:: Moe’s Rusty Day ::

Permit the brain to separate from the hand.
Soften your vision, focus beyond and before.
Allow yourself to be “entranced” by your work.
Feel a “process” rather than an outcome, and…
Live in the life of the brush, chisel, roller.

— Painter’s Keys

September 1st already and I am really not ready for autumn! After many months of not painting nor drawing, the deadline was today. So to get out of this artistic break as we might softly say, I decided to choose my most difficult challenge. Faces!!! I was never good at these, and I would like to be better, and with practice I know that I will, and that goes for everyone.

There are many flaws in this drawing, but especially in the painting values. They are all either too vibrant or too soft… it is a question of getting back into watercolours also, to test the value of the wash and know when I put down my brush it has the correct value. The proportions of the face are too long or not wide enough. The hues are not diverse enough, but hey! This is how we learn. To analyze what is wrong, and to rectify for the next painting. And persevere and move forward.

I have been following for years the “Queen” of drawing faces, and she is found here. You will see that she is quite amazing… makes it look so bloody easy -)))

Moe’s Haircut

Paper: Pentalic Aqua Journal 8″ x 5″
Watercolours
Fountain Pen: Pilot Namiki SEF
Ink: DeAtramentis Black Document Ink

:: Teleworking ::

“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
— Gabriel García Márquez

Here in Québec, elementary schools, high schools and daycare centres have been in lockdown since Monday March 16th… and most businesses too… but not College nor University teachers. We have been teleworking, quite hard I might say, on making sure that our students “can” do the work from the safety of their homes while progressing with their multiple courses. My third years have just started their 3-week Stage period by teleworking also. I know that students are anxious and can’t wait to meet up with their friends, but we have all told each other that we would never complain again of having to go back to school or work — hah-hah!

I have had to adjust and the first two weeks were very stressful, but now I am getting quite used to it. It is never as rewarding as being in the classroom with your students, but my days are passing without any major hurdles and I feel more relaxed as time seems to have slowed down… and sometimes it stops… and I can feel the rush of air… and I catch my breath and look up at the sky. No planes… only birds flying in and out, swirling in the air.

I took the time to draw this little old house from a picture on Pinterest that I found interesting and I have also registered for Shari Blaukopf’s online class, Mattias Adolfsson’s online class and a special class on Procreate with Roman Garcia Mora. Maybe that I overdid the classes thing, but there are great deals at the moment and it is always nice to learn… isn’t it?

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Paper: Hand•book journal co. 8″ x 8″
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black
Namiki Fountain Pen SEF

:: Fisherman’s Hut ::

You can never do too much drawing.
— Tintoretto

One of my friends Chi Mai sent me a photograph of a Fisherman’s Hut and I drew it, quite quickly, with a dip pen and some brown ink. Just feels good to stop being online and drawing a tad… now back online to continue prepping for my classes that are officially starting tomorrow.

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Pen: Dip Pen
Ink: Noodler’s Ink #41 brown

:: Drawing from imagination ::

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
— Pablo Picasso.

I love this quote as this is how drawing makes me feel… a kind of rejuvenated self! Well last night I felt like drawing a flower and started… and then I turned my sketchbook upside down and my imagination just took over… the political situation between the USA and Iran must have influenced my hand as it is almost an apocalyptic scene with an innocent dog looking up. Hope that you enjoy it nearly as much I had fun doing it.

One of the best advice that I have received is from James Gurney where he suggests to anyone that wants to learn how to draw or paint. “…alternate between sketching from life as in “plein air” or urban sketching, working from the imagination & copying from the Masters”. Great advice from a dedicated artist.

Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black Ink
Sketchbook: Moleskine Art Sketchbook

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A language not our own…

Listening to Radiohead’s Kid A album, Rigaud is awash with sleets of ice rain, bouts of rain and some snow… perfect temperature to stay warm inside and get back to some drawing. Are you like me? I tend to read many books at the same time and I am reading four at the moment… each book lives in a specific room, reflecting that rooms ruminations. One of the books that I am reading gives me peace and tranquillity and a deep longing for spring to finally arrive… after the icy winter that we have just endured.

“Braiding Sweetgrass, an Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer opens up a world for the mind, body, emotion & spirit and is a hymn to the world. Here is an excerpt:

“…I come here to listen, to nestle in the curve of the roots in a soft hollow of pine needles, to lean my bones against the column of whit pine, to turn off the voice in my head until I can hear the voices outside it: the shhh of wind in needles, water trickling over rock, nuthatch tapping, chipmunks digging, beechnut falling,  mosquito in my ear, and something more — something that is not me, for which we have no language, the wordless being of others in which we are never alone. After the drumbeat of my mother’s heart, this was my first language. Listening in wild places, we are audience to conversations in a language not our own…”.

Paper: Stillman & Birn, 9″ x 6″, Gamma series
Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: I worried…. by Mary Oliver ::

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the river
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

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:: A few tries later… ::

Great love is never justified. It’s like the little tree that springs up in some inexplicable fashion on the side of a cliff: where are its roots, what does it feed on, what miracle produces those green leaves?
— Wisława Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012)

Last night I decided to draw my husband and he kept moving non-stop even though he did not realize that I was trying to draw him. It took me eight tries to eventually get this somewhat decent one, at least one that shows some sensitivity towards the model. He tends to look fatter in this drawing than he really is…

I have been looking at Joseph Zbukvik’s wonderful video Planning your painting, and what a guy and what an artist! He is very generous with his knowledge and at some point in the video he says that we should draw without ever lifting the pencil from the paper… and this is what I tried today. I liked the sensation of doing this and I should practice this more often. Definitely something that I will be teaching my students this coming semester.

Paper: The Colour of Water Sketchbook from the MMFA
Lead Pencil 0.5
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Summer breeze ::

 

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
— Seals & Croft

Woke up to a sunny windless morning and went swimming in the Pacific for a good 45 minutes. I have to say that this is a perfect holiday! We had dinner with our hosts last night at a local fish restaurant and ate exquisitely. 

While typing this post, I actually thought that we were still in the morning but it is presently 1:10 pm and we still have not had our breakfast… time flies when I am painting. So this is the drawing completed in watercolour this morning.

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Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Q. B. Orange & Sap Green
Location: Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico

Day 3 :: #OneWeek100People2018

All great works of art are rather difficult to access.
The reader who thinks them easy has failed to penetrate to the heart of the work. 

— André Gide 1869-1951

Up to 40 people today, yeah! This challenge is a challenge, to say the least. Drawing people is not what really attracts me as an artist, and I know that if I persevere I might find that I am getting better at it? Perhaps, I am hopeful -)

Today I went to the Fairview Mall in Pointe-Claire and the minute that I sat down a man said: “You must not know how to draw if you measure the way that you do?”… oh my! That deflated me a bit, and I gave him this answer: “Artists have different ways of working and my way is by measuring to get my proportions right.” I got up and found another spot as he was really looming over my shoulder and breathing down my back. Then a wonderful asian woman with most probably her grandson kept smiling and waving at me and they made my previous encounter less awkward. Felt good -))). When painting with the Urban Sketchers the power of the group is quite wonderful as we look out for each other.

Paper: Bockingford 30″x 22″ folded 7.5″ x 5.5″
Watercolours: MG Payne’s Grey

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Day 2 :: #OneWeek100People2018

A box without hinges, key or lid
yet golden treasure inside is hid.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo the Hobbit

I did not have much time today and I wanted to draw faces up close… really close. So again I chose a photograph on the net of a family of three people. What I tried doing today is trying to find a specific characteristic that enhanced the likeness of the person…as to me this is the real challenge as I find that all of my portraits look alike.I tried focusing on one feature at a time. Choosing people with different hair styles helps alot!

So now I am at 23 people and tomorrow I am going to sketch at Fairview Pointe-Claire for around 1:00 pm or a little earlier if I can. Can you guess the answer to the riddle?

Paper: Bockingford 30″x 22″ folded 7.5″ x 5.5″
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Pyrrol Scarlet, Raw Sienna, B. Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

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