:: I worried…. by Mary Oliver ::

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I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the river
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

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:: Blue Moon ::

Blue moon you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for 
Someone I really could care for
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard
— Billie Holiday

Not a drawing of a blue moon but of a small hand-crafted wood lamp that actually prevented me from watching the moon last night by shedding its warm soft glow on the outside window. I will check her out tonight so hoping for clear skies.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″
Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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:: 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

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Three for one :: Trois pour un

“A friend,” wrote the poet and philosopher John O’Donohue in his beautiful meditation on the Ancient Celtic notion of anam cara, “awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”
— Brain Pickings

My first love has to be drawing and if I decide to paint, without drawing first, the downhill trend is quite steep and abrupt, I lose all faculties for pressing onwards and I get all mixed up — really do not know where to put the paints. However, if I draw first, it grounds me and then I can actually do what I want, without the fear of ruining the drawing or painting. Funny huh? This drawing is a triple bonus because the two pots that hold the cactus were created by me during a pottery workshop in Hemmingford that I followed with one of my very good friends a few weeks ago. It is quite surprising that the pots fit perfectly one into the other as it had not been intended that way…  I was pleasantly surprised! One of my friends has organized a small communal painting/drawing event where we each paint/draw three paintings in a sketchbook and then pass on to another artist. I am the second one in the list, and I will be passing it on to France in a week or so. I do not know yet if I will paint it or not… another joy of drawing first. I have the choice. So nice -)

This little cactus has grown quite a bit, and it is close to my heart as it was given to all guests for an event that my little niece had organized. I will not see her as much now as recent family events are looming over chances of meeting up. Still… it is close to my heart, as she is. Today Canada geese were flying over my house, in beautiful amazing triangles, honking high and loud and announcing to everyone that cared to listen that Spring has arrived.. our beautiful harbingers of Spring.

Paper: Handbook created by my friend Chi Mai
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk fountain pen
Ink: De Atrementis Document Ink Black
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

Cactus Plant

Cactus Plant

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

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Sketching :: Drawing from Observation

I love using the Small Moleskine Sketchbooks for drawing with ink, pencil and also painting with watercolours because of their small format… you can actually put it in your jean back pocket… they are so easy to carry around. If I had to use a bigger size like letter size or bigger, I would not have the courage to start — as it takes courage to start drawing, or painting or writing or doing anything that is creative. Drawing in small formats encourages us to draw, paint, write, etc. as it takes less time in our busy lives.

J’ai tellement hâte à mes vacances de Noël car j’ai l’intention de peindre à tous les jours, au lieu de trois fois par semaine. Peut-être que pour la journée de Noël même, quand la maison va être pleine à craquer, ça va être un peu difficile, mais je vais quand même essayer… ;-)

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook (about 12$)
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF (about 20$)
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray  (about 17$)

Wing Chair

Everyone should have a wing chair to read in… they are wonderful. So here is part of my living room, drawn quickly last night. It took about 20 minutes. There is a liberty, a spontaneity and a freshness that happens when we draw quickly that cannot be imitated by drawing slowly. So here is a bit of a speed drawing… well for me at least, as I am sure that some people would call my drawing speed a tad slow (chuckle). I ordered some Noodler’s Lexington Gray Ink today and I can’t wait to test it out… it will make these type of drawings softer looking.

Voici mon salon et ma chaise de lecture. Des fois un dessin vite fait donne un résultat plus libre et frais que des dessins qui sont pensés, réfléchis longtemps à l’avance… une certaine spontanéité. Aujourd’hui j’ai commandé de l’encre Noodler’s Lexington Gray que j’ai hâte d’essayer avec ce type de dessin.

Paper: Small Moleskine Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Carbon Pen with Black Carbon Ink

 

Rigaud Train 2

This morning I went to do some photography with Guy, then came back and went to see The Tempest Opera with my friend Hélène, produced by Robert Lepage. Got home and did not have much time to paint… but I at least drew this painting and it is now ready for the colours tomorrow. That is really the fun part of painting… the deliberate act of putting colours on the paper.

I have been using many types of watercolour sketchbooks as they are really nice to paint on and as they fold like books they are easily put on a bookshelf. My first watercolour sketchbook that I used last May was a Strathmore paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ cold press 140 lbs and it was fine but quite rough. Then I turned to the Moleskine Watercolour Notebooks, size 8.25″ x 5″ and completed 2 of those. Then I discovered the Stillman & Birn, Beta Series, 140 lbs cold press and I fell in love with that paper… and today I drew on the last page. So tomorrow I will still be using it as I will complete my drawing with watercolours. So this means that the next time that I paint it will be with my new Larolan sketchbook… and I can’t wait to try it out. It is hand made in Portugal and seems to be of very high quality. Starting a new sketchbook is always exciting, for my anyway…

J’ai été pas mal occupée aujourd’hui. Guy et moi avons fait une session de photo de la vieille gare de Rigaud. Ensuite Hélène et moi sommes allées voir la pièce d’opéra La Tempête de Thomas Adès, mise en scène par Robert Lepage qui est toujours aussi puissant et merveilleux. Ensuite le souper et hier soir je me suis assise pour faire un superbe dessin que j’ai ensuite ruiné avec de la peinture. Donc je l’ai recommencé et arrêté là… juste avant de mettre la peinture… car demain matin je vais mettre la couleur… qui est toujours la partie la plus excitante de peindre. Il est minuit et je vais aller me coucher très bientôt.

Mon Village Restaurant & Pub… and Cobalt Blue

This rustic restaurant is a treat for the eyes and soul… it is packed seven days a week and has excellent food. A farm that was owned by the Seigneur de Lotbinière, it was bought in 1829 by the Thomas Parsons family, who had just arrived from Cumberland, England. In those years, Hudson Village was named the Cavagnal Concession. Rich people settled in Cavagnal along the Ottawa River (known as the Outaouais River nowadays) and the poorer immigrants settled in Côte St. Charles.

Ce restaurant rustique est plein à tous les jours de la semaine. Originalement une ferme détenue par le Seigneur de Lotbinière, elle fut achetée en 1829 par la famille de Thomas Parsons, arrivant de Cumberland, Angleterre. Dans ces années le village de Hudson était nommé la Concession Cavagnal et les immigrants aisés prenaient résidence le long de la rivière Ottawa (maintenant nommée la rivière Outaouais) et les plus pauvres prenaient résidence le long de la Côte St- Charles. La famille de John Hodgson est arrivée en 1819.

Today when I was painting I did something that was different. I decided to paint with a Cobalt Blue theme… meaning that ALL of my colours were mixed with some amount of Cobalt Blue in it. I find that the colours seem to be connected together, giving the painting a sense of unity.

Paper: Stillman & Birn
Watercolors: Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton
Pen: Carbon Ink Pen, EF. 

Rigaud Ground Moraine

I tried a new way of painting in my Stillman & Birn watercolour sketchbook. I applied a water wash on the sky and on the moraine and when I applied the paint after it had tried it was a blissful feeling. I think that this is what this paper likes. Had alot of trouble mixing the greys today… but I always have trouble with mixing the greys. I used French Ultramine with Burnt Sienna and Cerulean Blue with Cadmium Red Light and a tad of Yellow.

Voici la moraine sur la route 201 à Rigaud. La vraie peinture est tellement plus belle que ma version numérisée… hum… je vais devoir acheter un autre numériseur, mais j’hésite. Cet après-midi j’ai essayé une nouvelle technique pour peindre. J’ai mouillé la partie du ciel et de la moraine avec un pinceau et de l’eau. Pendant que j’essayais de trouver le bon ton de gris en mélangeant les couleurs, le papier a eu le temps de sécher, et la sensation de la peinture sur le paper était divine. Je crois que le papier Stillman & Birn aime cette technique.