:: Inktober 8 :: Star ::

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The dance between darkness and light will always remain — the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Musing over some present events, I have to admit that we live in an Age of Enlightenment as well as the Dark Ages at the same time. Enlightenment because of the technological benefits that permit us to advance in many ways but in the Dark Ages concerning the stupidity of man, especially the political one, and his effect on our planet. Oooh at least the stars and the Universe are untouched…

Paper: Moleskine Japanese Album
Brush: Chinese Calligraphy Bamboo brush
Inks: Dr. Ph. Martin’s Black Star

#inktober2018 #inktober #star #moleskine

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:: Inktober 7 :: Exhausted :::

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Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That’s how the light gets in.
― Leonard Cohen

Living here in Québec there are some language quirks that are quite interesting. Students mentioned to me this past week that in English we “watch” TV but in Québécois french we “listen” to TV and that is something that I had never really realized until they mentioned it! One friend told me last night that that was because french people were very poor and had no TVs in the old days and that they listened to a radio show called “Séraphin” and then years later it became a TV show… so people continued saying that they listen to TV. For me radio shows are a soothing companion on my drive to and from work. I mainly listen to TV which by the way exasperates my husband as he keeps telling me: “Did you see that?” and of course I have not -)))

I used Bombay Black India ink today and Sennelier Carmin Ink and they did not mix well as you can see below the dog’s tongue. Oh well — it is quite fun trying out these inks and mixes, I am learning quit a lot even though these are far from master works… but they are good trial runs.

Paper: Moleskine Japanese Album
Brush: Chinese Calligraphy Bamboo brush
Inks: Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Black Ink and Encre Sennelier Carmin 635 Carmine

#inktober2018 #inktober #exhausted #moleskine

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:: Inktober 5 :: Chicken ::

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— SOLD —

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.
—  Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Inktober 5 with a feathery, fat chick -))) I love line drawing, and with a beautiful fountain pen fully loaded with De Atramentis Document Black Ink, nirvana is very close indeed — have a nice evening -)

#inktober2018 #inktober

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:: Inktober 3 :: Roasted ::

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I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again
–Fire & Rain by James Taylor 

Well everything went out the window today…. when I got home we had no electricity and had not since noon! It seems as though someone on the street decided to cut a tree and let it fall on the hydro lines. Very smart indeed! Then I was supposed to do value sketching with one colour only for Inktober… and see what I came up with? Oh well, on Friday I will try for another one.

Paper: Moleskine Japanese Album
Fountain Pen: Falcon Pilot SEF with De Atramentis Document Black Ink
PITT artist pen black 199
Watercolours: New Gamboge & Pyrrol Scarlet

#inktober #inktober2018 #sketching #roasted #marshmalloss #fire

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:: Intober 2 :: Tranquil ::

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You build up resistance to stress by learning, acquiring and practicing skills needed to go forward and cope. 
— Dr. Donald Meichenbaum, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
http://painterskeys.com/art-and-stress-2/

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Here are the tools below that I will be using through the month of October for the #Inktober2018 challenge. For the #Inktober2017 challenge I only used one black ink, one white ink and allowed myself to add one watercolour in a drawing from time to time. This year I will try to stay with levels of grey for the month… Let’s see if I am able to stick to it -))) It will be a great exercise to work with values only…

From left to right:
• Dip pen
• 2 watercolour brushes
• Pilot Falcon SEF Fountain Pen filled up with De Atramentis Document Black Ink
• Dr Ph Martin’s Bombay Black India Ink
• Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White
• Dr. Ph. Martin’s Black
• Small watercolour palette
• Moleskine Japanese Japanese Album Sketchbook

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:: Inktober 1 :: Poisonous ::

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A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work,” wrote E.B. White, “will die without putting a word on paper.

The same can be said for all artists I guess, and I know that for painters the above quote rings very true! This is the first day of October, thus my first post for #Inktober2018. Everything was done with ink, except for the red, which was done in watercolour!

Here in Québec it was the provincial election day and when I went to vote this morning I saw all kinds of things happening. A man before me stayed at least 10 minutes in his stall… he seemed to be wondering who to vote for (I think that for this election, many people felt like him). Then the woman following him forgot to put her ballot in the box and the election officers were running after her to remind her. My ballot stayed stuck in the slot so I had to push it 3 times for it to enter!!! Anyway, I did my civic duty and I am hoping for the best even though I am pretty sure that I will again lose my elections… as I have several times in my life -)))

Paper: Moleskine Japanese Album
Inks: Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White & Black Star matte
Pens: Dip pen, watercolour brush & Pilot Falcon SEF

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Here is the Inktober 2018 prompt list, if you are interested in joining -)))

Inktober 2018

#inktober

:: Labour Day weekend ::

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I lost my job as an art salesman. It was the customer’s fault. He wanted to buy the wrong paintings. 
— (Vincent van Gogh)

This is Labour Day weekend and it’s a 3-day weekend which permitted me to draw today… Here is my bouquet of flowers for you on this rainy, humid and quiet day as autumn is just around the corner. The swallows have already left, the blackbirds are slowly returning south and flying over our heads, the goldfinches are turning brown, the chipmunks have their mouths full of seeds, the squirrels are returning, the brook is slowly filling up and the drier tree leaves are rustling in the wind. Autumn is on the way!

Paper: Fluid 100 12″x12″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Century 3776
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black Ink

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:: A few stories ::

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“You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there.”
— (Cesare Parvese) taken from the Painter’s Keys

Just to let you know that I do have a booklet for sale on the Blurb.com website, if ever you are interested in purchasing one -) It is a compilation of some of my best artwork and a little souvenir! LINK

A few Stories with Watercolours & Drawings & Texts
A few Stories …
A journey
By Jane Hannah
Photo book

:: Marché des éclusiers ::

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“I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are;
Because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star.
I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far;
For a might-have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.”
(Milton Berle)

If I had one place to hang out on weekends in Montreal, surely this would be one of the places. You have it all! The waterfront, bike trails, old beautiful buildings, entertainment, great restaurants, tons of activities, exhibitions of all kind, a marina and I pass. And these beautiful vintage old silo buildings which are part of Montreal’s history!

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:: Just for today… ::

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     Just for today I’m going to try to make a better painting. We’re not talking Sistine Chapel here, just a piece of joy begun and ended between sunup and sundown.
     Just for today I’ll be happy with it. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Today I’m making up my mind to be pleased.
     Just for today I’m trusting in luck, intuition, chance and happenstance. Today I’m going to fit myself and my work around some of these minor miracles.
     Just for today I’ll strengthen my mind. When I’m puzzled or have a problem I’ll consult trusted reference. Thought and concentration will be with me, if only just for today.
     Just for today I’ll do something I don’t know how to do — for the fun of it; for the exercise. If and when I fail, no one may notice, and I’ll not say anything.
     Just for today I’ll not find fault with anything or anyone, and I’ll not try to improve or regulate anyone but myself.
     Just for today I’ll have a plan. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. While I’m at it, I’ll save myself from two pests; hurry and indecision.
     Just for today I’ll put beauty, elegance, charm and character into my work. What I give to the world is also what the world gives to me. I need those things.
     Just for today I’ll not think about what anybody else is doing. I’ll be sufficient unto myself, for while I may not be great, I am certainly great enough for today.
     Just for today I’ll take some real time for a quiet time — a half-hour or so by myself where I can sit back and get a better idea of the big picture.
— The Painter’s Key

This is such a beautiful poem that touches me deeply. It comes from the heart, and it is an artist that wrote it. I really needed this mantra just now as after painting with the wonderful Montreal Urban Sketchers today at la Maison des éclusiers, I was met with major traffic jams, orange cones galore… it took me 1 hour to get out of the city, and another 50 minutes to get home! There was so much traffic… sigh…

Sketchbook: Hand}book paper co., the field watercolor jounal
Colours: New Gamboge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine
Location: Maison des éclusiers, Vieux-Montréal

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:: The Art Spirit ::

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In considering lines as a means of drawing, it is well to remember that the line practically does not exist in nature. It is a convention we use.
— The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

For those of you who are interested in the spirit of art, I highly recommend this book The Art Spirit by Robert Henri who was a teacher in NYC and died in 1929. “Henri was an inspired teacher with an extraordinary gift for verbal communication, with the personality and prophetic fire that transformed pupils into idolators.”

I have this 5″x 8″ sketchbook next to me when I am watching tele at night and I draw what I see in front of me… which is mostly my husband. My dog is constantly moving around, and the minute that he sees me watching him, he gets up and wants to play even though he has turned 8! So yesterday I decided to look at a woman on the tele, and then draw her from memory. I think that this is a good mental exercise to do… remembering what things look like without looking… A bit like hide and seek in art -)

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:: A few tries later… ::

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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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:: Simple things… ::

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Grandpa was a carpenter,
he built houses, stores and banks,
he chain-smoked Camel cigarettes
and hammered nails in planks.
He was level-on-the-level,
shaved even every door,
and voted for Eisenhower
’cause Lincoln won the war.
— John Prine

Sounds like a simple poem, does it not? But I love it! Simple and you get the feeling that you know him. He would have liked living where the this painting was done. Here is the same scene as yesterday but more emotional and vocal in a simple landscape scene. Hope that you like it! This paper had been taped down for quite a long time and when I finished my painting and peeled it, some of the painting tore off… and that’s why it has a screwy angle -)

Paper: Bockingford app. 10″x11″
Watercolours: Q. Gold, New Gamboge, Pyrrol Crimson, Burnt Sienna & Ultramarine
Location: Ste-Marthe, Québec, Canada

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:: Song of the Open Road ::

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Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me, 
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. 
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, 
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, 
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, 
Strong and content I travel the open road. 
The earth, that is sufficient, 
I do not want the constellations any nearer, 
I know they are very well where they are, 
I know they suffice for those who belong to them. 
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens, 
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go, 
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them, 
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.) 
— Walt Whitman

 

Yesterday I had many going-ons… I had to drive my husband to the hospital for some tests, then headed back to the house and feed the dog and do some chores, then went back to the hospital to get him, then came back… then went off again to do a bit of shopping and then back again. A lot of road time, gazing at the beautiful skies…

Last night as I calmed down I decided to paint those skies and of course my part of the country, looking at Rigaud mountain where I live.

Paper: Saunders Waterford
Watercolours: New Gamboge, Q. Gold, Raw Sienna, Pyrrol Crimson, Ultramarine

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:: Lieu historique national du Commerce-de-la-Fourrure-à-Lachine ::

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Do not fail to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. 
— Cennino Cennini, 1370-1440

I was painting with my friend Chi Mai today on the Canal Lachine in front of the Fur Trade at the Lachine National Historic Site which dates back from 1803. It is a gorgeous place, right next to the Canal Lachine and next to Lake St. Louis which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Chi Mai has a vast knowledge in watercolours and she helped me out in the end which is very generous of her. Thanks Chi Mai! If you would like to see her work, just click on this LINK.

I find that I have trouble with midtones and usually my paintings fall flat as all of my values fall in the same range… not enough contrast. So I worked today with one concept in mind and this was to have values in mind. To do this I started with a value sketch in lead pencil.  The other thing that I did do differently today was only use flat brushes, and I loved it. I had a big 1″, 0.5″ and 0.25″ and I really enjoyed using these and kind of liberated my arm. And Chi Mai helped me with my values -)))

Paper: Arches 12″x12″
Watercolours: Pyrrol Crimson, Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Q. Burnt Orange, Raw Sienna & Burnt Sienna.
Location: LINK

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:: Books on painting ::

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Cast shadows provide an object with roots and stability and keep it from floating in midair. They are an important structural unit. They help describe the surface the object rests on.
— David A. Leffel

I have not been painting that much this summer, but I have been reading alot — actually tons of watercolour & oil painting books that my friend Linda Denis kindly gave me. Two of the books that have retained my attention on a daily basis are these:

  1. The Art of Watercolor, revised edition by Charles Le Clair which is an exceptional book as it is a handbook offering a comprehensive course of study you would find at university level, it features the works of contemporary and historic masters, it offers how-to techniques and combines studio information with art-historical comment. Wow!
  2. Oil Painting Secrets from a Master “David A. Leffel” by Linda Cateura. This book is like following a workshop with the master David A. Leffel for one whole year and he is right behind you guiding you. It is incredible!!!

So the painting that I did is of Mount Royal which is in the middle of Montreal and you can see the skyscrapers at a distance on the left. I was practicing my skies and then decided to add the mountain for visual impact. Today I used the last page of my Travelogue Sketchbook and I am filing it away… it has been part of another chapter in my life -)

Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8″
Watercolours: Cerulean, Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna

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:: Flat Wash ::

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All is lovely outside my house and inside my house and myself.
— Winslow Homer

I decided to play with flat washes today and here I went… but how could I just put in a sky and not put in a beautiful Montreal skyline at the bottom? So I took a picture from the internet, and drew it in rapidly.

For the flat wash I worked on an inclined surface to let the watercolours run downward and used the biggest brush that I could handle and tried keeping a juicy mixture of paints… I find that the colours are a bit too dark for the sky and a bit too even too — I should have put different colours of paints… next time! I began at the top and tried to let each stroke settle before continuing to let the bead settle. I did horizontal strokes but realize now that I should have used a zigzag approach to break the linear lines and avoid a striped effect. No matter, it did not take me too much time and this is the excuse to try and start painting more as I neglected my paints this summer… life sometimes just has to do its own thing, huh?

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:: Grand séminaire de Montréal ::

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I see and write things first as an artist,
second as a woman,
and third as a New Yorker.
All three have built-in perspectives that aren’t neutral.
— Laurie Anderson

I met up with the Montreal Urban Sketchers yesterday at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal and it was quite astounding! The chapel was gorgeous and the grounds, well… huge! To think that the Sipulcian priests thrived within the seigneurial system from 1675 to 1840 in Montreal! It is my Dad’s passing away day — a great deal of thought for you Dad!

Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

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:: Stewart Hall ::

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 “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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:: Sunday Sketching Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire on July 8th :: Dimanche le 8 juillet à Stewart Hall, Pointe-Claire ::

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On Sunday July 8th 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. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch in all seasons!

10:00 am START: Urban Sketchers Montreal
Sketch Stewart Park, Lake Saint-Louis, and the Cultural Centre. Paper and pencils will be provided.

12:00: Picnic
Bring your lunch and sit by the water to enjoy the beginning of summer. Snacks, drinks and ice cream will be available!

2:00 pm: Vernissage MAKING A STAND: Revisited Pedestals – Part III
Everyone is invited to the Art Gallery for the vernissage of the exhibition.

3:00 pm End of the day: Meet-up Montreal Urban Sketchers
We will gather on the patio facing the lake to share our drawings.

During the day there are many other activities available for you. At 11:00 am there will be a Botanical drawing workshop, at noon the Launch of the public piano season Latin jazz and Cuban program and  from 1:00 to 4:00 pm Friends of Stewart Hall book sale, amongst other activities.

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 -)))

If you are interested in seeing all of the activities during this day, check out this LINK.

On Sunday July 8th 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. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch in all seasons!

10:00 am START: Urban Sketchers Montreal
Sketch Stewart Park, Lake Saint-Louis, and the Cultural Centre. Paper and pencils will be provided.

12:00: Picnic
Bring your lunch and sit by the water to enjoy the beginning of summer. Snacks, drinks and ice cream will be available!

2:00 pm: Vernissage MAKING A STAND: Revisited Pedestals – Part III
Everyone is invited to the Art Gallery for the vernissage of the exhibition.

3:00 pm End of the day: Meet-up Montreal Urban Sketchers
We will gather on the patio facing the lake to share our drawings.

During the day there are many other activities available for you. At 11:00 am there will be a Botanical drawing workshop, at noon the Launch of the public piano season Latin jazz and Cuban program and  from 1:00 to 4:00 pm Friends of Stewart Hall book sale, amongst other activities.

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 -)))

If you are interested in seeing all of the activities during this day, check out this LINK.

______________________

Le dimanche 8 juillet 2018, 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. Un endroit absolument magnifique pour faire des croquis, en toutes saisons!

À partir de 10h : Urban Sketchers Montréal
Vous aurez l’occasion de faire le croquis du parc Stewart, du lac Saint-Louis et du Centre culturel. Feuilles et crayons seront fournis.

12h: Pique-nique
Apportez votre pique-nique et installez-vous au bord de l’eau pour profiter du début de l’été. Des grignotines, des boissons et de la crème glacée seront offertes.

14h : Vernissage STATUER. Les figures du socle – Partie III
Tous sont invités à la Galerie d’art pour le vernissage de l’exposition.

15h fin de la journéeRencontre Urban Sketchers Montréal
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 y aura aussi un Atelier de dessin botanique à 11h, le lancement du Piano publicà midi, une Vente de livres Les Amis de Stewart Hall, un Atelier de création artistique à 13h et d’autres événements qui pourraient être fort intéressants 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: LIEN

En espérant vous voir -)))

Si vous êtes intéressée d’avoir plus d’informations, tous les événements sont bien indiqués ici sous ce LIEN.
_________________

 

MapStewartHall

:: Two brushes ::

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“Accept everything which happens, even if it seem disagreeable, because it leads to this, the health of the universe.”
— Marc Aurelius

I had a glorious day today with a walk in the forest with my husband and my dog, then came back and joined one of my painting friends at John Abbott College where we decided to both paint a blue house on Lakeshore Road. Well I muffed it up… until she came to the rescue! She told me to try painting with two brushes at the same time!!! One for painting, and one for making the watercolour streaks disappear. Well it worked — thanks Chi Mai -))) She also helped me in so many other ways!

Paper: Arches CP 12″x12″
Colours: MG Azzo Yellow, New Gamboge, Q. Rose, Indanthrone, Burnt Sienna
Location: Lakeshore Road in front of John Abbott & MacDonald Campus

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:: Windy Day ::

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In the morning the sea is dead calm and at noon the winds start picking up — thanfully I might add as it is very hot here — but not too hot for my taste.

For this painting I decided to use four different yellows for the coconut fronds… MG Azo Yellow, Sennelier Yellow, New Gamboge and Q. Gold all of them mixed with Cobalt Blue. I find that greens are difficult to paint in watercolour and thankfully, using this method it does not get boring… yeah!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″ x8″
Location: Bucerias, Niyarit, Mexico

:: 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