:: First Frost ::

The lake has started to thicken,
specks of ice.
The mountains are starting to whiten,
snowflakes have fallen.
The birds are gathering at the feeders,
my dog is sleeping. 
— by Jane Hannah

This week we had our first frost and it came as a surprise! Yesterday we had our fundraiser Square Foot Exhibition for the Old Brewery Mission and it was definitely a success. Twenty artists displayed their works and it was quite amazing to see all of the different styles and mediums. I am really enjoying the Fluid 100 paper, as it is 100% cotton and this makes a tremendous difference with watercolours. It takes all of the paint that you throw at it, and then does what it wants to do.

This painting is for sale, and ready to go.

Paper: Fluid 100 12″ x 12″
Colours: Q. Gold, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, P. Crimson & Indanthrone
Location: Hudson, Québec, Canada



:: 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


:: Beautiful silent skies ::

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. (Hans Jean Arp)

When I want to see huge, beautiful skies there is one place to go in my region and it is just between Rigaud and St. Clet. The skies are always luminous, grand and silent as they stretch west towards the sunset surrounding St. Polycarpe and St. Telesphore! I must have painted this sky many times up to now and here it is an older post. There is always a sense of awe that chokes me a bit in front of these immense skies… an inner peace.

I have been cooped up in the house for the past four days as the flu has hit us… the sniffles, coughing, sneezing and nose blowing type of sessions where you just want to lie down and sleep, and when it is time to sleep, you are wide awake! Have you ever had this? In a sense my husband and I were well timed as it started one day apart from each other, so I did not feel guilty binging on Netflix.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Journal 8″x5″
Colours: Burnt Sienna, Q. Rose, Raw Umber & French Ultramarine
Location: Route 201 between Rigaud and St-Clet, Quebec, Canada.


Shadows :: Ombres

As the snow is melting everywhere, there are many remnants in my backyard… we still have at least 2 feet of snow on the Mountain of Rigaud and I am grappling with the idea that I want spring to arrive, fast! and wishing that these beautiful shadows that are cast on the snow could last. The quandary of the artist… these shadows I will miss… so I am painting them… and painting them… and painting them.

Shadows change hues as the temperatures change. In the deep of winter with frigid temperatures the shadows are a blue metallic — when the sun starts coming out, and the temperatures go up a bit, the shadows turn to a deep blue-violet and now, as spring is almost around the corner, the shadows have turned to a grey-lavender.

Comme la neige fond vite, il y a toujours des restes sur mon terrain… au moins 2 pieds de neige sur la montagne de Rigaud. Je suis super contente que le printemps arrive à grands pas, au plus vite possible, et le fait que mes ombres qui sont si belles sur la neige vont disparaître. Le dilemme de l’artiste… ces ombres vont me manquer, donc je les peins, et je les peins, et je les peins…

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray
Location: My backyard in Rigaud, Québec, Canada


Intertwined :: Entrecroisés

These two trees seem to have lived for a very long time, side by side, looking over the beautiful Lake St. Francis (now thawing) and perhaps having at one moment in time, only the wind, birds and a few human beings passing by them. Now there is a booming sailboat club right next to them, an asphalt road and many passersby. Times change but these type of friendships last. The snow is receding at a very good rate and we can start seeing water appearing on the still frozen lakes — finally!

Ces deux arbres semblent avoir vécu depuis bien longtemps, un à côté de l’autre, regardant le très beau lac St-François (qui est toujours gelé). Dans leur passé, ils étaient tout probablement accompagnés du vent, de la pluie, du soleil et quelques humains qui passaient. De nos jours, ils côtoient le club de voile de Valleyfield, avec une route en asphalte passant devant et beaucoup de personnes en balade. Les temps changent mais les amitiés, des fois, restent. Finalement la neige descend, oohhhh que lentement et sûrement, et l’eau commence à apparaître sur les lacs toujours glacés.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna & Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Parc Marcil in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec, Canada


Air of spring :: Air printanier

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 
― Albert Camus

This morning when I woke up there was a mini snowstorm going on and as the day wore on, the temperatures went up… a bit. It felt balmy at 3ºC and it was raining by 10:00 am — a sure sign that spring is in the air. This painting was done this week for a commission that I had… one painting is on its way to Colorado  as a reminder of a dream that once was while this one is staying here…

Quand je me suis réveillée ce matin, il y avait une mini-tempête de neige… ensuite elle s’est calmée, et il a commencé à pleuvoir vers 10h00, un signe certain que le printemps s’en vient. Ooooh! Que j’ai hâte. Cette peinture a été complétée cette semaine pour une commission… l’autre est sur son chemin pour le Colorado rejoindre quelqu’un avec un rêve qui a été…

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 8″ x 8″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna & French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Bulletproof Lexington Grey


:: Sketch Swap ::

— Swapped and residing in Gerona, Spain —

“The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months. Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem. Tennyson and Walter de la Mare had to smoke. Auden drinks lots of tea, Spender coffee; Hart Crane drank alcohol. Pope, Byron, and William Morris were creative late at night. And so it goes.” 
― Helen Bevington

I participated in a Sketch Swap organized by the Urban Sketchers group. I was paired up with someone from Gerona, Spain and I received his painting today in the mail. It was such a great feeling to receive it — he actually sent me a video, and a nice historical explanation of his city.

So the following painting is the one that I sent him. The architecture of the house is a typical “vernacular” or cottage type house with two slopes. Neoclassical style, around 1825, 1-1/2 stories, with symetrical opening. The floors are usually very close to the earth (no basement) with a bas-côté named “tambour” in French.  When settlers arrived in Canada, there were alot of trees… so all of our architecture is wood-based, especially houses that lie in the countryside. This house was painted on location in Coteau-Landing, Québec, Canada and is on a very quiet side road where not many cars or humans, go to. It is very typical of our older houses.

J’ai participé à un Sketch Swap avec les Urban Sketchers où nous étions mis en binôme… moi je devais peindre pour une personne à Gérone, Espagne et vice versa. J’ai reçu sa peinture aujourd’hui et c’était assez trippant. Pour ma part, je lui ai fait parvenir la peinture ci-bas, qui représente une maison rurale avec une architecture assez typique du Québec. Architecture vernaculaire ou style néoclassique, environ 1825, 1-1/2 étage sans sous-sol avec un bas côté nommé “tambour”.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″ x 9″


Commission: an order for something, especially a work of art, to be produced specially. I wanted to explain the steps that I go through when I receive a commission from a client. For this example I am working from a reference photograph. I also wanted to mention that I never post a client’s final painting as that painting does not belong to me anymore… it is theirs -)))

1. Composition Sketch: the first step that I take is to figure out the composition… I think and sketch about the various elements for the painting and where to place them… will I add a tree there or keep the houses in the background? Usually I create three of these.
2. Tonal Value Sketch: I then pick the best composition, and figure out the main highlights and tonal values of the sketch and pick one colour (usually Payne’s grey) and apply three values to a rough sketch. The one colour is applied at difference intensity levels (75%, 40% and 15%). This is the sketch that I am showing you today. I must add that I will do the compositional sketch right after this, as I have not yet figured out if I will leave the houses as they are in the photograph or put trees instead…
3. Small sketch in colour: In a sketchbook, in a much smaller size than the real size, I then “try out” a rough coloured version of the painting and see where that brings me. I might have to do two of these. This is where I choose my triads.
4. Real size sketch in pencil: Once that I am satisfied with my small sketch, I move on to a very high quality paper and draw everything at the client’s required size with a #7B pencil (quite soft lead so that it does not scratch the watercolour paper as this may create gutters and lines in the watercolour).
5. Real size sketch in ink: Then I go over the pencil lines with ink (if necessary or required).
6. Final version of the painting. Voilà! In the hopes that it is to my liking, as I am “the” most difficult person to please -)

Pour ce blogue je voulais expliquer les étapes que je fais quand je reçois une commande d’un client. Pour cet exemple, je travaille d’une photographie de référence que la cliente m’a envoyée.

1. Croquis de composition: la première chose que je dessine sont des “thumbnails” ou des tout petits croquis de composition. Est-ce que je vais garder les maisons à l’arrière ou est-ce que je vais les enlever et mettre des arbres au lieu? Est-ce que je vais mettre l’horizon au centre ou plus haut ou plus bas?
2. Valeurs de tons: Ensuite je fais une étude de valeurs de tons. J’utilise pour ceci qu’une couleur avec trois intensités différentes (à peu près 15%, 40% et 75) pour démontrer les tons clairs, sombres et moyens.
3. Sketchbook: Je fais un croquis dans un “sketchbook” en couleurs et c’est là que je choisis mon triade de couleurs… des fois je peux en faire 2 ou 3 de ces croquis.
4. Grandeur réelle: papier aquarelle d’une très grande qualité (Saunders Waterford 140 lbs CP) et je la coupe à la grandeure désirée, dans ce cas, 11″x14″, et je dessine au crayon #7B (un crayon gras pour ne pas abimer le papier).
5. Encre: Après je retrace avec une plume fontaine remplie d’encre (si nécessaire ou désiré).
6. Peinture finale: peindre la peinture finale en espérant qu’elle soit à mon goût car je suis la personne la plus “critique” de mes peintures. Des fois je dois refaire 2 fois…

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10 – 5″ x 8″
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Pen: Twisbi Classic EF
Colour: W&N Payne’s Grey


Shades of grey :: Nuances de gris

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”
― W.B. Yeats

I decided to do a study in grey combinations today. Instead of using the triad colours that I usually use, I decided to use only one red color with multiple blues… to create different shades of grey. Each building has a different blue colour but always the same Indian Red. This farms is in Coteau-Landing, Québec.

J’ai décidé de faire une étude de gris aujourd’hui. Au lieu d’utiliser le triade de couleurs que j’utilise habituellement, j’ai décidé d’utiliser qu’un rouge “Indian Red” et multiples couleurs de bleu pour créer différentes nuances de gris. Chaque bâtiment a un bleu différent combiné au “Indian Red”. Cette ferme est située à Coteau-Landing.

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Indian Red, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue, Manganese Blue, French Ultramarine & Payne’s Grey
Poem: by W. B. Yeats for my Mother in memory of my father…

New Year’s Eve :: Veille du Jour de l’an

Tonight for the New Year, or Saint Sylvester, there will be many festivities, family reunions and friends feasting together…  I will be one of those. I am lucky to have a few good friends, a wonderful family and a loving husband. This was painted in the St. James Church park. Here is my toast to you.

I wish you health, love, wisdom and a long life!

Ce soir pour le Nouvel an, ou la Saint-Sylvestre, autour de la planète il va y avoir beaucoup de festivités entre amis et familles. J’y serai! Voici mes salutations à vous -)

Je vous souhaite santé, amour, sagesse et une très longue vie!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt Blue
Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey

Knowledge & words & lines :: Le savoir & les mots & les lignes

All knowledge cannot be expressed in words, yet our education is based almost exclusively on its written or spoken forms. But the artist, dancer, and mystic have learned to develop the nonverbal portion of intelligence.
― Robert Ornstein, american psychologist

I will mention something that has become quite evident for me over time, but when you are drawing, you should always start drawing with the  foreground objects first and the background objects last… especially when you are drawing with indelible ink. That way you do not get caught crossed over lines that should not have been! This is a farm on Route 201 in St. Clet, Québec, Canada.

Mon expérience en dessin m’amène à partager ce que j’ai appris au fil du temps… quand vous dessinez, surtout avec une plume indélibile, toujours commencer par les objets qui se trouvent en-avant et finir avec ceux qui sont dans le fond… de cette façon vous allez éviter de faire des lignes qui ne doivent pas apparaître!

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue
Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray



Dominical painting :: Peinture dominicale

“An artist painting a picture should have at his side a man with a club to hit him over the head when the picture is finished.” 
― John Singer Sargent

We have had so many parties, family encounters and friend requests, that I have not had the time to paint as I have wished. So I told my husband today that painting was my priority for this dominical day. So here is a sketch of St. James Church in Hudson. Because I have not painted in 6 days, I felt quite rusty and my hand-eye coordination was off, as were my colours. In the hope of painting during this coming week to get the colours back in my eyes -) — I love this quote by Sargent… it represents well today’s painting, I was so happy to be painting that I overworked it and in some parts it has become muddy.

Les deux dernières semaines ont été tellement occupées par des partys, des rencontres de famille et des requêtes d’amis pour se voir que je n’ai pas pu peindre autant que j’aurais voulu. Donc en ce matin dominical, j’ai dit à mon chum que ma priorité était de peindre… même si je suis tout à fait rouillée et que les couleurs ne sont plus présentes dans mes yeux. -)

Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook
Colours: French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, B. Orange, Raw Sienna
Fountain Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ #41


Memoirs of Hadrian

Do the best one can. Do it over again. Then still improve, even if ever so slightly, those retouches. “It is myself that I re-make,” said the poet Yeats in speaking of his revisions.
— Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar.

I am presently reading Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. A testamentary letter from the emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius and it is  beautifully written…  its accurate historical moments, its psychological depth all work to make it a beautifully written novel. Well worth reading.

Driving back from visiting my mother yesterday, I stopped on Route 201 in St. Clet to paint this landscape. Lo and behold, as I had just finished my painting and was getting ready to put my car into gear, a police car pulls behind me and turns on his flashing lights. Heaven to Betsy! I thought… why do they want to give me a ticket? Then I wait in the car as I know that we should… I wait… I wait… then I turn around to look at the police car and no sign from them. Hum. What to do? Argh. I decided to put on my flasher, and just leave. They followed me until they had to turn to go someplace else. I think that they were trying to keep me safe as there were many cars passing on that road? So I continued on my little merry way, just happy not to get a ticket!!! Phew!

Hier en revenant de visiter ma mère j’ai décidé de peindre ce paysage au bord de la route 201 et tout comme je venais de finir, la police s’arrête derrière moi et met ses girophares clignotants. Eh bien! Je vais me faire donner un ticket? Argh! J’attends… et j’attends pour qu’ils débarquent de leur automobile et me donner le fameux ticket… et rien. Que faire? Je me revire de bord pour les regarder et je ne vois personne dans l’auto car il pleut. Tiens! Je pars, tout de go! Je mets mon signal et je pars. L’automobile de police me suit, éteint ses gyrophares et tourne pour se rendre à sa destination… et moi je continue sur mon petit poutte poutte de chemin. Fiou! Pas de ticket! Je crois qu’ils ont fait ça pour me permettre de décoller sécuritairement sur cette voie assez passante. Merci la police -)

Paper: Hand•Book Travelogue
Colours: Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship “Flexi Grip” EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Little shed :: Petite shed

I have been yearning to get out to paint the fall foliage and I went back to one of my favourite spots… chemin Harwood where you can see the majestic Calvaire Mountain. As you most probably know, I love old sheds, so here is another one. I have painted this scene many times, and I cannot tire of it. Hope that you enjoy it! Yesterday I sold my first painting ever — one of my paintings is going to sunny California — yahoo! Well, that is a start, is it not?  J’avais tellement le goût de peindre les couleurs d’automne, donc aujourd’hui j’ai eu une petite fenêtre de temps libre vers 15h30 et je me suis dépêchée… j’ai souvent peint cette petite grange que j’aime tant donnant sur le majestueux Mont Calvaire. Hier j’ai vendu ma première peinture de toute ma vie — yeah! Elle s’en va vers la Californie ensoleillée -) Paper: Larolan Sketchbook Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Cerulean Blue Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey 20131020_MontéeHarwood

Gouin West :: Gouin ouest

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
― George Bernard Shaw

As I was in Pierrefonds yesterday morning, I decided to paint this pack of small houses. I used Cerulean Blue which made my greens too weak mixed with some Aureolin Yellow (which in itself is not a strong yellow) and for the shadows I added a tad of Cobalt Blue with some Q. Scarlet. The shadows came out well.

Comme j’étais à Pierrefonds hier matin, j’ai peint cette maison en vitesse. Mon bleu de base était le Céruléen, qui est un bleu trop pâle pour avoir une présence dans les verts… donc ceci est une peinture qui est un peu trop fade. Par contre, mes ombres, faits avec le bleu cobalt et du Q. Scarlet sont biens.

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook
Colours: Cerulean, Aureolin Yellow, Q. Scarlet and a tad of Cobalt Blue
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey


Indian Sculpture :: Sculpture indienne

Yesterday was my second watercolour class with a great teacher, Marc, and here is his BLOG if you would like to know a bit about him. This course takes place at SynStudio on St. Catherine street in Montreal, Québec, Canada. This is an amazing environment for a small group of people, around 10, where we are exploring new frontiers (for me anyway) in watercolour painting. The class is perfect, the people in the class are really nice and the carpooling is wonderful. So all in all, a very nice night. If any of you know the symbolism and the name of the statue that I painted, I would really appreciate your input… -) I just found out that they are from India -)_))

Mon deuxième cours d’aquarelles se tenait hier soir à SynStudio sur la rue Ste-Catherine à Montréal, Québec, Canada. Le prof est Marc, qui est excellent — voici son BLOG si ses oeuvres vous intéressent. Le cours est très intéressant et le talent du prof est impressionnant, les élèves sont supers et le co-voiturage parfait! Une très belle soirée, somme toute -) Si quelqu’un entre vous connaît la sculpture que j’ai peinte, j’aimerais avoir un peu plus d’infos — le symbolisme? Son nom? Il semble qu’elle soit des Indes…

Paper: Fabriano Artistico CP, 140 lbs, 11″ x 15″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine


A place to paint the seasons :: Un endroit pour peindre les saisons

A few months ago I found a place that lent itself well for painting the different seasons that we have here in Québec, Canada. So here is my mountain, where I live, and which is very inspiring in many ways for a painter and gives me a quality of life that is extremely agreeable. It is the first time that I use the wonderful Saunders Waterford HP hot pressed paper… up to now I have always used cold pressed, which is more textured. The hot pressed paper is extremely smooth, and ideal for drawing with a fountain pen.

Il y a quelques mois j’ai trouvé un endroit qui se donne bien pour peindre les différentes saisons que nous avons ici au Québec, Canada. En plus, c’est la montagne où je vis et qui m’apporte beaucoup en tant que peintre et pour la qualité de vie. C’est la première fois que j’utilise le papier Saunders Waterford pressé à chaud qui est très lisse et agréable pour tirer les traits avec la plume fontaine. J’ai toujours utilisé du papier pressé à froid auparavant, qui est bien plus texturé.

Paper: Saunders Waterford HP 12″ x 9″
Colours: French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna and Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Fountain Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey


Study in Blue, part II :: Étude de bleus, partie II

I wanted to rectify my explanations that I gave on my last post on how I use and choose paint colours. As some of you seem to have understood, I do not paint the entire surface with a blue wash…

Just before starting to paint, I think about the three colours that I will use and that will best represent the scene that I have in front of me. I always start by choosing which blue that I will use to mix my colours with. Will I choose Cerulean Blue? or Cobalt Blue? or French Ultramarine? or Prussian Blue? Each blue gives very different atmospheres… In my humble opinion, Cerulean Blue gives a very soft atmosphere while French Ultramarine Blue gives drama, and Prussian Blue gives a very lively and summery atmosphere and Cobalt Blue is perfect for summer and winter (well, to me anyway). The reason that I start thinking about the colour blue is that once I have made my decision, then this will also direct my choice for the two other primary colours… red and yellow or something else. I hope that this clarifies things. For my next paintings, I will be rotating and moving through all of the blues that I have and that will give you a better idea of my explanation.

J’aimerais rectifier l’explication de mon blogue antérieur car il y a une couple de personnes qui ont compris que j’avais utilisé un lavis de bleu sur ma peinture au complet… et ce n’est pas le cas.

Quand je regarde une scène pour peindre, je pense premièrement aux trois couleurs que je vais mélanger pour représenter l’atmosphère de la scène. La première couleur à laquelle je réfléchis est le bleu… est-ce que je vais utiliser le blue céruléen? ou le bleu cobalt? ou même le bleu ultramarin? ou le bleu de Prusse? car chaque bleu va donner un thème différent à ma peinture. Je trouve, à mon humble avis, que le bleu céruléen est très aérien et léger et doux tandis que le bleu ultramarin est dramatique, et le bleu cobalt est parfait pour l’été et l’hiver tandis que le bleu de Prusse donne une gaieté estivale qui est incroyable! Ceci n’est pas une science mais des impressions que j’ai à force de mélanger et de peindre… Une fois que j’ai choisi le bleu que je veux, ensuite vient le choix plus facile du jaune et du rouge ou un autre… j’espère que ceci a éclairé un peu mon explication précédente… Mes prochaines peintures vont réfléter mon explication ici car je vais changer de bleu et faire le tour de tous les bleus que j’ai -)

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10 – 5″ x 8″
Pen: Pilon FlexiGrip EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Colours: Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna and Aureolin Yellow


Blue atmosphere :: Le bleu et l’atmosphère

Just before starting to paint, I think about the 3 colours that I will use and I always start with the blue… I find that this is “the”colour that determines alot of the atmosphere in a painting. Today, by choosing Cerulean Blue, I knew that my painting would look very soft and pastel-like.. and that is what I wanted. However, I also knew that I would not have very deep darks, but that comes with the choice. You will tell me: “Heck Jane, why don’t you just add another blue to the combo?”. For many reasons as it seems to go against my design knowledge. In design, you usually need three main colours. If you use more, it often turns out “kitsch” and that is fine, if that is what you want. So I tend to stick to my guns, and only use 3 primary colours. One of these days, I want to try 3 secondary colours… that would be kind of cool too! This is the Veteran’s Hospital in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

Quand je commence à peindre, je choisis toujours le bleu pour la première couleur car c’est cette couleur qui détermine le plus l’atmosphère de la peinture… elle a beaucoup d’influence -) Donc aujourd’hui en choisissant le Bleu céruléen, je savais que ma peinture serait douce et comme des pastels. Voici l’Hôpital des vétérans, à Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook#10 – 5″ x 8″
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilon FlexiGrip EF
Colours: Cerulean Blue, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna


For whom the bell tolls :: Pour qui sonne le glas

This is a beautifully maintained church where the parishioners of St-Louis-de-Gonzague seem very proud of. The bells of the church are still tolled by hand, like in the old times.

No, I will not be talking about Ernest Hemingway’s book today. I will talk about what dawned on me this morning. I realized today that when I really look hard at the landscape that I wish to paint, and also think hard about my colour combination before I start painting, I succeed in painting something that makes sense and is at least acceptable. Today the sky was greyish and that greyness gave some muted tones to the objects… so I decided to use three soft colours (not hard edged). Let me know how you start your painting? Do you think about the composition first? The grey values? The colour combos? Or do you just plunge into it head first, and hope for the best like I used to do before and sometimes still do?

Voici une église qui est remarquablement bien entretenue, et où ses résidents semblent très fiers. Saviez-vous qu’il y a encore un bedeau qui fait sonner les cloches à l’aide de cordes? Comme dans le vieux temps?

Non, je ne parlerai pas du livre de Ernest Hemingway (qui est excellent en passant) mais bien d’une idée avec laquelle je me suis réveillée ce matin. J’ai réalisé ce matin que si je regarde très fort un paysage, et que je réfléchis beaucoup sur les couleurs que je devrais utiliser, habituellement les résultats sont pas si pires. Donc ce matin j’ai pensé fort et j’ai décidé qu’étant donné que c’était une journée grise, mes trois couleurs devraient être plus douces, pas trop franches. Quand vous décidez de peindre, quelle est votre première étape? Des petits croquis pour les valeurs de gris? Un croquis de composition? Réflection sur la combinaison de couleurs? Ou est-ce que vous plongez la tête la première et espérez pour le mieux, comme j’ai dû faire des centaines de fois? 

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Rose Madder Genuine and Cobalt Blue


Things from the past :: Ces choses du passé

I would never have guessed that painting would have shown me what I truly love… I had not realized that I love old barns as much as I do. I think that in general I like old stuff as my house is filled with miscellaneous items that go way back in the past, in remembrance of those who have passed or because of their historical or genealogical significance… sometimes simply because of their beauty. Nowadays I find that old barns, and old houses are disappearing at an alarming rate and being replaced by clapboard. Yikes!

I have been using alot of Aureolin Yellow lately as I find that this is about the only yellow that I have that does not muddy my greens… New Gambodge has a red undertone, and muddies my greens… and the other yellow that I have is Cadmium Yellow Light, which is opaque, and have not played with it enough for me to comment. Is there another yellow that you would recommend?

Je ne savais pas que la peinture était pour me montrer que j’aime les vieilles granges… de toutes sortes. Heu! Je pourrais dire qu’en général j’aime les veilles choses, pour le souvenir qu’ils me rapportent pour ceux que j’ai aimés ou bien pour leur valeur historique ou généalogique ou simplement à cause de leur beauté. Pour mes dernières peintures, j’ai utilisé le Aureolin Yellow car il fait de très beaux verts… à comparer du New Gambodge qui a des sous-tons de rouge qui brouillent les verts, et aussi le Cadmium Yellow Light, mais étant donné qu’il est opaque, et que j’aime la transparence dans mes peintures, je ne l’utilise pas. Avez-vous une couleur jaune que vous utilisez fréquemment que vous aimez?

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Colours: Burnt Sienna, Indigo and Aureolin Yellow


What a day :: Quelle journée

After a full and frazzled day, I decided to soothe my soul and go to St-Louis-de-Gonzague with Pyper in tow (for those of you who do not know, he is my dog, a Golden Retriever). I love autumn as the trees are still full of leaves, they are starting to have a tinge of orange and yellow and the shadows are long… which I love! I saw this cute old house with the huge silos in the back of it, and couldn’t resist them…

Après une longue journée éreintante, j’ai décidé de prendre la route vers St-Louis-de-Gonzague avec Pyper dans le siège arrière. L’automne qui arrive avec ses arbres pleins de feuilles, tournat au jaune et orange avec ses ombres longs, j’adore! Quand j’ai vu cette petite maison avec ses silos monstres, je n’ai pu résister.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook #9
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Colours: Quinachridone Burnt Orange, Cobalt Blue and Aureolin Yellow


Autumn is just around the corner :: L’automne est presque arrivé

Autumn is just around the corner. The air is crisp and still, the birds are quiet and the days are saying goodbye much earlier… For this painting I chose Prussian Blue, which is an amazing blue, if you are painting a very bright summery day. For this landscape, I should have chosen another blue like Winsor Blue instead… it would have given nicer greens. As Winsor Blue has some yellow in it, by using a yellow that has some blue in it, like Aureolin Yellow, my greens would have been octanic, the term that Jeanne Dobie uses in her colour theory.  By using New Gambodge (red undertone) mixed with Prussian Blue (yellow undertone) my two colours clashed and the undertones were muddy. However, all of this theory is really indicating to me “how to” setup my watercolour palette the next time that I decide to clean it. I will be putting my colours along the line of Dobie logic. If you would like to know more about this here is one of my previous posts on the subject — Jeanne Dobie Make Colors Sing –.

L’automne est presque arrivé et l’air est frais et clair, les oiseaux sont silencieux et les jours nous disent au revoir bien de bonne heure. Pour cette peinture j’ai utilisé du Blue de Prusse qui est une excellent couleur si l’on peint une scène chaude d’été… mais pour l’automne, moins. Si j’avais suivi les consignes de Jeanne Dobie sur les couleurs “octaniques” j’aurais utilisé le Bleu de Winsor qui a une teinte de jaune avec le jaune Auréolin, qui a des teintes de bleu dedans et mes verts auraient été beaucoup plus resplendissants et non ternes. Une chose que je sais: la prochaine fois que je refais ma palette de couleurs, je vais avoir en tête la logique de Jeanne.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolor
Pen: Pigma Micron Pen 01
Colours: New Gambodge, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue and Yellow Ochre.


Colours & my eyes :: Les yeux & couleurs

This past week was very intense at school and I spent most of my weekend preping and correcting students’ work. So I had very little time to even think about painting or sketching. So today I rushed out at 3:00 pm to try and sketch… and disaster was in the making. I have noticed that if I do not paint every 3 days, my eyes cannot see the colours anymore… my hand/eye coordination is still good, but the colours have disappeared from my eyes.

So here are feeble attempts at a beautiful landscape… I did not have the colours in my eyes! So the first landscape was done with Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre and Alizarin Crimson while the bottom attempt was with Cobalt Blue, New Gambodge and Alizarin Crimson. Both have muddy greens and I should have thought about Jeanne Dobie’s lessons -)



Old House :: Vieille maison

This is a very old house in Rigaud. I went with my dog today to paint and I opened up the hatchback and I sat there… Pyper went and fuddled in the grass, sniffing and looking at every grass blade that grew there. Well! Again it seems as though we were the sensation of this small village as it seems as though every car of the neighbourhood drove by very very slowly looking at what I was doing… even the people in the house opened their door to peer out and look at me, wondering what the heck that I was doing -) Very funny!

Voici une très vieille maison de Rigaud. Aujourd’hui je suis partie avec mon chien Pyper et j’ai ouvert le hatchback pour m’asseoir là. Pyper est descendu et pendant qu’il sentait chaque brin d’herbe, il semble que toute la municipalité de Rigaud est venue voir ce que je faisais… beaucoup d’autos ont passé très très lentement, en essayant de voir… même les gens de la maison ont sorti de leur maison pour voir ce que je pouvais bien faire là! Très drôle -) 

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Colours: Prussian Blue, Q. Deep Gold, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Yellow
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey