:: Contour drawing ::

The only way to have a friend is to be one. — Ralph Waldo Emerson I bought Charles Reid’s DVD (downloadable) on painting flowers and he shows us his method of drawing with connecting dots without lifting the pencil, very very slowly. Here is the LINK if you are interested. The first image was a practice one for me and the second one I will be painting it in tomorrow. You will notice that in this contour drawing, when there is a shadow it does not delimit the edge of the vase to the shadow…. it becomes one big shape. And the shadows are all drawn in (something to remember for me). In the end, I find that the thickness of my lead pencil 4B is too thick and I should have used either a 1B or a regular HB… for next time -) We will see the result tomorrow… I was so glad not to be teaching today as I prepped for two of my classes and finally got two course outlines down pat and ready for my review tomorrow. I have promised myself that for the coming 2016 year not to worry about my painting/drawing works, if they are good or bad, worthy or not, saleable or not, frameable or not… none of that! I intend to enjoy the fact that I can paint and that I will paint, rain or draught, sun or overcast, plein air or in my car, in my kitchen studio or in the living room, I just will.

Vase contour drawing in pencil
Contour drawing
Contour drawing in pencil of flowers
Flower pencil drawing

Happy New Year :: Bonne année

Happy New Year :: Health, love, wisdom & a long life.

Here in Rigaud the winter light is crisp and we are under a foot deep of white snow and even the birds seem to be rejoicing. At least 12 goldfinches are perched on one feeder and the constant to and fro of the chickadees and nuthatches makes looking out the window a marvel of fluttering wings. I love this.

I will not be talking about resolutions for the new year but a bit about continuing to do what I do well in life and stop doing what I am not very good at… This past semester was a difficult semester for me and I had to fight against low energy levels and lethargy and I am becoming more mindful of the energy required to create on a regular basis. If I am to create on a regular basis, I need to keep my energy levels high and not get caught up in the drudgery of deadlines and meetings at school, which become futile in the long run for me in these senior years.

Je ne parlerai pas de résolutions personnelles pour la nouvelle année mais plutôt de continuer à faire les choses que je fais bien dans la vie et d’arrêter de faire les choses que je suis moins bonne — ou au moins essayer de m’améliorer. Je voudrais atteindre une régularité artistique. Je deviens de plus en plus consciente de l’énergie nécessaire pour créer de l’art sur une base régulière, et ceci veut dire que je dois garder mes niveaux d’énergie élevés et ne pas me laisser prendre dans la turbulence de réunions dramatiques et de la corvée des échéanciers à l’école, qui deviennent à mon âge, futiles.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna & Indanthrone Blue
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

Happy New Year 2016 :: Bonne Année 2016


Home or House or Building?

To me my home is not a building with no life… it lives with us, for us. It sheds some tiles from the roof once in awhile, it pops nails when the temperature goes below -20 degrees celsius, it loses its luster if not washed properly, it ticks and tocks at night and even sometimes receives some unaccounted guests that scritch and scratch. A few years back, we rented a summer house and we left our home for a period of two months, and when we came back, it looked so lonely. Do you see your house as a living entity or is it just a building with four walls? I would really like to know some of your thoughts…

Spring Musings

For a very long time I have not been back to post anything… so now I am back. We cleaned the spa, made a fire and burned the branches on the lot, cleaned the floors inside and out, did a bit of writing for the Masters degree. The Spring day was fabulous… the buds looked like very small gifts in the trees. Suz and I went for a robust walk on the Rigaud Mountain with Pyper, we went up and up and up… and tumbled down. Nice.

Bringing down the trees

After 4 years of thinking about it, we finally decided to take down 6 trees. After asking a few neighbours, Myriam came to see us. She was wonderful and true to her word, she cut the trees down, meticulously measuring and making sure that nothing else came down at the same time, as we live in the forest and wanted to maintain the other trees. She arrived on her old Ferguson tractor, which she drove by the way, from Ste-Martine to Rigaud, about 10 kms through the old roads. Arriving with a huge smile on her face, she was ready for the task. Richard, one of our neighbours, arrived on his Cockshutt tractor, he also with a huge grin. It took them 2 full days of hard labour, but finally it is finished.

How I will Spend the Rest of my Summer Vacation

I have big plans for my summer vacation and even though the list of “Things to do” is getting quite high, alas it is looking as though I will only do what I am capable of doing, which will be much less – sigh. This is the story of my life in a nutshell…