Places to eat and sketch 2017

I return to my small Mexican village to avoid our harsh cold winter. Now, I can walk to my favourite places to sketch.

First stop is Ricos Tacos where the lady owner loves to decorate her establishment- a true visual artist. She loves greenery, orchids, recycled tires, flashing lights. On the menu are huaraches, pellizcadas, quesadillas.

Ricos Tacos, watercolor, Guayabitos,

Then to the town plaza where it is business as usual; Monday is market day until late afternoon, on a daily basis vendors pass through with all your beach needs and more. I see the flan man selling his ” wife’s recipe ” at 20 pesos and buy a wedge. This year workers are building by hand a permanent platform for the musical and dance fiesta starting later this month. It is an enjoyable space to watch the social landscape and listen to mass at the adjacent church.

Shovel and Wheelbarrow, watercolour, 2017

The early morning fish market is still happening up and down the beach. They start at sunrise and are closed at 10:am.

Beach Fish Market, watercolour, 2017

We are squeezed between the Pacific ocean and the Sierra Madre. As I walk along the beach I look towards the mountains and the passage way is waiting to be painted.

Passage way, watercolour, 2017

 

 

Merry Christmas 2016

Winter is here with days of cold winds and snow squalls. This being said, the train was a good option for a trip to Toronto to see Mystical Landscapes; Monet, van Gogh and More at the Ontario Art Gallery. Toronto is just as cold as Montreal but we decided the 20 minute walk from the train station was just what we needed. As we approached the gallery we enjoy the sweeping glass facade by Canadian born architect Frank Gehry and a huge outdoor sculpture by British Henry Moore. The gallery has over 900 sculptures and works of Henry Moore.

 

OAG, Toronto, photo by Mary Anne Sullivan

Mystical Landscapes has a wide selection of paintings by artists from 15 countries covering the period from 1880 to 1930. The eye catching names of Monet and van Gogh are the show stoppers.

There is a wide interpretation of mystical and spiritual landscapes in the exhibit. For example, Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele Landscape with Ravens, 1911 is dark and raw. Juxtaposition is the French painter Maurice Denis, La solitude de Christ, 1918. Here, the bright warm colour choice for the landscape reinforces the sole figure’s passive position and offers safety to mankind outside the sanctuary of the church. At this time, Europe was experiencing the first war from 1914-1918. Maurice Denis was a Symbolist and theoretican of the Nabis movement. In the same space we look at Post Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, Vision of the Sermon -Jacob wrestling with the Angels, 1888. The choice of colours and complex religious story made it Gauguin’s first masterpiece. Bought in 1925 for 1,150 pounds by the National Gallery of Scotland it is now one of their finest purchases – Gauguin had offered to give it to the Church of Pont-Aven but “naturally they don’t want it”. The rooms are filled with paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Piet Mondrian, Edward Munich, James McNeil Whistler, Paul Gaugin and many other lesser known artists.

The Canadian painters; Tom Thomson ( 1877-1917). Lawren Harris (1885-1970), Federick Varley ( 1881-1969) and Emily Carr ( 1871-1945) are well represented and it will be nice to hear the comments from Paris when this show opens on March 13 at the Musee d’Orsay, Paris.

As Christmas nears we celebrated the life of Cleo on our farm. She was a dog of unknown breed found at the SPCA over sixteen years ago.

 

Kleo. pencil sketch of dog

 

Merry Christmas and thanks for your support throughout  2016, Linda

Fundraising for Old Brewery Mission

The Old Brewery Mission receives the homeless women and men of Montreal and is always in need of money. Artist Sue Porter and Artist Karen Hosker have organized a lunch and art sale to fundraise.

Square foot, for old brewery mission, 2016

This Saturday November 19, thirteen artists will offer for sale four pieces of art 12 inches by 12 inches each for 140$. You are invited to the Hosker’s private residence at 232 Chemin de Senneville, Qc  from 11 am to 4 pm. Please come, buy art and have a light lunch of soup, bread and a sweet for 5$.

Here are my four paintings

Linda Denis, Square Art

Stewart Hall, Rental and Sales Gallery, 2017

The 2017 jury for the Art Rental at Stewart Hall Gallery have completed their selection. The vernissage is this Sunday October 30, 2016 at 2 o’clock. I am happy to have my oil painting Kamouraska as part of the collection. It was painted while the tide was out, to show off the lush green vegetation that grows under the salt water. Food forager know all about the marine greens in Kamouraska: beach peas, goat’s beard, sea parsley, sea spinach and sea asparagus.

tide out marshland vegetation

Kamouraska, 30 x 30 inches, oil on canvas, 2014

An added bonus this year was the detail from my painting Tidal Flats Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive on the 2017 Invitation.

 

detail, Linda Denis, Tidal Flats Saint-Joseph-de- La-Rive, 2015

detail, Linda Denis, Tidal Flats Saint-Joseph-de- La-Rive, 2015

 

Please visit the Stewart Hall Art Gallery: Hours, Monday through Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission-accessible by elevator

176, chemin du Bord-du-Lac/Lakeshore, Pointe-Claire, Québec H95 4J7  www.pointe-claire.ca

 

 

 

Paris, 2016

After my week at Durtal France,  it was “a must” to spend a few days in Paris. A friend recommended the Hotel des Bains in the 14 arrondissement of Paris. It is close to the Montparnasse Train Staion, shuttle bus to airport and metro. The clean cosy rooms are small but there is everything for an average traveller; updated bathroom, flat TV screen, WiFi and a comfortable bed.

The street and immediate area has all needed amenities. There is a drugstore, small bistros with good food and wine, boutiques selling leather goods, women clothing, and a swim suit shop with Arena  – a brand not available in Quebec but so chic. Best of all, are two art shops – Dalbe and Adam Montmartre both within five minutes of the hotel specializing in a variety of watercolour paper, paints, oil and printmaking supplies. On Saturday morning there is a market for fresh produce, mostly vegetables and meats. Every Sunday there is an art market referred to as the “marché de la création”. This open air art market started in the early 1900’s when it was called “la horde de Montparnasse ” and also known as “Le Marché aux Navets” since the artists shared the same ground as the vegetable farmers. In days gone by artists such as Modigliani, Soutine and Chagall had stalls here. I adore Abstract Expressionist painter Soutine ( 1893-1943) for his paintings full of texture, colour, and shapes. He lived a frugal life and only after the Barnes Foundation bought a substantial number of paintings was he able to be financially secure. The worse was to come under the Nazi occupation of France with Soutine a registered Jew. He sought refuge and with help from friends he hid in several small provincial villages.This tremendous stress aggravated an old ulcer; he died during surgery in Paris.

Cagnes Landscape with Tree c.1925-6 Chaim Soutine 1893-1943 Bequeathed by John Levy 1977 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T02132

Cagnes Landscape with Tree c.1925-6 Chaim Soutine 1893-1943 Bequeathed by John Levy 1977 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T02132

Montréal has a connection to this painter, “Soutine Settled over Bargain Meat“. A good read about the business side of art.

 

 

 

Durtal, France

 

This month I travelled to Durtal, France to follow a watercolour course with Marc Folly. The village is located in the Loire Valley about 230 km south west of Paris. One thousand chateaux are located throughout this valley and Durtal has the monumental Château Royal de Durtal. It began life as a fortress situated high on a rocky cliff overlooking the valley. When the feudal wars were over the fortress became one of the palaces for Louis XIII and Catherine de Medici. In 2007 the castle was bought by politician Alain Huguenot and continues as a bed and breakfast under the name Château Royal de Durtal.

The 5 day watercolour workshop “Harmonie et Contraste” was under the guidance and instruction of French artist Marc Folly. His mantra is “draw, value and colour” which we see in all his paintings. His softback catalogue of watercolours is titled” Marc Folly, oeuvres sur papier/works on paper ” available at the artist’s website.

We had our marching orders each day and sometimes I was lost. Especially some of the french words “fiel de boeuf” which translated to oxgall a preservation and dispersing agent in watercolours. Marc’s favourite word was “up” but in reality he was pulling the brush downwards, sideways or zig- zagging. I finally resolved it as an endearing expression he used to create magic. Many french speaking friends pointed out to me the expression “allez hop” which in all probably was what he said. He frequently stressed the importance of “la goutte” which I translated as “the puddle ” – a mixture of pigments and water allowed to pool on the paper when you need time to contemplate the next action. For myself, this puddle allowed “the hand with the help of the eye” to determine when the edge would be soft or hard and the value of the colour.

Below are my results on the fourth and fifth day. I was almost there with “Sink Side ” on the fourth day until I got heavy handed with my colours around the sink and a bit beyond. Marc placed clear water on the offending area then took a cotton rag and with one swipe removed a lot of the dirty paint, let it dry and place a few corrected touches of paint.

Old but Functional, watercolour on Hahnemühle paper, 2016

Sink Side, watercolour completed on Hahnemühle paper, 2016

The fifth day, I was able to complete the assignment. Marc suggested I enlarge the orange area and it did make the colour dynamics work better in the picture plane.

Hot work, watercolour completed on Guarro paper, 2016

We all worked to succeed with each artist bringing their experience and skill sets. For myself, I pushed my mind to accept a new approach to my watercolours. In the past it was a sketch, a way to observe my surroundings; to be quick and intuitive. Now, my goal is to be conscious of the process, be patient, demand more of my tools but still retain my individuality.

Summer Days, 2016

This past week we visited the exhibition of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun ( French, 1755-1842) at the National Gallery of Canada which will end this September 11. She is a prominent 18th century painter with more than 600 portraits, 200 landscapes and this is her first retrospective. The Ottawa NGC gallery exhibition stated, “her talent, her extraordinary capacity for work and her social skills” were her outstanding qualities and we see this before our eyes as we walk through each room. Vigée Le Brun painted about thirty portraits of Marie Antoinette but with the start of  the French Revolution ( 1789-99) she fled quickly from France. Her talent and gifted skills continued to give her a portait career in Italy, Austria, Russia and England. She returned to Paris when her name was struck from the list of enemy émigrés.

Portrait of Marie Antoinette with Rose, oil, 1783

Portrait of Marie Antoinette with the Rose, oil, permanent collection Palace of Versaille, 1783

 

I received a gift of Caran d’Ache, Fancolor 15 from a friend and wholesale distributor of these products. The thin metal container is 11 cm by 28cm by 2.5 cm, is ultra light with a full range of pan water-soluble pigment: 14 in total plus a tube of white gouache, a nice mixing area and a small quality brush. I used it, as I do my regular watercolour pigments on a quarter sheet of Fabriano, cold press, traditional white, gsm 300. For myself, the small light size with a few larger brushes and water container make it an ideal plein air kit.

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d'Arch, FANCOLOUR 15

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’Ache, FANCOLOR 15

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Blockhouse, Coteau du lac, Caran d’Ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016

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Mill, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016

Here are some sketches completed during the summer at Linda Drewry’s favourite Tuesday plein air sketching group.

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Pointe du Moulin, Ile Perrot, East/south view, 2016

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Ste Anne de Bellevue Locks, northside, 2016

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Ile des Moulins, water spray on pond,  Terrebone, 2016

Free or almost free, cool places to sketch

This summer in Québec the weather is balmy and usually 30 degrees. No excuse not to get out and sketch. One of my favourite spots is the Sanctuaire in Rigaud, free but accepts donations. Shady, peaceful and usually quiet except for a yell from youngsters finding Pokémon on their screen. It is a place of meditation. Quiet is the command here but miracles do happen and need to be celebrated.

Sanctuaire de Lourdes, Rigaud

Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Qc

Another cool spot, Parc Valois, 331 Avenue St. Charles,Vaudreuil-Dorion on the water has free parking and entrance.

Parc Valois, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Qc

Parc Valois, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Qc

Worth a visit, Parc Historique, Pointe-du-Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I’Île-Perrot, free on Monday and Tuesday.

La Pointe du Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I'île-Perrot, Qc

Le Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I’île-Perrot

As always, the flowers from the garden await brush, pigment and water.

Summer Bouquet

Summer Bouquet

My June, 2016

 

qv4-667-xxx_q85

Les Jardins Quarter-Vents , Malbaie, Qc, Quincyhammond.com

This past month we obtained tickets to view the Jardins de Quarter-Vents  in MalBaie, Qc. For this season 2016 all dates are full but for 2017 start to look in November at Centre Écologigue de Port du Salmon .The guides are well informed volunteers; it takes 2 and 1/2 hours; most tours are in the French language. It is a visual feast of colour, texture, architecture and designed to please the eye. No time was allowed to sketch here but I did these later in the day at St. Joseph de Rive and Les Éboulements.

St Joseph de Rive

Early Morning, St Joseph de Rive, Qc

Parking, Les Éboulements, Qc

Church Parking Lot, Les Éboulements, Qc

Le Vieux-Port de Montréal

 

Under a full moon, 21 hours after leaving Québec City the Draken Harald Hårfagre arrived in Montréal, June 19th, 2016. Last evening the 20th of June was the start of summer solstice – hot, cloudy, windy with lightning and thunder. Unable to see the full moon here we must wait for the next summer solstice when they join together June 21, 2062. Fitting, this rare phenomena happens when this viking ship is in our city.

Yesterday, I arrived at Quay Jacques- Cartier at le Vieux-Port de Montréal to see this magnificent vessel. Unbelievable, a crew of 28 crossed the Atlantic Ocean in this slender wooden craft 34 metres by 7 metres!

 Montréal, June 2015

I took my Venezia Sketchbook, Arches paper and my paint box with a few brushes. Here are some of my sketches. The hot record breaking weather and high winds presented their challenges but insignificant in comparison to the elements facing this ship and crew.

Vikings used Ravens to sight land. If land was sighted by these birds it was nearby. They are non migrational so return to ship quickly if no land in sight.

Vikings used Ravens to sight land. If land was sighted by these birds it was nearby. They are non migrational so return to ship quickly if no land in sight.

before visitation of Viking boat in Vieux Montreal 2016

Viking boat in Vieux Montreal, 2016

 

Arches paper, watercolour

Cleaning the deck, Montréal,

 

viking ship from wharf in Brockville, Ontario

Dockside, Brockville, Ontario