:: 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



:: Summer solstice ::

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

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

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
– Confucius

At our house on this New Year’s Eve, it will be quiet and peaceful. The two fireplaces are roaring (as it is very cold outside) and my husband and I will be eating some fine sushi for dinner. I painted today the same scene as last year’s (link), as I thought that it would be fine to “repaint” a scene that I like, looking at Calvaire Mountain. For those of you who are interested in downloading this painting, I uploaded it at a higher resolution today as a gift to my readers! I also dedicated my day for painting and I painted two postcards… one for Chi Mai and another for Christine. I will be sending them out by Canada Post this coming Monday. So for tonight and for the new year 2015 to come,

I wish you health, love, wisdom
& a very long & serene life!

Ce soir va être tranquille car moi et Guy sommes seuls pour la Veille du Jour de l’An. Les deux foyers sont allumés et dégagent une belle chaleur en cette soirée très froide. J’ai eu le luxe aujourd’hui de pouvoir peindre toute la journée et j’ai peint la même scène que j’avais peinte l’année passée pour la Veille du Jour de l’An (lien) car j’aime regarder le Mont Calvaire en face de Hudson. Pour ceux qui suivent mon blogue, je vais ai fait un cadeau spécial et j’ai uploadé une version plus haute définition de ma peinture que vous pourrez vous-même télécharger si ça vous plaît. J’ai aussi peint deux cartes postales… une pour Chi Mai et l’autre pour Christine que je vais envoyer par Postes Canada ce lundi. Donc pour ce soir je vous souhaite

Santé, amour, sagesse et une très longue vie sereine!

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″ x 9″
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Hudson, Québec, Canada


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

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


Lake of two mountains :: Lac des deux montagnes

Two weekends ago I went to visit the John Singer Sargent exhibit in Brooklyn, NY. It was utterly amazing as I had never seen this type of watercolour work before… meaning the way that JSS seems to work with watercolour as if it was oil. He uses diluted paints, but also almost dry watercolour and sometimes he actually stretches the paint until it creates jagged stretches on top of the other paint. He also used very dark colours and some white paint, which seemed to act like white gouache. So for this painting, I used white gouache in the clouds. It was fun trying it… As you can see I overdid it, and my painting lost its freshness as I put on too many layers of different colours.

Il y a deux fin de semaine nous asommes allés voir au musée Brooklyn l’exposition de John Singer Sargent. C’était la première fois que je voyais quelqu’un travailler les aquarelles de cette façon. La plupart du temps, les aquarellistes travaillent en couleurs pastels… pas JSS. Tons très foncés et couche par-dessus couche, comme si il travaillait la peinture à l’huile. C’était très impressionnant et aussi très instructif. En plus, il semblait beaucoup travailler avec de la peinture blanche, des fois secs et des fois diluée. Donc pour mes nuages aujourd’hui j’ai essayé d’appliquer sa technique… comme vous pouvez le voir, ce n’est pas une réussite parce que j’ai trop travaillé ma peinture et elle a perdu sa fraîcheur.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Aureolin Yellow


Kamouraska, here I come :: Kamouraska, j’arrive!

I love clouds! I keep gazing at them and seeing forms appearing… and today the clouds were totally awesome. I think that they were cumulus, but I am not sure. I first sketched in pencil the outline of the clouds, then went in to put in a tad of detail, and then took my watercolours. Clouds are difficult to paint.

We are leaving for Kamouraska to paint for one whole incredible week… can you imagine? Nothing else to do or worry about? Shari is giving a workshop and I can’t wait ;-) I might not be able to post anything for the whole week as there is no internet access. So my next blog might only be in one week’s time! I am bringing my book “Kamouraska” by Anne Hébert. Excerpt from Amazon… A classic of Canadian literature by the great Quebecoise writer, Kamouraska is based on a real nineteenth-century love-triangle in rural Quebec. Translated into seven languages, Kamouraska won the Paris book prize and was made into a landmark feature film by Claude Jutra.

Je pars dimanche matin pour Kamouraska pour peindre pendant une semaine de temps… quel luxe! Nous partons trois femmes ensemble, et rejoignons 9 autres peintres. On s’est loué une superbe maison au bord de l’estuaire avec un balcon qui fait tout le tour de la maison et est directement sur la rive. Il se peut que je ne puisse pas blogger car nous n’aurons pas accès à l’internet. Je vais vous revenir avec plein de peintures de Kamouraska! J’apporte mon livre de Kamouraska écrit par Anne Hébert pour lire en cet endroit idyllique. 

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF
Colours: Cadmium Blue, Aureolin Yellow and Alizarin Crimson


Roundabout to the right :: Tourner à droite

Today I was so happy as I was going to paint with the Montreal Urban Sketchers at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I arrived 20 minutes late, so when I passed in front of the museum there was already a crowd of people waiting in line to get in. I was frantically looking for a place to park, turned right and went down to the next street, turned right again, and again, to find myself in front of the museum… and there were two school buses full of people that had just arrived. So I continued on my merry way, going one street further to find a parking space… and there were none. Again, I turned right, and then right again and then right again, to find myself in front of the museum… and now 3 buses had arrived!!! The line of people stretched to the other street and turned downwards and back up. I gave up! At the time, I did not know that it was the Montreal Museums Day in Montreal (this means that the museums are free on that day).

So I painted this view from Hudson Heights… there was no way that I was not going to paint today…. no matter what ;-) The clouds were beautiful today.

Aujourd’hui j’allais rejoindre mes Sketchers urbains de Montréal pour peindre au Musée des Beaux Arts… ce que je ne savais pas était que c’était la journée des Musées portes ouvertes. Quand je suis arrivée, il y avait déjà une ligne d’attente dehors en avant du musée. J’ai tourné à droite, à droite encore, et à droite encore et pas de stationnement possible. Quand je me suis retrouvée en avant du musée, il y avait deux autobus scolaires qui venaient juste d’arriver et la ligne d’attente descendait le long d’une rue pour la remonter!!! J’ai démissionné.

Mais il n’était pas question que je ne peigne pas aujourd’hui donc je me suis retrouvée à Hudson à peindre ce paysage… car les nuages étaient tellement beaux.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF
Colours: Indigo, Q. Gold, Alizarin Crimson


Rusty Old Wood Fence :: Clôture de perche toute rouillée

The sun was shining today and we can actually see the grass after our never-ending winter. It felt so good to be out in the car sketching with the sun out (even though the outside temperature was only 5C). I bought a new sketchbook from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal and it was my first sketch in it today. The paper seems so dry and I had to add tons of water… and when you add water you then have to add pigment or else the colours are all washed out. So I struggled with my colours and the paper  today… but it was pure joy to paint. From the rusty painter painting a rusty fence.

Après la dernière pluie de la semaine passée, la neige est disparue dans les champs (pas chez moi, en tout cas). Quand je peins dans mon automobile, avec les vitres baissées et le soleil est au rendez-vous, la vie est tellement belle. Aujourd’hui j’ai commencé à peindre dans un nouveau livret à aquarelles que j’ai acheté au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. Je ne sais pas si je l’aime encore car le papier semble très sec, donc j’ai dû ajouter beaucoup d’eau… et quand on ajoute beaucoup d’eau on doit ajouter beaucoup de pigments, sinon la peinture devient lavée, fade. Voici ma clôture de perche toute rouillée de la peintre qui est toute rouillée.

Colours: Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna
Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip, EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Gray
Paper: Musée des Beaux-Arts Watercolour Sketchbook 25$


A very special Day :: Une journée bien spéciale

Today is my mother’s 88th birthday and her 62nd wedding anniversary with my Dad. My life is privileged, as both of my parents are still living, healthy and smart. So I wish you a Happy Birthday and a Wonderful Anniversary to both of you. So to celebrate this event, I painted this landscape (even though I know that my Mom hates winter). I was hoping that the corn fields would be showing some instances of grass peeking through, but in my neck of the woods, we are still covered in snow.

This day is also special because I have just finished my 6th sketchbook since I started on this journey in early 2012. I have gone through 3 Moleskines, 1 Strathmore, 1 Stillman & Birn and 1 Larolan Sketchbook and many loose leaf sheets.

C’est la fête de ma mère aujourd’hui et elle fête ses 88 ans! Mes parents fêtent aussi leur 62e anniversaire de mariage… quelle vie ;-) J’ai peint ce paysage pour cet événement, en espérant qu’il y aurait un peu de brins d’herbe qui apparaîtraient… mais dans mon coin de pays, tout est aussi blanc qu’en hiver… mais dans très peu de temps, les herbes vont apparaître. J’ai hâte!

Cette journée est aussi spéciale pour une toute autre raison. Je viens de finir mon 6e livret croquis. J’ai passé au travers de 3 Moleskines, 1 Strathmore, 1 Stillman & Birn et 1 Larolan depuis que j’ai commencé sur ce trajet artistique.

Colours: Cerulean Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber & Aureolin Yellow
Pen: Sailor Extra Fine Pen
Ink: Black Carbon Ink