Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Travel reflections / Réflexions de voyage

Pont Neuf, Toulouse, 07/1996

Opening old sketchbooks can be emotional at times. My first sketchbooks were more journal-type with more text than pictures, describing personal and family events more than places.  However the impulse to capture a particular scene was there already,  and  when a building or open space drew my attention, the sketches were done with whatever I happened to have on hand: pencil, ball point pen, felt pen. Fast lines. Total freedom from my own censorship.

Since then there have been steep learning curves, blank pages, and muddy watercolors. Periods of steady, disciplined sketching followed by stages of discouragement have taught me that I should always keep paper and pen next to me because a “sketching moment” could happen any time. With the evolution of technologies, sharing and exchanging sketches has become more dynamic and clicking on images has taken over sitting down to reflect on my own process. This blog is a part of it, and although it’s been neglected for sometime, the drawings here are strewn over several sketchbooks, so looking at posts online has a different narrative than it has in physical form.  These sketches keep true to those old journals; however sharing thoughts, readings, and drawings on the same place makes a more organized collection through this journey, this path of daily discoveries in everyday places and the joy of travels.

En route Montréal-PEI, 08/2017

Ouvrir un ancien carnet de croquis me rend émotive. Mes premiers journaux avaient moins d’images et décrivaient plutôt des périples personnels ou familiaux. Il y avait, néanmoins, l’impulsion de dessiner quand je voyais un bâtiment ou un espace qui attirait mon attention. Les croquis étaient faits alors avec des traits rapides, avec les outils à disposition immédiate: un crayon, un stylo, un feutre, en totale liberté et sans jugement.

Dans mon procès d’apprentissage il y a eu des pages blanches et des aquarelles ratées. Des périodes de discipline et des étapes de découragement m’ont appris qu’il faut toujours garder un carnet sur moi parce que le moment de “croquer un sujet” peut arriver n’importe quand. Avec l’évolution des technologies, le partage des croquis se fait plus dynamique, et la tentation de regarder plutôt que réfléchir sur mon procès était grande, et malgré le fait de l'avoir mis de côté pour un certain temps, ce blogue est une partie de ce procès.  Les croquis ici présents sont parsemés dans plusieurs carnets, alors quand je regarde les anciennes publications en ligne, elles font partie d’une narrative différente à celle des carnets en forme physique. Ces croquis sont toujours les mêmes en esprit mais y apparaissent d’une façon plus ordonnée pour décrire ce voyage de découvertes quotidiennes et le plaisir des voyages.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


mermaid by interior_perspective
mermaid, a photo by interior_perspective on Flickr.
Avant-garde designers poured their creativity and best skills into ONE | Outfits from a New Era. The official title of this dress is "Mermaid Skin" by Geneviève Bouchard. According to the information sheet, 97 salmon skins, 40 mussel shells and 300 metres of fishing line were kept away from the landfill, however this one-of-a-kind garment must be displayed in a freezer to keep its good looks!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Place d'Armes, Montreal 1

A group of enthusiastic sketchers gathered yesterday in Old Montreal to take part in the 40th World Wide SketchCrawl. We were happy to have Topi, a visitor from Finland, who is spending his vacation in the city and found us through the international forum. The heat was building up and good shade spots were a bit difficult to find.
I spent the morning at Place Jacques Cartier and the afternoon at Place d'Armes, in front of the Basilica, however the Hotel Place d'Armes seemed more appealing to sketch because the horse drawn carriages were parked nearby.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beaver Hall Building

This building was once the head office of Bell Canada. It was built between 1927-1929, with a steel frame. In the 20's the advances in construction technology allowed architects and engineers to conceive higher buildings which were often taken as emblematic of the proprietor's prestige.
At the time, the Beaver Hall was the second tallest building in the city (the Royal Bank Tower was the highest) and was designed to include a number of services to employees, like lounges, a nursing station and a preventive medicine office.
The official address is 1050 Beaver Hall, however the sketch was made from the point of view of the National Bank building front door, which is at 600 de la Gauchetière, in Downtown Montréal.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rue de l'Eglise

Rue de l'Eglise by interior_perspective
Rue de l'Eglise, a photo by interior_perspective on Flickr.
Is it easier to draw familiar buildings or something completely new to the eye? Do we always have the whole scope of what we want to draw? I think some buildings catch our eye immediately, while others awake our senses in a more subtile manner. For example, I've seen the adjacent hall to this church many times but it was always second to the church's main façade. That is, until I took a different route and approached the building from another point of view. Then I saw its geometry, the wooden beams of the roof, the deep shadow marking the front door, the little garden (not sketched), the details that delineate what I think it is its own personality. I thought of it like a neighbour you cross paths with on your way to work: you exchange nothing but a polite "good morning" for a year or more, until one day you find each other at a common friend's dinner party, then you start a real conversation and the discovery begins.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Grocery shopping. Montreal.

I have decided to start a new set on flickr with drawings done while my toddler sleeps. If everything goes right, she will have a nice 90 minute nap and everyone would be happy. If not, I'll settle for 30 minutes. As long as I have my pocket sketchbook and some drawing media. There is always a pen or a pencil in my bag(s), but the Lamy, the Noodler's Flex Nib and the Microns travel from bag to desk to kitchen table and therefore they're not always on hand.

This sketch was done with a ballpoint pen. The lady was a perfect model: she barely moved during my sketching. Maybe she was tired of pulling her cart uphill from the big grocery store half a mile away.

10 min walk to the park + 40 min sketch + 10 min walk back home. Baby slept all the way. Lady was still there when I left.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

36th SketchCrawl 1

The 36th edition of the SketchCrawl took place on Sat, July 14th and Montrealers gathered at the Atwater Market to sketch together. The Lachine Canal runs behind the market, where this first sketch was done. In the background, a condo & loft complex build out of reconverted industrial buildings. They have great living spaces with high ceilings, wide windows and great views of the canal.