Author Archives: Linda Denis

Spring in the Hills 2024

 


One of my favourite spots to sketch here in the Gatineau Hills is the local turtle pond. Warm sunny days will be here soon and then the turtles will be surfacing to take sunbaths.

I like to take my watercolour paints and paper to sketch here. There is always red-wing black birds, frogs, dragonflies but no mosquitoes.

Turtle Pond, watercolour, 10x12, 2022

There is an abundance of scenery to sketch in the Hills- the  local Déry quarry, the Gatineau River, Wakefield village and in the background the “Hills” part of the Laurentian Canadian Shield. This winter I stayed in my studio and painted from my studio windows and sketchbook. I am always one to exaggerate when it comes to colour. Enjoying the sunset and early vegetation in March produced “March Madness”  a 12 by 24 oil on birch panel

 

March Thaw, oil, 12x24, 2024

Québec winters

Déry Quarry, oil on birch board, 12×36, 2023

Winter is officially here in Quebec with a snowfall of 20 cm this past week. I took advantage of the milder weather today to paint my impression from the top of the quarry towards the Gatineau River and hills. It is amazing how digging and removing gravel can give a beautiful landscape. Perhaps I am embracing my professor philosophy «  there is a painting everywhere you look so stop and paint »

Bramble Bushes along the ´Fleuve Saint-Laurent’ , oil on canvas , 24×24, 2006

The above painting was completed at Les Éboulement along the shoreline of St. Lawerence with the tide receding towards L’lsle-aux-Coudres. Now looking forward to plein air painting this April 2024 in Charlevoix

Fall 2023

We enter into the fall season with high day temperature in the low 30’s, bears on the roam breaking into unsecured garbage and the local river road under construction with dust and gravel flying. This is not catastrophic in comparison to the forest fires in other parts of Canada.
The above mentioned elements have limited by visits to the local turtle pond and quarry where I passed many hours sketching the landscape last summer.

 

Farm Point Turtle Pond, oil on canvas, 24×20, 2023

 

Turtle Pond in mid summer, oil on canvas, 12×12, 2023

 

Quarry from on top, oil on canvas, 20×20, 2023

My studio has become my space this summer. The above are a few of my finished works in oil on canvas  When someone like myself paints from memory and watercolour sketches it becomes an impression of the time and day not a realistic one. I am a daydreamer.

Summer 2023

This summer has new ingredients- tornados, forest fire smog, with exceptional hot humid days. But still a beautiful summer here in Québec.
When we have unpredictable weather like this watercolour sketching is the answer. It’s compact and quick to pack up and move on quickly.

Turtle Pond, Farm Point, watercolour, Arches paper

 

Wakefield boat house

Boathouse at Wakefield, watercolour and gouache on Arches paper

Locally, the Gatineau River and the adjacent turtle pond are always a source to find subject matter to paint. It’s now mid summer and the local turtle pond has 5 big guys taking a nap on their favourite log and the many babies from spring are off to better camping grounds. The Gatineau River has become a slow meandering stream offering boating and swimming to us but just wait to see who’s the boss this fall.

Spring 2023

Life moves on and it’s time to update. This spring we spent 5 days at Charlevoix to sketch, to enjoy fellow artists and the local ambiance.

We stay at the L’Auberge Cap Aux Corbeaux, Baie-Saint-Paul, Qc with it’s panoramic view of Isle-aux-Coudres to the Massif from sunrise to sunset in all types of weather.

View from Auberge Cap aux Corbeaux

Each artist has a favourite spot maybe Port-au-Persil, parc national des Grans-Jardins, Saint-Hilarion or Malbaie but my preference is along the Fleuve Saint-Laurent. As usual, I go to the small gazebo beside the sailor’s church at Saint-Joseph-de-La-Rive. It provides shelter from the cold, rain and wind this day. My watercolour sketches were not truthful to the reality of the weather this day. I have no explanation but one of those times when the hand over rides the mind.

Saint-Joseph-de-La-Rive, Qc

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My stay always includes a stop at L’idée Forgée to chat with the artisan-forgeron Jeannot Duguay. What a special man, artisan and blacksmith. There is a photo of him in his atelier taken by Mon Charlevoix which reminds me of Anselm Kiefer and the saying “same mother different father”.

There is an informative article by Léa Asselin-Abston with more photos of Jeannot in his studio. Here is the link

 Duguay, le passionné artisan-forgeron de Saint-Irénée 

Lastly before leaving we have lunch at Pains D’exclamation in Malbaie – always a treat and it never disappoints. A place to warm up with a cappuccino some bread pudding and do some sketching.

Pains D’exclamation, Malbaie, Qc

As always we take an hour to walk the Main Street in Baie St. Paul to look at the galleries. Galerie  Guylaine Fournier was our favourite of the day. She was generous with her time and knowledgeable. There is a wide variety of sculptures, furniture, watercolour and acrylic or oil paintings.

A great 5 days to recharge the soul.