:: JAC ::

Because watercolor actually moves on the paper, it is the most active of all mediums, almost a performance art.
— Nita Engle

Here is my beautiful John Abbott College campus on the West Island in Montreal. I had drawn the painting on site, and painted it today from my house and I overworked it… the watercolours are not fresh enough… but still, I am happy with it. You know that you are overworking a painting when you spend too much time going over and over and over…. I should have stopped when it was still fresh. This is a common enough lament from watercolour painters from all over the world… this is one of the most difficult tasks to learn when you are painting. Stop! When the paints are still fresh.

En aquarelle une des leçons que l’on réapprend très souvent est d’arrêter avant de trop travailler la peinture…. et c’est ce que j’ai fait aujourd’hui. J’aurais dû arrêter, mais j’ai continué et mes couleurs ne sont plus fraîches… mais c’est pas grave car j’ai apprend une leçon aujourd’hui! Stop! Quand c’est le temps -)

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 9″x12″
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Perylne Maroon and Mayan Blue
Fountain pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey
Location: Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Québec, Canada20150528_JAC

Posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings | 2 Comments

Montreal’s duality :: La dualité de Montréal

First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school
so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am dying… and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.
— Anonymous.

This small square, with a fountain and view of the Champ-de-Mars park, was created in 1858 and represents the unique character of Montreal. Both statues are facing each other, one representing the French and the other representing the English. The statue is of Jean Vauquelin (1728–1772), commander of the French fleet in New France. Vauquelin stares across rue Notre-Dame at his counterpart, the English admiral Horatio Nelson (1758–1805). The two statues are symbols of Montréal’s French and English duality.

Painting this, there were some beautiful shadows just in front of me of the trees above my head and I am wondering if I should take them out, or not. You will be able to judge with the paintings shown below and let me know which one that you prefer? Also, when we went sketching with Les amis de la montagne on Sunday, my sketching kit was very popular… many people stopped to ask me about it. If you are interested in this type of kit for painting/sketching here is the link En Plein Air Pro. I love it! It is light, easy to carry and has everything that I need for plein air painting -) Thanks to Shari and Marc for letting me know where they bought theirs.

Ce petit carré Vauquelin, avec une fontaine et vue sur le parc du Champ-de-Mars, a été créé en 1858 et représente le caractère unique de Montréal. Les deux statues sont face à face, l’un représentant les français et l’autre représentant les Anglais. La statue est de Jean Vauquelin (1728-1772), commandant de la flotte française en Nouvelle-France. Vauquelin regarde à travers la rue Notre-Dame, à son homologue, l’amiral anglais Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). Les deux statues représentent bien la dualité linguistique française et anglaise de Montréal. J’ai mis deux peintures recadrées différamment car mes ombres dans une sont grandes et dans l’autre sont petites… pouvez-vous me dire laquelle vous préférez?

Paper: Saunders Waterford HP 7″x11″
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, New Gambodge, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Perylene Maroon, Cobalt Blue & Bloodstone
Fountain Pen:
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Vauquelin Square, Old Montreal, Québec, Canada




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St. Louis Square :: Carré St-Louis ::

In watercolour, if you are not in trouble, then you’re in trouble.
— Selma Blackburn

I most often paint in sketchbooks and when I do, it is impossible to tear off the page to keep the painting as this would ruin the sketchbook… and I would not want to as the sketchbooks are a fantastic legacy of looking back at your work, in chronological order. To me they are worthless as each drawing or painting or sketch reminds me of that instance. There are many paintings that I would like to “repaint” on bigger sheets of watercolour and this is one of them. I originally painted this one in 2013.

Je peins la majorité du temps dans des carnets de croquis et souvent, il y a des peintures que j’aimerais refaire sur un plus grand format de papier aquarelle… et en voici un exemple. On pourrait penser que je pourrais simplement déchirer une feuille de mon carnet, mais ceci ruinerait le carnet car les feuilles deviendraient lousses mais surtout je perdrais l’ordre chronologique de tout ce que j’ai fait en peinture ou dessin ou croquis.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 8″x8″
Colours: Yellow Ocre, Alizarin Crimson, Serpentine Genuine & Payne’s Grey
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey


Posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings | 4 Comments

:: Les amis de la montagne ::

In the morning Benjamin Franklin asked himself this question:
“What good shall I do this day?”
In the evening he would ask the following question:
“What good have I done to-day?”

Today was a really nice day to be out sketching, but it did take awhile before the weather turned for the better. Les amis de la montagne had invited the Montreal Urban Sketchers to come out and paint the mountain today and we were quite a few to participate. When we set out our paraphernalia, it started raining big drops of rain, and slowly the sun fettered out to warm our cold backs. Talking of backs, I had a really sore back since Friday morning when I sneezed and the release went directly in my lower back… yikes! I thought this morning that I might not be able to go out sketching with the Montreal Urban Sketchers on the beautiful Mount Royal in Montreal. So when I woke up, I was very careful to tread carefully, did not do any sudden movements and by the time that I hit the road, I was sitting comfortably in the car, ready for a sketching day. My friend and I, Linda Denis, we painted together and it was just nice to be outside with thousands of other people, walking up and down the mountain. It turned out to be a gorgeous day.

Aujourd’hui était une super belle journée pour peindre malgré le fait que le soleil a pris son temps à se joindre à nous. Les amis de la montagne avaient invités les Urban Sketchers de Montréal pour se joindre à eux pour peindre la montagne du Mont-Royal et nous étions plusieurs au rendez-vous. Comme nous nous étions installés pour commencer à peindre, de grosses gouttelettes d’eau se sont mises à tomber et tranquillement le soleil s’est mis à réchauffer nos dos congelés. En parlant de dos, vendredi matin j’ai éternué et s’est jetée dans le bas de mon dos. Je pensais ce matin que je ne pourrais pas me joindre au groupe, mais tranquillement pas vite, en faisant bien attention à mes mouvements, je me suis levée, déjeuner et très doucement je me suis installée en arrière du volant de mon automobile et tranquillement pas vite, mon amie et moi Linda Denis, avons fait notre petit chemin vers Montréal. Il y avait aussi des milles personnes qui marchaient de long en large sur le Mont-Royal et l’air était très festif. Une superbe journée.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 140 lbs.
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, New Gambodge, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Location: Maison Smith, Mount Royal, Montreal, Québec, Canada


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Colour Preparation :: Preparation des couleurs

The daily small painting, a small resource and time commitment, is an exercise in absolute focus for that time period. It’s like a meditation, really. (Gaye Adams)

I am in preparation mode for a few things, such as a trip to Turkey and two Art Shows. I have not cleaned my colour palette in a very long time and I am in the process of choosing which colours that I will be bringing with me in the warm climes of Turkey, and also the soon to be warmer climes here in Quebec. Did you know that presently it is 3C in Rigaud? So bloody chilly! Anyway, to get back to my story, I decided to lay out all of my colour tubes and map them out by colour categories…. the three primary colours of course, earth tones, greens, quinachridones and various shades of white to black… neutral tones. So here it is and the names have all been written down as well as the company that holdes them. When I decide to choose my colours for my trip, they will all be in front of me thus making it easier to choose.

If you feel like joining me this Sunday we will be meeting at Maison Smith on Mount Royal in Montreal for the Sketching a Mountain Event -)

I am also testing out a new bluetooth keyboard that attaches to my iPhone 6+ and up to now it is working very well…. except for the French accents, all is fine. It is an iKross with folding stand a grand total of $24.

Je suis en train de preparer plusieurs evenements en meme temps, dont un voyage en Turquie et deux expositions de peinture donc j’ai beaucoup de boulot a faire, en plus de finaliser tous mes cours. Comme vous avez certainement remarque, je ne trouve pas mes accents francais… donc sans accents va suffire pour le moment.  Si ca vous tente vous pouvez vous joindre a moi pour dessiner/peindre sur le Mont-Royal dimanche qui s’en vient. Rendez-vous a 10h00 a la Maison Smith. 


Posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings | 2 Comments