Tag Archives: plein air

Summer Days, 2016

This past week we visited the exhibition of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun ( French, 1755-1842) at the National Gallery of Canada which will end this September 11. She is a prominent 18th century painter with more than 600 portraits, 200 landscapes and this is her first retrospective. The Ottawa NGC gallery exhibition stated, “her talent, her extraordinary capacity for work and her social skills” were her outstanding qualities and we see this before our eyes as we walk through each room. Vigée Le Brun painted about thirty portraits of Marie Antoinette but with the start of  the French Revolution ( 1789-99) she fled quickly from France. Her talent and gifted skills continued to give her a portait career in Italy, Austria, Russia and England. She returned to Paris when her name was struck from the list of enemy émigrés.


I received a gift of Caran d’Ache, Fancolor 15 from a friend and wholesale distributor of these products. The thin metal container is 11 cm by 28cm by 2.5 cm, is ultra light with a full range of pan water-soluble pigment: 14 in total plus a tube of white gouache, a nice mixing area and a small quality brush. I used it, as I do my regular watercolour pigments on a quarter sheet of Fabriano, cold press, traditional white, gsm 300. For myself, the small light size with a few larger brushes and water container make it an ideal plein air kit.

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d'Arch, FANCOLOUR 15

Plein Air, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’Ache, FANCOLOR 15


Blockhouse, Coteau du lac, Caran d’Ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016


Mill, Coteau du Lac, Caran d’ache FANCOLOR 15, 2016

Here are some sketches completed during the summer at Linda Drewry’s favourite Tuesday plein air sketching group.


Pointe du Moulin, Ile Perrot, East/south view, 2016


Ste Anne de Bellevue Locks, northside, 2016


Ile des Moulins, water spray on pond,  Terrebone, 2016

Part 2 of July Sketches

Bridge work, watercolour,2015



Our usual Tuesday sketching group met, July 21 at Coteau-du-Lac at the Canadian Historic Park. The sky is loaded with dark rain clouds ready to unload upon us. We decide to stay and paint under the big tent near the parking lot. Out of an open space I see workmen inspecting the underside of the bridge. I try to sketch quickly the scene. Soon the rain and thunder begins and the work crew head to safety. The skies clear and we find many subjects to paint.

Old Mill, Coteau du Lac, Qc, watercolour

Old Mill, Coteau du Lac, Qc, watercolour

Blockhouse, Coteau-du-Lac, watercolour 2015

Blockhouse, Coteau du Lac, Qc, watercolour

On July 28, the Tuesday group met at another Canadian Historical site, Saint Anne de Bellevue Canal. Lots of choice to paint here but we decide on the left bank. The weather is sunny and 34 degrees celsius.

Locks, St. Anne de Bellevue,watercolour, 2015

Locks, St. Anne de Bellevue, Qc, watercolour


Canal, St. Anne de Bellevue, Qc, watercolour

Bicycle & pedestrian walk,

Bicycle and Pedestrian walkway, St. Anne de Bellevue, Qc, watercolour


Les Éboulements, Almost Spring

A. Robichaud, plein air peintre


The usual and other hardy souls arrive to spend four days of outdoor painting in Charlevoix, Qc. There is plenty of subject matter for all taste; villages, woodlots, cattle or horses, the waters of St. Lawrence, and the mountainous terrain near Les Grands Jardins. Home base is the Auberge de Nos Aïeux in Les Éboulements where we are welcomed with great food, a view of L’Isle -aux-Coudre, le Massif and the ferry crossing at Saint Joseph-de-la-Rive.

Oil painting by Sturat Main, 9 3/4 by 13 3/4, 2015

Stuart Main, Catching the Warm Sun, oil, 2015

Stuart Main, Allison Robichaud and Catherine Young Bates have for years outsmarted us. They know the best places to paint, how to prevent frostbite and very important where to park our cars so as not to be wiped out by logging trucks.

Catherine Bates Young, oil, www.cybates.com

Catherine Young Bates, oil, www.cybates.com

No Venezia sketchbook this time. I bring my easel, a wide mouthed thermos for water, watercolour sheets, a metal palette and a few brushes. After setting up, I leave most of my gear in the warm car except a mechanical pencil and paper. The sketching precedes fast and I fetch the other essential tools. Then I put my first wash on to see jack frost playing on my paper so a higher angle catches the hot sun rays. Then granular ice particles start forming on my palette but the sketch is finished.

Linda Denis, Baie- St- Paul, Qc, watecolour

Linda Denis, Baie-Saint-Paul the Three Spirals, watercolour, 2015

A special thanks to Daniel Brunet, who works at the desk of the Auberge. He is a local artist who keeps his studio open year round and enjoys the company of other artists. Juan Cristobal, another full time Charlevoix artist and teacher takes time out to paint with us. We appreciate his reminder to pay attention to where we park. Knock on the door, if you wish to paint close to a farm yard or residence and a 99% warm welcome is a certainty.

Some more watercolours from my paint out in Charlevoix, Qc

View from Hill St. Irene

View down hill to Saint-Iréneé,Qc


Municipalité Saint-Hilarion, Qc


Quai at St. Iréneé, Qc

Les Éboulements, Qc

For many years, usually the first or second week of April a group of plein air painters make their way to Auberge de Nos Aïeux. Some like the comradeship of a group outing while others do their own thing. In the evening after supper the comments start:  Water is deep, here we climb over snow banks or wow you nailed it. Yes, we need to get in touch with nature.

Allison Robichaud makes the pilgrimage to Les Éboulements every year. This year he brings with him his most recent book, titled  Plein Air Painting by a Plein Air Master. It is a great read, loaded with helpful hints, advice and stories. He sells the book at cost : 25$  delivered by post. Here is his email,  robisnow at ebtech.net   Below are a few images of Allison paintings completed this spring. The snow was plentiful, the fog heavy and the wind bone chilling.

This spring I went to paint at the local church, the big one on the hill not the small sailor’s church at the edge of the river in St-Joseph- de- la Rive. The church yard is empty and lots of space to park and I get out of the cold blowing wind. In the past an elderly lady comes to chat with me but not this year. She tells me about the theft of doves and angels from the tombstones. Then we talk about all the young children buried here. As she says, it only in recent times that we have our children for life. I feel melancholy and start to paint the Angel with the missing leg.


Linda Denis, Cast Iron Angel Tombstone, oil, 2014

Linda Denis, Cast Iron Angel Tombstone, oil, 2014