Category Archives: enjoyable places

Puerto Escondido, Mx

Always when I travel to a new destination, I feel the unfamiliar and the uncertainty of what to paint or sketch. The light is different here, airy and fragile. The colours are tints of purple, thalo, pinks with hits of venetian red, the yellows are creamy white with shots of cadmium orange.

I resort to the old standby, “paint what is familiar”. The second floor of our hotel has a small shrine with the Virgin Mary portrait, a small pedestal with baby Jesus in the arms of Saint Anthony, sea shells and a large bouquet of fresh Calla lilies. It is cool and sheltered from the sun, my kind of place for today.

I start with a quick sketch but quickly realize I need to have my own Calla lilies. The” floristeria” shop is nearby. But before paying, the salesclerk shows me a variety of white and orange lilies on his cell phone. He is telling me without a word the Calla lily is not a lily but belongs to the Araceae plant family. Here they grow naturally in the marshland of Oaxaca, purifying the soil and retaining the moisture of the wetlands.

How did the lilly get here? Juno, the ancient Roman goddess is breast feeding her son, Hercules. She decides to express a little extra. First the droplets form the milkway and then fell on the earth to give us the beautiful Calla lilly.

Shrine for Virgin Mary, watercolour, 2018

Early morning, I decide the stone statue La Musica del Mar is a my kind of subject matter – quiet, serene, and reliable.

La Musica del Mar, watercolour, 2017

We come for the sun, beaches, culture and food. Puerto Escondido is all of these plus beautiful sketching and painting spots.

 

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

 

 

Pointe-du-Moulin & Vieux-Montréal, 2017

Many of us continue to enjoy the Tuesday plein air organized by Linda Drewry. This past week we spent a beautiful rain-free day at Pointe-du-Moulin, Notre-Dame-de-I’île-Perrot. The historical park is in summer mode offering tours of the windmill and visits to the stone farm house. Some of the staff are dressed in period costumes. So, when the lady of the house came and sat in the doorway, I decided she needed to be part of my sketch.

Old Stone Farm House, Pointe-du- Moulin, watercolour, 2017

This past Saturday August 5 Montréal artist Marc Taro Holmes organized an informal gathering with Australian artist Liz Steel and French artist Anne-Laure Jacquard  at Place Jacques Cartier in Old Montreal. All three are ardent sketchers and instructed workshops at the recent Chicago 2017 International Urban Sketchers Symposium. This was a stop over before heading home and an opportunity to sketch and visit our city.

Thanks to Chi Mai Vo for the photos

The day started with a downpour of rain, an ITU World Triathlon at the Old Port, incredible road traffic and street closures. I arrived late at Place Jacques Cartier to see only two ladies sitting on a bench with sketch book in hand from Upper State New York. As Marc said, “We’re easy to find- just look for people with sketchbooks and drawing boards!”

Eventually, everyone used the same strategy and with the rain gone and the sun out a final gathering at Jacques Cartier Place completed the day.

 

 

I am always aware of my environment as I sketch and today was no exception. I heard the cheers of the nearby cycling and running portion of the triathlon. Spain’s Javier Gomez Noya won the Montreal triathlon. He completed the 1.5 kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike ride, 10 kilometre run in one hour 47 minutes 50 seconds. The women’s race was won by Australian Ashleigh Gentle with Canadian Joanna Brown of Ottawa in fourth.

 

 

 

City Hall, Jacques Cartier Place, watercolour, 2017

Nelson’s Column, Place Jacques Cartier, watercolour, 2017

 

 

July 2017

Plein Air, Greenwood House, Hudson, Quebec, 2017

“When clouds appear like towers the earth is refreshed with showers”. Throughout Quebec this summer we know this saying; we have daily downpours, showers and thunderstorms but regardless we find dry time to sketch outdoors.

Linda Drewry continues her Tuesday plein air outing  This past Tuesday we sketched at Greenwood House, Hudson, Quebec. Most of us have tried several times to paint this house and we always manage to miss or misplace a dormer, forget about aligning roofs, doors and chimneys.  A quote from their website helps explain this source of our problem with the origin and the house’s many roles and additions. Perhaps, we have a partial excuse for our faulty work.

Jean-Baptiste Sabourin first settled the Greenwood property in 1732. The original Sabourin homestead still stands and forms part of the house. The property remained in Sabourin hands until 1820. At that time, John Mark Crank Delesderniers purchased it. He intended it to be both a residence for his son, Peter Francis Christian, and a general store and trading post. In the 1840’s, it served as the first post office in the area. Greenwood was extended eastward on two occasions, in the 1820’s and again after 1860″.

Now the property and house belongs to the public when the last owner Phoebe Nobbs Hyde left it in her will to the Canadian Heritage of Quebec. For opening hours and events visit their website.

Below are my sketches from the south side of the house.

House and gardens, late morning, watercolour, 2017

 

House and garden in afternoon after four gardeners gave a weed and trim, watercolour, 2017

Galerie Carlos, Old Brewery Mission

My Wall Space at the Old Brewery Mission

An opportunity to show some of my recent paintings will take place this month from June 7 to July 19 at the Carlos Gallery, 915 Clarke St., Montreal. My paintings will be displayed in the Gallery at the Old Brewery Mission for their clients, staff and volunteers. This space is not open to the public.

I enjoyed the creation and painting of the canvases; all inspired by my plein air sketching in watercolour this past year. The paintings are here to enjoy. My hope is they start a conversation, a shared laugh or perhaps a memory of our beautiful province. It is my pleasure to be invited.

Charlevoix Triplet

Une invitation pour présenter mes récentes oeuvres m’a été transmise ce mois ci; du 7 juin au 19 juillet à Galerie Carlos, 915 rue Clarke, Montréal. Les tableaux sont présentés à la Galerie, à the Old Brewery Mission, pour leurs clients, leur personnel et bénévoles. Le public n’a pas accès à la Galerie.

Sky, Water and Earth

L’inspiration de tous ces tableaux vient de mes aquarelles créés ” plein air”. J’espère qu’ils débuteront une conversation, créeront un sourire ou mieux, un souvenir de notre superbe province. Ce fut un plaisir de recevoir cette invitation.

Bain d’Oiseau

Snow Days

Nice Space, Thank Bernard