Archives for posts with tag: trees

even tones, quiet... cold but not yet snowing

Last week while I was on a new (to me) part of Mount Royal, I took a photo of the trees. Little did I realise (well ok, I did know it was coming soon) that within a matter of days this scene would be covered with snow. I might get back for a white version of this, if I am fortunate.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Parc Lafontaine. an oasis in one of the hearts of Montreal

I sat at this scene the other day, painting. It happened to be on a crest, and I felt the loveliest breeze lifting off the water. There were some rogue, illegal bathers splashing away down below, but no-one seemed to mind. Their laughter and belly flops filled the air with the sound of children, even though they were well into their forties.

In the comments I’m going to try to write some Haiku about this. I am serious. Please join in the fun if you will…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

painting in progress...

Parc Lafontaine is a gem of a park in the heart of Montreal. It is one of those places that means much to many people.

just before dusk...

There is a rich history to the park itself, but you can opt to ignore everything and just bask in this oasis. 

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Walking from point A to point B... it is amazing that these leaves stuck to the trees over winter! Spring is growing, growing, and will be here soon.

photo by Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Our photo theme for April is The Contrasts of Urban Nature. If you are a fan on our Facebook page, you can upload a photo to our wall. Or, if you prefer, email us at fleurbain@gmail.com with your photo that reflects this theme, your name, and a short description of the pic.

beginning the first tree...

Everyone likes trees. They are pretty and useful things. So why not paint up a little stand of trees to call your own?

Each Sunday, artist Natasha Henderson will guide you through some simple “How To” tips for painting. Having been (honestly) inspired at a young age by the oft-spoofed televised artist Bob Ross, Natasha would like to offer some simple tips on How To Paint Stuff.

Before we begin, a few notes on what I’m using to paint. I chose a simple, broad flat brush. I used black acrylic paint. I used a piece of paper. I smudged some white acrylic on the paper first, so that the paint and any water in it would not bleed into the paper. I could have used the paper alone, and the texture of the paper would have had more effect on the paint, and I could have treated it more like a watercolour. But I chose not to.

a line. This will become a tree...

Once the white acrylic base had dried, I used a small amount of paint on the tip of my brush to draw a line. This would be the trunk, the centre of the first tree I would paint.

dabbing on branches, needles, it's all just paint

Then, I simply dotted and dabbed little marks across this line, to make a tree. Simple.

tree is lonely... time for some more

After that I added more lines, and the dabs to create the four trees that followed these lines. I had my stand! I was naughty, and didn’t follow the Law of Odds, but life’s about taking risks.

more trees, made in exactly the same way

The final touch was a sweeping mark that suggested land. The trees needed to be situated in some sort of environment, and I felt that this would suffice.

trees and their land

Paint on! Paint on.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

The Jack Pine (1916–1917) by Tom Thomson, from...

not in either exhibition, however, is related to them

Until March 5, 2011 Eric Cardinal presents Histoires improbables and Jocelyn Philibert shows Dans la nuit at Galerie [sas] in the Belgo Building, at 372 St Catherine Street in Montreal.

I was initially lured into this exhibition by a pencil on paper drawing that bore an organic title and appearance. Fungus no. 2, upon further examination, proved to be composed of a repeated and overlapped Mickey Mouse motif. Eric Cardinal‘s work in Histoires improbables is a range of drawings and sculpture that uses “pop culture” and other findings that may (or may not) be disposable. In his artist statement, he only alludes to his drawings a tiny bit while talking about his sculpture. “… these manipulations seem to be able to initiate a second step in my production where shapes and textures rendered can then be expressed in other materials.” 

Whichever came first, the sculpture or the drawings; both speak of a longing for nature and its forms, twisted with a sense of humour. The drawings appeared to be of one of two types. Organic, morphing ones (like Fungus no.2, which initially drew me into the gallery) were my personal favorites. I’d truly not seen anything like them before, and they held my attention and imagination long after I’d realised what the elements in them all were. The other sort of drawing was something like a fractured, fragmented view of two (or more) simultaneous pictures, usually done in ink. The result of this was something like a jagged checker-board, or a woven paper effect. These were not as evocative or luring as the softer, more evolved, pencil drawings. I was left with the impression that they were part of the process, and that’s cool.

The sculpture was like pop-culture, plastic tree growths. Colourful, playful, beautiful, and somewhat tragic. They melded plain objects (pencils, household items) with repeated Donald Duck or other Disney characters, and finally colourful polyurethane to make these oddities. Note that when I say oddities, I mean original, cool, and tasty art-pieces. 

The Author of this post hides behind a rose

The paintings (oops sorry about that) photographs in Jocelyn Philibert‘s exhibition Dans la nuit are a stunning study of both trees and visual-planes. Philibert photographs trees, or scenes that include trees, at night. He illuminates the scenes from the front, boldly. The work bears a sense of metaphor and theatricality, owing much to the drama of the artificial lighting, as well as the often isolated subject (tree).

My initial reaction to this work was a sense of awe, a feeling of seeing drawings set in nature, drawings by Nature itself. It seemed more real than real.

The next thing I noticed was how the foreground plane comes forward; more so than with naturally lit subjects. I was reminded of layers of oil in an oil painting, layered plexiglass paintings, and even 3-D Cinema.

Philibert’s Lone Tree is elevated (as in much of Canadian art) to a heroic place; it becomes a Being, a reason for portraiture. Think of Tom Thomson’s The Jack Pine. Think of Rodney Graham. Think of Jocelyn Philibert.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal. The two exhibitions finish up on March 5th, so hurry down to see them. Galerie [sas] 372 St Catherine West, open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 12-5.

It’s a good time for branching out and making connections.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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