No Lines :: Sans lignes

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
– Phyllis Diller

For today’s painting I decided to plunge head first! I painted with hardly any pencil lines and especially with no ink lines. I love drawing and using fountain pens, so I automatically grab a fountain pen when about to start a “painting”… but is it a real watercolour painting if it has ink lines? So I managed to defeat my urge to pick up the fountain pen, and just painted with watercolours. I hardly recognize what I have done, but the biggest hurdle is over… just by doing it. Yes!

Pour la peinture d’aujourd’hui, j’ai décidé de plonger la tête la première! J’ai peint sans lignes d’encre et seulement un petit peu de crayon. J’aime dessiner et utiliser des stylos à plume, donc automatiquement je prends  un stylo alors que je m’apprête à commencer une “aquarelle” … mais est-ce une vraie aquarelle si elle a des lignes d’encre? Donc, j’ai réussi à vaincre mon envie de ramasser le stylo, et j’ai peint une aquarelle. Je reconnais à peine ce que j’ai fait, mais le plus grand obstacle est passé … je l’ai fait. Oui!

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x 9″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine
Location: Les Cèdres, Québec, Canada


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Point of view :: Point de vue

You don’t have to be Michelangelo to teach basic art, just as you don’t have to be Shakespeare to be able to teach the correct use of language.
– Charles de Lint

When painting, sometimes the view does not work and it helps to shift one’s view in order to catch another vista or totally change one’s perspective. I have painted this house before, but now I chose the back and sideways view instead, with much better results. Is it not interesting that more often than not, the back of a building is more interesting that its’ front? This view is helped by the rain barrel that leads the eye into the painting, then travels between the two buildings. This creates the illusion of multiple layers with the one in front being the barrel, the path between the buildings is the second one and then the back forest.

Lors de la peinture, parfois le point de vue ne fonctionne pas et il est nécessaire de changer son point de vue dans le but de prendre un meilleur sujet. J’ai déjà peint cette maison, et  j’ai choisi l’arrière-côté de la maison avec de bien meilleurs résultats. N’est-il pas intéressant de constater que le plus souvent, l’arrière d’un bâtiment est plus intéressant que sa devanture? Le baril aide l’oeil à entrer dans la peinture et guide l’oeil à se diriger entre les deux maisons créant trois différents niveaux… le devant, le sentier et la forêt…

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x 9″
Colours: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Carbon Black
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada


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Dreams in the Mondream Wood

In the heart of the house lay a garden.
In the heart of the garden stood a tree.
In the heart of the tree lived an old man who wore the shape of a red-haired boy with crackernut eyes that seemed as bright as salmon tails glinting up the water.
His was a riddling wisdom older by far than the ancient oak that housed his body.
The green sap was his blood and leaves grew in his hair.
In the winter, he slept.
In the spring, the moon harped a windsong against his antler tines as the oak’s boughs stretched its green buds awake.
In the summer, the air was thick with the droning of bees and the scent of the wildflowers that grew in stormy profusion where the fat brown bole became root.
And in the autumn, when the tree loosed its bounty to the ground below, there were hazelnuts lying in among the acorns.

The secrets of a Green Man.
–Charles De Lint

Paper: Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
Colours: Hansa M., Q. Burnt Orange, Burnt Umber, Alizarin & Indanthrone
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Les Cèdres, Québec, Canada


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Thoughts for my father…

Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes, your easy smile is your museum.
– Ansel Adams

Dad, today is your birthday and you would have been 89 years old. We miss you! Mom misses you very much too! We were so lucky to have you at our side, all of these years. You were a quiet man, extremely conscientious and you showed me what it looked like to be a good husband and a good father. You taught me how to organize myself, you transferred your love of history and genealogy to me, you showed me how to measure drinks for guests and how to assemble airplane models. You brought me along on train rides, accompanied me when I was sick, came to see me in Ottawa when I was at university and feeling lonely, you cracked me up with your sense of humour and your great outlook on life. You certainly had a special wisdom and a great philosophy. You were an avid reader with books lying all across the house, in every nook and cranny. I am an avid reader also with books lying all across the house, in every nook and cranny. You knew when to shut up — which is a great quality for keeping friends and family in harmony — and you knew when to speak up too. You showed me that men and women are equal, you were a feminist-dad -) You always had the time for me, despite your very demanding job as well as giving your time to the MOCO club, the Richelieu Club, taking photographs for the Regattas in Valleyfield, being on the topographical committee for the city of Valleyfield, perusing through the city’s history and helping out whenever you could. You were a great role model Dad and I still miss you, and always will. Happy Birthday -) I painted this building today as you had once told Mom, probably as a joke, that you would buy it for her. Do you remember where it stands? It is at the junction of route 201 between St. Stanislas de Kostka and St. Louis de Gonzague. You said that it would stand tall for a very long time and you were right, as it is still there. So here it is for you…

Paper: Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
Colours: Aureolin, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin & Indigo
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Junction of Route 201 & Route 236, Québec, Canada


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Cloud Illusions :: Mystère des nuages

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Joni Mitchell’s lyrics come back to me every time that I try to solve cloud illusions, and how to paint them. So I tackled clouds today, as well as water and mountains… hum! Might as well tackle everything at the same time. One of the Québec artists whom I admire is Marc-Aurèle Fortin, first for his trees and also for his clouds. It was a lot of fun chasing after these clouds as I felt as I was delving in Fortin territory, which I am not used to. So here are my trials and tryouts.

Les paroles de Joni Mitchell reviennent à chaque fois que j’essaie de résoudre le mystère des nuages. Aujourd’hui j’ai ouvert un de mes livres sur Marc-Aurèle Fortin, un peintre québécois que j’aime beaucoup, surtout pour ses arbres majestueux et ses nuages. J’étais dans le territoire de Fortin, une façon de peindre qui m’est inconnue et qui était amusante à faire. 



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