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A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Montreal

July 6, 2015

It was almost exactly like Georges Seurat painted it in “La Grande Jatte” — people gathered on the banks of a river on a glorious Sunday afternoon, sailboats in the distance, cool breezes coming off the water — except the island was Montreal, the river was the St. Laurent and the people were sketchers. The event “Picnic Vernissage” was organized by the Stewart Hall Cultural Centre and Art Gallery in Pointe Claire, in conjunction with Urban Sketchers Montreal. It was a day of drawing and picnics on the grass, followed by a vernissage of sketches in the gallery.

PicnicVernissage3

When you plan these types of events, you’re never sure how many people will show up. Our typical Sunday sketching outing in Montreal has about 25-30 people on a good day, but I guess the spectacular setting and the perfect weather was a real draw, because we counted over 80 sketchers including some from Toronto, Vermont and Quebec City!

PicnicVernissage4

Many of the sketchers chose to draw and paint the mansion overlooking the lake that houses the gallery and Cultural Centre. I was hoping to get more drawing done at the event itself, but all I really had time for was a sketch of one of the giant poplars on the lawn. Our hosts spoiled us with food and drink, and there were so many people to talk to.

Poplar

At the end of the day, gallery volunteers hung all the work, where it will remain all summer long. The quantity and variety of work completed by the sketchers during the event was astounding! If you missed the event, please stop by and have a look. And thanks to everyone at Stewart Hall for the great day!

PicnicVernissage2

::: Stewart Hall :::

July 5, 2015

Artists are among the most generous of people. Perhaps inherent in the appreciation of creativity comes a deep, underlying love of humanity and our Earth.
— Kelly Borsheim

I am happily exhausted at the moment as today was a jaw-dropping day that was filled with about 80 Urban Sketchers that were sketching on the wonderful grounds of Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire. I met people from Texas, Vermont, Toronto,  Quebec City and from around the greater Montreal region and within. A deep thank you to the organizing committee headed by Amanda Johnston from the Cultural Centre in Pointe Claire and of course Shari Blaukopf who was the liaison between Amanda and this wonderful event. A heartfelt thank you to both of you…. and to all of you who came out to sketch with us.

Je suis totalement émue et fatiguée en ce moment après la superbe journée passée sur les terrains du magnifique Centre culturel Stewart Hall à Pointe-Claire. Nous étions 80 Urban Sketchers à se regrouper pour peindre ou dessiner sur ces lieux et j’ai rencontré des personnes du Vermont, Texas, Toronto, la ville de Québec, le grand Montréal et Montréal! Un merci à Amanda Johnston et son équipe ainsi qu’à Shari Blaukopf pour faire la liaison et mettre ce beau projet à jour. Merci à vous tous qui êtes venus pour faire de cet événement un succès -)

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 12″x9″
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Pointe Claire, Québec, Canada

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::: Anecdoche :::

June 28, 2015

Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening, simply overlaying disconnected words like a game of Scrabble, with each player borrowing bits of other anecdotes as a way to increase their own score, until we all run out of things to say.
— Dictionary of obscure sorrows (The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.)

The Montreal Urban Sketchers met up today at the Marché Jean Talon Market and we must have been around 12-15 people, even though it rained all day and only 16°C. These sketchers are a sturdy bunch as our Montreal summer has been fresh. As I was painting today I was listening to the sounds of voices surrounding me and the rhythm that followed was almost musical…. I caught bits of words, parts of sentences, high and low voices and some mumbling. It was nice to hear all of the different accents, intonations and meanings and made me think that painting is just another form of “silent” communication -)

Les Urban Sketchers de Montréal se sont regroupés ce matin au Marché Jean Talon et nous étions 12-15 braves, étant donné qu’il pleuvait et que la température était 16°C. Comme je peignais, j’écoutais les voix des passants autour de moi et le rythme qu’elles créaient… c’était presque musical…. j’entendais des mots, parfois des parties de phrases, des voix hautes ou basses et un peu de marmonnage. C’était trippant d’entendre tous ces différents accents et intonations et m’a fait penser que peindre n’est qu’une autre forme de communication… silencieuse -)

Paper: Pentalic Sketchbook
Colours: Azo Yellow, New Gambodge, Burnt Sienna, Maroon Perylene, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Platinum Desk Pen EF DP1000AB
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada

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Outings for June and July: Petite Italie and Stewart Hall

June 7, 2015

Sunday June 28: Petite Italie and Marché Jean Talon

It’ll be strawberry time at the market and the produce will just be starting to come out. Let’s meet at Jean Talon Market at 10 am at the picnic tables near the eastern Market entrance. If you are standing in the right spot you’ll be able to see this view from where you are. Well, maybe not the pumpkins but the rest will be the same. We can draw in the market for the morning and eat lunch there too.

MarcheJTIn the afternoon when the market gets busy we can move to the cool shade of Parc Petite Italie on St. Laurent and St. Zotique. There’s lots to draw around the park including the church across the street (which is now condos) and the buildings that edge the park. We’ll finish the day at the iconic Café Italia on (6840 Boul St-Laurent) to share the day’s drawings.

ParcPetitItalie

Sunday July 5: Stewart Hall

Our July outing will be a bit early which is a good thing since Marc and I are both away at the end of the month. July 5 is Urban Sketchers Day at Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire. Yes, it’s a bit further than we usually venture, but I promise you it will be worth it. Stewart Hall is situated on the shore of Lac St. Louis. The building itself is a stunning old mansion and the trees on the grounds of the park are worth a sketch on their own. The public will be invited to sketch with us and the Stewart Hall Gallery will be providing paper for sketchers as well as refreshments as of 10:00 am. Bring a picnic lunch since there are no restaurants on the grounds. At 2 pm there will be a vernissage of our sketches from the day exhibited in the Gallery, much like we did at Mount Royal in May. I hope to see you there! Directions below. At the same time there will be a vernissage of “A Sketch in Time” which includes sketches and sketchbooks from Jane Hannah, Marc Taro Holmes and myself.

StewartHallSpringIf you are arriving by car, there is parking on site. If you are coming by public transit, here is the map. Bus routes 201, 202, 211, 405 and 411 all reach Stewart Hall.

Map

Pop up Show Pops up! Oil Paintings on Exhibition at Farfelu.

May 27, 2015

Print

I have had a generous offer to be a guest artist at Galerie Farfelu in Westmount.

My friends Lydia and Marin are showing their gold and sliver jewellery, and have offered me the wall space in their show. We’ll be there Tuesday June 2 for the opening, or you can see the works in the window anytime between June 1-14.

If you remember these from awhile back – they are quite a departure from my usual watercolors. But in a way – they are an attempt to paint oils like a watercolorist :) In big areas of wet in wet!

If you get a chance to see them in person, you might enjoy the effect.

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One more weekend on the Mountain, and thanks to everyone!

May 27, 2015

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Last weekend was the USK sketchcrawl on Mount Royal, as well as the Vernissage for the exhibition. Seeing everyone’s work in person reminded me how much we miss looking at art online. Much of the work in the show is in large formats or with texture and fine detail that is lost in web-sized photographs. It’s great to be able to see it all up close.

The show is up for one more weekend. You can still enjoy a day of art on the mountain May 30/31.

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We had a great turnout – I’m going to guess 40 people came for sketching, including some folks from Ottawa and from Vermont, and our own far flung areas – Hudson, Laval, etc.

This is the thing I love best about the urban sketching movement. How it brings people together from all over, to enjoy a day of drawing.

Thanks to everyone who came out to volunteer!

I’m sure the visiting sketchers had a great experience, having all our local USK’ers on hand to show their work-in-progress and share their sketchbooks. For a while there, the vernissage had a ‘kitchen party’ feeling, with everyone crowded in the side room around a big table of the days sketches.

There is talk of doing this show again for next  year – so maybe you’ll make a sketch in the park this summer!

~m

::: Les amis de la montagne :::

May 24, 2015

In the morning Benjamin Franklin asked himself this question:
“What good shall I do this day?”
In the evening he would ask the following question:
“What good have I done to-day?”

Today was a really nice day to be out sketching, but it did take awhile before the weather turned for the better. Les amis de la montagne had invited the Montreal Urban Sketchersto come out and paint the mountain today and we were quite a few to participate. When we set out our paraphernalia, it started raining big drops of rain, and slowly the sun fettered out to warm our cold backs. Talking of backs, I had a really sore back since Friday morning when I sneezed and the release went directly in my lower back… yikes! I thought this morning that I might not be able to go out sketching with the Montreal Urban Sketchers on the beautiful Mount Royal in Montreal. So when I woke up, I was very careful to tread carefully, did not do any sudden movements and by the time that I hit the road, I was sitting comfortably in the car, ready for a sketching day. My friend and I, Linda Denis, we painted together and it was just nice to be outside with thousands of other people, walking up and down the mountain. It turned out to be a gorgeous day.

Aujourd’hui était une super belle journée pour peindre malgré le fait que le soleil a pris son temps à se joindre à nous. Les amis de la montagne avaient invités les Urban Sketchers de Montréal pour se joindre à eux pour peindre la montagne du Mont-Royal et nous étions plusieurs au rendez-vous. Comme nous nous étions installés pour commencer à peindre, de grosses gouttelettes d’eau se sont mises à tomber et tranquillement le soleil s’est mis à réchauffer nos dos congelés. En parlant de dos, vendredi matin j’ai éternué et s’est jetée dans le bas de mon dos. Je pensais ce matin que je ne pourrais pas me joindre au groupe, mais tranquillement pas vite, en faisant bien attention à mes mouvements, je me suis levée, déjeuner et très doucement je me suis installée en arrière du volant de mon automobile et tranquillement pas vite, mon amie et moi Linda Denis, avons fait notre petit chemin vers Montréal. Il y avait aussi des milles personnes qui marchaient de long en large sur le Mont-Royal et l’air était très festif. Une superbe journée.

Paper: Saunders Waterford CP 140 lbs.
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, New Gambodge, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Location: Maison Smith, Mount Royal, Montreal, Québec, Canada

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