Friday, 12 October 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 4

Blog 41

Our week in Kamouraska was filled with so many impressions. We visited many of our favourite places, but also took the time to explore new areas. Here is the fourth and last part of my Kamouraska travelogue:

Friday, September 14, 2018

We had another fantastic day. Unfortunately, Janis had to leave after breakfast. Therefore, we took the group picture, then we all set out on our separate ways. Marje and I decided to stay in Kamouraska, and went to the “Chemin Pelletier” and painted the view towards the church. As it was already quite warm in the sun at 10am, we made sure that we set up in the shade. However, due to the wind, I felt cold quickly and put my socks, boots, and winter coat back on. However, as soon as the sun reached us, I had to set up an umbrella to keep cool as temperatures kept climbing until they reached 30 degrees by 4pm. We left our spot around 3pm, bought some souvenirs at “Le fil bleu” and returned to the house, where I spent another two hours painting wild roses in the garden.

Tonight’s dinner consisted of leftovers from the previous dinners. We had my dinner with a slight twist as the compote was put over the pasta instead of the vegetable sauce by mistake. We picked out the peaches and plumes, and had a hearty laugh. Sharon saved the dinner by adding cream cheese. Those who did not know about the incident were pleasantly surprised about the creamy sauce with a hint of cinnamon. We had the peaches and plums over ice cream for dessert. If you were lucky, you even found a piece of pasta in the dish. Instead of sitting at the table, we enjoyed tonight’s meal sitting in rocking chairs in the covered veranda watching the amazing sunset that changed the colour of the sky from red over pink to purple.

This was the best week we ever had. The weather was just phenomenal. We spent many hours a day painting, laughed a lot, shared wonderful meals, and created many memories. We are all exhausted after an intense week of painting but also happy about the art that we created. Even though we like some paintings more than others, each painting is like a journal entry. It is fascinating to see what inspired each of us to capture a certain section of our surroundings. Tomorrow morning, everyone wants to head back home early, but we definitely want to come back next year. Au revoir Kamouraska.

After my return from Kamouraska, there are still some paintings that need some work. I am sure that many of you have still a couple of unfinished works standing around, therefore, if you would like to continue working on them in a group of people and maybe with a little bit of guidance, the Art Circle might be for you. This is not an art class, but rather a group where we will all support each other. Our next meeting is on October 19, 2018. For more information please go to my website or my Facebook page You can also contact me directly at

Friday, 5 October 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 3

Saint-André at the “Parc de l’Ancien-Quai
Blog 40

I hope you enjoy my travelogue. Please forward it to family and friends who might be interested in the Kamouraska area or plein air painting. Today, I publish the third part:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

St André Lighthouse, 14” x 11”, acrylic
Going to the same picturesque landmark does not mean that you have to paint the same section of the landscape again. Today, I spent the day with Janis and Marje in Saint-André at the “Parc de l’Ancien-Quai” that we have visited on every of our trips at least once. Before Janis and I started painting, we walked east on the dike until we reached the next Monadnock. It was a beautiful walk in the morning sun. I am glad that we took the time for the walk. Usually, we are so focused on finding the best painting spots that we miss out on absorbing the vastness of nature. There are so many beautiful areas that are so large that you cannot capture their size on a canvas or a photograph. You just have to be in the moment and absorb the wonders of nature.

As the day progressed, it got quite warm. Temperatures climbed up to 26 degrees, and if you were in a sheltered spot, it was hot. However, for the first time since our arrival we had quite some wind gusts. I was sitting under my umbrella to find shelter from the sun but gave up after my setup flew away a couple of times. Nevertheless, I spent four hours creating a 14” x 11” acrylic painting of the lighthouse. Usually, we come here to find shelter from the wind. Today the wind was manageable and I was finally able to paint the building.

After a quick stop at our favourite Monadnock located at the end of the “Route de la Grève” in Saint-Germain, we headed back to the house where I had a lot of chopping to do. I made vegetable pasta with different vegetables in tomato basil sauce as well as a peach-plum compote that I served with vanilla ice cream.

Now, that my cooking day is behind me, I can enjoy the last painting day tomorrow even more. Unfortunately, Janis has to leave after breakfast as she is taking part in a weekend art show in Ottawa. As Helene is driving home with me, Janis will already take all of our oil painting materials and already created paintings. Helene will work with watercolours tomorrow, and I will use my OPEN Acrylics again. It looks like another perfect day is ahead of us.

Next week, I will post the last part of my travelogue. For now, I would like to wish my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time with family and friends, share your food, and create lasting memories.

If you are getting in the mood for pumpkins, here is your chance to create your own pumpkin painting to decorate your house: Pumpkin Painting Party, October 21, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We will paint with acrylic paints on a 16" x 20" canvas. The price is $35 per person. All painting materials are included. No experience is necessary. Fun is guaranteed. The maximum number of participants is 12. To register, please pay by October 15, 2018 at 6pm. Payment can be made by e-transfer to Pre-payment is necessary to reserve a spot. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 2


Blog 39

Every day, we have to make a decision about our destination when painting. By now, we have enough experience to know that it is best to stay in one spot, because once you pack up your gear and drive around looking for another painting spot, you lose a lot of time. Therefore, we try to find a picturesque spot that offers many painting possibilities. This is also helpful as we all create at a different speed. The size of the canvas or board certainly plays a role in this but so does the painting style. Some of us are rather fast while others take their time to capture their impression.

Following is the second part of my travelogue for this year’s trip to Kamouraska:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Baby Bateau, oil, 8” x 10”

Before I tell you about today’s gorgeous day, I will quickly summarize yesterday’s activities. After I wrote my blog, I finished the painting of “Baby Bateau”, that I had started in 2011. While eating lunch, I discovered some issues with my paintings from the previous days and fixed what bothered me. 

Église Saint-Louis de Kamouraska, oil, 14" x 11"
After lunch, I started my work on another 2011 painting of some of the Kamouraska houses and the Église Saint-Louis de Kamouraska, seen from Rue Saint Louis that I finished after getting groceries and eating ice cream at “La Fée Gourmande” with Janis and Helene. Helene was Tuesday’s chef and served us lasagne and salad, followed by flan cake with custard, jam, and whipping cream.

Beautiful Weeds, oil, 5" x 7"
When we woke up this morning, we could hardly see anything through the dense fog. After it lifted, we all went to L'Islet-sur-Mer where some of our group had seen an old mill next to a stunning waterfall. Unfortunately, it turned out that the only spot from which you had a great view was from a bridge on highway Route 132, which was definitely not a safe spot to set up our equipment. We were quite disappointed, especially because we had to drive about 45 minutes from Kamouraska to get to L'Islet. Instead we spent a couple of hours painting at the side of the “Chemin du Moulin”. At the beginning, I did not really feel inspired (and I feel it shows in my painting) but I still painted a small section of the St. Lawrence River panorama that extended in front of us. After lunch, I created another painting of a fascinating wildflower that I discovered on the beach. Both oil paintings are only 5” x 7”.

Later in the afternoon, we went to “L'ange de Glaces” where we could have picked “Le Choix du King”, but were very happy with a well-deserved ice cream. Next, we visited the “Parc Havre du Souvenir”, from which you had a terrific view of the rock formations of the St Lawrence River at low tide.

As Janis had injured herself while climbing down to the beach, we decided to head back to the house. As it was still so beautiful outside but I did not feel like unpacking all my gear again, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden sketching a couple of wild roses with my watercolour pencils.

At suppertime, Marje served delicious fajitas with chicken and vegetables followed by date squares. Tomorrow, it is my turn to cook; therefore, my painting day will be cut short. As everyone before me, I can hardly wait to put this responsibility finally behind me.

I you enjoyed my travelogue and would like to see more more photos, please go to my Facebook page where I will post photos of this year’s trip in my “Photo of the Day” post for the rest of the month. Next week, I will continue with the third part of my travelogue.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 1


Blog 38

September 11, 2018

This is already the third painting day in Kamouraska. Today is a rainy day, and so it is a perfect day to write my blog before working on some older paintings indoors.

I drove up in a convoy with my friends Janis on Saturday, with the car packed heavily. You need a lot of stuff for a one week painting trip. We were the second ones to arrive, and it was lovely to see and to greet everyone. After the long ride, we enjoyed sitting in rocking chairs in the covered veranda for happy hour while watching the breathtaking sunset. Later, Sharon served a delicious dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. The final course was mango with ice cream and chocolate sauce. As you can see, our trips are not only about the painting but also about spending time with friends, enjoying delicious meals, and not having to think about chores and responsibilities. Even the cleanups after our meals are filled with chatter and lots of laughs.

On Sunday, there was hardly any wind, which is uncommon near the river. We all decided to stay at Avenue LeBlanc and to set up right across from the house. The tide was out, and we were fascinated by the two boats sitting on the sand. 

Grounded, 8" x 10", oil

After lunch, we were ready to stay in the house sitting in our rocking chairs. However, it was too lovely to stay inside. We drove around a little bit in town but then set up another time at Avenue LeBlanc, just metres away from the first spot. By this time the tide was coming in again. Therefore the scene looked totally different.

An Afternoon in Kamouraska, acrylic, unfinished

At night, Janis spoiled us with pork loin, couscous with fruit, and salad followed by her blueberry grunt that we love so much that we enjoy eating it every year.

“Havre du Quai”

Yesterday, it was another windless day. When I was heading out with Janis and Marje, I mentioned that it would be the perfect day for St-Roch-des-Aulnaies. As it turned out that was exactly what Janis and Marje had also in mind. We painted at the “Havre du Quai”, a nice park overlooking the river, with great views all around. Often, it is so windy that you cannot paint there, but yesterday it was almost windless for most of the day. It was even warmer than on Sunday.

Rocky Shores, St-Roch-des-Aulnaies, 8" x 10", oil

We stayed the whole day, and I created three paintings. When we left around 4pm, I was exhausted and had a headache. Really concentrating and observing your surroundings for the whole day is demanding. If you add the fresh air, you can imagine how tired I was. I could have gone to bed at 6pm, which is very uncharacteristically for a night owl like me. Instead, I changed and took a walk along the river.

Horseshoe of Rocks, 8" x 10", oil

Bill served us Shepherd’s pie and coleslaw for dinner, followed by an assortment of strudels from the local bakery with vanilla ice cream. To keep us all awake, Sharon entertained us with with the origin of some famous sayings. We laughed so hard that our bellies were hurting.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my travelogue. If you would like to see more photos, please go to my Facebook page where I will post photos of this year’s trip in my “Photo of the Day” post for the rest of the month. Next week, I will continue with the second part of my travelogue.

The Red Tree, acrylic, 8" x 10"
If you would like to learn how to paint a fall landscape, I would like to invite you to my workshop “Painting a Symbol of the Canadian Autumn”. We will study A. Y. Jackson’s painting “Red Maple” and create our own 16" x 20" painting. No experience is necessary. All materials are included in the registration fee of $35. Please register by September 24, 2018 at 6pm by sending an e-transfer to