Archive for the 'Montreal' Category

Fireworks video @ Nuit Blanche

A quick post to let you know that I’ve just been very busy in the last days with the bread & butter job and life in general. Which is the reason why I haven’t been posting very often, last week.

While waiting for my next blog post, I thought you might enjoy this quick video of fireworks in the old port I took during last Saturday’s Nuit Blanche event in Montreal, during the High Lights festival. After the huge work week I had, I needed some time off with friends to decompress a little.

I hope your week is starting well! Mine is, so far! Phew! 🙂

Waterhouse @ Montreal museum of fine arts

Yesterday evening, I went to see the John William Waterhouse exhibition at the Montreal Museum of fine arts. (It’s half-price on wednesday.;) )

For thoses who don’t live in Montreal, it’s the most well-known and very probably biggest art museum in the city. (I’m not sure which one, either the Fine art or contemporary museum is bigger, does anyone know?) In the last years, they had some “popular” exhibitions such as Disney (Yes, disney!) and Yoko Ono.

It reminded me how much I miss going to the museum and how it is important for an illustrator to learn from theses masters. It is really amazing to being able to see one’s lifetime work in one single place at the same time. You can see the differences between years and how it influenced it’s technique.

Waterhouse had some very strong drawing skills. It was fun to see his famous masterpieces and I loved his sketches as much, if not more. There is so much you can learn from them just by looking.

I really love mermaids, so it’s just normal that I love this painting from Waterhouse. Surprisely, it isn’t one of his biggest sized work (It could fit nicely in a small living room.) but it took him years to finish. And, now, it’s one of his most well-known piece.

Sure, you can take a look on the web or books to see his work, but seing it “live” cannot be compared. You realize how much work have been done how much time it must have took him.

One of my friend, who was at the museum with me, told me: “When you think about it, they had NO electricity during this time.” So that meant he probably couldn’t paint during the evening.
He really had to take the most of his day time and be well-organised. I certainly could have learn a few tricks from him.

Sadly, JWW didn’t leave too much letters behind him when he died. Which explains why we hardly know anything about his private life. Because of this, historians cannot explain in certaity why he chose to paint mostly womens. Sure, it had to do with the upcoming feminist in Great Britain during that time, but there certainly was more to it… but we’ll never know.

Perhaps he was aware of his private life in a time people didn’t mind about it. Certainly a precursor, Mr. Waterhouse!

+ Here are some links of interest about JWW+

JW Waterhouse website
JWW: Comprehensive galleries of John William Waterhouse paintings website
JWW on Wikipedia

Montreal SMAQ craft show: Mohair La Pinède


For the third year, I’ve been helping some people I know at the Salon des métiers d’arts of Montreal. Also known as the SMAQ arts and craft show.

Francine and Alain Sauvé, from Mohair La Pinède, have been Angora Goat breeder for more than 30 years now, and their passion for their animals  is truly contagious.

Angora goats grows a fiber mostly known to us as mohair. It is very warm and soft, which explains it’s use in warm garments such as socks and winter hats and scarves.

Not only do they use it for their famous socks, but they also use it to knit beautiful handmade items. Francine knits some and also hire knitters of their area to help her out.

Every item is knitted by hand with different fibers mix. From mohair to angora (rabbit) and even silk or bamboo.

What amazes me is that they’ve been doing craft shows for such a long time. They were there in the 70’s, when it all started, and went on with their projects even when it wasn’t as hip. Their passion for their goats and the knitting craft kept them going.

I really enjoy helping them out during the holiday season at this huge craft show. It’s so much fun to speak with the attendees and make them believe I actually own this huge flock of Angora goats. 😉 (Just kidding!)

If you’d like to have an idea of the SMAQ’s atmosphere, here are many good pictures from it’s website. 

It’s open until December 22nd at Place Bonaventure, in Montreal. And the entrance is free!

Lampwork glass bead artist: Muriel Duval

This past Saturday, I went to a open-house studio that glass bead artist Muriel Duval organised.
I’ve known Muriel for some time now and it’s been great to see her style change over the years. I knew I just couldn’t miss this opportunity to see her work live! I always wondered how she made thoses glass beauties.

She’ve been making bead glasses since more than 5 years and her latest work includes long necklaces with sea inspired landscape.

Take a look at the amazing details in her beads!

I’ll just let her work speak for itself…

She makes adjustables rings, too…

…and earrings!
Like many beadmakers/jewelrers, Muriel started using already-made beads until the day she had enough of using the same beads as everyone else.
She wanted to use her creativity at it’s best in jewelry making.

And for the interested crafters out there, she also makes beads for you to buy.

Here’s a closer look at some of them.

She also took some time to show us how she makes glass beads. One sure thing, it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of it.

The flame that came out from her burner was going up to 2500 degrees fahrenheit.
( Just about 1300 degrees celcius!).

If you’d like to know more about Muriel and beadmaking, I strongly suggest you take a look at her bio on her website.
She goes into detail on how she works on making glass beads and her history on how she got interested in beadmaking at first.

By the way, she told me her website is going to have a little facelift in January. So you may wish to subscribe to her newsletter to know the latest details in this.

And if you’re from the area of Montreal/Laval (Québec), she offers all classes levels for the interested beadmaker. It’s a great gift idea for the crafter-who-has-everything!

Poster for Improv group

Being a little busy as my Graphic design class ends on December 22nd. Can’t wait for Christmas, woot!

In the meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see a poster I did for the Café Robert Improv group. I drew the 4 comedians with the Grinch for their Christmas special. 

The sketch was drew and inked on paper, then scanned and colored in Photoshop & Illustrator. 🙂


Montreal: Cupcake camp!

Yay! We’re having a Cupcake Camp in Montreal!

If you don’t know what it is, Cupcake Camp is a fundraising event that brings cupcakes lovers together for a great cause. This year, they’re organizing  it for Kids Help phone (Jeunesse J’écoute).
For a suggested donation of 10$, you’ll get 3 cupcakes and a coffee!

When: This Sunday, November 22nd 2009 2-5 PM
Where: Bitoque Restaurant
3706, Notre-Dame West, Montréal (Québec) H4C1P7
Metro Lionel-Groulx

If you’re interested in making cupcakes for the event, you have untill this Friday, November 20th, to register your cupcakes.

Mmm… cupcakes!

Montreal Expozine 2009

Picture of Expozine 2006 from Meantux via Flickr.

At this year’s Montreal Expozine, I was really amazed at the quality of work. There was over about 300 vendors from all over the country (Some even came as far as from Europe) and there was a great mix of people from different art backgrounds. (Think indie art scene, mangas, animation, science-fiction novels… there were all there!)

Montreal is a multicultural city and, even though we get along quite well, we don’t always”mix” often. So it was fun to hear french and english all around and people switching over from one language to another. I think the next step would be to bring along people from different cultures as well, other than the francophone and anglophone communities.

Here’s some of the catch I made this year. 🙂

I love Microcosm publishing and I’m always happy to see their table after each year. They always have some interesting and different titles out. I got theses two books which I remembered seing on their website and wanted to get for awhile. Screenprinting and zine making, what’s not to like about this?

Oh, and I think their Best Friends Forever program is awesome. For 15-25$ per month, you get their new titles and you also support them. I think Montreal indie publishers should offer something like this to their loyal readers.

I also discovered a selection of short stories magazine named Biscuit Chinois (Chinese/Fortune cookie).
I’ve seen it around in local bookstores but never took the time to take a closer look at it. (Shame on me!) The print and design quality of this book is very good for an indie publishing. The writters who get published are chosen anonymously so you only get la crème de la crème chosen for each issue.

The idea behind the Biscuit Chinois name is that, at the end of each page, you have funny/weird sentences written. You could take all of them out (there’s a dotted line so you can rip them from the page) and make your own fortune cookies with them. Yum.

Of course, I got a lot of more things, but I’ll save them for later. 😉


I have such respect for the people behind the Expozine. It must be so time-consumming, yet they still do it after each year. Thank you so much for organizing this event as, after all, it is one of the only event in Montreal where small and indie artists can meet up and show their work.

Dr. Sketchy Montreal 2nd anniversary

The amazing Amber Ray for Dr. Sketchy MOntreal

On this sunny saturday, I went to Dr. Sketchy Montreal to draw the very inspiring Amber Ray.
She was in Montreal since the city is having it’s first Burlesque festival.
I should also mention that she is one of Dr. Sketchy’s founder favorite model. And we could see why, she had the most glittery costume I have ever seen!
(I’m sure the crafty chica would have loved her! 😉 )

If you do not know what Dr. Sketchy is, and are an avid drawer, you certainly are missing something.

To make it simple, it is a life-drawing event with, instead of having nude models, you get to draw sexy burlesques and costumed models.
There are contests, you can get a drink and it is in a very relaxed athmosphere.

I used to run the Montreal branch from 2007-2008. But as I was getting more busy, I decided to give it to someone who would love it as much as I did. And that’s when Georgiana told me she’d be interested in running the branch.

Since then, Georgiana (along with her partner Salim)  have done an amazing job  running the branch and, on this saturday, they celebrated Dr. Sketchy’s Montreal 2nd anniversary. Yay!


If you’re interested in going to a Dr. Sketchy, take a look to see if they’re in your city as they have over 90 branches all around the world.

And don’t forget to bring your sketchpad! 😉

Drawing workshops in Montreal

Les glaneurs
Camille Lavoie is organizing  FREE drawing workshops starting this September, 9th, 2009 untill October, 29th.

She wants you to get inspired by Quebec author,Gabrielle Roy‘s world known novel, The tin flute. (Bonheur d’occasion in original french.)
She will conduct drawing workshop in the Place St-Henri district, where the novel has taken place. You will get to draw the surroundings and get inspired by this part of Montreal’s history.

At the end of the workshops, you will be able to take place in an art show at the Centre Georges-Vanier’s cultural gallery.

Oh, and did I mention, all of this for FREE?

For more information, check out Les Glaneurs‘s website or contact the Centre Georges-Vanier at 514-931-2248 or email centrecgvanier AT gmail DOT com.

Montreal street art

Picture from Terriko

One thing I really enjoy about living in Montreal, is all the beautiful street art around.
Sure, not all of them are great pieces of art. I personnally don’t like the “tags” types.  But some of them are worth the stop.

Picture from Dons

This one must have taken so much time. I love her softness. It’s very different from what you’re used to see.
Picture from Christian et cie.

She looks like some kind of mermaid. I love the use of blue and green.

Picture from JFrosty

This one reminds me of the Scream movie. :-p

Picture from Christian et cie.

I must have a thing for faces illustration since it’s what I’m showing the most.

Picture from Picantico

And let’s not forget the ultimate  montreal public art: our metro!(The subway! 😉 )
Each one of them is different and you will find public art everywhere. More on this in a later post.

If you wish to see more, head over to the Flickr group:Montreal Street Art || Art urbain de Montréal.

Is there some street art that you like in -your- city? Share them with us!

Art vs is the blog where arts & crafts are no longer fighting!
It's about illustration, crafts & related events.

My name is Fanie and I’m a Montreal based illustrator & graphic designer. You may know me from drawing The Crafty Life comic in CLM. I ♥ comics, vegan food & ghost stories.

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