:: Letters to a Young Poet ::

No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in ascent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature.
— Rainer Maria Rilke “Letters to a Young Poet”

I chose this quote today because I converted the question of writing to painting… what does this advice from Rilke do to you? Does it affect you as it affected me? These are very powerful words indeed.

Today I had my first oil painting workshop… I had never touched oil paints in my life and it was very very interesting. Some of the disadvantages is that the painting takes 2-3 days to dry, so I could not scan it and I had to take a photograph in my kitchen-studio (where the lighting is insufficient at night). This painting is not finished yet. One of the definite advantages is that you can take the whole day to tweek and repaint at your heart’s desire as it does not dry quickly, so the urgency of painting fast, as with watercolours, does not really exist as the paints take a long time to dry. In watercolours you must paint fast in order to keep it fresh, so this creates a sense of easy nervousness. We spent the whole day sharing stories and painting our skies… and it seems as though I painted 15 different skies as every time that I went over the painting, touching and tweeking, the sky changed and suddenly reappeared as a new painting. Wow! That was really nice and seemed as though the possibilities were infinite. I learned how to mix my paints before putting them on the canvas, all about Liquid Original, solvents, how to wash and store my paints (from fellow oil painters) and much more. The workshop that I took was with Gail Descoeurs, a talented artist from Québec, Canada and she is a very soft spoken person guiding us along, correcting us and painting with us too. Very nice workshop.

Aujourd’hui j’ai eu un atelier de peinture à l’huile avec Gail Descoeurs, une artiste reconnue qui vit à Rigaud. Nous avons pris la journée pour peindre un ciel et je peux dire que ce médium est tout à fait différent de l’aquarelle. Il y a des avantages et désavantages aux deux. Un des désavatanges est que la peinture à l’huile prend de 2-3 jours pour sécher, donc je ne pouvais pas scanner ma peinture ce soir… donc j’ai dû prendre une photo de mon studio-cuisine où la lumière est insuffisante pour ce style de photographie. Il m’a semblée que j’ai peint 15 ciels aujourd’hui sur le même canevas car à l’huile nous pouvons repeindre à l’infini couches sur couches…. donc le sentiment de méditer sur une peinture était bien présente et en plus, la conversation plaisante et agréable avec les autres peintures était tout à fait chaleureuse et agréable. Si vous aimeriez voir ce que Gail Descoeurs produit, voici son site web. Un atelier très agréable.

Paper: Canvas 12″ x 9″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Q. Rose, Cobalt Blue, Titanium White
From imagination: Rigaud, Québec, Canada