Who loves the trees best?


Who loves trees best?
I, said the spring,
Their leaves so beautiful to them I bring.
Who loves the trees best?
I, summer said,
I give them blossoms, white, yellow, red.
Who loves the trees best?
I, said the fall,
I give luscious fruits, bright tints to all!
Who loves the trees best?
I love them best, harsh winter answered,
I give them rest.
— The Pearl Story Book” by Ada. M Skinner

For two days now I have been painting under Shari‘s wonderful guidance a stillwater view of a lake.

I struggle with every painting that I do and I guess that this is part of the fun and the excitement of it all? If it were easy, would I keep at it? Would it keep me challenged enough to find it interesting? I don’t think so. I must say that I will always question my competence, as this is part of my temperament. The key to learning and improving is to keep on doing it, without taking long breaks as I am doing… with the Covid-19 situation, my life has changed a bit and underneath my apparent calmness, there is a struggle and anxiety that is there. Today and tomorrow it will be there too. So because I have not painted in a while, I felt rusty and of course I redid the same scene three times… not once, twice but three times! And talk to any artist, and they know what I am talking about.

So if you can, I would be really interested in knowing which one of these three paintings that you love best? And could you let me know? As I am very curious -) Top one is A, middle is B and lower one is C.

Stillwater A
Stillwater B
Stillwater C

Watercolours: Hansa Light, Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Q. Rose, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Indanthrone (C)
Paper: Fabriano 12″x9″ CP
Reference photograph

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


:: Marché des éclusiers ::

“I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are;
Because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star.
I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far;
For a might-have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.”
(Milton Berle)

If I had one place to hang out on weekends in Montreal, surely this would be one of the places. You have it all! The waterfront, bike trails, old beautiful buildings, entertainment, great restaurants, tons of activities, exhibitions of all kind, a marina and I pass. And these beautiful vintage old silo buildings which are part of Montreal’s history!


:: #OneWeek100People2018 ::

What has roots that nobody sees
is taller than trees,
up up it goes
and yet never grows?
— J.R. Tolkien in Bilbo the Hobbit

I really juggled with the idea of participating in the #OneWeekOneHundredPeople Challenge by Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steele. Some of the reasons why I am reticent is that first I have tons of correcting to do and I wonder how I will find the time to draw 100 people. Also, drawing people is intimidating for me, and I lack practice so I thought what better way than to practice this skill? I did have to muster up my courage though.

So after having thought about it for awhile, I decided that for my first day I would find a photograph on the net of people sitting in a café where there would already be 20 people there. So one painting, 20 people, instead of several small paintings… yeah! A kind of a warm-up exercise.

A few months ago I had folded a huge 30″x22″ Bockingford 140 lbs sheet the way that Cathy Johnson teaches it on YouTube. If you would like to see how she does this, it is quite simple in reality and gratifying too! You can view it here. So this is the sketchbook that I am using today to fill with my 100 people -)))

So this is a warmup exercise as tomorrow I will be in Montreal and I might not find the time… so this means that on Wednesday I’ll do 40! On Wednesday I am planning on going in the afternoon in the mall at Fairview Pointe-Claire. So if some of you would like to join me, I will be there, sketching away.

Paper: Bockingford 30″x22″ folded 7.5″ x 5.5″
Watercolours: Q. Gold, Cobalt Blue, B. Sienna, Mineral Violet


:: The way through the woods ::

— SOLD —

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago. 
Weather and rain have undone it again, 
And now you would never know 
There was once a road through the woods 
Before they planted the trees. 
It is underneath the coppice and heath, 
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees 
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease, 
There was once a road through the woods.Yet, if you enter the woods 
Of a summer evening late, 
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools 
Where the otter whistles his mate, 
(They fear not men in the woods, 
Because they see so few.) 
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet, 
And the swish of a skirt in the dew, 
Steadily cantering through 
The misty solitudes, 
As though they perfectly knew 
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
— Rudyard Kipling

Winter has finally arrived and I greet it with a mixture of trepidation and awe as I actually enjoy all of our four seasons here in Québec. This weekend will be a busy one as I have student projects to correct, I am thrilled to be part of the Square Foot Art Exhibition on Saturday from 11:00 to 4:00 pm and I do hope to see some of you there. This is one of the paintings that will be on exhibit. Hope that you enjoy it.

As some of you already know, I love trees. I painted this majestic white pine two weekends ago while autumn was still in bloom right here in Rigaud. Does this poem bring you back to childhood?

Paper: Fluid 100 12″ x 12″
Watercolours: MG yellow, B. Sienna, B. Umber, Ultramarine, P. Scarlet


:: Inktober 8 Crooked Theme ::

Why do you paint?
For exactly the same reason I breathe.
— E.E. Cummings from Brainpickings.org

These Inktober themes are really challenging me as I usually am more of an Urban Sketcher, meaning that I try to paint what I see in my environment and not through the computer screen, nor photographs and oh my, certainly not from my imagination! Well, not anymore as these themes have to be found within me and then drawn or painted as I see fit… they are never close to what I had in mind, but I think that the correlation between my imagination and my pen is improving.

I drew in pencil first, as I do not have the courage for now to go straight to ink pen as I usually do, and then I went over with my Hero 573 Fube Nib Fountain Pen. I originally thought to keep this in a  monochromatic black theme, but I got carried away as usual… some buildings in the distance, a road and this “crooked” person stealing an innocent bystander.

Paper: Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook #20
Pen: Hero 573 Fube Nib with De Atramentis Document Black Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada from my imagination
#Inktober 8 Crooked Theme


:: The lopsided pine ::

La Barre and other Musicians
9 May 1663.
At Mr Jarvas’s my old barber, I did try two or three borders and periwigs, meaning to wear one, and yet I have no stomach for it, but the pains of keeping my hair clean is so great. He trimmed me, and at last I parted, but my mind was almost altered from my first purpose, from the trouble that I foresee will be in wearing them also.

I have been reading a booklet entitled: Costume in Art by the National Gallery in London and the themes are quite funny sometimes as you can read in the above two paragraphs. Every century has its own moments of pain…

Met up with two of my sketching friends, Mai & Linda at my Cegep today. The weather was gorgeous and the friendship too! I was also glad to give a tour of my beautiful campus and in the afternoon we moved on to the McGill part of the campus to sketch some farm silos. Had a nice day.

Paper: Hand•book Field watercolour journal
Colours: Q. Gold, B. Sienna, B. Umber & Ultramarine
Location: Cégep John Abbott College, 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

:: Beautiful silent skies ::

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. (Hans Jean Arp)

When I want to see huge, beautiful skies there is one place to go in my region and it is just between Rigaud and St. Clet. The skies are always luminous, grand and silent as they stretch west towards the sunset surrounding St. Polycarpe and St. Telesphore! I must have painted this sky many times up to now and here it is an older post. There is always a sense of awe that chokes me a bit in front of these immense skies… an inner peace.

I have been cooped up in the house for the past four days as the flu has hit us… the sniffles, coughing, sneezing and nose blowing type of sessions where you just want to lie down and sleep, and when it is time to sleep, you are wide awake! Have you ever had this? In a sense my husband and I were well timed as it started one day apart from each other, so I did not feel guilty binging on Netflix.

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Journal 8″x5″
Colours: Burnt Sienna, Q. Rose, Raw Umber & French Ultramarine
Location: Route 201 between Rigaud and St-Clet, Quebec, 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 -)

Happy New Year :: Bonne année

Happy New Year :: Health, love, wisdom & a long life.

Here in Rigaud the winter light is crisp and we are under a foot deep of white snow and even the birds seem to be rejoicing. At least 12 goldfinches are perched on one feeder and the constant to and fro of the chickadees and nuthatches makes looking out the window a marvel of fluttering wings. I love this.

I will not be talking about resolutions for the new year but a bit about continuing to do what I do well in life and stop doing what I am not very good at… This past semester was a difficult semester for me and I had to fight against low energy levels and lethargy and I am becoming more mindful of the energy required to create on a regular basis. If I am to create on a regular basis, I need to keep my energy levels high and not get caught up in the drudgery of deadlines and meetings at school, which become futile in the long run for me in these senior years.

Je ne parlerai pas de résolutions personnelles pour la nouvelle année mais plutôt de continuer à faire les choses que je fais bien dans la vie et d’arrêter de faire les choses que je suis moins bonne — ou au moins essayer de m’améliorer. Je voudrais atteindre une régularité artistique. Je deviens de plus en plus consciente de l’énergie nécessaire pour créer de l’art sur une base régulière, et ceci veut dire que je dois garder mes niveaux d’énergie élevés et ne pas me laisser prendre dans la turbulence de réunions dramatiques et de la corvée des échéanciers à l’école, qui deviennent à mon âge, futiles.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Q. Gold, Burnt Sienna & Indanthrone Blue
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


Happy New Year 2016 :: Bonne Année 2016


Boy oh Boy

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 
― Pablo Picasso

Boy oh Boy was finishing this painting difficult… I painted it three times, without much success. This got me thinking… why is it that this painting’s mystery could not be solved? Well, I do have a few answers. First, the building was backlit and hardly had any shadows, so the lighting was not very good (first important lesson). Second, I started a new sketchbook and the paper is fine (even though I am not used to it) and the paper dimensions are throwing me off. It is 5.5″ x 8.5″ and I rarely paint in this ratio. Anyway, this painting is either too wide in landscape mode and too thin portrait mode. Excuses, excuses, I know!

Sapristi que j’ai eu de la misère à finir cette peinture. Je l’ai repeinte trois fois, et je suis toujours insatisfaite. Ceci m’a fait penser… pourquoi est-ce que j’ai eu tant de misère? Bien j’ai une couple de réponses. Premièrement, cet édifice faisait dos au soleil, donc tout à l’ombre qui est la première règle à éviter. Deuxièmement, je viens de commencer un nouveau cahier à croquis (le papier est bien) mais les dimensions me rendent mal à l’aise. La dimension est trop étroite mode portrait et trop large sur la largeur. Je sais, excuses, excuses!

Paper: Stillman & Birn Beta
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Rose Madder, Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Maison Smith, Parc of Mount Royal, Montreal, Québec, Canada


Bois de Liesse

If you desire to draw, that you may represent something you care for, you will advance switfly and safely. If you desire to draw, that you make a beautiful drawing, you will never make one.
— John Ruskin, Artist & Observer by Christopher Newall

We are quite lucky here in Montreal as there are many activities that are out there for artists to join, free of charge. Today was the first time that I joined Linda Drewry (I hope that I have spelled her family name correctly…) who is the person that organizes plein air days during the summer months in the Montreal area. She has been organizing these for the past 20 years! Here is a link to her blog and if ever you feel like joining us in these endeavours, you are most welcome -) We went to the Bois de Liesse today in Pierrefonds (my father used to call Pierrefonds “RockBottom” -) and Chi Mai, Linda Denis and myself painted houses that are privately owned which are on the grounds of this estate. Quite charming place.

Les artistes sont chanceux à Montréal car il y a beaucoup d’activités qui sont gratuits et intéressants. Aujourd’hui je me suis joint à Linda Drewry qui organise depuis 20 ans des journées plein air tout au long de l’été où plusieurs artistes peignent ensemble avec toutes sortes de médium différents. Aujourd’hui nous nous sommes retrouvés au Bois de Liesse à Pierrefonds et Chi Mai, Linda Denis et moi-même avons peint une des maisons qui ont des propriétaires privées mais qui sont situées sur les terrains de ce bois. Un bel endroit à découvrir…

Paper: Stillman & Birn Beta
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: 9432 Gouin West, Pierrefonds, Québec, Canada


Triceratop at Redpath Museum : Tricératop au Musée Redpath

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
― Marcel Proust

Went to the Redpath Museum today with the Montreal Urban Sketchers group and we were very glad to be indoors as it is still -20C. This group is made up of a very nice bunch of people and the museum is very generous of its assorted exhibits of indigenous & prehistoric animals, shells, minerals, world culture (ethnological) artefacts — a true natural history museum. I was glad to meet some old painting acquaintances.

Aujourd’hui nous avions notre rendez-vous mensuel des Sketchers urbains de Montréal au Musée Redpath de Montréal. Il faisait très froid dehors, -20C, donc nous étions tous bien contents d’être au chaud. Le musée Redpath est un musée d’histoire naturelle qui est assez incroyable… les espèces indigènes, préhistoriques, coquillages de toutes sortes, minéraux, culture ethnologique avec beaucoup d’artéfacts! 

Paper: Handbook Journal
Colours: French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna
Fountain Pen: TWISBI Classic EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey


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



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


Winter solstice :: Solstice d’hiver

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” 
― Hermann Hesse

After our -25ºC temperatures, we received flurries, freezing rain, freezing pellets and a very slippery and grey day. It is the winter solstice… the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the longest one in the southern hemisphere. I always look forward to this day as it gives me hope! Hope that tomorrow the day will grow longer and that Spring is coming… slowly but surely.

Aujourd’hui nous avons reçu de la neige, du verglas, du grésille et c’était la plus courte journée de l’hiver — ceci me réjouit — à partir de demain, les journées rallongent et le printemps s’en vient, à petits pas, tout doucement… mais sûrement!

Paper: Larolan Sketchbook II
Colours: Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Orange and White Gouache
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Gray


Andrew Wyeth

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
— Andrew Wyeth

This is the Casgrain Building at John Abbott College where I work. Yesterday I received a gift that I made to myself in the form of a book “Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography”. It is an amazingly well thought out and well worded book as it shows in chronological order this amazing artists’ life work accompanied by his own comments on the painting process for each and every painting. I am definitely inspired!

Le building Casgrain au Cégep John Abbott où je travaille. Hier j’ai reçu un cadeau que je me suis fait à moi-même, sous forme de livre intitulé “Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography”. C’est un livre de très haute qualité imprimée, intelligent et démontre, en ordre chronologique, ses toiles ainsi qu’un commentaire de Wyeth sur le procédé encouru avec chaque toile. Ça vaut vraiment la peine et je suis hyper inspirée!

Paper: Hand•book Travelogue
Colours: Raw Sienna, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Q. Burnt Orange, French Ultramarine
Pen: Pilot Penmanship EF
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey


Indian Sculpture :: Sculpture indienne

Yesterday was my second watercolour class with a great teacher, Marc, and here is his BLOG if you would like to know a bit about him. This course takes place at SynStudio on St. Catherine street in Montreal, Québec, Canada. This is an amazing environment for a small group of people, around 10, where we are exploring new frontiers (for me anyway) in watercolour painting. The class is perfect, the people in the class are really nice and the carpooling is wonderful. So all in all, a very nice night. If any of you know the symbolism and the name of the statue that I painted, I would really appreciate your input… -) I just found out that they are from India -)_))

Mon deuxième cours d’aquarelles se tenait hier soir à SynStudio sur la rue Ste-Catherine à Montréal, Québec, Canada. Le prof est Marc, qui est excellent — voici son BLOG si ses oeuvres vous intéressent. Le cours est très intéressant et le talent du prof est impressionnant, les élèves sont supers et le co-voiturage parfait! Une très belle soirée, somme toute -) Si quelqu’un entre vous connaît la sculpture que j’ai peinte, j’aimerais avoir un peu plus d’infos — le symbolisme? Son nom? Il semble qu’elle soit des Indes…

Paper: Fabriano Artistico CP, 140 lbs, 11″ x 15″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine


Still Life :: Nature morte

I have an interesting story to tell you. Yesterday I went to my first watercolour class in Montreal and we were about 12 people there. A person that I had never met in my life came up to me and introduced himself and then said that he had read about my blog. I was pleased. After a few pleasantries, he told me that he wanted to show me something… he fuddled around in his bag, and took out a big white envelope which he then gave to me. My name, with my home address was written on it, coming from Jackson Arts in the UK. It turns out that he ordered, probably at the same time as I, some items there and by mistake, they put my envelope with his. Is this a coincidence or what? A company, some 6000 kms away from me, sends my envelope to his home, and incidentally, he happens to be taking the same course as I? In a city where we both do not live in? And then instead of keeping it for himself, brings it to me? Wow! Thank you!!! What do you think? Is this just coincidence? Karma? Or what goes around comes around?

J’ai une petite histoire intéressante pour vous ce soir. J’ai commencé mon tout premier cours d’aquarelle hier soir à Montréal. Quand je suis arrivée, il y avait des personnes présentes et nous nous sommes présentés et j’ai commencé à jaser avec un homme qui me disait qu’il connaissait mon blog. J’étais contente! Ensuite, il me dit qu’il voulait me montrer de quoi… je l’ai suivi et il a fouillé dans son grand sac pour un petit bout de temps, et a sorti une grande enveloppe blanche qu’il m’a ensuite donnée. Je l’ai regardée, et mon nom était inscrit dessus, avec mon adresse, et tout, venant de Jackson’s Art au Royaume-Uni. Qu’est-ce que c’était donc? Nous avons déduit qu’il avait passé une commande en même temps que moi, et qu’eux avait mis, par erreur, mon enveloppe attachée à la sienne. Wow! Quelle coincidence? Quel karma? Ou est-ce simplement le phénomène de tout ce qu’on fait nous revient? Et au lieu de garder les items et ne pas m’en parler, il me les rapportent? Je ne sais pas, mais je suis hyper contente d’avoir finalement reçu les items que j’avais commandés. Merci!

Colours: French Ultramarine, Aureolin Yellow and Alizarin Crimson
Paper: Bockingford 140 lbs CP, 11″x15″


What a day :: Quelle journée

After a full and frazzled day, I decided to soothe my soul and go to St-Louis-de-Gonzague with Pyper in tow (for those of you who do not know, he is my dog, a Golden Retriever). I love autumn as the trees are still full of leaves, they are starting to have a tinge of orange and yellow and the shadows are long… which I love! I saw this cute old house with the huge silos in the back of it, and couldn’t resist them…

Après une longue journée éreintante, j’ai décidé de prendre la route vers St-Louis-de-Gonzague avec Pyper dans le siège arrière. L’automne qui arrive avec ses arbres pleins de feuilles, tournat au jaune et orange avec ses ombres longs, j’adore! Quand j’ai vu cette petite maison avec ses silos monstres, je n’ai pu résister.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook #9
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Colours: Quinachridone Burnt Orange, Cobalt Blue and Aureolin Yellow


Farm on Route 201 :: Ferme sur route 201

Coming back from my mothers today I decided to sketch this farm… the colour of the sky was fantastic and quite rare — just like in California — with no clouds. The air and views were crisp as the humidity levels are not too high.

En revenant de chez ma mère j’ai passé cette ferme sur la route 201 à St-Clet. La couleur du ciel était magnifique aujourd’hui — sans aucun nuage — comme en Californie… qui est quand même rare ici au Québec. Les vues et l’air étaient très clairs car le taux d’humidité était relativement bas.

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Colours: S. Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson and Q. Burnt Orange

Looking for a place :: À la recherche d’un endroit

I have been looking for a landscape that would be nice to paint during all of our different seasons in Québec. Autumn, winter, spring and summer and I think that I have found a spot. The spot needed to be easy to park and had to be safe, have good views of the land and the skies and had something that added drama… there are grain silos, farms, a dog kennel, horses, cows, crows, foxes and birds and a total absence of cars plus the beautiful view of the mountain! Let me introduce you to the Chemin St-Thomas in Rigaud, my hometown. This is where I painted yesterday facing west and today I went back and faced east… looking at the Mountain of Rigaud. From this vantage point, the mountain is in sharp contrast to the surrounding area which is flat and filled with wild flowers, hay and grass. Hope you like it. On top of the mountain there is a lookout spot that is quite incredible… you can see the Laurentian Mountains, the Outaouais River, Lake of Two Mountains, Montreal, Laval and the Eastern portion of Ontario.

Ça fait un bout de temps que je cherche un endroit pour peindre l’hiver, le printemps, l’été et l’automne qui est sécuritaire, qui n’a pas beaucoup de traffic, et qui est beau. Je crois que j’ai trouvé l’endroit… dans mon patelin à Rigaud. Hier j’ai peint la vue en regardant vers l’ouest et aujourd’hui j’ai peint en regardant vers l’est. Cet endroit a tout ce que j’ai de besoin et n’est pas très loin de chez moi (un autre critère évidemment). Il y a la belle montagne de Rigaud, majestueuse de ce point de vue, et le terrain qui l’entoure avec ses silos de grains, fermes, chevaux, vaches, poules, chats, chiens & oiseaux. En plus, le terrain est très plat en-avant de la montagne donc la vue me permet de bien voir le ciel et la terre… un endroit parfait! En haut de la montagne, il y un point de vue qui est incroyable… on peut voir les Laurentides, Laval, la portion Est de la province de l’Ontario, Montréal et la rivière des Outaouais et le Lac des Deux-Montagnes. Magnifique! J’espère que vous allez aimer… je vais peindre à cet endroit les changements de saisons.

Colours: Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue and Alizarin Crimson
Paper:  Trav•e•logue series watercolor journals by Hand•book Journal Co. #8
Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Pen: Pilot Flexi Grip EF


Balm for the soul :: Baume pour l’âme

Four Urban Sketchers of Montreal gathered together today to paint in Place D’Armes in Old Montreal. Place D’Armes is the second oldest public site in Montreal and dates back from 1693. In front of us was the Notre. Dame Basilica gothic revival style architecture (1672), Saint. Sulpice Seminary (1657) which is the oldest edifice in Montreal, the Bank of Montreal’s head office  (1817) which is the oldest bank in Canada, New York Life Insurance building (1887) and finally the art deco Aldred building (1931) which resembles the NYC Empire State building which was completed in the same year. Even though I painted parts of some of these buildings and roofs, it architecture surrounding us was quite impressive and beautiful.

I have not painted nor drawn for more than a week and I felt quite rusty… and painting today did its amazing work and quieted and soothed my mind while creating a balm for the soul… which has been in a whirlwind of thoughts and of letting go’s. Last Sunday, my beloved 88 year old scottish father Dorland died, letting his head fall on my Mom’s shoulder during Mass at the Notre. Dame de Lourdes Sanctuary in Rigaud.

Quatre sketchers urbains de Montréal se sont rencontrés aujourd’hui pour peindre à la Place D’Armes dans le Vieux-Montréal. Cet endroit est magnifique en histoire. En-avant de nous il y avait la Basilique Notre-Dame (1672), le Séminaire Saint-Sulpice qui est le plus vieux bâtiment de Montréal (1657), le siège social de la Banque de Montréal (1817), l’édifice art déco Aldred (1931) qui est très similaire au Empire State Building à NYC et qui date de la même année, et bien d’autres.

Je n’avais pas peint depuis plus d’une semaine et j’étais bien rouillée, et le fait de peindre m’a donnée ses effets bénéfiques… entre autre de calmer mes esprits et d’agir comme un baume sur l’âme. J’en avais bien besoin car mon père bien-aimé est mort dimanche passé au Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Lourdes à Rigaud, pendant la messe. Sa tête est tout simplement tombée sur l’épaule de ma mère… il avait 88 ans.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Colours: Mayan Blue, Raw Sienna, Aureolin Yellow, Q. Burnt Orange