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A Magical Day at the Westmount Greenhouse!

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on April 12, 2014 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)


So yesterday myself and an artist friend of mine headed off to the Westmount Greenhouse to paint flowers. It was a breath of fresh air after a long winter to be in this beautiful, warm, windowed in space full of flowers and plants and benches to sit on and most importantly sunlight. I can't believe I haven't discovered this before.
This verdant place is a somewhat hidden gem until you know that it exists, much like so many things in this vast city of possibilities. Lately I had heard rumours of it through work, of how some of the painting classes I work with would go to a greenhouse to paint the flowers and enjoy the space. I was intrigued. It was attached to a library they said, even more intrigued. Then a friend of mine went and posted photos of the watercolours she'd done there. Now I was inspired and couldn't wait to go.
The truth of the matter is that ths is something if you are even intrugued in the least you should go to wander through. It does a world of good to the soul and heart just being there and it is truly beautiful and open to the public. The aforementioned library is possibly the most beautiful and fun looking library I have ever been in and from there you can wander into the greenhouse (or access the greenhouse seperately from outside if you wish) which goes on through many beautiful glassed in rooms full of chairs and benches and water fountains until you could (in theory, though I didn't try it) head into Victoria Hall (which is also reported to be interesting and beautiful).
As an artist even if I had chosen to hang out in the library there would have been so much to draw. However the pull of a warm, almost outdoors, sunlit room full of flowers was too strong to resist after that long winter and so in the greenhouse I stayed, playing around with my watercolours and enjoying the day!

Co-Op le Milieu a cozy creative oasis nestled into downtown Montreal

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on March 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)



(the piece I was working on there-a work in progress)


Yesterday afternoon I walked through this sunny, windy city and one metro ride later made my way to Beaudry and the short trek up to Co-op le Milieu from there. It was my second time there, the first having been to drop of my artwork for the Croire show a couple of weeks prior.

The first time I went I was invited to stay and create with the others there but politely declined due to the usual time constraints and not having brought my art stuff. However, in my little artist's heart of hearts, I really just wanted to sit down and let loose with the creativity, time constraits be damned because that is what this amazing art supply lined space with it's inviting wooden tables and freshly brewed cups of handmade coffees and teas calls you to do. It is brimming with creative energy and amazing people making very cool things.

Yesterday I went intentionally, excited by the knowledge that i could stay as long as I wanted beacause my afternoon was mine. in arriving at le Milieu I had the beautiful surprise of running into a friend of mine unexpectedly and getting to take in all of the colours and sights and sounds of people creating there. There was a textile art therapy group happening while I sat snuggled into a couch and a sunbeam drawing. A table of regualrs were chatting and making stuff and one lone woman at another table was happily painting away at a papier maché creation that she was working on, meanwhile a mom and her baby were playing on the floor nearby. 

I had the chance to meet the two lovely co-founders of this space as well as one of the work shop profs and a few of the participants. The atmosphere is open and welcoming and they have an amazingly diverse and interesting array of workshops and community events they offer as well as just open studio time.

If you are looking for a beautiful, soul-full creative community this is a fantastic place to start that search or to continue it. Check them out here www.lemilieu.ca/en/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cooplemilieu?fref=ts . Happy creating! :)

Fun times with Urban Sketchers:Mtl

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on March 3, 2014 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

So there is this amazing group of artists who are passionate about drawing from life all over the city here in Montreal. They call themselves Urban Sketchers Montreal. They are part of a larger movement of Urban Sketchers and I have to say that spending a day with them is a lot of fun. For the past 2 months I have attended outings to both the Redpath Museum at McGill as well as the Montreal Muséé des Beaux Arts an had a blast both times. I drew things I never would have  drawn otherwise. I discovered parts of the city I hadn't necessarily seen and rediscovered others I had but with new eyes. The Museum doesn't look the same when you are hunting for something inspiring to draw!

The group meets on the last Sunday of each month (mostly in indoor venues when the weather turns cold and for outdoor adventures for the warmer months) and they draw the parts of the city, wherever they meet, that inspire them. The events are free and at lunch time everyone meets up to share their work and eat together before they set out again to discover new things to draw.

There are artists sketching other artist's sketching stuff. There are artists sketching architecture, indoors, outdoors and anything else that catches their interest. There are artists making art and having fun. Big sketches spawled over several pages, little sketches peeking from sketchbooks, many different types of media. This group is eclectic and fantastic and they love what they do. If you want to see your city through new eyes and your media of choice I highly reccomend joining them for a Sunday outing, new sights await you and so does a welcoming community of Urban Artists! For more info check out their website here.


Redpath Museum

Dromeosaurus Albertensis

The Rorschach Tales

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on January 20, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently I have started these Rorschach Tales. A flowing continuation of my previous work and an exploration into water colour I have been doing these little pieces as I travel around. Toting only a micron pen, my Moleskine water colour sketchbook (of which I have grown pretty fond in the past 2 months...if you are thinking of trying one I can only reccommend it) and a couple of Koi brushes with reservoirs of water in them; my kit is prett transportable. 

The process of finding the stories is similar to what I was doing before with my Linear Fairytales only this time instead of looking for what i see in a line I create pools of watercolour, let them dry and then go hunting for hidden images and stories in the resulting landscape left on the page.

I am really enjoying creating these and the process. Working in Watercolours again has been liberating. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the work, please feel free to leave a comment.

FREE DIVING WITH ANUBIS (a work in progress)


THE MOUNTAIN KING


OF FISH AND RABBITS

Winter Travel Journal

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on December 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)


As the Holidays approach so does extra time to paint in new and unusual places for me. I just got myself a little Yule present (from me to me and I LOVE it! ;) ) of a travelling watercolour kit plus a koi water reservoir brush. It's been years since I worked in watercolours with any regularity, so i'm really looking forward to becoming re-aquainted with their watery ways again and flowing happenstance. I've gotten to pose for several watercolour classes lately and feel ready to begin after listening to some great teaching on the subject.
A friend of mine gifted me this with this lovely Moleskine watercolour pad months ago and i have been eagerly awaiting painting on it, missing only the watercolours and time, now I have both. Today I plan to play around a bit with mixing and getting used to the medium, seeing what happens when I blend colours, play with adding extra water here and there and watching how things dry. Then off into the great outdoors (and if that's too cold I'll head off into the warmer spaces of my imagination and work from there) to capture bits a pieces of my travels in lines and colours as i go.

Wishing you all very Happy and Creative Holidays!

The View from the 9th floor window.... A Culture Days Event

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on October 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Montreal as the new Gotham

16 x 20

Mixed media

2013


This piece was created both at gallery Fleurbain live, as well as at home in my studio for Culture Days. It was done for an event at Fleurbain Gallery called "View from the 9th Window" celebrating the Montreal skyline as seen from the gallery. I spent several hours looking through the window with binoculars, pencil or paintbrush in hand, making sketches to get the feeling and the lines down. To capture the very essence of what I was seeing and then translate it into the image you are seeing today. At home from photos I refined the lines and details using illustration markers and acrylics.

When I originally learned about this show I had a very specific idea in mind basedon an on going cycle of life and death that was connected to a bird’s nest nestled into the church tower, if you look closely you still can see it over there now. I came prepared to do a detailed work of that part of the church and it’s story, but in the end I got lost in the beauty of the neo gothic architecture of the church itself that you can see from Fleurbain’s window and so the painting I had in mind honoring the natural cycles of life and death in the city became a detail and the architecture became the painting.

While painting it I was reminded of the architecture depicted in various Batman comics of Gotham City and with all of the stories of corruption and a city crumbling apart at the seams that are part of Montreal right now I figured that “Montreal as the new Gotham” seemed like a fitting title for this piece.

 


Ekoplex's Latest Album is Out!!

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on September 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

In exciting news Ekoplex has released his latest album today. It is magical with it's cool vibes, haunting vocal clips, and Ray's beautiful musicality tying it all together, and it's sporting my artwork on the cover!

Many of the instruments on the album were created by Ray himself and are gorgeous if you ever get the opportub=nity to check them out (the Root; one of the instruments of his creation is featured on the albumcover in the hands of te elf). It was a pleasure to co-create this with Ray! (also kudos to Su for the cool font work on the cover!!). A huge congratulations to Raton the creation and completion of this album. As a side note the album  cover is 10" x 10" so the artwork can be better appreciated or framed and hung up if you wish.

You can purchase and listen to the album here on Bandcamp or I have copies of the CD available as well.

Live Painting at Gallery Fleurbain

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on August 31, 2013 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I spent my day today painting the graceful Neo-Gothic spires across the street from the Fleurbain Gallery through their 9th floor window with it's stunning view. The finished work will be for a Culture Days event held there on the 28th of September calledhttps://www.facebook.com/events/291476637657402/?fref=ts" target="_blank"> Vue par la Fenetre that will be a beautiful combination of art starring the Montreal skyline and cityscape as interpreted by the various artists who are drawing, painting and photograping it.

I remembered the challenges and lessons that working live from buildings has taught me in the past as it has been ages since I've sat down and drawn anything architechtural from life. My focus has been fairly solely on the natural and fantastic worlds so it was a real change of gears to do this today and see what came of it. Overall I'm pleased with the start of this piece and look forward to seeing what it all becomes  as I work on it more. With some luck and good timing I'll have another chance to work on the piece on site again before handing in the finished version for the Vernissage....I'll keep you posted! ;)



Openmind Festival 2013

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on July 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

So in about a week I am heading off to this amazing co-creative community festival in the beautiful woods of La Prairie, Quebec! I can't wait!

This was such an amazing, beautiful experience the last time I went 2 Summers ago and I fully look forward to heading there again. There will be lots of amazing music, dancing, healing vilages, workshops, the Vision art area that my work will be showing in again with many other works by other artists and so much more. The community itself that gathers there is fantastic. The Openmind crew have even built a Standing Stone Circle that i look forward to maybe sketching and I,ll be doing some drawing live on site in the art area! I am really excited about camping for a week in the woods. 

If you have never been, go check out the Openmind website for a better idea of what to expect. Hope to see you there!! Have a magical Summer everyone!

Before and After

Posted by Elissa Baltzer on April 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

So as I go from one modeling gig to another I find myself with a certain ammount of free time to draw (hence some of the pages that you have seen on here lately from my sketchbook). During one of my classes today it occured to me that it would be neat to have the original sketch before and after the colour has been added in. So here you'll find two pictures of the same piece. Before and Afters of the drawing with and without the illustration markers. Please leave me comments I'd love to hear which one you like best or what parts you find interesting on one or the other.

Before colour....After image to come soon!



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