Author Archives: Linda Denis

Charlevoix, Qc, 2017

The region of Charlevoix is a destination for outdoor painters. Canadian landscape painters, Charles Gagnon (1881-1942), James Wilson Morrice (1865- 1924), A.Y. Jackson(1882-1974), Bruno Côte (1940-2010) to name only a few, have painted here.

For us this year, no snow storm, freezing rain or bone chilling winds to hinder us. The morning is warm and sunny, we stop to visit at “Le Forgeron ” which is located half way up the hillside overlooking the village of  Saint-Irénée. We are welcomed with an offer of coffee, parking for the day and a panoramic view of the village and St. Lawrence River. Kindness of this sort is greatly appreciated.

St.Irénée, watercolour, 2017

By the afternoon the weather is holding with sun and a clear vista. I decided to drive to the village of Saint-Joseph-de-Rive and then sketched the row of houses on the northside of the railway tracks.

Houses on the north side of the tracks, watercolour, 2017

However, the following day rain and fog are threatening but hold off for the morning. Just enough sketching time in the village of Baie Saint Paul.

Ice Jam in the Bay, watercolour, 2017

Western Skyline, Baie Saint Paul, watercolour

On our final day we travelled north to Saint-Hilarion and Le Pied-des-Mont. We settled on the hill looking down on Ferme Caprivoix. We see the snow showers in the distance moving slowly in our direction, so time to paint.

Ferme Caprivoix, watercolour, 2017

My friend and wholesale supplier of Caran d’arch water brushes presented me with a new tool for sketching. This water brush pen has a 15ml fibre brush and a 20ml reservoir. It is a practical tool with the reservoir providing enough water from the pump to pool on the paper before adding pigments or alternatively squeezing the tip and then dipping in pigment to draw fine lines. Another good addition for minimal equipment when you need to travel light.

Village House, Les Eboulements, watercolour, 2017

If you visit the area ” a must see “is Les Jardins de Quatre-Vents, Malbaie ( tickets sold out for summer 2017). A documentary, The Gardener, 2016  by Sebastien Chabot is available for viewing this summer throughout Quebec and Canada.  A wonderful film about a world class garden, right in our back yard.

http://lepetitseptieme.ca/tag/quatre-vents/

Pont de Lune, Les Jardins de Quartre-Vents, Malbaie, Qc  credit for scene from the documentary, The Gardener, 2016

You can follow  Sebastien Chabot on Facebook for up to date information on the film.

Sculpt in Charlevoix , August 27, 2017  from noon, Domaine Forget, Saint Irénée, Sculpture Garden, Free, families welcome.

Show up and try this art form.

Day Trip, Mx

A  day trip to Tequila takes about 3 hours from our village. After about three quarter of a hour on the road we stopped in Compostela for breakfast at Camaheur Cafe II on Juraez.  It was plentiful and inexpensive – a good reference for next time. Before heading off, we visited the town plaza and quickly realized this needs another visit on another day. A sixteen century cathedral, the statue of Apostle Santiago, equestrian statue, a water fountain for the birds, bandstand plus a lovely manicured park to sit around and enjoy.

We arrived at Tequila and head to the modern distillery where the blue agave plant is roasted, fermented and distilled and bottled. Originally the Aztec fermented the agave plant to make the beverage octli with the alcoholic content of our beer. The town plaza has a stone church built in the 18th century, two beautiful large angel guarding the entrance and comfortable shady benches for us. Here again we needed time to explore and appreciate the architecture, statues, and surrounding stores but time is not endless this day.

 

Another day, we visit Compostela which is about 44 kilos from our village. We take the local Pacifico bus to Compostela, it is an inexpensive and reliable mode of transportation in Mexico. This bus stops outside of “Centro” a 10 minutes walk or taxi brings you to the town plaza. We enjoy the walk looking into several leather shops filled with sandal, western saddles, riding chaps and other equestrian needs.

As a tourist, we went for breakfast at Camaheur Cafe II not the main one on the square but on Juraez with a beautiful view of Sierra Madre in the distance as we walked the one block.

The town plaza is the jewel of this town.

 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Circus, Jockey, 1898, Harvard Museum/Fogg Museum

As happens,  when I was looking for more information on the equestrian statue in Compostela, I find this wonderful drawing by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and this leads to Harvard Museum/ Fogg Museum,  Drawing: The invention of a Modern MediumPlease, take a look at the site if you have an interest in this medium and maybe visit the exhibition on until May 07, 2017.

Here a few of my sketches from February 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneurs, Mexican style

It is a pleasure to see individuals setting up and doing business here. Not much equipment is needed to set up the store front. It can be an old fishing boat moored on the beach; an existing wall with a few hangers, some rope and you have a clothing boutique; a space on the beach gives a food stall, plus add a large umbrella, smoking briquettes, a few stools and the groceries.

Clothing Boutique, Guayabitos, watercolour, 2017

Promenade, Guayabitos, watercolour, 2017

Snack Bar, LaPeñita, watercolour, 2017

Food Stall, Guayabitos, watercolour, 2017

Waiting, Guayabitos, watercolour, 2017

Eateries and other fine things

Food is the link amongst all of us. Beach food, street food, quick food and gourmet food are thriving in this small Mexican village.

Cheuy is on the beach pushing his wheelbarrow filled with local clams and oysters. We continue to buy from him at 50 pesos a baker’s dozen. We are told “do not eat food from beach vendors” but we do.

There is a congregation of food vendors on the beach where you can buy shrimp and fish brochettes served with rice and beans. Tasty and a generous portion makes it a great lunch. The price varies but starts at 50 pesos .

The best coffee is on the main throughway, Cafe La Ola. Barista Arturo serves cafe au lait, cappuccino or expresso and if steamed milk is one of the ingredients you get the art of the day. Closed on Thursday. Prices start at 40 pesos.

Cafe La Ola, Guayabitos

In the past week, we had the opportunity to visit Tepic, Nayarit. A gourmet supper was enjoyed at Emiliano, Zapata 91 Ote. Centro. It lived up to expectation and it ranks very well against the best. We enjoyed an appetizer of octupus and shrimp followed with a main course of clams and white fish in a bouillabaisse sauce accompanied with a basket of homemade bread. The ambiance of our evening was enhanced with live music by a local pianist and the art work of Manolo Roca offer to draw our portrait.

Earlier in the day we had a few minutes to enjoy the Plaza de Armas in Centro Tepic. There is a lovely water fountain surrounded by spouting frogs framed by the silhouette of the Tepic Cathedral, Our Lady of the Assumption. The neo-gothic façade is an important architectural feature of the city. I returned to La Peñita and was happy to find on the median strip a simple water fountain with 4 identical frogs. It is not as grandiose but when a local coconut vendor offered me a comfortable chair, I took up the challenge to sketch these frogs.

Frog Fountain, La Peñita, watercolour, 2017

 

Homage to all Mothers, Guaybitos, watercolour, 2017

 

Goddess of the Sea, Guayabitos Beach, watercolour, 2017

 

Passage to Ocean, quiet time for musicians, watercolour, 2017

 

 

Year of the Fire Rooster 2017

 

This January 28, 2017 the Lunar calendar celebrates the year of the Fire Rooster – focused, motivated and “cocky” . If your sign is a rooster – enjoy yourself it is not happening again until 2029.

There is an abundance of free roaming poultry here in this village. It should be an easy assignment to sketch a few but they are quick on their feet. I thought maybe wait till twilight but the Mexican proverb is “be prudent when walking or standing under roosting poultry, if the hen lets loose and soils you are in for bad luck but if the rooster lets loose and soils great luck is coming your way”.

Here is my interpretation completed in watercolour on Arches paper taken from Japanese artist O’Jay.

Fire Rooster, inspiration from Japan, O’Jay ,watercolour, 2017

The Rooster is an intergrated part of Mexican culture. Mass of the Rooster “misa del Gallo”  is part of Christmas Eve activities. The rooster is positioned on the roof of the stable in the nativity scene. There are a many version why the rooster is part of the Catholic sermon.

I continue to enjoy looking at street art and murals. Mexican multi disciplinary artist Isauro Huizar is one of those gifted artists able to balance architecture, design and art. His fantasy animal of half rooster and horse adorns the public wall of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This hybrid creature is depicted on ancient Greek pottery and referred to as Hippalectryon. The pottery vessels depicts the horse head first and the hind quarters is a rooster including plumage, cone and talons, contrary to Huizar’s version.

Isauro Huizar, Fantasy animal, street http://ihc.mx/STREET-ART-2009

Cock-Horse, Greek Pottery, 540-530 BCE, Altes Museum, Berlin

Happy New Year 2017