:: Stewart Hall ::

Featured

 “When love and skill work together
— expect a masterpiece.”
(John Ruskin)

Another lovely day and a wonderful event was held today at Stewart Hall in Pte. Claire. The organizers do a very fine job and we are very grateful to them. We were about 30 Montreal Urban Sketchers working frenetically at timeshaving to deal with the strong winds gusting from Lake St. Louisand the minute that we would deposit our paints on the paper, they were already dry. Working in plein-air certainly has its challenges and its rewards.

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:: Happy Holidays :: Joyeuses Fêtes ::

A Christmas Song
     Once in Royal David’s City
Stood a lonely cattle shed
Where a mother held her baby
You’d do well to remember the things he later said
When you’re stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties
You’ll just laugh when I tell you to take a running jump
You’re missing the point I’m sure does not need making
That Christmas spirit is not what you drink
     So how can you laugh when your own mother’s hungry
And how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I just messed up your thoughtless pleasures
Remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song
— Jethro Tull

Have a wonderful holiday with your family & friends.
Joyeuses fêtes à vous et à votre famille & amis -)))

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Watercolours: New Gamboge, DS Pyrrol Scarlet, MG Ultramarine, WN B. Sienna
Calligraphy: Dr. Ph.Martin’s 29H Crimson Lake
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

#urbansketching, #watercolour, #rigaud, #holidays, #fêtes, #rigaud

:: Ottawa and its’ lovely trees ::

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
     Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
     And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
— Housman

Had a fabulous time in Shari Blaukopf’s “Painting trees” workshop today in Ottawa. It was a short workshop, 3.5 hours and perfect! My husband walked the whole time through the beautiful streets of Ottawa and bought some food at the Byward Market and I painted the city’s beautiful trees. Wow! Shari mentioned, quite a few times, that when you paint trees you have to leave them alone after awhile and not fuddle too much with details… I tried my best not to, and hardly did I swear -))) We went straight to paints, without any ink or pencil lines… cool.

We also received beautiful presents from #Winsor&Newton too. Watercolour tube paints, a paint palette and some info. Very nice indeed.

Paper: Handbook Field Watercolour Journal
Colours: New Gamboge, B. Sienna & French Ultramarine
Location: Plaza Bridge, Ottawa, Ontario

:: The lopsided pine ::

La Barre and other Musicians
9 May 1663.
At Mr Jarvas’s my old barber, I did try two or three borders and periwigs, meaning to wear one, and yet I have no stomach for it, but the pains of keeping my hair clean is so great. He trimmed me, and at last I parted, but my mind was almost altered from my first purpose, from the trouble that I foresee will be in wearing them also.

I have been reading a booklet entitled: Costume in Art by the National Gallery in London and the themes are quite funny sometimes as you can read in the above two paragraphs. Every century has its own moments of pain…

Met up with two of my sketching friends, Mai & Linda at my Cegep today. The weather was gorgeous and the friendship too! I was also glad to give a tour of my beautiful campus and in the afternoon we moved on to the McGill part of the campus to sketch some farm silos. Had a nice day.

Paper: Hand•book Field watercolour journal
Colours: Q. Gold, B. Sienna, B. Umber & Ultramarine
Location: Cégep John Abbott College, Québec, Canada

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Roman Baths

My second day with Jane Blundell and her 5-day bootcamp and I have to say that it is quite wonderful… she is a natural teacher, knowledgeable,very nice and has a good rhythm. Not too many demos, always interesting information and we learn a ton! And it is pertinent information, not common or generic knowledge, which I appreciate -) Being a teacher myself, I am aware that teachers tend to be very fussy students –)

Guy and I went to the Roman Baths after the workshop today and we were impressed. It is funny.. when I was in Istanbul and Ephesus two years ago and we were visiting the ruins, these ruins belonged to the Greeks. Today I had the same feeling, to the Romans that arrived in 46 AD! However, as I am presently reading Rutherford’s Londinium book on the history of this city, I know that these ruins belong here and not elsewhere… reading is important for understanding our world.

Paper: Stillman & Birns
Colours: Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine & Pyrrol Crimson Location: Pulteney Bridge, Bath, UK.

:: Summer solstice ::

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
— James Dent

In the beautiful Jack Layton Park in Hudson I sat at one of their picnic tables and pondered how I would paint the magnificent view right in front of me. The Mont Calvaire perched high up, the Ottawa River lapping at my feet and no boats ringing in my ears… heaven -) The wind was feisty and my papers kept blowing about, but ohhh isn’t plein air painting all about this?

Today is the summer solstice and it is always something to honour as I feel that living in the northern regions of North America, you cannot take summer for granted — you cherish it. The longest day of the of year is today, and it is important! Tonight I will sit on my back porch and look at the stars as past 21:00 it will still be light -) I will remember these moments in December on the shortest day of the year…

When I got back home I looked at my painting and thought that there was something wrong with it… until I realized that I had to glaze the clouds with a golden colour. So a wash of Raw Sienna was added on top of my painting for the clouds only and that made it. A much softer result. See the bottom painting without the glaze, the top painting has it.

Paper: Handbook Sketchbook 10″ x 7″
Colours: Q. Rose, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Location: Jack Layton Park in Hudson, Québec, Canada

:: Sketchbook Skool & Koosje Koene ::

Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
— Greg Anderson

Woke up this morning and to my surprise, I had a good night’s sleep (for those of you who are wondering, just read my previous post) and I was rested and ready to go. Picked up my drawing/watercolour paraphernalia and headed for Old Montreal where I met Larry Marshall from Quebec City and as we sat down to sketch it started raining. So we decided to move and find another vista, which we did, sat down and it started raining again… by this time it was 11:30 am and high time to get back to the Nelson Statue to meet up with Sketchbook Skool Koosje Koene and some USK Montrealers… and guess what? It was still raining. So we actually decided to head towards the Jardin Nelson which has been restored beautifully! They kept the old outside and inside architecture intact and took down all of the inside walls AND the roof and created an indoor café/restaurant with jazz musicians playing throughout the day, huge parasols to keep us safe from the rain and good lighting for sketching! Could you actually ask for more? Other than this, Koosje is a really nice person and the group was in awe! I met some kind-hearted people today…

To stay true to the Urban Sketchers manifest, I drew this on location. Tomorrow I will be painting it in from my house. When I drew this, I was looking towards the sky and seeing these huge parasols that must have at least 30 feet wide or more? Not sure of their size, but they actually looked life flowers to me.

Sketchbook: Handbook field watercolor journal, 10″ x 7″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen Black — Extra Fine – DP-1000AN-Red (for Larry)
Ink: Noodler’s Lexington Grey
Location: Jardin Nelson in Old Montreal

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:: 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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Redpath Museum with USK:Mtl

     A poem
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.
     A poem
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.
     A poem
is words turned upside down
and suddenly!
the world is new.
— Jean-Pierre Simeón

Felt really good today to be back with the Montreal Urban Sketchers, drawing & painting & sitting with at the beautiful Redpath Museum in Montreal. I had not really painted since the Christmas holidays & I felt quite rusty… funnily. Painting or drawing is not at all like riding a bicycle. Once you have learnt to ride a bike, after a few pedal pushes, your body settles immediately in the long-ago strides, a physical memory. Drawing or painting on the other hand is a discipline, which means that you have to do it on a daily basis if you wish to progress. I remember that when I started painting, I found that the maximum amount of time that I could go without drawing (and not losing what I had gained) was 3 days… after that, the eyes were less keen on colours, the hand was less coordinated… so I knew today where I was heading & because I knew, it was fine! I had expected it & it happened.

A woman came to sit beside me while I was painting & she herself did the same thing. We painted in cordial silence, until one of us decided to ask the other their name… and lo & behold, we realized that we had been friends on Facebook for over a year, had never met, that each one enjoyed the other’s art & thus in our encounter, we found a mutual respect & liking.

Right now, as early night is upon me and the sun’s rays have disappeared, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude that I have been acquiesced to live long enough to enjoy the moments that I have left.

Colours: Buff Titanium, Yellow Ochre, Goethite & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Redpath Museum, McGill Campus, Montreal, Québec, Canada

:: L’île noire ::

That painter who has no doubts will achieve little.
— Leonardo da Vinci

It is snowing outside in my forested haven & it is the third time this season. It fills my joints with pain and my heart with some sort of joy as the snowflakes are amazingly light and fluffy, dancing in the night. It has begun…

Painting at the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal last Sunday, I happened to be standing in front of my favourite scottish pub l’Île Noire which to me has the best floaters in Montreal. First I must add that I am not a beer drinker… or a beer connaisseur… I drink beer once a year and only if I am in this iconic scottish pub. A floater, for those of you who might not know, is a mix of Guinness and Harp… however, it is not a mix as the Harp floats on top of the Guinness. If you have never tried this, you should!

Colours: French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna & New Gambodge
Paper: Handbook Travelogue Journal 8″ x 8″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: BANQ in Montreal, QC, Canada

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Oh boy, what a shock!

Meraki [may-rah-kee]
Meraki is doing something with total love and pure soul.
It is leaving a little piece of yourself in your creative work.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 am and as I was getting up I noticed that the light outside was very bright and I mustered to myself: “Is it a full moon?” Lo and behold, there was crisp white snow on the ground. I woke up my husband so that he could see this too. What a shock! I went back to bed and when I got up at around 7:00 am it had melted away… fiou!

I was early today at the Grande Bibliothèque and I drew two scenes… the backstreet of St. Denis where houses and establishments meet. This is where many people walk in from St. Denis street to warm up and head for the bibliothèque so I had alot of onlookers commenting on what I was drawing (at the bibliothèque we are only allowed to draw, not paint). At noon I was finished so I headed back home as I still had some correcting to do. Once my corrections done, I painted in the colours from memory. I only met two other Montreal Urban Sketchers and many passsersby asked me what was happening as they said that on the 4th floor there were many people painting… I explained and they seemed pleasantly surprised.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue 8″ x 8″
Colours: Yellow Ochre (WN), Venetian Red (DS) and Cerulean Blue (WN)
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Grande bibliothèque de Montréal, facing west

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:: Picnic vernissage day at Stewart Hall ::

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

— Lord Byron
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For the month of July the Montreal Urban Sketchers met up at Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire to draw, paint and picnic at the same time and even though the weather was dreary and almost cold, there were 16 brave souls that came to paint from all over the island of Montreal. The staff at Stewart Hall always treat us really well, they have some food, water and coffee for us and it was a really enjoyable day.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8″
Colours: Naples Yellow, New Gambodge, Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire, Québec, Canada

:: Moody blues ::

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send
— Moody Blues

20160702-burlington-jane-hannah-value-sketchValue sketchings — oooh how important they are! They permit you to see through one colour the three, four or five different values that exist (perhaps even more). For this painting there are five values… from white to very dark violet (you could actually think in percentages of tints if you prefer). Sometimes I explain this by using the analogy of adding milk or white paint to a colour. The more white paint that you add, the lower it lies on the value scale. If you think of value scales as being zero for white and 10 for black, these five values would be in the range of 0, 3, 5, 8 and 10. Can you see them? Once you start seeing these values, you are ready to paint or appreciate photographs… the principles of design are the same for all art forms. Once these values are set, and the value sketch makes sense, then I know that the painting will be fine….

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″ x 8″
Colours: Carbazole Violet
Location: 24 Penny Lane, Burlington, Vermont, USA

:: Penny Lane ::

If, when facing the paper, you say to yourself, ‘I’m an artist,’ you haven’t a clue as to what to do! If, however, you say, ‘I am an entertainer, a shapemaker and an expressive symbol collector,’ you know the task ahead and how to proceed. (Edgar A. Whitney)

20160702-burlington-jane-hannah-watercolorHad a wonderful time this weekend in Burlington under the watchful gaze of Shari and 14 other sketchers. We painted for two full days, and I was pooped at the end of both days. Burlington is a beautiful city with magnificent views of the mountains. My challenge for the weekend was to paint without the use of an ink line… just lead. For some this might appear trivial, but for me it was definitely a challenge as being a graphic artist for all of my life, I have relied heavily on the line for everything that I had to do. For this sketch, I tried to apply the principle that cold colours recede in the distance and warm colours move up, grow forward. I also tried to apply atmospheric perspective to the clouds with the closest clouds being big while the far away clouds were small. I also liked the way that with one sweep of the brush, I could leave some white in the water (bottom left-hand side).

Paper: Arches CP
Colours: Yellow Primary, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: NONE -)))
Location: Penny Lane in Burlington, Vermont, USA

Sunday Sketching, Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire on July 10th

20160627-stewart-hall-jane-hannah-watercolor“Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love,”
— Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother.

On Sunday July 10th the Montreal Urban Sketchers  have been invited to a Picnic Vernissage Day at Stewart Hall’s Cultural Centre in Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall is situated in a gorgeous historic mansion and is a unique cultural venue located on the bank of Lake Saint-Louis. Everyone is invited to sketch with us on that day starting at 10:00 am. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch, in all seasons! To note that this date replaces the fourth Sunday for the month of July.

• 10:00 am START: on the lawn at the right side of the main entrance.
• 2:00 pm INVITATION: The vernissage of the exhibition Suspended Time – Caroline Cloutier & Joëlle Morosoli will take place on the 3rd floor, in the Art Gallery. Everybody is invited to go upstairs at 2 p.m.
• 3:00 pm END: we will gather on the patio facing the lake to share our drawings.
• There will be two very impressive performances on the stage that day as well, (at noon and at 3 pm), it could be an interesting thing to draw as well!
• In the event of rain, there is a room on the first floor that has been reserved for us; we will still have a nice view over the lake and everything; (but let’s cross our fingers that it won’t rain!)
• Directions Stewart Hall on Google Maps: LINK

Hope to see you there -)))

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Le dimanche 10 juillet 2016, les Urban Sketchers de Montréal sont invités à participer à un pique-nique Vernissage au Centre culturel Stewart Hall de Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall est une demeure historique sur un lieu enchanteur situé aux abords du Lac Saint-Louis. Tout le monde est invité à esquisser avec nous ce jour-là à partir de 10h00. Un endroit absolument magnifique pour faire des croquis, en toutes saisons!  À noter que cette journée remplace le quatrième dimanche du mois de juillet.

• 10h00 DÉBUT: on se rencontre à droite de l’entrée principale sur le parterre.
• 14h00 INVITATION: Le vernissage de l’exposition Les temps suspendus – Caroline Cloutier and Joëlle Morosoli se tiendra au 3e étage, dans la galerie d’art. Tout le monde est invité.
• 15h00 FIN: nous nous rencontrerons sur le patio face au lac St-Louis pour partager nos croquis/dessins/peintures et voir ce que les autres ont croqué.
• Pendant cette journée il va y avoir deux performances, une à midi et l’autre à 15h00 qui pourraient être fort intéressantes à peindre aussi.
• Dans l’éventualité de pluie, il y a une pièce qui nous a été réservée face au lac au rez-de-chaussée.
• Directions Stewart Hall sur Google Maps: LINK

En espérant vous voir -)

Botanical Gardens :: Jardin botanique

Art happens — no hovel is safe from it, no prince can depend on it, the vastest intelligence cannot bring it about.
— (James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1834–1903)

Today the Urban Sketchers of Montreal were out strong even though the heat moved up to 35C. But as we were in the shade, all was good. My idea this morning when I arrived was to draw/paint the Montreal olympic tower from many different viewpoints.

So my search brought me to the Rose Garden where I sat on a park bench in the comfortable shade to paint this. I started with a value sketch (see below) to figure out where my darks and lights should be. And as you guessed it, once I was finished my quest stopped as I coud not find any other view of the beautiful tower! Geez! And lo and behold, as I had just finished my third and last sketch of the day, view after wonderful view popped up in the skyline as I was walking back to meet the other sketchers. So the moral of the story is, that you never know exactly how your sketching day will go, but take it with a chuckle.

Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″x8″
Colours: Hansa Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine & Violet
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Montreal Botanical Gardens

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Value Sketch

Value Sketch

 

:: C2 Montreal ::

“What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as-you-were?”
— Mary McArthy, writer & political activist, 1912–1989

Some USK Montreal sketchers were invited to paint/draw during a full day of C2 Montreal events.  C2 means “Commerce & Creativity” and it was just an amazing day! It was joyful, full of artists & company owners from Quebec & many international personas. I was so excited in the morning that for my first sketch, I could not stop shaking… By my second sketch, I had calmed down & I actually drew 7 paintings… which is a feat for me. These paintings are now owned by C2 Montreal & they graciously gave me the rights to self-promote.

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Summer day :: Journée d’été

“The protection of minorities is vitally important; and even the most orthodox of us may find himself in a minority some day, so that we all have an interest in restraining the tyranny of majorities.”
— Maria Popova

The Urban Sketchers of Montreal met up today at the Maison Smith on Mount Royal. We had been invited by Les amis de la montagne to sketch/draw/paint the mountain and at 15:00 we went up to the second floor to show our paintings. I counted 65 paintings! The ambiance was relaxed and friendly and the Amis de la montagne had prepared munchies and drinks and someone was scanning & printing our paintings for those of us who lived too far away to come back to fetch our paintings in one week or had painted in a sketchbook. Very nice indeed! These will be shown on the second floor of Maison Smith until the end of next week.

It took me quite awhile today to find a spot in the shade that was not already taken with a spot that I liked. Once I found it, I stayed put for the whole day -)
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Les Sketchers urbains de Montréal se sont rencontrés aujourd’hui sur le Mont Royal. Nous avons été invités par Les amis de la montagne pour esquisser/dessiner/peindre la montagne et à 15h00, nous sommes allés au deuxième étage pour regarder toutes les peintures — 65 peintures!. Un festin pour les yeux. L’ambiance était détendue et amicale et les Amis de la montagne avaient préparé des grignotines et des boissons et quelqu’un numérisait et imprimait nos peintures pour ceux et celles d’entre nous qui demeurent trop loin pour revenir chercher leurs peintures dans une semaine ou avaient peint dans un sketchbook. Ceux-ci seront affichés au deuxième étage de la Maison Smith jusqu’à la fin de la semaine prochaine.

Il m’a fallu un certain temps aujourd’hui pour trouver en endroit à l’ombre qui n’était pas déjà pris avec une vue qui me plaisait. Une fois que je l’ai trouvé, je suis resté sur place toute la journée -)

Paper: Fluid 100
Colours: New Gambodge, Hansa Yellow, Burnt Umber, Q. Rose, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Location: Belvedere Lookout, Mount Royal, Montreal, Québec, Canada

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I am showing my working setup (below)  as a few people really liked it. I took my 12″ x 9″ Fluid 100 paper and put a masking tape vertically three-quarters of the way through so that I had a square painting area but also an area to create a thumbnail and test out my colours. Very handy & practical.
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Je montre ma configuration de travail (ci-dessous) car des peintres ont vraiment aimé. J’ai pris mon 12 “x 9” 100 papier fluide et j’ai mis un ruban de masquage verticalement aux trois-quarts du chemin pour que j’aille une zone de peinture carrée, avec un espace pour créer une vignette et tester mes couleurs. Très pratique.20160522_WorkingCoroplast

USK:MTL Sunday Sketching Sunday Sketching May 22 : Draw me a Mountain!

Hello everyone — I will be there with many others this coming Sunday and the weather will be gorgeous. Come and join us -)

It is time again for the Mois du Mont-Royal / Month of the Mountain! For the second year we will meet on the 4th Sunday in May to sketch and paint in Mount Royal Park.

  • Sunday May 22d:
  • Meet at the Smith House / Maison Smith in Mount Royal Park at 10 AM
  • Go sketching together!
  • Return to the Smith House at 3 PM for an impromptu exhibition in the upstairs gallery of everything we drew that day. Everyone is invited to show their work.
    There will be tables and some wall space to display artwork.

There also will be free art supplies available on loan from les Amis de la montagne. Just look for our USK:MTL volunteers at the Smith House, the Belvedere and Beaver Lake to pick up a sketching kit. This might be a great day to come out with the kids and have them draw along.

More info here: https://urbansketchersmontreal.wordpress.com/

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:: Sleep well Mom ::

But it is light that counts above everything. Not colored light, but color that gives off light–radiance! — Robert Motherwell, 1915-1991 I received a phone call this morning at 4:00 am & it was my sister telling me that my 91 year old Mom had fallen & had just been rushed to the hospital. I dressed quickly, cancelled my classes for the day, ordered a coffee at Tim Hortons & drove down to be with her. Two broken ribs, probably a head concussion & alot of dizziness, she is still there but that is the best place for her at the moment. As she fell asleep a few times, I took out my small Moleskine Sketchbook & drew the people surrounding the Emergency Ward. Difficult to capture people when they keep moving non stop. Sleep well Mom. Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Pen: Pigma Micron 01 Location: Valleyfield Hospital. 20160503_receptionist_jane-hannah-drawing2 20160503_nurses_jane-hannah-drawing.jpg

:: Dorchester Square & Place du Canada ::

“If you want your children to be intelligent,” Einstein is credited with proclaiming, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Brainpickings

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met up today at Place du Canada. While I was driving round & round to find a parking space, I must have seen at least 15 sketchers, facing the sun as it was quite frisky with the factor wind in Montreal. Finally found a parking space & saw the amazing views behind Place du Canada & decided to stay on the other side of the street in Dorchester Square, facing south to get the views & the warm sun rays. As I was starting to draw the monument in front of me, a man came up to me & suggested that I draw an axis in the center to help me out in my drawing — he was right! Feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the monument, I turned around 90 degrees & sat facing the CIBC Tower, which I decided to paint. When I was in my early twenties, I used to work on the 14th floor of that tower… what incredible views that I had!

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal se sont rencontrés aujourd’hui à la Place du Canada. Alors que je conduisais en rond pour trouver un stationnement, j’ai vu au moins 15 sketchers, faisant face au soleil car la température était très fraîche. J’ai décidé de rester sur le côté du Square Dorchester, plein sud pour obtenir les vues et les rayons du soleil chaud. Comme je commençais à dessiner le monument en face de moi, un homme est venu me voir et a suggéré que je dessine un axe dans le centre pour m’aider dans mon dessin – il avait raison! Me sentant dépassée par la complexité du monument, je me suis tournée vers la Tour CIBC, que j’ai décidé de peindre. Quand j’étais au début de la vingtaine, je travaillais au 14e étage de cette tour … quelles vues incroyables!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 5″x8″
Paint: New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna
Location: Dorchester Square in Montreal, Québec, Canada

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Save this date :: July 10 juillet 2016 :: Inscrivez cette date

We are hoping for a warm summer so that we can enjoy sketching the great outdoors of Montreal. On Sunday July 10th the Urban Sketchers Montreal has been invited to a Picnic Vernissage Day at Stewart Hall’s Cultural Centre in Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall is situated in a gorgeous historic mansion and is a unique cultural venue located on the bank of Lake Saint-Louis. Everyone is invited to sketch with us on that day starting at 10:00 am. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch, in all seasons! More details to follow soon.

Nous espérons avoir un bel été chaud afin que nous puissions dessiner/peindre les grands espaces de Montréal. Le dimanche 10 juillet 2016, les Urban Sketchers de Montréal ont été invités à participer à un Picnic Vernissage au Centre culturel Stewart Hall de Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall est une demeure historique sur un lieu culturel unique situé aux abords du Lac Saint-Louis. Tout le monde est invité à esquisser avec nous ce jour-là à partir de 10h00. Un endroit absolument magnifique pour faire des croquis, en toutes saisons! Plus de détails à suivre bientôt. 

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:: Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours ::

Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away. And though hope can be an act of defiance, defiance isn’t enough reason to hope. But there are good reasons.
— Rebecca Solnit

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met up yesterday at the oldest Chapel in Montreal, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, which was built in 1771 after the first one burned down. Entering the chapel, it is breathtakingly beautiful with so many details that for the two hours that I was sketching I kept thinking about the artisans and craftmen that created all of this intricate work. What were they thinking when they created these special reliefs? Do they have a special significance? I guess that a historian or an architect would know, but to me these are mysteries of great beauty. I also thought that the name Bonsecours was spelled this way, but I realized today that on the chapel’s website, it is spelled de-Bon-Secours even though the market next door seems to be named Bonsecours. If anyone knows why, please let me know… It was the first time that I used the Fluid watercolour paper, and I really liked it as it has high absorbency and the colours mix well on it. And it is not too expensive compared to other quality paper.

Paper: Fluid CP 8″ x 8″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna & Indanthrone Blue
Location: Old Montreal, Québec, Canada

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:: A promise ::

The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.
— Letter from Patti Smith to Robert Mapplethorpe found on Brain Pickings

I promised one of my friends that I would paint some paintings in her sketchbook and then forward these to France… and I finalized the last painting today. Fiou! So the paintings will be on their way off to France this Tuesday.

I woke up this morning, painted on location and then drove off to Montreal to join the Montreal Urban Sketchers to paint an old church in Old Montreal. Yes I was late… Jumping in my car to drive to Montreal, it was quite amazing to see that in Montreal there are no traces of snow whatsoever, but in Rigaud? We are still knee deep in it! While I was painting the backdrop trees I was thinking of Peter Doig, an artist that I greatly admire and I started painting my trees in his way… and they turned out looking like a mountain -)

Mistakes? I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I thought for a very long time that when I painted less, I became rusty… But now I think that we forget the mistakes or how to prevent the mistakes and a little bit rusty too. When you are painting on a day-to-day basis, you do not forget that snow must be painted in one long sweep as opposed to short stances! You do not forget to wet the paper behind your skies. You do not forget that mixing certain colours together they become muddy. Oh well, I think that I should start writing down the important lessons that I have learned over the years.

Paper: Handbook created by my friend Chi Mai
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Violet & Indanthrone Blue
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: Grande bibliothèque de Montréal ::

          You must clean and arrange your studio in a way that will forward a quiet state of mind. This cautious care of atmosphere is really needed to show respect for the work. Respect for art work and everything connected with it, one’s own and that of everyone else, must be maintained and forwarded. No disrespect, carelessness or ego [and] selfishness must be allowed to interfere if it can be prevented. Indifference and antagonism are easily detected — you should take such people out immediately. Just turning the paintings to the wall is not enough. You yourself should not go to your studio in an indifferent or fighting mood.
          — Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances (public library)

I was with the Urban Sketchers of Montreal today at the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal, and what a place! It made me think of the quote from Agnes Martin and how she valued her space.
I changed places three times, very comfortably seated, and my first sketch was of the Montreal skyline. Then I decided to sit at a table with most people’s backs towards me… ideal for sketching people. So my first person stayed there, reading from a real book, and did not budge for at least one half hour, which was a delight for me. Then my second sketch was of someone who was sideways to me, and I do not know if he had a third eye, but the minute that I started sketching him, he started fidgeting, clearly anxious. I did not have the heart to sketch him much longer even though he did not even see me. So I rushed his sketch, to appease his anguish. Then my eyes fell on this wonderful asiatic beauty, and the minute that my pencil touched the paper, she was gone. Then I realized, at 12:15 pm, that I had not paid for my parking downstairs. How could I have forgotten that? I went to see a Security Officer, and he told me to run to my car as I could have a ticket waiting for me… I rushed downstairs, found my car, unscathed by paper — lucky me! But still, how could I get out of the parking space if I did not have a voucher proving that I had paid? So I paid, and when I got to the gate, it opened without asking me to give proof of my payment… sheesh! Anyway, very glad that I had no ticket and la Grande Bibliothèque was a wonderful sketching place. Thank you Shari for bringing us there -)

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Pencil
Location: La Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal

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