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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

“What brings a smile to your face?” I was asked this simple question the other day and here was my answer:

My grandchild!

The love of my life is two years old.

Câlin Mamie, huggies for Mamie

Everything about him makes me smile

His smarts, his sense of humour, his beauty, his energy

His ruff and tumble attitude

Everything about him!

I decided to write a book for him. It might take me a while but the story is fully written and I started on the 17 illustrations I planned.

Here are some of the first colored sketches for this project:

As a next step I will paint these that are all drawn on gessoed canvas paper.

Think about what makes you smile and see the effect it has on your mood.

Best to you!

Suzanne

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Connected by Suzanne Belair

Connected
©2018 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

My inspiration for this artwork was the coming spring

 

For this painting, I wanted lots of textures and to show the flow of energy between all the animal and plant worlds. Insects, fish and birds are connected. Doing the endangered birds paintings inspired me to complete the two loons I saw in the paint strokes of the background. There is a couple of loons that come to nest on our lake each summer and we get to witness the chicks being carried on their backs and their interaction all summer. They are majestic! I wanted to portray their return and their habitat, their lifeline and also their excitement at coming back here.

 

In the painting, a large butterfly is close by, they are looking at fish in the river below, and the plants they use for nesting are represented. They will soon mate and there is an explosion of leaves and joy at seeing summer on its way back, at witnessing life!

 

Because of its great public appeal, the Common Loon (Gavia immer)  is an iconic Canadian bird specie and one of the best studied birds in North America. Many organizations (non-governmental) are dedicated to conserving this species since they are widely-recognized symbols of northern wilderness and indicators of aquatic health. Both individual loons and the overall population seem resilient and able to tolerate landscape alterations, habitat disturbance, fishing practices and pollution, which is good news.

 

Loons are found throughout Canada, breeding on quiet, freshwater lakes of 5–50 hectares in size. They are an important top predator in lake ecosystems and their wail call is one of the most identifiable bird calls heard around lakes. It symbolizes wilderness and solitude.

 

When you hear the loon, you know summer has arrived.

 

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This morning, toc toc toc on the gutter, I thought a woodpecker sent its territorial signal but I do not see it. A large blue jay arrives in the shrub nearby! Surprise! The blue jays are very active and vocal this morning …

And then, I see them, it is a whole family of yellow-bellied woodpeckers in the middle hemlock. They fly from one tree to another and follow each other in a winged dance.

They play, chase each other, vocalize, follow each other more and more quickly, twirling between the trees, from one trunk to another, they land for a short time, go up the trunk and take off again. Excitement for this beautiful sunshine maybe… The race accelerates between the trunks and then between the trunks and the house. All this morning joy of the young birds on this sunny day becomes contagious. They are fascinating!

Then the noise! One of them has just hit the large window while the other has narrowly avoided it by turning at the last minute. The first one is projected with the momentum and ends up 16 feet from the impact, on the wood of the gallery.

His wings open, he is rattled but will survive, his eyes open, he waits to recover. His head is leaning on the wood but quickly enough, he able to put it up. His friends in the trees all around call him, encourage him, vocalize more and more loudly, perhaps to scare me, who just came out with my camera.

I speak to the little wounded in a reassuring voice, I gently stroke his back, he is not trembling, he is not afraid of me.

I watch the little one, the thing is, there is a cat that always prowls around here. After a few minutes, he closes his wings on his body.

A little more time goes by and he opens his wings to put them back against his body while he settles on his legs without getting up yet, then his head turns to one side and the other.

He looks at me, looks at the trees, wonders if he can take off, he gets ready, he believes it. That’s it, he takes off and returns to the safety of his favorite hemlock. What an adventure for this young woodpecker on a sunny Tuesday morning!

Animation of the small yellow-bellied woodpecker before taking flight

He and his friends are now calm and fly away gently.

Everything returns to silence. The sun is now higher and warmer, all go about their business. The small woodpecker had quite a scare!

©2017 Suzanne Bélair photos and text

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This is an invitation to come and admire the works of close to 40 professional artists, members of the Lakeshore Association of Artists, on the shore of Lake St-Louis during the week-end of September 9th and 10th, 2016 during the “Art by the lake” event.

I will be happy to welcome you on the beautiful site that is Stewart Hall, where I will be exhibiting some new 2016 works as well as other favourites. My site # 31 is located on the higher part of the grounds, near the front parking area.

 

A portion of sales will go to On Rock Community Services and Food Bank.

 

The show still goes on even if it rains. The exhibit will then take place inside instead of outside.

 

Please forward this invitation to your family and friends.

 

I hope to see you there!

 

Suzanne

 

 

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Well that’s it, summer is nearing its end and for us here is Montreal, Qc, we are still waiting for it to arrive. June and July were atypically rainy and cold, August being out best month so far and the leaves are already turning in certain areas.

 

The last few months have been really busy with family gatherings, friends, entertaining and a short beach vacation. We also went through major renovations outside and landscaping work.

Art wise, I kept on painting but at a much reduced pace. I participated in the Estiv’Arts Symposium in Magog during the weekend of August 5th and 6th, a nice experience even if Saturday was hit by a violent storm halfway through the day which pretty much ruined it for us outdoor artists, but Sunday was glorious. Here are a few pictures from that week-end.

 

estivart 2017

 

Anyhow, for the last couple weeks, I have been working on a series of small formats 10 X 10 inches for a special exhibit coming up in November (more on that later). Pictures are needed early on for publicity. I have been exploring these semi-abstract contemporary forests in acrylic for a while now and don’t tire of it. Here is a photo of the first 6 of the series in progress.

 

I enjoy working with this limited pallet, strictly primary colours plus white and black or brown. I make a wonderful rich black with Ultramarine blue and Vandyke brown, but also use Oxide black on occasion. Most of the trees are worked with various palette knives.

 

work in progress

 

In approximately two weeks will be the Lakeshore Association of Artists outdoor exhibition, more on this on a later post.

For now, the focus is on painting, painting, painting, to get ready for all the exciting upcoming events.

 

 

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Forest spirit
@2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Ink on canvas
12 X 12 in

 

The rabbit jumps
Unnoticed
Behind the trees
It runs
Hidden from me
Disappearing in the hole
Creature of the earth
Down his tunnel he goes
Reaching his burrow
By another opening
He knows he can escape
If someone sees him
But quick he is
Running and jumping at dusk
When no one is watching

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Golden Watch
©2017 Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

 

From the corner

Golden warmth is keeping watch

Over the forest and its inhabitants

Have no fear

There is protection

For all that live within

Its boundaries

As long as you submit

To nature’s laws.

 

©2017 Suzanne Belair

 

 

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