“When love and skill work together
— expect a masterpiece.”
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 times—having to deal with the strong winds gusting from Lake St. Louis—and 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
“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
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.
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.
is words turned upside down
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
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