Fooling Around…

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
(Phyllis Diller)

Fooling around with non-permanent pens… and wow! I did not realize that it would make such a mess of the colours. On the bright side, if you want a grungy look this is the way to go as the ink from the pen washes away and mixes with the watercolours. On the other hand, I like my colours to be “clean” so this was the downside. It doesn’t matter as I am experimenting and enjoying my time doing so. Ahhhhhh… the joys of retirement.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Pen: Staedtler triplus fineliner
Watercolours: Hansa Med., Q. Rose, Prussian Blue

:: Working for love ::

On the Painter’s Keys website I found this little gem and thought that I would share it with you. It resonated with me as it is true that we are low consumers and thrive in quiet spaces. We know how to work for love? Wow! That is sooo true… I cannot paint something that I do not love. It has to come from the heart first, and if I love it, I know that I will paint it well…

I’m willing to bet my last roll of toilet paper that the 99% of artists the world is currently digging professional graves for will not all perish in the age of isolation. We have low overheads. And our worldly needs are modest. We know how to work for love. Many of us are poor consumers. We also thrive in the quiet spaces, which means our ideas are being given the opportunity to improve. We are all at home, now. If part of art’s function is to explore our universal human experience, home is our current, unifying theme.
Painter’s Key

I am definitely in need of some greenery as this painting attests to. Here in Québec, or at least where I live, there is hardly any green yet. I painted this little old house as I followed Shari‘s online class… she motivates me to continue!

20200425-oldHouse2-jane-hannah-loResPaper: Hand•book journal co. 8″ x 8″
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black
Namiki Fountain Pen SEF
Watercolours: New Gamboge, Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, Q. Rose, Q. Burnt Orange

:: Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme ::

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to be see beyond the usual — become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.
— The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

As Fall is approaching here, the leaves are turning a golden hue with some bursts of oranges and deep purple… it is already starting here. The peak of the season is usually near October 15th here in southern Québec, and this date varies with the latitude that you are living in. A book that I often delve in is The Art Spirit as it is profoundly spiritual in an artistic sense. Henri must have been a wonderful teacher, and I do hope that some days, a very few perhaps, I might inspire my students as Henri inspires me!

These flowers were photographed by a famous writer here in Canada, Kim Thuy and she won the Giller prize for her book Ru. Her first photograph were of these flowers in their fragrant bloom (which I have posted before), and the second photograph is the flowers with the petals falling… I thought that it was appropriate with our imminent fall season. She mentioned this quote to me when she sent me the second photograph. “Presque arrivées à leur destination”. Well said Kim! This painting is part of the next exhibit that I will be taking part in November 2018 that is called Square Foot Exhibition. All are welcome. #squarefootexhibition2017.

Paper: Fluid 100
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black
Fountain Pen: Carbon Desk Pen EF
Location: Reference photograph here in Rigaud, Québec, Canada






:: Wishing you Peace, Love & Joy ::

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Hit it
C’mon, ev’rybody’s talking about
Ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Popeyes and bye-bye, bye-byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations, congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
— John Lennon
Paper: Travelogue Handbook 8″x8″
Colours:New Gambodge, Q. Rose, Red Sennelier & French Ultramarine
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

:: Singing flowers ::

If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do,
I’m sure that, for me, there would be nothing left worth living for.

— Henry David Thoreau

Charles Reid’s video was just what I needed… he takes his time, and really shows us how to dip our brush in the paints and how to put it on paper. Actually it is one of the first times that I am happy with flowers that I painted as they seem to be singing away.

When I started to paint I decided to erase haphazardly some pencil lines as I found that they were too strong (see yesterday’s post). Then what is amazing is that Charles Reid paints with the tip of the brush facing downwards towards you… I really liked that idea. The other thing that I really enjoyed was continuing the object’s color into its cast shadow, as with the small jug on the left hand side… The perylene maroon is a very strong staining colour but I love its’ intensity and vividness!

The quote from Henri David Thoreau rings true for me, as when the sun sets it is a time that permits me to fulfill my own dreams and pursuits (most of these lie within the realm of painting, reading, thinking and organizing the house). Daytime is  a time that is given to others or for others in order for them to fulfill their dreams and pursuits. In a way it makes sense as a teacher I spend most of my days thinking of my students, working for my students, preparing and correcting my students. Do not get me wrong, I am constantly thinking of how I could improve my teaching so that my students get more out of it too… but when night time arrives, I shift gears and think of my own needs -)

Paper: Arches 5″ x 8″
Colours: Q. Gold, Perylene Maroon, Cobalt Blue mostly
Source: Charles Reid Flower DVD

Singing Flowers
Singing Flowers

Service is love :: Le service est l’amour

In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love, because, as the prophet says, service is love made visible.
If you love friends, you will serve your friends.
If you love community, you will serve your community.
If you love money, you will serve your money.
And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself.
So no more winning. Instead, try to love others and serve others, and hopefully find those who love and serve you in return.
— Stephen Colbert addressed the 2011 graduating class of Northwestern University. (credit:

One of the blogs that I follow is “All about work” and this week a memorable citation was posted… so I am sharing it with you. Stephen Colbert will be replacing David Letterman on the Tonight Show!

My intense period of correcting and prepping for my classes is now over as I have marked everything that I needed to mark, and students know where they are going… so I now have two days in front of me to paint–so I embrace it with all of the love that I have for this activity, even though I am quite rusty from not having painted in awhile…

La citation ci-haut vient de Stephen Colbert qui va remplacer David Letterman dans le Tonight Show l’année prochaine.

Ma période intense de corrections et de préparation pour mes cours se termine et j’ai un peu plus de temps pour peindre… et je vais en profiter au maximum. Peindre me rend tellement heureuse et me donne un sentiment d’accomplissement incroyable… comme aucune autre activité. Je ne sais pas pourquoi…

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Series
Colours: New Gambodge, Mayan Violet, Serpentine Genuine, Indigo
Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


The Art Spirit by/par Robert Henri

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.
— Robert Henri

I would like to thank David Tripp for his contagious affection for the teachings of Robert Henri. Because of David, I decided to buy Robert Henri’s book The Art Spirit and indeed, it is wonderful. How can you not fall in love with a book that has as its preface the above quote?

Je viens d’acheter un livre “The Art Spirit” par Robert Henri que David Tripp  mentionne assez souvent dans son blogue… c’est l’histoire d’un professeur en arts des années 1880–1920 qui a beaucoup inspiré ses élèves ainsi que le milieu artistique. La citation au début démontre la profondeur de son propos… étant donné que je suis prof, ça me touche!

Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue
Paper: Arches CP 140 lb, 12″ x 15″


School preparation :: En préparation des classes

You know that I have been very busy when I start drawing or painting things around the house… as today. Last week we had our first Welcome Back Breakfast of the semester and none of the speeches, meetings, dialogues inspired me to become a better teacher… statistics, numbers, administrative problems and budgets were thrown at me, and none stimulated nor motivated me — they actually had the opposite effect, I just wanted to take my legs and run out of there! What ignites me is when I am learning and I see my students learning! By reading a book, exchanging with someone who has passion, reading about history, literature, genealogy, music or art inspire me to become a better teacher as they stimulate ideas in me… not budgets! My heart is ready to start teaching and my pledge is to take the students where they are, and bring them somewhere where they can grow… I will try to guide our real students, in our real classes, with our real faculty… all these are not statistics — they are real!

Vous savez que je suis bien occupée quand je commence à peindre des objets autour de la maison… lundi prochain je recommence à enseigner et je suis en train de préparer mes cours. La semaine passée nous avons eu des rencontres avec les administrateurs du Cégep, qui nous ont lancé chiffres, budgets, déficits, problèmes financiers et statistiques et la seule chose que je voulais faire est de prendre mes jambes et courir! Ces discours et les réunions ne me motivent pas, et ont un effet contraire… ils ne m’inspirent surtout pas à devenir une meilleure enseignante. Ce qui m’inspire est d’apprendre, de parler avec quelqu’un d’illuminé, d’apprendre sur l’histoire ou de lire un bon livre, la littérature, les arts, la musique… ces choses m’inspirent — et le plus beau cadeau est de voir mes élèves apprendre dans ma classe. Mon coeur est prêt à enseigner et à parcourir ce chemin et je me promets de prendre les élèves où ils sont rendus et de les apporter à un  endroit où ils peuvent grandir… avec de vrais élèves, dans de vraies classes avec de vrais enseignants… pas des statistiques sapristi! 

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Notebook
Colours: Q. Rose, Q. Gold, Q. Scarlet, Prussian Blue, Serpentine Genuine, Sap Green