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!
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.
Viking boat in Vieux Montreal, 2016
Cleaning the deck, Montréal,
Dockside, Brockville, Ontario
Last Saturday, we visited the paintings of artist Claude Monet (1840-1926), A Bridge To Modernity, at the National Gallery in Ottawa. There are twelve paintings (1871- 1878) in this exhibition completed at Argenteuil where Monet lived in the village – close to Paris and on the Seine River. It was here he used the scenery and the bridges to further explore his composition and impressionist approach. Prior to his return to France, Monet lived in Holland and England to avoid the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1871). The devastation of war was here when Monet and Family arrived. One of his first paintings was Argenteuil, the Bridge Under Repair. To be informed about this period of Monet’s life go to the National Gallery website where Katherine Stauble writes about Monet’s Impressive Bridges at Argenteuil.
The Gallery has made the exhibition interactive. You can pose in front of a vintage postcard, activate the computer camera and e-mail the results. There are different props and enough room for a family photo. Secondly, a separate room supplies four iPads with the app Art Set. Summer scenes of Ottawa bridges are cast on the wall for you to interpret. Again, you can email your results or see it with many others on the side wall. The beauty of Ottawa bridges is well worth a visit to this room. There are benches at the back to sit and view these rotating videos.
This month I sketch my local bridges.
Looking towards the bridge, Rigaud, watercolour, 2015
Train bridge, Rigaud, watercolour, 2015
Under the bridge, Rigaud, watercolour, 2015
The weather continues to be ideal for plein air painting. We paint boats at St. Anne de Bellevue and Beaconsfield Yacht club before they are moored for the winter. Then take a few days in Kamouraska to enjoy the tidal flats, churches, and salt marshes. This weekend, 26-27 September the Hudson & Region Studio Tour opens their doors to 12 artists. Linda is on the tour and welcomes all daily from 10am to 4:30pm.
Beaconsfield waterside, watercolour
Beaconsfield Park, watercolour
Route de la Gréve, Kamouraska, watercolour
Kamouraska wharf, watercolour
And, there is time to paint some of my garden flowers.