Helen Peters and The Straw Hat/Le Chapeau de Paille

This painting hung unremarked for the entire market season, at Cardigan’s Farmers’ Market , beginning Father’s Day weekend. We are now winding down the crafts for another season, with our last day open being September 15th.

Cette aquarelle me pose toujours des questions et me fait réfléchir  quand je la voit. Quand je leur demande, la majorité croit que le personnage est un homme. Lorsque j’appliquais la peinture , j’avais une femme en tête. Elle etait une amie de la chorale. Sa vie était dure. Pour ceux en service et pour ceux qui travaillaient les champs pour la récolte, entre autre, la vie est dure.

Helen Peters was in my mind when I painted this. A dear friend who died  many years ago. But I remember her and her courage. Today was her birthday. She accepted illness and difficulties with dignity, grace… I admired her. But for all others this androgenous figure is merely a receptacle for a straw hat, much needed in the heat of summer 2018.

Arches cp, 140 lbs

Framed 8×12

$200 Cdn

 

 

 

 

 

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Hot n Humid/ Fleurs en Passion

Yes, there has been a 5-6 day heat wave even in PEI with humidex values up to 33! C’est inouï d’avoir des journées de suite touchant 33 avec l’humidité. Cette année il nous manque de pluie mais pas de fleurs en couleurs vives. Do these vibrant colours cool or heat up your soul?

This watercolour was mounted to a card and is available for sale at Cardigan’s Farmers’ Market. Cette carte est disponible au marché , les vendredis et samedis, 10-2, $10.

Now that the full moon of July ( the Buck) has come and gone, time to steer your antlers our way and dig into these great, humid days of summer of August!

Points East Plein Air 2018

The festival is over, finishing with the Awards gala. Great art won the big prizes, but we were all winners. The experience serves to help me grow as an artist and as a person. This year, the main challenges were climatic: intense heat and high winds. Painting while holding on to one’s easel and keeping a eye on brushes, paint, water and paper towelling is quite the skill.
La dernière journée s’est passée au parc provincial de Brudenell. Mon aquarelle était peint au bord de la rivière à marée basse. Dimanche on était à Georgetown. La vue choisie était de l’ancienne Gare, converti en restaurant. Désolé, aucune photo dispo aujourd’hui.
There was a great dash to get all the pictures in for the awards gala. I have a shot of my 4 in the Kings Playhouse Hall, but not individual ones. Next year the Plein Air Festival will be held the first week after Canada Day. It is already reserved on my calendar!

These 4 framed watercolours and the fifth painted for the auction are now available at Cardigan’s Farmers Market, PEI, on Fridays and Saturdays. Hope to see you there!

Mary McPhee- Day 2 Aquarelle Points East Plein Air Festival 2018

 It was going to one of those days. I packed the car with all the art equipment to drive to Souris, PEI; the car wouldn’t start. The keys were inside the cottage. Unfortunately the door had locked behind me. My cell was in the car, but my spare key was an hour’s drive away. Arriving 2 hours late, the place I wanted to paint was covered with artists.

J’avais le goût de faire une aquarelle avec le thème d’église ou de cimetière. En auto, j’ai fait le tour de Souris pour arrêter à l’église de St Mary. Haut-placée, ça m’offrait une belle vue, un petit vent frais et aucune moustique.

For a hot and humid day, St Mary’s cemetery was ideal, having some clouds, a breeze and no mosquitoes. I set up beside the tomb-stone of MaryMcPhee, who died on April 18, 1899 at age 35. Was it a tragedy, an illness? No other names were noted. If she spent a solitary life, she now was surrounded with other graves and a view!

Je me prépare à dessiner avant de peindre et, hélas, ma palette d’aquarelles est au chalet! Quelle journée!

Imagine going out to paint, and discovering you left your palette in the freezer to harden overnight! Fortunately, my friend, Ann came upon me in her travels and pulled a spare palette from her car-what luck!

Le début de la journée était frustrant, mais j’etais enfin dans mes aquarelles. L’enfroit  portait à la détente. Pour ce festival de plein air, nous pouvons soumettre 4 tableaux au jury. Voici celui que j’ai fait près de M. McPhee cette deuxième journée du festival.

I will call my watercolour Mary McPhee. She rests on a hilltop overlooking rolling fields and an impressive church. It is a reminder of what can await those who toil and die young.

Veuillez visiter mon site-web pour les détails sur cet œuvre. Please consult my web site for further information on this watercolour at FASO, (Fine Art Studio Online):

noellashorgan.com

This is the fifth annual Points East Plein Air Festival. The Awards Ceremony and Sneak Preview are Saturday July 7 , 6:30-9 pm at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown, PEI. All are also welcome to attend the Silent Art Auction on Sunday July 8, 11 am-5 pm. Bidding 3-5pm. Fifty – two artists painting for four days are creating  lots of beautiful pieces! On vous attend samedi soir et  dimanche à Georgetown.

 

Les bateaux/Boats

The year is speeding by. Time for a blog as summer dawns. Boats will be my theme today as we enter the Canada Day weekend. This watercolour is a small one, fitting on a greeting card. We see three  boats in the foreground. Consciously indistinct, these watercraft can nonetheless elicit  a few remarks. First, the larger vessel sports a flag, the Canadian flag. Large ships must declare their country. How do we broadcast our nationality? Privileged to be of this nation, do we realize what a gift we receivd?

Les deux autres plus petits sont peut-être des canots. Ce sont des bateaux de vacances, de détente. Imaginez le calme , la fraîcheur sur un lac ou la mer, les mains possiblement dans l’eau, la rame parfois active, parfois dans le canot. Il n’y a pas d’urgence, pas de cédule, ni commerce . Beaucoup de contrastes avec le gros navire. Comme c’est facile d’imaginer les différents niveaux de stress associé à ces  bateaux.

In painting these boats , I subconsciously coloured the big (and maybe commercial vessel) red. The small canoes are softer , pale blue and orange. Size and colour influence how we perceive the boats . Their placement near the pier makes it us guess at the depth of the water. What we see in our environment and the conclusions we draw can differ from one person to another.

Cette petite aquarelle nous invite à penser aux diverses activités que l’été va nous proposer. On aura la chance de prend le gros bateau qui peut mieux paraître ou d’emprenter un canot afin de profiter du calme. Soyons conscient de nos choix pendant la saison des canicules! Amusez- vous dans les vagues rafraîchissantes! Soyons fier d’avoir cette chance de changer le tempo de nos vies!

Hoping you can get out on the water this Canada Day! 🇨🇦

Migration

The ebb and flow of nature serve to set our biological clocks. The easily observed trail of Canada geese can be read semi-annually but with different emotions. In October, this photo captured some of the many trails of birds in formation, crossing us on our path West. They were heading South- a sure sign of the end of a glorious summer. The emotions were nostalgic and sad, perhaps tinged with foreboding of frigid Winter. Equally my pilgrimage from East to West (PEI to Québec) signaled the time to reset the backdrop and to pick up urban life. The emotions were pretty similar to seeing the birds on their journey. How much more do we lose with the departure of song birds, the sound of the sea, and the warmth of days and friends we love?

Le retour des oiseaux, les changements dans nos plats-bands et les arbres  indiquent que le printemps s’en vient et le radouci. Oui, éventuellement, même l’hiver 2018 va prendre fin. Les émotions peuvent inclure la joie , l’excitation, l’anticipation.  Accompangant le rhytme des saisons, on retrouvent possiblement un changement d’enérgie et d’êtat émotionnelle. Finalement on va sortir de nos demeures avec des projets. On sera activé en voyant la construction des nids, la naissance de jeunes animaux. C’est comme une migration de l’âme.  Et à l’automne, fort probablement, cette migration va s’inverser. A-t-on décidé vivre le va et vient sans introspection? Va-t-on donner notre propre direction à ces migrations? Est le temps pour une révolution personnelle?

As Spring dawns, the mystery of renewal, new life and energy occupy our thoughts- perhaps unconsciously. If we take some time to pause, perhaps we can ask how  our old belief systems and explanations (of how things work, of who we are, of where we are headed ) have evolved.  Time for a tweak? Reflection on serious matters can be enhanced by observing patterns of migration. Though they may be predictable in course and destination, not all migrants can access the same routes. Strict repetition and action without question  do not  always guarantee a successful migration! Perhaps it is time to resurrect some critical introspection as our winged friends return. Perhaps a day that is not like all the others of the year facilitates this. Hope we all use our Good Friday effectively!

Spring Force/la puissance du printemps

Spring Waterfall/les Bruits du printemps (partial view)

11×15, Arches 300 lbs cp

Happy Spring! Today there were no crocuses, no fluffy bunnies. But the hours of daylight sucked up snow and dried sidewalks and streets today. While it looks more like winter in Montreal than summer, powerful forces are at work. The evaporation rate is on high gear. With frigid nights and warm days, the maple sap is flowing. The tree branches are thickening. And, this afternoon, enough snow had pulled back to reveal 4” of daffodils shoots.

Mon aquarelle d’aujourd’hui tente d’illustrer la puissance de l’eau. Ce soir la météo des ÉU est remplie d’orages et problèmes de pluie abondante. On va entendre les dommages causés par cette tempête en Californie. Les Maritimes vont aussi y goûter. Mais ce soir regardons cette chute d’eau, entendons le bruit sur les roches, et sentons la fraîcheur.

The magic of the waterfall is the contrasting sights / sounds, the forces that erode and the life-giving fresh water. Carving its way through the rocks, the waterfall has the power to knock us down literally, yet commands our fascination. May we soon find ourselves in a forest in the midst of such power!

The Ides of March—le 15 mars

On pense que l’hiver devrait être déjà  fini.  On peut enlever nos pneus d’hiver le 15 mars.. Mais attention! Mère nature a des surprises, parfois jusqu’en avril. Chaque année la première bonne tempête est bien accueillie, la dernière un peu (beaucoup) moins.

Snow scenes tend to lend themselves to watercolour. There is an exception….the months of March and April. By then, the poetic blanket of white merely suffocates the crocuses and other spring flowers.  As we have just had another 15cm of snow yesterday, I dug into my old paintings to present this covered bridge in the Eastern Townships.

Ce pont en Estrie m’a attiré par sa simplicité. Cette aquarelle qui date de 2014, a été acheté par un jeune couple en voyage de noces qui passait par le marché des fermiers de Cardigan. Ils venaient d’entammer leur vie ensemble, vers un avenir inconnu. Un peu comme cette photo—on voit l’approche et le pont, mais la suite est à venir.

While the entrance to the bridge is obvious, the exit is mysterious. How appropriate that the buyers were a newly married couple. The painting spoke of their journey. I have never heard from them after that visit to Cardigan’s Farmers’ Market, but I hope they will return to PEI one day.

March can be such a deceptive month. Just when we think we are out of the woods, the wind picks up, the snowflakes rally in great clumps and the mercury plunges. Much as that knife plunged into Julius Cesar, Mother Nature may still have unpleasant tricks up her sleeves. However this weekend, many Canadians will not be talking about the weather—as we swing into celebrations for St Patrick’s.

Erin go Bragh! Bonne Fête de la St Patrice!

 

March’s Mighty Madness / mars en mouvement

March is back with its noise and nose-alerts. The insulating blanket recedes revealing trash, excrement and projects abandoned under the first snowfall, and yes, the first hints of green. Each day excitement mounts. The sparrows and crows are joined by cardinals and returning jays. The twitter of their songs fills the air, competing with the motors of cars, buses and emergency vehicles not yet electric. New sights, sounds, smells entice us outside, hunting for the first sprouts.
Les gens commencent à sortir de leurs demeures surchauffées. Les bottes sont laissées en faveur de souliers de course, ainsi que les chapeaux et foulards. C’est le temps de tenter sa chance, de quitter l’hiver vers des journées qui allongent.
In Montréal it is a green month- the city becomes Irish. From formal balls to pub crawls to parades, citizens are on the move. People are out and about enjoying the warming winds. But to truly experience March, one needs to visit a sugar shack and to listen to a waterway as the ice sinks and the rushing flow of water takes over.
De voir l’eau vive de nouveau, de sentir la terre dégelée, de se prendre dans la boue au lieu de la neige, d’entendre les chants d’oiseaux pendant la saison des amours, de goûter au nouveau sirop d’erable, voilà mars au Québec. C’est un mois mouvementé et magique.
March lends itself to many watercolour motifs. This picture, painted in 2017, attempts to portray the rushing of water recently freed of ice in the stillness of a dying winter snowscape. March truly is a month of mad contrasts and surprises!

New / du Nouveau

Yes it has been 3 months without a blog. Computer glitches, sickness and the burgeoning of a new relationship contributed. February has arrived after the spectacular and rare full moon. The lengthening days and somewhat warmer winds are a tease, inviting me to PEI… Being retired, I have decided to accept!

L’hiver encourage les voyages. Mes amis sont partis vers le sud, mais mon coeur me tire à mon paradis dans l’est. Avant de quitter, aujourd’hui on a eu un cours de peinture qui nous poussait vers des chemins inconnus utilisant des techniques peu prévisibles.

Yes attempting to controlling my artistic output is a habit. Using saran wrap on the watery mix of colours removes some predictability. I think I have ended up with 2 paintings that are very out of character for me; an abstract and a semi-sur-realistic. The instructor said she wanted us to embrace our mistakes… well here they are.
Après ce cours penible, je suis encore plus prête pour mon cours séjour à l’Ile Prince Édouard. Mes jours seront remplis d’amis, de parenté et de nature.

Imagining the smell of the sea, it is time to pack!
Oh, I will be back for St Patrick’s Art Show on April. See you then!