Montreal workshop photos

Even though I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to so many exotic places to teach, I’ve always been reluctant to give workshops in my own city. When people ask why, my answer is always that the weather in Montreal, even in summer, can be unpredictable and I don’t want to be caught out on the street with fifteen students and no place to take shelter. That’s one of the drawbacks of teaching on-location sketching. It’s fine if you are sketching on your own — you can always duck into a café and finish your sketch in there. But if people have committed a workshop for a whole day or two, a sudden downpour can ruin the experience for everyone.

This year I decided to take the leap (and keep my fingers crossed for good weather) by giving a couple of two-day workshops. I’m an optimist, after all. One of the groups met me last week for one day in Carré St. Louis and another one in Vieux Montréal. We were lucky. The rain held off on both days, although in the evenings there were huge downpours.

We crammed a lot in during the two days. We worked on values, colour, composition, limited palettes and vignettes. Basically the same stuff I teach in a longer session, but crammed into two days. My demo on the first afternoon was of the kiosk in Carré St. Louis. One of my favourite spots in the city.

Montreal is so beautiful in the summer, and it was a real pleasure to take advantage of the city’s historic locations.

We painted in Vieux Montréal as well, facing City Hall (which is now being renovated). I thought that would be a great backdrop for a group photo of this talented bunch.

Although no one ventured in there, we were right next to the historic garden in back of Chateau Ramezay. There’s a shaded bench in the corner of that garden that’s one of my favourite spots for sketching.

And although we didn’t sketch it, I had to take a photo of the fountain in Carré St. Louis, because on a sunny day, it’s a stunning sight.


18 Comments on “Montreal workshop photos”

  1. Argaret says:

    So envious, but excited about Mexico! You are the best!

  2. Nicole Lavigne says:

    It was so nice to learn from you and apply the “notions” you teached us! Your sketch of the kiosk is even more impressive on internet… all this light and the foliage through the open door…
    Thanks again. You’re a great teacher!

  3. Shari, thank you for sharing these workshop photos. I always enjoy seeing more of Montreal as well.

  4. I didn’t know there was that nice garden behind Château Ramezay. I must visit someday.
    Great sketch of the kiosk. So instructive re: values!

  5. joantav says:

    So glad you were able to complete the workshops while the weather was good. Looks like everyone had a great time!

  6. Violet says:

    It was wonderful to meet you by chance in vieux Montreal. Maybe the next time we are in town it will coincide with one of your classes! I’ll watch for your posts re classes. Violet

    • It was really funny to meet you in that strange spot Violet. Sorry we couldn’t talk for longer but I was in the middle of giving people final feedback about their work. Hopefully next time you are in town I will be teaching again. Hope you had a nice visit.

  7. Judy Sopher says:

    Montreal looks like such a beautiful place. Amazing photos. And my usual” wish I were there.”

  8. Marie-Josée Bernard says:

    Shari, it was my first workshop ever and I am so glad it was with you! I learned a lot and have been very inspired by the other participants. I wish you will offer other workshops in Montréal. You are a great artist and a great teacher! Thank you!

    • Marie-Josée, it was such a pleasure to have you in the group. Someone reading this might think I paid you for all these kind words, but it was so much fun for me too. When the level of the group is this high, it makes it such a pleasure to teach. I will certainly be offering other workshops in Montreal now that I have the time.

  9. Nice pictures of the “Hotel De Ville” a building I have been by many times as a tourist. I am going to an Alouettes Game in August, but I will be going for the Ottawa Redblacks.

  10. Jane Guest says:

    lovely, but i was in Tuscany doing some of my own sketching so missed this opportunity.
    i do live here and hope that you will do some more in the fall that i could attend.


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