Category Archives: Sketches, etc

Quick sketches done mostly on a daily basis of home, cities visited and holidays.

Parksville, Vancouver Island, Bc

Parksville, Vancouver Island, 2017

This month we made a trip to Parksville, Vancouver Island to visit friends. November is the rainy season and it did not disappoint with torrent downpours each day.

We managed well staying at the Beach Club, visiting multiple “friperies“, vintage, secondhand stores or rummage sales. There are other gems in this village; glass blowers, and potters but best of all at Coombs, Goats on the Roof  a “must” tourist destination. The locals visit often to shop and to dine at Cuckoo Trattoria & Pizzeria. It is open throughout the year.

When I decided to sketch in watercolour, I needed a dry spot and the saleslady pointed to the adjacent boutique filled with carpets, armoires, clay pots, water fountains and a collection of steel weathervanes.

My space out of the rain, watercolour, 2017

Courtyard at Coombs Market, watercolour, 2017

For sale Weathervanes, Coombs Market, watercolour, 2017

The Art that Inhabits us at Stewart Hall Gallery

Stewart Hall Art Rental and Sales 2018


Stewart Hall Art Sales and Rental invites all to attend their 50th anniversary. This exhibition of 150 paintings titled- The Art that inhabits Us is from October 28 to December 3, 2017 and will have a vernissage Sunday, October 29, 2pm-5pm.

My painting of the wetlands along the St Lawrence was chosen in the Ambassador category. It is in recognition of my continued acceptance into their juried shows and sales of my works.

Low Tide, acrylic, 36×24, 2017

I look forward to meeting you at the vernissage this Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Galerie d’art Stewart Hall Art Gallery, 176, chemin du Bord-du-Lac, Pointe-Claire, Québec, H9S 4J7, 514-630-1220

Free admission-accessible via elevator

L’Art qui Nous Habite,  Communique de presse/ Galerie d’art Stewart Hall.

L’Art qui nous habite Les 50 ans de l’Artothèque Du 28 octobre au 3 décembre 2017 La Galerie d’art Stewart Hall est fière de présenter l’exposition L’Art qui nous habite, qui célèbre le succès de l’Artothèque et son demi-siècle de services auprès de la communauté. Depuis sa création, l’Artothèque a accueilli plus de 1 050 artistes, dont beaucoup reviennent participer chaque année. Afin de mettre en lumière ces talents, la collection 2018 propose 150 oeuvres d’art de 150 artistes, répartis en trois catégories (50 ambassadeurs, 50 artistes initiés et 50 artistes de la relève). Nos ambassadeurs sont des artistes qui se sont démarqués par le nombre d’oeuvres vendues ou louées, par leur reconnaissance au sein de la communauté artistique ou leur nombre de participations dans la collection. Les artistes initiés sont des artistes qui sont nouvellement représentés dans la collection ou ayant déjà participé à l’Artothèque. Les artistes de la relève sont des artistes qui n’ont jamais été représentés dans la collection et ont moins de 10 ans d’expérience. Dénommé le « Studio 67 », en l’honneur du centenaire du Canada, le service de prêt et de vente de Pointe-Claire est entré officiellement en fonction le 4 avril 1967. Au cours des tout premiers mois, le succès remporté et la réaction positive du public a encouragé le comité à poursuivre l’expérience sur le long terme. Cinquante ans plus tard, le renouvellement de la collection continue à grandir, avec un peu plus de 500 oeuvres d’art présentées à un jury professionnel chaque année. Après avoir été présentées à la galerie, les oeuvres choisies – incluant dessins, peintures, photographies, estampes et techniques mixtes – sont disponibles pour la location ou la vente à l’Artothèque, située au deuxième étage de Stewart Hall. Vivre avec l’art offre tellement d’avantages, que ce soit pour embellir son chez-soi ou pour nourrir sa curiosité intellectuelle. Nous vous invitons à visiter l’exposition et si vous ne l’avez pas déjà fait, à louer une oeuvre d’art. La longue durée de vie du service prouve qu’il est digne d’intérêt; vous ne serez pas déçu. VERNISSAGE : Dimanche 29 octobre, à partir de 14 h


Kamouraska, Bas- St- Laurent, QC

This month we spent 4 days in the Quebec village of Kamouraska. It is a plein air painter’s destination but also fulfills my needs to have gourmet food, interesting architecture, beautiful sunsets, and friendly locals. The food trail begins with the restaurants-L’Amuse Bouche, Côte Est Cafe, Bistro de la Mer/Poissonnerie Lauzier, the bakery-La Boulangerie Niemand, the brewery- Tête d’Allumette Microbrasserie, the chocolate shop, La Fée Gourmande.

The village architecture is influenced by what settlers had in France and the need to adapt to what the lower St. Lawrence could supply. The Côte Est Cafe is located in the original Presbytery built in 1848 with a “neo-classical influence”.  The former court house built in 1888 is located midway on the main street and often called the “chateau” but in the tourist information they are more specific saying ” second empire, la renaissance française”. As all French Canadian villages the church is the heart. The recent building was constructed in 1912, after four previous churches perished, by the architect Joseph-Pierre Ouellet with a “neo-renaissance influence”. For an interesting insight into this village the booklet  Carnets de Kamouraska ( french only) is an informative source.The text is by Paul Louis Martin and illustrations by resident artist Anne Michaud in watercolour and ink.

My contribution on how I see the village is through my sketches in watercolour & gouache on Arches and Fabriano paper. My interest in gouache started with my Chinese painting workshop last month. At the time of buying my supplies I was told gouache would be a good substitue for the required Chinese paint. Liam Quan Zhen our instructor, quickly, told me this is the sequence, watercolour, chinese paint, gouache. So I put aside my gouache and bought the required paint brand, Yasutomo. Liam pointed out the need to read the label on artist quality paint. A common colour name is not enough if you want exact results. For example, when he called for vermillion the number on the tube is #51 or phthalo blue #57 or light green #55. He pointed out the need for pigment colour index names and numbers   Often paint colours that have the same name or slightly different name can vary greatly once on the page. If you wish to have similar results to your instructor pay attention to the brand name and paint type.

Sketching from street bench, watercolour & gouache, 2017

Sketching from Church parking lot, watercolour & gouache, 2017

East Shoreline from Wharf, watercolour & gouache, 2017

Tide is Out, watercolour & gouache, 2017

Former Palais de Justice (1888), watercolour & gouache, 2017



My Autumn 2017

Our Tuesday plein air group returned to Terrebonne, Île des Moulins

Île des Moulins, Terrebonne, watercolour, 2016

It is August 22 and another day with the forecast of rain. However, early in the day around 9 am the sun is trying to shine so maybe the weather man or woman is wrong. Just as I begin my sketch, large drops of rain hit my paper and within minutes more and with this …. I settle for my watercolour sketch of 2016. There is a silver lining, the cafe across the street Impressions offering moules et frites with a side order of mayonnaise. Delicious and all in with beverage under 20$cdn.

Café Impressions, Île des Moulins, Terrebonne, QC

A three day workshop with Chinese American painter Lian Quan Zhen in Corbeil, Ontario ends the month. The desire to learn the Chinese brush strokes and Lian’s approach to watercolour takes me to this small town on the outskirts of North Bay. The first day is the use and technique of the Chinese brush, Chinese paint and ink on rice paper to render hollyhock flower. Later, we move on to painting birds in flight. The last two days are spent learning Lian’s watercolour techniques. To be brief, he favours certain primary triads, quality watercolour paper and masking liquid. Here is my finished product.

Piebald and Bay Horses, watercolour on Arches paper, 14 x 21 inches, 2017

In September, our Swedish cousins arrived for a visit and introduce me to the founder of the Swedish Contemporary Art Movement, the painter Ivan Aguéli (1869-1917). A close friend of Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin makes him a “must know”. For myself, this art of the landscape is simple, direct with the colours put down with conviction of truth. What else is needed to succeed!

Ivan Aguéli, Landskap, canvas mounted on cardboard, 23x 32 cm

Ivan Aguéli, Lanskap Med Gult Fält, canvas, 20.5 x 23 cm

How high is the water?

This summer is wet, humid and cool. But on Tuesday, when we sketch outdoors the rain clears and gives us a few hours of sun and clear skies. We all have noticed the continuing high levels of river water throughout this summer. This spring we had abnormal high level of flood water from the Ottawa River which attributes into the  St. Lawrence, at the westerly tip of Montreal Island. Here in Quebec, the St. Lawrence River is often referred to as the “Fleuve”. The french take pride in knowing the difference between a fleuve and a rivière- Ce n’est pas une rivière . C’est un fleuve. My take on this is the English vocabulary of river does not designate the grandness of the St. Lawrence.

At St-Anne-de-Bellevue the water level in June in certain parts was over the boardwalk and later in the summer over the ‘tie up’ area for boats in the locks.

Waiting for the Lockmaster, watercolour, 2017

At Coteau-du-Lac, the St. Lawrence River is flowing high and quickly, covering rocks and the feet and ankles of willows along the shoreline.

Willows on shoreline, watercolour, 2017

When we painted at the Parc des Rapides, in Lasalle we were restricted to the entrance area. The island and bird sanctuary has a large steel gate with a notice “closed due to high water levels”. The following excerpt is taken directly from and will give you inside to why we enjoy this park.

The Parc des Rapides is a 30-hectare waterside park, containing marsh, pools and walkways and stretching out into the St. Lawrence River.
Located in Lasalle, at the foot of 7th Avenue, the park gives unequalled views of the river rapids, with a view across to the Heron Island bird sanctuary. The park allows the walker to really get out on the river and observe the birds that are the main focus of the park: 225 species are said to have been observed here, and the flora is also diverse and interesting. Many avid bird watchers and nature photographers find this park an unequalled site of interest so close to the city.

The Parc des Rapides is part of the Lachine Rapids ecoterritory, which extends over the park, Heron Island, and parts of Nuns’ Island downstream.

If you want to see Great Blue Herons in the Montreal area, in an area accessible by public transit, this is one of the best places to go. It’s the largest heron species in North America and the birds look especially majestic when taking flight.

If you are interested in this area and the bird sanctuary this site is helpful. ( les ami du parc des rapides).

Montréal Skyline from Parc des Rapides, watercolour, 2017