired me… and I just drew it. She is an amazing writer, author & person and shows the resilience of refugees. She also has a great sense of humour, which makes us love her even more.

Today I studied for my Spanish course as I had been lagging behind in the past few weeks… so much catching on to do! Can’t wait for the semester to be over and really delve into what I love doing… time to paint… and paint. This will be forfeited for awhile as there are tons of correcting to do in the very near future.

Yesterday we cleaned up one of the patios at our house and it felt really good as Spring really seems to be have sprung upon us… let’s hope that it continues.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Reference photograph from Kim Thuy

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:: Coneflowers ::

Educating the mind
without educating the heart
is no education at all.
— Aristotle

I must be ready for summer as I bought these beautiful flowers Echinacea Angustifolia or Coneflowers and decided to draw them. These flowers are part of the sunflower family and oh boy, the chickadees, nuthatches & goldfinches are having a field day with the sunflower seeds in my backyard. They are voracious. My husband and I sunbathed for awhile today and we think that there is a Pileated Woodpecker couple that are nesting in our backyard. These are very private birds and we feel cherished that they are staying in our wood.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″ x 8″
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black

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:: A little spring in the air ::

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”
— Stephen King On Writing book and some of his tips on Openculture

Even though there is still alot of snow here, Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, the beautiful shadows are long and the birds are chirping. The quality of the light flooding my window is soft and tender…

I have been reading Marc-Aurèle Fortin’s The Experience of Colour and he was known as the poet of painting. One critic said of him: “the poet and painter of summer” after seeing his beautiful paintings of majestic elms in Laval in the 1920s. It is quite inspiring to read on the artistic lives of painters as well as writers. Marc-Aurèle said: “Painting is nothing but visual poetry” I like that!

Another book that I am presently reading is Stephen King’s On Writing which surprisingly, talks about how to become a writer and I am loving every word in it. What a storyteller that he is. It is part memoir and part master class and well worth the read. Have a nice day -)

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″
Pen: Sailor Desk Pen EF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Ink Black

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:: Little Tree ::

      A little while, a little while,
The weary task is put away,
And I can sing and I can smile,
Alike, while I have holiday.
     Why wilt thou go, my harassed heart,
What thought, what scene invites thee now?
What spot, or near or far,
Has rest for thee, my weary brow?
     There is a spot, mid barren hills,
Where winter howls, and driving rain;
But if the dreary tempest chills,
There is a light that warms again.
     The house is old, the trees are bare,
Moonless above bends twilight’s dome;
But what on earth is half so dear,
So longed for, as the hearth of home?
     The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o’ergrown,
I love them, how I love them all!
     Still, as I mused, the naked room,
The alien firelight died away,
And from the midst of cheerless gloom
I passed to bright unclouded day.
     A little and a lone green lane
That opened on a common wide;
A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
Of mountains circling every side;
     A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air;
And, deepening still the dream-like charm,
Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere.
     That was the scene, I knew it well;
I knew the turfy pathway’s sweep
That, winding o’er each billowy swell,
Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep.
     Could I have lingered but an hour,
It well had paid a week of toil;
But Truth has banished Fancy’s power:
Restraint and heavy task recoil.
     Even as I stood with raptured eye,
Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear,
My hour of rest had fleeted by,
And back came labour, bondage, care.
— Emile Jane Bronte

This morning, just before my morning class, I had a little time to draw this sketch of a little tree in front of my parked car. It rained a little today and I had little groups of students for my first class and I am coming out of a little cold. Apart from that, everything is looking good as Spring is upon us! Up to now it has given us fair amounts of rain & cold, but next week they are announcing for 18C… a little improvement over the past few days. I Photoshopped out some little blue lines that had seeped in from the underside of my paper as this morning I did not have my sketchbook with me…

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