Health, love, wisdom & a long life!


Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.
— Charles Dickens.

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

Learning from the Masters such as Winslow Homer is illuminating! I discovered that I could mix the colour Burnt Umber, which is a brown, into the sky which I would never have done otherwise. I also learnt that all of his colours are muted, except for the woman’s hat, the sky, the sea and the date tree. I really enjoyed painting this. In a way it is much easier to imitate than to actually paint on one’s own as all of the figuring out has already been done for you. This one is for you Gaétan!

Paper: Stillman & Birn, gamma series, 6″ x 9″
Colours: New Gamboge, Raw Sienna, Pyrrol Crimson, Raw Umber, Cobalt Blue & Ultramarine
Original painting: Winslow Homer 1836-1910 “Along the road in the Bahamas20181231-winslow-homer-jane-hannah-loRes


:: Winter solstice ::


I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields,
that it kisses them so gently?
And then it covers them up snug,
you know, with a white quilt;
and perhaps it says
‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871).

The winter solstice, also known as midwinter, is an important day for us in the northern hemisphere as this is the day that has the longest night and the shortest day of the year… so this means that tomorrow the days are starting to grow longer… already! Ancient cultures viewed this day as a day of death and rebirth. This fills my heart up with joy as the promise of spring is coming, even if it will not appear before mid-April. And to add to this day, there will be a full Cold Moon.

Here is another beautiful poem by the great Ursula K. Le Guin

In the vast abyss before time, self
is not, and soul commingles
with mist, and rock, and light. In time,
soul brings the misty self to be.
Then slow time hardens self to stone
while ever lightening the soul,
till soul can loose its hold of self
and both are free and can return
to vastness and dissolve in light,
the long light after time.
— Ursula K. Le Guin


:: Beginnings & Endings ::

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

     Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
     My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
     He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
     The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
— by Robert Frost

Today is the beginning of winter as the Winter Solstice has officially arrived about 45 minutes ago (5:44 am). I welcome this day every year as I know that by tomorrow the days will start growing longer… and Spring will be around the corner even if still far away. At the end of February I will start feeding my houseplants. Every season brings in new hopes, new beginnings & endings. It is the beginning of the holiday season, flu season, family reunions & festivities with friends & family, it is the end of a teaching semester, of a sketchbook and of yearly resolutions… these will pass and make place for new ones this coming New Year. As the day is at its longest night, I will stay up late tonight, watching the night & the stars, cherishing its deep shadows.
Paper: Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x5″
Colours: B. Sienna, Cobalt Teal, Indanthrone Blue
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Ink Black
Location: Reference photograph taken by Eric Girouard
The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains the solstice this way. “It has the fewest hours of sunlight in the year.The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.”At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.”

:: Picnic vernissage day at Stewart Hall ::

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.

— Lord Byron


For the month of July the Montreal Urban Sketchers met up at Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire to draw, paint and picnic at the same time and even though the weather was dreary and almost cold, there were 16 brave souls that came to paint from all over the island of Montreal. The staff at Stewart Hall always treat us really well, they have some food, water and coffee for us and it was a really enjoyable day.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Sketchbook 8″x8″
Colours: Naples Yellow, New Gambodge, Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Stewart Hall in Pointe. Claire, Québec, Canada

Sunday Sketching, Stewart Hall in Pointe-Claire on July 10th

20160627-stewart-hall-jane-hannah-watercolor“Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love,”
— Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother.

On Sunday July 10th the Montreal Urban Sketchers  have been invited to a Picnic Vernissage Day at Stewart Hall’s Cultural Centre in Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall is situated in a gorgeous historic mansion and is a unique cultural venue located on the bank of Lake Saint-Louis. Everyone is invited to sketch with us on that day starting at 10:00 am. It is an absolutely stunning spot to sketch, in all seasons! To note that this date replaces the fourth Sunday for the month of July.

• 10:00 am START: on the lawn at the right side of the main entrance.
• 2:00 pm INVITATION: The vernissage of the exhibition Suspended Time – Caroline Cloutier & Joëlle Morosoli will take place on the 3rd floor, in the Art Gallery. Everybody is invited to go upstairs at 2 p.m.
• 3:00 pm END: we will gather on the patio facing the lake to share our drawings.
• There will be two very impressive performances on the stage that day as well, (at noon and at 3 pm), it could be an interesting thing to draw as well!
• In the event of rain, there is a room on the first floor that has been reserved for us; we will still have a nice view over the lake and everything; (but let’s cross our fingers that it won’t rain!)
• Directions Stewart Hall on Google Maps: LINK

Hope to see you there -)))


Le dimanche 10 juillet 2016, les Urban Sketchers de Montréal sont invités à participer à un pique-nique Vernissage au Centre culturel Stewart Hall de Pointe-Claire. Stewart Hall est une demeure historique sur un lieu enchanteur situé aux abords du Lac Saint-Louis. Tout le monde est invité à esquisser avec nous ce jour-là à partir de 10h00. Un endroit absolument magnifique pour faire des croquis, en toutes saisons!  À noter que cette journée remplace le quatrième dimanche du mois de juillet.

• 10h00 DÉBUT: on se rencontre à droite de l’entrée principale sur le parterre.
• 14h00 INVITATION: Le vernissage de l’exposition Les temps suspendus – Caroline Cloutier and Joëlle Morosoli se tiendra au 3e étage, dans la galerie d’art. Tout le monde est invité.
• 15h00 FIN: nous nous rencontrerons sur le patio face au lac St-Louis pour partager nos croquis/dessins/peintures et voir ce que les autres ont croqué.
• Pendant cette journée il va y avoir deux performances, une à midi et l’autre à 15h00 qui pourraient être fort intéressantes à peindre aussi.
• Dans l’éventualité de pluie, il y a une pièce qui nous a été réservée face au lac au rez-de-chaussée.
• Directions Stewart Hall sur Google Maps: LINK

En espérant vous voir -)

:: 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

:: Magic light ::

I was not ready for abstraction. I clung to earth and her dear shapes, her density, her herbage, her juice. I wanted her volume, and I wanted to hear her throb.
— Emily Carr

I met with the Linda Drewry group of painters today and we painted in Parc Valois on the Lake of Two Mountains in Vaudreuil. The first painting that I did this morning is the top one which is outlined in ink and the second one I tried tonight from a reference photo that I took. If I could work magin, I would take the upper half of the bottom one and take the bottom half of the top one to create a nicer painting… alas, this will not happen and that is fine too.

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: New Gambodge, Maroon Perylene, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue & Violet.
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Black Carbon Ink
Location: Parc Valois in Vaudreuil, Québec, Canada



Champlain’s Dream :: Le rêve de Champlain

• Pour bin finir, o faut bien commencer. — To finish well, start well.
• Meûx vaut parder un pain qu’ine faumée. — 
Better to lose the loaf than the oven.
• Avant de feire in fagot, o faut bin commencer. — Before starting something, study the means.
• In piasit en attire in aute. — To give pleasure is to gain it.
— Champlain’s Dream by David Hackett Fischer

Twas a beautiful dominical spring day today, and there were people galore visiting the many sugarbushes in my region. As I was travelling on a rural side road in St. Marthe, I suddenly saw this scene and jammed the brakes… a full landscape without one telephone or electric pole in sight! I just had to paint it -)

I have just started reading Champlain’s Dream, (b. 1574, d. 1635) and he was from the Saintongeois region in France (south of La Rochelle) and that they had a peculiar dialect or “patois” which linguists call the “patois charentais”. The natives of that region still call it the langue xaintongeaise, or simply le parlanjhe, the speech. Reading the words cited above, they are very very similar to our own Quebec french that we speak here… nice -) I love history!!!
Aujourd’hui était une journée dominicale éblouissante de soleil et de douceur — il est bien temps! Dans ma région toutes les cabanes à sucre roulaient à plein et il y avait beaucoup de traffic pour une région qui en a relativement peu. Comme je traversais vers Ste-Marthe, j’ai aperçu ce paysage et j’ai mis les brakes — aucune ligne téléphonique en vue? Aucun poteau électrique? Je devais peindre cette scène tout de suite.

J’ai commencé à lire le livre Champlain’s Dream (n. 1574, d. 1635) de David Hackett Fisher et dans ce livre il explique que Champlain venait de la région de Saintonge au sud de La Rochelle. Dans cette région, il y avait un patois qui ressemble beaucoup à notre langue québécoise. Les linguistes aujourd’hui la nomme le “patois charentais” mais les natifs l’appellent encore langue xaintongeaise, ou simplement le parlanjhe, le discours. J’aime l’histoire -)))

Sketchbook: Travelogue Handbook
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Alizarin Crimson


USK Sketch Swap Partners :: Jumelage partenaires USK

“The first object of the painter is to make a flat plane appear as a body in relief and projecting from that plane.”
— Leonardo Da Vinci

There is a very interesting urban sketchers sketch swap that I am involved in. I will create a painting, mail it to someone in Italy whom I have never met as their name has been paired with mine… and they will do the same thing for me. So for February 8, we will be mailing ourselves our paintings… I find the concept to be quite cool as this means that I will be receiving someone else’s sketch/painting. Quite cool as this will be like a present -)

Je suis impliquée dans un concept qui est pas mal intéressant au sein des Urban Sketchers. Mon nom a été jumelé avec quelqu’un que je ne connais pas du tout, qui vit en Italie, et je créer une peinture et lui envoyer par la poste pour le 8 février… et lui va faire la même chose! Donc je vais recevoir la peinture de quelqu’un, qui va être assez cool — comme un cadeau -)

Paper: Handbook Sketchbook
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Orange, Burnt Umber, Cerulean Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Winsor Red
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Hidden gem :: Bijou caché

There are things ye maybe canna tell me, he had said. I willna ask ye, or force ye. But when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. There is nothing between us but respect, and respect has rooms for secrets, I think — but not for lies.
— Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

It is not my aim to specialize in barns… but they are part of my environment and I do love them. So here is a small gem of barns that are quite beautiful, hidden under the mountain of Rigaud.

Ce n’est pas mon but de peindre que des granges… mais elles font partie de mon environnement et voici un bijou de grange qui est caché sous la montagne de Rigaud.

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10
Colours: French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna and Q. Burnt Orange
Fountain Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Gray

Vintage Opera Glasses :: Lunettes pour l’opéra

When I was very young my mother, who has a fabulous alto voice, would go to the opera in Montreal with my father. She would put on beautiful dresses and bring these wonderful opera glasses… all clad in mother of pearl. Sometimes it seemed as though her dresses suited the glasses and I would be in a daze of exquisiteness.

Étant bien jeune ma mère, qui a une voix sublime d’alto, sortait avec mon père pour aller entendre et voir l’opéra à Montréal. Elle portait pour ces occasions des robes exquises et n’oubliait jamais ses lunettes d’opéra en nacre de perle. Des fois il semblait que ses robes étaient en nacre de perle. J’étais portée par cette beauté.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Colours: Raw Sienna & Payne’s Grey
Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey

In the hope of painting :: Dans l’espoir de peindre

Here is the St. James Cemetery in Hudson that I painted yesterday… but only had time to scan in today. Winter is upon us and we had 10 cm of snow today, which felt really nice and my road is white with snow. Tomorrow is my last day of official teaching for this fall semester… I say official as I am far from finished. I have to correct a total of 86 students, with multiple projects each, plus meetings and then starting to prep for the new semester. But no matter, I will have more time to paint, I hope, on a daily basis.

Voici le cimetière St-James de Hudson que j’ai peint hier et que je n’ai eu le temps de numériser qu’aujourd’hui. L’hiver est arrivé et ma rue est toute blanche de neige — c’est beau et ça fait du bien! Demain est ma dernière journée officielle d’enseignement mais je suis loin d’avoir fini. Avec 86 élèves, et plusieurs projets chaque à corriger, plus les réunions et la nouvelle préparation pour l’hiver, je ne chômerai pas. Par contre, je souhaite de tout coeur pouvoir au moins peindre à tous les jours à partir de la semaine prochaine -)

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook #10
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue


The Sketch Hunter :: Le chasseur de sketch

THE SKETCH HUNTER has delightful days of drifting about among people, in and out of the city, going anywhere, everywhere, stopping as long as he likes — no need to reach any point, moving in any direction following the call of interests. He moves through life as he finds it, not passing negligently the things he loves, but stopping to know them, and to note them down in the shorthand of his sketchbook, a box of oils with a few small panels, the fit of his pocket, or on his drawing pad. Like any hunter he hits or misses. He is looking for what he loves, he is trying to capture it. It’s found anywhere, everywhere. 
–The Art Spirit by Robert Henri (1865-1929)

We will be meeting this coming Sunday, October 27th, at the Metro Mount-Royal at 10:00 am. This is an opportunity for everyone to bring in their pencils, or pens, or brushes… whatever you like to draw/paint with and sketch together what surrounds us. This destination is quite interesting as there are numerous typical architectural artifacts as well as people gazing. I will be there, rain or shine, this coming Sunday. Indeed, I had to displace/replace/misplace certain obligations, but I will be there! Yeah!

Ce dimanche le 27 octobre les croqueurs urbains de Montréal se rencontrent au métro Mont-Royal pour 10h00. Qu’il pleuve, ou pas, j’y serai… j’ai déplacé, replacé, refait, rediriger pleins d’obligations pour faire place à cet événement… j’y serai — yeah!

Paper: Arches 140 lbs CP
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Alizarin Crimon and Prussian Blue


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


Sky :: Ciel

I had just a tiny timeframe today to paint… so when I arrived at this scene, I decided to paint the skies as I need practice with them… but kept on painting and could not stop.

To paint this sky I first wet it with clear water stopping at the edge of the mountain. Then I let it dry halfway through and began to put in the Cerulean and Yellow Ochre. I finished by adding some Alizarin Crimson.

Je voulais seulement peindre le ciel aujourd’hui… et je n’ai pas pu résister, et j’ai tout peint mais à une grande vitesse car j’avais très peu de temps. Pour le ciel, j’ai mouillé mon papier en peignant avec de l’eau claire jusqu’au bord de la montagne. J’ai laissé sécher un peu et ensuite j’ai mis le blue céruleen and le jaune ochre.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Colours: Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue, Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna and Alizarin Crimson

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


Gentle Giants

My painting surely reflects the environment in which I live… added to this is the love that I have for all trees, shrubs, creepy crawlers, moss, and everything in between and beyond. So let me introduce to you the majestic Eastern Pine and its accolade. These are gentle giants as they hover above our heads and protect us from downpours, high winds, and they are home to all of the critters and mammals. In the spring their sugary sap starts running, their cones scent the entrance to the house and its scented needles cushion the forest floor.

Mes peintures reflètent bien mon environnement dans lequel je vie… et que j’aime tellement. Laissez-moi vous introduire au Pin de l’est, majestueux en soi. Il nous protège des grands vents, filtre la neige qui tombe toute en douceur, en été nous laisse son arôme intense et ses glands collants et tapisse le sol avec ses aiguilles de pin. En plus, les mammifères et les oiseaux de la forêt l’adopte, faisant leur nid dans les trous ou dans le creux de leurs branches. À chaque année on a couple d’hibous qui adopte un de nos pins.

Colours: Indigo, New Gambodge Burnt Umber
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexigrip
Moleskine Watercolor Notebook


The Owl :: L’hibou

I grew up in Valleyfield and right in front of the park (where we always used to hang out during the summer playing volleyball), there was this huge clock that we had named “The Owl”. This building housed the A. H. Besner family owned company, a hardware storekeeper founded in 1892. Now the top floors house condominiums. I used Mayan Blue (DS), Raw Sienna (WN) and Burnt Sienna (WN) for the buildings… for the sky I used Cerulean Blue Tone from Schminke. I did a tonal value just before the painting to get my values straight. You will see it on the second picture.

J’ai passé ma jeunesse dans la ville de Valleyfield et nous nous retrouvions souvent dans le parc Sauvé pour jouer au volleyball. Juste en-avant de ce parc, il y avait la bâtisse A. H. Besner, une quincaillerie datant de 1892. Je me retournais souvent pour voir “Le Hibou” comme on l’appelait. À cette heure, les paliers du haut sont tous des condominiums. Les couleurs que j’ai utilisées sont Mayan Blue (DS), Raw Sienna (WN) et Burnt Sienna (WN)… et pour le ciel Cerulean Blue Tone de Schminke. J’ai travaillé sur les tonalités dans la deuxième photo avant de commencer ma peinture… pour mettre les tons dans ma tête.




Grey Misty Day :: Journée grise et brumeuse

Today was a typical grey and misty January day… and on these days, to curl up and read a good book is heaven. I had difficulty painting this scene as the sky and the snow were grey, so this is a very muted palette. I chose this point of view because of the two Bell telephone booths and the amazing Hydro Quebec power pole… there are three transformers on one pole with so many lines criss-crossing each other that it ends up looking like a maze in the sky (the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” just popped into my head). This painting was done at the Shell gas station in Rigaud, looking eastwards.

Journée grise et brumeuse, parfaite pour se blottir dans un fauteuil à ailes et lire un bon livre. J’ai eu des difficultés à peindre cette scène car le ciel et la neige étaient gris, donc des tons étouffés. J’ai choisi ce point de vue à cause des cabines téléphoniques de Bell et à cause du poteau d’Hydro-Québec qui avait trois transformeurs en plus d’un labyrinthe de câbles qui survolaient dans tous les sens. Cette peinture a été faite à la station de gaz Shell à Rigaud, en regardant vers l’est.

Paper: Larolan Watercolor Sketchbook
Watercolours: Daniel Smith / Winsor & Newton
Colors: Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Aureolin Yellow and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Near disaster :: Catastrophe évitée

A disaster happened today… as usual I left the house and had a few chores to do before leaving so I quickly filled up my water bottle and put my watercolour bag over my shoulder. I arrived at my appointment, and coming back to the car afterwards decided to sketch what was in front of me… I opened the bag, and everything was soaked through… including my watercolour sketchbook. I yelped! I quickly opened my sketchbook to look at the disaster… and because Larolan sketchbooks are of very high quality, no damage was done… all of my watercolour sketches were intact. Only the spine of the sketchbook was soaked. Fiou! So Larolan should be very proud of their sketchbooks that they actually stitch by hand in Portugal. Here is their link. It is also one of the most wonderful papers that I have ever sketched on. So here is yesterday’s rendering of the value sketch, in colour.

Une catastrophe est arrivée aujourd’hui. Je suis partie pour un rendez-vous ce matin et j’ai rempli le goblet d’eau en partant. En revenant à l’automobile, j’ai décidé de dessiner ce qu’il y avait en face de moi, donc j’ouvre mon sac à aquarelles… et désastre! Tout était trempé!!! Vous savez que si une douche d’eau tombe sur une aquarelle, la peinture disparait… le pourquoi d’une vitre quand on fait cadrer. Pour revenir à mon histoire, après avoir lâché un cri d’horreur, j’ai ouvert mon cahier et tous mes peintures étaient intactes — merci Larolan! Larolan est une compagnie qui fabrique les cahiers d’aquarelle à la main au Portugal… voici leur lien. Ils font du papier de très haute qualité, et ils ne chargent que 9$ pour la livraison, bien moins cher que d’acheter aux États-Unis. Donc voici la peinture que j’ai débuté hier, en couleurs.

Paper: Bockingford Cold Pressed quarter sheet
Watercolours: Daniel Smith / Winsor & Newton
Colors: Cobalt Blue, Burnt Orange, Burnt Sienna, New Gambodge
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Chemin Ste-Marie in St-Clet

A beautiful Quebec oldstyle farm on chemin St. Marie in St. Clet (founded in 1850, population 1738). After yesterday’s painting slump, I knew that today would be better as I knew exactly where I was driving to and that I would start by drawing in ink first and then paint (if I do not draw in ink first, I often get into trouble with my paintings). I have been able to let go of the pencil steps and go directly to drawing in ink, which is much more efficient and also more creative as you have to be “in the moment” or else you muff up. I stopped on the secondary road that brings us to St. Polycarpe and painted there, with the sun heating up the car as the chilly air has finally left us. I used Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Aureolin Yellow.

Une ancienne ferme typique du paysage québécois sur le chemin Ste-Marie à St-Clet (date de fondation 1850 et population est de 1 738), chemin menant à St-Polycarpe. Les citadins de St-Clet s’appellent Clétois, Clétoise. Au lieu de commencer ma peinture avec un crayon, ensuite définir avec de l’encre et finalement finir avec la peinture, je suis allée directement avec l’encre… et ce processus m’a forcée à être dans le moment et réfléchir rapidement. Pour cette peinture j’ai utilisé Cobalt BlueAlizarin CrimsonBurnt UmberBurnt Sienna et Aureolin Yellow.

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, Aureolin Yellow, Burnt Umber, Burnst Sienna and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


St. Marthe Sunset :: Soleil couchant à Ste-Marthe

Today I rushed out of the house at 3:45 pm to catch the Ste. Marthe sunset… and in the end it was too dark in the car to keep on going, so I had to finish this painting in the house, where it is warm. This little village stands on a steep hill overlooking the Quebec scenery, and we can actually see the peak of Lyon Moutain in Vermont, USA (quite far away). It has a population of about 1000 residents, and was founded in 1855.

Today I followed Raynald’s advice, and drew from scratch with my fountain pen (instead of doing it first in lead). It was quite liberating, took less time and my pen stroke was not hesitant–it got going, without looking back–and I drew very fast! When I draw with a pencil, my pencil line often hesitates, stops, ponders and then gets going again at a very slow pace…. I think that he is right.

Aujourd’hui je suis sortie vite de la maison pour aller peindre le coucher de soleil de Ste-Marthe, petit village de 1000 résidents juché sur le haut de la montagne et ayant un point de vue saisissant. Nous pouvons voir le sommet de Lyon Mountain aux États-Unis.

Raynald m’a conseillé d’essayer de peindre directement avec ma plume au lieu de commencer avec un crayon. Et vous auriez dû voir, c’était quelque chose! La plume semblait avoir une vie, elle allait très vite et n’hésitait pas du tout. Tout le contraire de travailler au crayon. Quand je dessine au crayon, mon trait prend son temps, hésite, peut se faire effacer, et reprend son petit bout de chemin, arrêtant de temps en temps. Aujourd’hui la plume déambulait sur le papier, aucune hésitation. C’était vraiment trop cool à voir ;-) Raynald, tu as raison!

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, Aureolin Yellow, Burnt Orange, Burnst Sienna and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Happy New Year :: Bonne et heureuse Année ;-)

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

Thank you for being part of my blog on drawing and painting that started in May 2012…. Your comments, likes, visits, emails, telephone calls, encouragement, have touched me. They stimulate me to continue and persevere, to further improve my drawing and painting skills. The year 2012 was an amazing year for me as I attended three watercolor workshops where I met some fabulous fellow sketchers, went on two outings with the Urban Sketchers of Montreal (one at Jean-Talon Market and the other at the Redpath Museum). On January 27th, 2013 we are planning another outing at the Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts — can’t wait!

Some people have asked me if I would recommend a few books to them. So here are some of preferred books on drawing and painting.

The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons is a wonderful book to learn how to draw with a pen. It shows line techniques and how to use them and when. ISBN: 0-8230-5227-3.

Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson is a book on drawing… and how to approach it and learn. ISBN: 0-89134-337-7.

Sketching on Location by Matthew Brehm is a book on sketching on location. It is expensive at 60$ but well worth it. ISBN: 978-1-4652-0526-1.

Making Color Sing – Practical lesson in Color and Design by Jeanne Dobie is a book on colour… and it is the best book that I have ever opened. It is totally wonderful. ISBN: 978-0-8230-3115-3.

An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory is simply a book that lets you see what other artists are doing and is a great motivator to continue and persevere. ISBN: 978-1-60061-086-8.

Je vous souhaite la santé, l’amour, sagesse et une très longue vie ;-)

Merci de faire partie de mon blogue débuté en mai 2012… Vos commentaires, “likes”, visites, courriels, téléphones, et votre encouragement m’ont vraiment touchée. Ils m’ont stimulée à m’améliorer et m’ont aidée à persévérer à continuer à peindre. J’ai aussi fait de très belles rencontres au travers de trois ateliers d’aquarelle, je suis devenue membre des Sketchers urbains de Montréal où nous avons peint ensemble au Marché Jean-Talon et au Musée Redpath. Le 27 janvier 2013 nous planifions une autre sortie au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. Vous êtes tous les bienvenus, débutants, intermédiaires ou avancés ;-)


The Snow has Arrived :: La neige est arrivée

I started painting 7 months ago, always using the same steps. First, I draw with a 2B or HB pencil, then go over the lines with a fountain pen (either black or grey ink) adding more detail, and once the image is complete, I then paint.  I was scared of letting go of the ink drawings… and of their secure containment of the image. I have been hanging on to this system for dear life… as I have tried to go directly from pencil to painting, with disastrous results… until the snow arrived!

I do not exactly know what or how it has happened, but since the snow has arrived it has given me the freedom of seeing the negative shapes of the objects instead of painting the objects themselves (positive shapes). When I was drawing in ink, I would be painting the positive shapes… and with the snow, I am looking at the “effect” of the shapes with the snow… thus the negative shapes. Anyway, hope you like these as I am having alot of fun ;-) I did add some ink lines after the painting was done, to give it a bit more detail.

Une peinture peinte de la fenêtre de notre salle de bains… et non j’étais bien assise sur une chaise! Juste pour dire que la neige m’a permise de peindre d’une toute autre manière… au lieu de peindre les objets, je peins l’effet des objets et/ou l’effet entre les objets… difficile à expliquer par contre. Je crois que mon explication en anglais, est plus facile à comprendre (excusez-la). Mes étapes sont les suivantes. J’ai dessiné avec un crayon 2B (ou HB) ensuite j’ai peint avec l’aquarelle et j’ai finit avec ma plume fontaine pour donner un peu plus de détails. Voilà!

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, New Gambodge and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


Ladder :: Échelle

I do not really understand what is happening but I have been trying to paint without filling in the lines with ink first, to no avail… and since the snow has arrived, suddenly, I can. Because of this my drawings are much looser and less precise, but I was scared to paint without the safety of the ink lines. I first sketched the outlines with a 2B pencil (including the shadows) and then I chose my colour theme (Cobalt blue, Alizarin crimson and Cadmium yellow pale) and started painting the main tree trunk. Once I was finished, I found that my drawing was not detailed enough so I went over the painting with a Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF filled with Noodlers Lexington Grey ink to add a bit more detail. So here it is…

L’échelle pour monter et réparer notre satellite ou pour enlever la neige, comme aujourd’hui.

Paper: Larolan Watercolour Sketchbook
Watercolours: Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith
Colors: Cobalt blue, Camium Yellow Pale and Alizarin Crimson
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip Fountain Pen EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey