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#30×30, 2022, Day05: This Mountain Does Not Exist

June 6, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day04: The High Plateau

June 5, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day03: The Holy Mountain

June 4, 2022

#30×30, 2022, Day02: First Summit Attempt

June 3, 2022

I felt a little rusty, and I did a few I threw away, but here’s two paintings that I’ll call #30x30DirectWatercolor Day 02!

#30×30, 2022, Day01: Peak Generation

June 2, 2022

Have a look at my first experiments! Trying both ends of the control spectrum. That is – Totally out of Control! and Way too Tight! These are the natural extremes of my painting :)

#30×30, 2022, Day Zero: An Explainer About my Project

June 1, 2022

Hey everybody! So it’s starting Today!!

#30x30DirectWatercolor; our online marathon of mutual support, in which we make one painting a day for thirty days. (And then post it to our Facebook group here.) (Or, if you don’t like our lizard overlords, just hashtag it #30x30DirectWatercolor and anyone can follow the tag on your media of choice :)

I personally am doing it a little differently this year.

I’m going to be doing a ‘daily video’ – (I guess that would be a ‘vlog’ right?) showing my work. These are going to be short, and more chatty less teach-y. Also it’s not likely I’ll manage to be daily. So I’ll be doing it as often as I can manage it. Other than this, I hope to be spending as much time as possible in the FB group, talking about *YOUR* paintings! Not mine :)

If anyone is doing an interesting project this year, please drop me a comment, and I’d love to have a look at what you have planned. Especially if you want to be mentioned here on this blog page.

Drop me a note and I’ll keep watch on your stuff this year – and help you spread the word.

I hope some people might take me up on this!

Ok, here’s my ‘explainer video’ about where I’m starting >>>

Painting en plein air, around Bay Saint Paul

April 27, 2022

It’s been a few weeks since our plein-air painting trip to Bay St. Paul. (Just a bit downstream from Quebec City). Here’s a few of the good ones. This is Grands-Jardins National Park. Painted from, quite literally, the parking lot at the entrance. You can’t be too fussy when driving around looking for views. If you don’t jump out at the first sign, pretty soon the day is gone and all you’ve done is drive around.


This is the mill pond at the Papeterie Saint-Gilles. A beautiful location! Sadly – we were solidly rained out, so I painted this side-view and will get back to the wonderful paper mill another time.

I have to say, as a long time watercolorist – if you choose to stand and paint in the rain, it’s pretty nice to be painting in oils.


This last one is painted from the deck of our B&B, the Auberge Cap-Aux-Corbeaux. This one is my favorite, because of the amazing view. (jk.) It is a nice view, but not that day :)

All these works are 9×12″ Oil and Cold Wax Medium on Panel. This time I used W&N Griffin Alkyd mixing white – which is a fast drying white. When mixed with traditional oils it does a wonderful job of setting up the paintings in a few days (maybe a week). Dry to the touch in any case. Very handy for impasto work like this, which might have taken months to cure.

Want to listen into a chat about Online Art Events?

April 21, 2022

I little while back I was chatting with Nishant Jain of Sneaky Artist, home of the Sneaky Artist Podcast, in which we talked about his event Thirty Days of Vancouver.

It’s a rambling discussion that touches on my projects #OneWeek100People (which Nishant knocked out of the park this year – doing 100 of his ‘tiny people’ sketches EVERY DAY of the event!) – and of course we talk about the upcoming June event #30x30DirectWatercolor.

If you’re in the mood for a little inspiration, in the form of a fireside chat about online sketching events, the motivation they offer, and our reasons for why we do these public marathons? Click into the audiogram for a twenty minute preview of the upcoming full-length podcast.

#30x30Direct Watercolor – Free Online Event Coming in June!

April 20, 2022

Hey all! I’m sending you the first reminder about #30x30DirectWatercolor – the annual event where we work together to make thirty paintings in thirty days. < Follow the link for info on how to participate! ]

I hope you guys want to do this again with us!

This year our event co-founder and painting-buddy Uma Kelkar has a special project for us.

Uma says:

“2022 is the fifth year of the #30x30DirectWatercolor Challenge. As always, Marc and I will co-host the event on Facebook. The idea is for all of us who partake to do 30 direct watercolors in 30 days of June. Direct Watercolor’s are paintings without underlying drawing!

Each of us has a different goal for venturing on this journey – for me, it is a study of diminishing light repeatedly over 30 days.

In addition to painting, I also have a research project, that I invite you to participate in.
Everyday, along with a daily painting, I’ll also be sharing a poll with you. Titled, 30×30 2022 Building The Art Habit: One Daily Question.”

I hope you guys will help us out with this!

Uma will be asking you a question that explores your art habit. She’s working on building new tools for artists, and would benefit from your opinions. Each question should take 10 seconds on average and longer if you would like to comment. She’ll sprinkle a few relevant statistics she has come across via her research throughout the month. – I look forward to seeing her infographics!

Sound good?

More on that later! You don’t have to do anything now, just stay tuned and that will just happen along with all the rest of the daily posts.

Ok, thanks :) And I hope to see your paintings pop up in the Facebook group, or, on your media-of-choice using the hashtag #30x30DirectWatercolor.

~marc

Urban Sketchers : Quartier des Spectacles (ish)

March 28, 2022

USK Montreal organized a spring meetup at Quartier des Spectacles, the center of our downtown arts district. I apologize, I didn’t actually draw the square, but we took a brisk photo walk in the zero degree weather. Only Canadian degrees Celsius, so not so bad, but still no weather for sketching. Your fingers turn to ice too quickly. We eventually retreated to a lovely café with multiple fireplaces, where we could sit and paint :)

It’s always something, to see the contrast of old and new in Montreal. It is of course, becoming more new every day :) Our city planners love to juxtapose the historic with the ultra-modern. I kind of enjoy the contrast. But I still don’t draw the glass buildings!

I am starting to include the cars in my paintings. So, we’re getting there. Maybe glass architecture will happen next.

These little sketches are only 5×5″. It’s sort of a game to see how much I can represent with tiny brushstrokes. Can you make it look like a street with only some dots and dashes?

It was great to be out in the city again, even though the weather is not quite ready to be honest. But I do kind of like this drab neutral shoulder season. Everything in Montreal is blue-black and tan. But, I’m very much looking forward to this summer. I think we have to return to life now, regardless of the risks of the oncoming sixth wave. It’ll be great to be back in a living city! Any day now :)