Permit the brain to separate from the hand. Soften your vision, focus beyond and before. Allow yourself to be “entranced” by your work. Feel a “process” rather than an outcome, and… Live in the life of the brush, chisel, roller. — Painter’s Keys
September 1st already and I am really not ready for autumn! After many months of not painting nor drawing, the deadline was today. So to get out of this artistic break as we might softly say, I decided to choose my most difficult challenge. Faces!!! I was never good at these, and I would like to be better, and with practice I know that I will, and that goes for everyone.
There are many flaws in this drawing, but especially in the painting values. They are all either too vibrant or too soft… it is a question of getting back into watercolours also, to test the value of the wash and know when I put down my brush it has the correct value. The proportions of the face are too long or not wide enough. The hues are not diverse enough, but hey! This is how we learn. To analyze what is wrong, and to rectify for the next painting. And persevere and move forward.
I have been following for years the “Queen” of drawing faces, and she is found here. You will see that she is quite amazing… makes it look so bloody easy -)))
Paper: Pentalic Aqua Journal 8″ x 5″ Watercolours Fountain Pen: Pilot Namiki SEF Ink: DeAtramentis Black Document Ink
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 Bahamas
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
HOW IT SEEMS TO ME 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
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.”
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
“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 MontrealUrban 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
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
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
• 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 leparlanjhe, 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 leparlanjhe, 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
“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