It is Coming!/Bientôt l’expo!

The 300 following words contain history and an invitation, please read to the end…

Imagine setting up a retirement project and living to see it endure 30 years! My dad, Tony Shorgan, and two of his artists friends (Jack McDonough and Gilbert Prévost) initially with the help of a Canadian federal grant, launched a watercolour group for seniors, living predominantly in Côté St Luc, Qc.
Le but était de partager leur amour de l’aquarelle et de développer les talents artistiques des gens avec ou sans le moindre d’expérience. De ces trois, le goût d’aquarelle s’est répandu à plusieurs. Cette année nous sommes 14 artistes qui se réunissent aux semaines pour nourir notre passion. Mais, depuis 30 ans, combien se sont enrichi? 40-50 ou plus? Je n’en sait rien.
Our three founding fathers nourished many hidden gifts. Many who had never painted before in their lives were provided with instruction and support. These and others with previous experience spent their Tuesdays exploring different techniques and subjects. The cap of the year was the annual show and sale of their works. You can imagine how uplifting it is to receive the feedback of the public!
Notre vernissage aura lieu le 23 avril cette année au carré St Patrick, 6767 Cote St Luc de 13h à 16h30. Allez-vous pouvoir venir nous encourager encore cette année?
We cordially invite you to drop in to view this year’s show on Sunday afternoon, April 23, 1-4:30, 6767 Cote St Luc. Our ongoing artistic development is supported by the generosity of the City of Cote St Luc, St Patrick’s Square and friends like you who chose to buy our work.
Vivre sa retraite en apprenant et en développant ses talents est une façon agréable de se garder en forme mentale. Les liens d’amitié qui nous réunissent maintient la santé émotionnelle!

The photo contains all the information, including the names of this year’s line-up of artists. The featured photo was painted by John Cotnam. If you can’t see it, please go to launchings5.wordpress.com

A Country Walk/ Marchons

It was March 9th and time to escape the city. Thanks to my sister, we shared a lunch in her cottage and two long walks in the fresh air. Clouds dominated but there were occasional sunbursts. The road was covered in new snow. The trees were spectacular and diverse. Their colour has started to pale from the darkness of winter green.(More sun would have made it obvious in the photo)
Se promener à la campagne en observant la nature se fait mieux à deux. Les traits dans la neige indiquent, au premier abord, deux tracés. Mais ayant fait ces marques, ce sont les petits pas au centre et de côté qui sont les nôtres. Comme nous sommes minuscules comparées au pin énorme et à la nature si vaste.
Our path was dwarfed by majestic trees still tucked into their blankets of snow. It was a scene that evoked awe for the majesty of nature and of the Eternal. The visit revitalized and energized us, while being a precious moment of sisterhood.
Avez-vous eu le temps de profiter de l’hiver? Ce n’est pas trop tard!

GONE, NOT FORGOTTEN/DISPARUE

ÉLÉGANGTE : aquarelle, 8 ½ x 11 ¾ 140 cp, 16x 19 encadrée – $250
Elle sera une de mes œuvres en exposition publique le 25 mars, 2017 de 17h- 21h au Centre d’art de Montréal. This work will be part of the March Open Art Exhibit at the Montreal Art Center, 1844 William Street, Montréal, QC, H3J 1R5. Bienvenue à tous. Welcome to all.

Ses yeux et sa chaleur nous ont captivés. Son intelligence et sa créativité nous ont impressionnés. Son enthousiasme nous a séduit. Elle est partie. On pensait l’avoir perdue quand elle est disparue. Ce n’est pas le cas.
She was dynamic and unique, her departure left a void. The attachments that can bind in a blink of an eye unravel much more slowly. This portrait was inspired by a photo of a woman in her 50-60’s. The model was a complete stranger. Only the next day did the resemblance with one gone become obvious.
Le subconscient agit lors du processus créatif. Cet aquarelle utilisait comme référence une photo d’une femme inconnue, en tenue formelle, âgée de 50-60 ans. Le regard du lendemain révélait une femme plus dégagée et plus jeune qu’anticipée. La chose la plus étonnante était la ressemblance à une personne significative qui est disparue de nos vies.
She will continue to appear in thoughts and perhaps in watercolours. She may be gone, but it will take time for her to be forgotten. Elle est disparue de notre environnement physique, mais sa présence sera encore ressentie.

Noëlla Shorgan, UNHU artist of late.

4 more years…déjà 4 ans

Thanks WordPress for letting me know that I have been blogging on this site for 4 years! It began as an exercice to maintain bilingual fluency and to highlight my watercolours. Thanks to my faithful readers and to those who stumble upon my blog. Over almost 50 months, I have faithfully , if somewhat sporadically, added to the collection. Accessing the history is as simple as going to launchings5.wordpress.com.
C’est inouï comment le temps passe vite. Même à la retraite on évolue. Mes sujets de discussion sont élargis et je pense que mes aquarelles s’améliorent! Plusieurs sont inquiets de notre avenir pendant les 4 prochaines années. Je ne suis pas indifférent. Je préfère ne pas ajouter aux commentaires afin de ne pas contribuer à l’espace donné à´Atout’.
The chant of four more years still rings in my ears. I am not indifferent to US affairs, but have decided not to contribute to the prominence of ‘Atout’. In the next four years, who can imagine the changes? I will attempt to be true to my previously stated goals, but perhaps life will take a turn. In he meantime,I am happy to feature my business card if you haven’t come across it these last 6 years. I am so pleased with this forum which serves to market my art and ideas.
Des projets, j’en ai plusieurs. Des vernissages au Centre d’art de Montréal (25 mars) , le vernissage annuel du club St Patrick (23 avril), la vente au marché de Cardigan cet été et le vernissage d’un mois à la bibliothèque de Stratford à l’île du prince Édouard.
I will have several shows to write about in the next months. But as a heads up: I have been chosen for The 4 Artist Open Art Show at the Montreal Art Centre, 1455 William St. Montreal on Saturday, March 25, 5:00- 9:00pm. I would be so happy to meet you there!

NIDRA

Thanks Caroline for the gift of Divine Sleep Nidra. It was a learning experience. It was a delightful way to end a week. It was a most relaxing experience. Banished are the February blues!
Je ne suis pas très ferrée en yoga. Le Nidra est une expérience que je n’avais jamais essayée. Quelle belle stratégie pour survivre ce février 2017. Savez-vous c’est quoi? Essentiellement, c’est une relaxation dirigée. Le résultat est une détente profonde qui induit un sommeil profond.
Yoga on the Park features this Friday evening treat. We began by imagining a safe spot, a personal sanctuary. This photo immediately came to mind; yes, my PEI garden and view of the sea. Then the instructor took us through tensing and relaxing all areas of the body. It was a slow soothing process, finishing with a series of stretches. I felt great and carried the deep relaxation home to a deep, refreshing sleep. A true get-away, without taking a trip, was really a marvelous change of pace for February! And come Wednesday, it will be March!

Spring Stream/ Les Eaux du Printemps

Please click on the link to read the entire blog.
Au 12 février, cette belle tempête de neige de 20-25cm commence à faire trop de blanc. De pouvoir créer un environnement différent est un atout de l’art. En effet c’est un avantage de pouvoir peindre une saison différente dans un lieu différent.
Today’s watercolour, that I call ‘Spring Stream’ has transported me away from the snow and wind of Montreal. I started with 2 photographs and then invented the complete scene. To calm my whiteout conditions, I used a lot of different greens. But also, I wanted to see running water.
Au printemps, nos ruisseaux sont très volumineux. Pour une raison que j’ignore, j’ai décidé de mettre une cascade. L’eau coule vers nous. Mais en même temps, la forêt nous attire. Quels choix de regard.
Calmly the forest’s depths attract our consideration. Ah, the peace, the isolation and the scent of nature! And yet, the waterfall exists in sharp contrast in this watercolour. Remember the scene is fictional, invented by the artist. Had it not been included, one could say the waterway was drawing us into the woods. Alas, not so. The sudden, unpredicted drop-off with the turbulent eddies and strong current pull us along to a destination not of our choosing.
Sans trop faire d’analyse de ma création, on peut se demander quels sont les évènements actuels, surtout politique, qui nous déstabilisent au point de perde contrôle et de risquer de se retrouver à un endroit non-choisit.
If we are being carried along by strong elements beyond our control, we may find ourselves pulled under water or over a rocky ledge. There are some useful obstacles in this composition, mainly hard rocks. Intentionally, not a waterside branch is available to rescue ourselves. This journey is too rapid in the gushing of a spring steam that is augmented by the melted snow. There is true danger. We may be merely on one of the banks basking in the spring sun. But we may lose our footing with the noise and turbulence of the water.
On entend parler, oui peut-être trop parler, de tout ce qui se passe avec le changement de pouvoir américain. Avant on aura pu regarder de loin, mais en 2017 nous sommes engagés et touchés comme jamais auparavant. Il y a des obstacles pour nous et des courants dangereux. Il y a des pièges même pour nous. Passant aux douanes, nous créances seront examinés et nos interfaces internet étudiées. Ça pourrait être dangereux.
From the gentle serenity of nature, we can be plunged in a challenging position, should we chose to travel south. It is a foreign reality. If we are caught in a borderline border experience, few lifelines will be offered. We probably need to be proactive and avoid expressing ourselves too overtly on the Internet. (That would be the boulders in the watercolour.) Or should we? Should we modify our behaviour out of fear? Perhaps jumping in and running the waves and waterfall to pop up on the far side is the better choice. To live free, to express our opinions and to defend those who are threatened by drowning, persecution, and imprisonment is our responsibility this spring.
Paix/ Peace/ Shalom

Floral Bouquet/en fleur

Yesterday’s watercolour model was a grouping of indeterminate flowers. The model had white, yellows and oranges. All was fairly muted in pastel colours. Given the approach of Valentine’s or perhaps a visceral need to not be wishy washy, I dove into the red section of my palate. Perhaps a bit overwhelming, this painting came from a need to portray something other than snow!

Voilà une des avantages de l’art. On peut interpréter à notre guise et laisser nos œuvres parler des émotions de notre cœur, sans dire un mot. Bon, je vous envoie des souhaits d’amitié pour le St Valentin et je prendra le temps d’articuler toutes mes réactions face aux drames chez les voisins une autre fois!

May peace and love fill our hearts tonight…continuing on to February 14th and beyond!

Parlons/Let’s Talk

Je ne pretends pas avoir des connaissances poussées en santé mentale. Cette semaine est extraordinaire, un temps d’événements hors de la normale. Dans un cadre de peur, de colère et de incrédule, il me semble que c’est très approprié de parler de la santé mentale aujourd’hui.

There is much being said today during Bell’s Let’s Talk day. What I wish to add is how important being grounded in nature is to me. I could have chosen a sunset or a beautiful flower, but instead I chose to paint a scene of cows leaving the barn. Our farms and farm families are treasures. We rely on them for nourishment but also for respite from the craziness of technology and politics. In addition to all they bring, I added a water source as a reminder of the importance of this resource. The painting is life-affirming. The cows seem distracted by our presence…..”What are you looking at?” “Where will that wall be?” “Are those new people moving in next door?’ ‘What are you doing in our barnyard?” Or they are merely moving about on their way to some hospitable piece of land?

Ces pauvres vaches semblent nous regarder pour connaître ce qu’on fait là, pour comprendre notre histoire un peu. Il y a une interdependence et une communication entre nous. Aujourd’hui, c’est une journée pour jaser sans honte, sans crainte, dans le respect et l’amour… profitez-y en, jaser
ça fait du bien!

Out for a Stroll/Dehors
watercolour
Arches cp 140lb
$80

Perspectives

Sometimes while cleaning the palette after a day of serious watercolour, using up the remaining colours can result in a free, unplanned creation. This urban jungle emerged after a day painting mountains. Given my challenge with perspective, it is amazing how things can work out with no forethought!

La perspective peut être assez bonne pour pouvoir intrepeter l’image, sans essayer. Ce soir je me trouve dans le dilemme d’essayer d’examiner les perspectives possible pour arriver à trouver de l’espoir dans le dénouement politique aux E U. Une façon est de considérer que l’inauguration du Président Obama n’avait pas plu à tous. Non, demain sera différent et unique. Je crois que c’est plus qu’une question de opinion partisan.

Points of view vary and perspectives can be distorted by facts and fancy. This small  watercolour was unplanned and not sketched in advance. It sounds a bit like the incoming president’s agenda. Amid the shapes and colours emerges a picture. Perhaps this presidency lacks forethought, but perhaps it may have shape and substance, at least when viewed by the perspective of the minority which elected this new American head of state.

January 2017

We step gingerly into the new year, some nursing hangovers, others stretching after a long winter’s sleep. Really nothing has changed but we arbitrarily mark the passage of time. This year, again, we had to add a second, a catch-up moment.

Pour commencer cette nouvelle année, j’ai déjcidé de faire une étude en prévision d’une plus grande peinture. Cette photo ne semble pas capter ce que je vois. Une scène de la forêt en hiver évoque la tranquillité et la paix.

But beyond the serenity and peace, the shadows reach out to me, proclaiming the effect of light on form. Our days are lengthening and the sun begins its climb to summer. Shadows will become more dramatic. Light creates darkness. What does darkness do to light? It sullies it at the very least.

Les ombrages sont le résultat de lumière sur les objets places devant. Quels sont nos obstacles , nos coins négatifs? Qu’est-ce qui m’a empêcher  d’être dans un état de paix aujourd’hui?

Truly negativity can run interference with my promotion of peace in my day. Maybe tomorrow we will resist being drawn in.