Notre Dame de Bons Secours

I’ve been wanting to draw Montreal’s oldest chapel Notre Dame de Bons Secours in winter, but it’s not located in a place where you can sketch from the car. And these days it’s too cold to paint outside. I tried to sketch it in pencil from a sheltered corner, but even with big gloves on, my hands froze and I gave up. This was done in studio, after my hands thawed out.

I guess what makes it so interesting for me is that it sits at the bottom of a hill, at the end of a narrow cobblestone street, with beautiful historic buildings on either side. And of course, for fans of Leonard Cohen, it has the historical significance of being “our Lady of the Harbour” from the song “Suzanne”. It’s our city’s sailor’s church, and the lady of song fame is on the other side of the building, facing the harbour, of course.


46 Comments on “Notre Dame de Bons Secours”

  1. Kristin Johnsen says:

    The highlights and shadow are just beautiful-I can practically feel the sun shining around the corner!

    Like

  2. Jeff says:

    Fun. Thank you. I always thought Suzanne was his lady of the harbor.
    Didn’t Montreal name a street for him?

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  3. susie langley says:

    Love the painting and the story with it! Thanks.

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  4. Bettina Winkler says:

    Wonderful painting. Thank you so much for the explanations regarding Leonard Cogen as well.

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  5. Jeff Gold says:

    Love it! It’s so Montreal. The composition and colors are perfect and the shadows make the rest of the scene sparkle. J’adore l’arbre aussi.

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  6. Leslie Blackwell says:

    Fabulous. I love the violet shadows.

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  7. Lovely job on this!! I hate when there is no way to sketch something without being outside and freezing. Glad you finished it in the studio and don’t have frostbite. Thanks for the story about Leonard Cohen.

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  8. Jane Saltman says:

    Beautiful! Loved hearing about the connection between Cohen’s lyrics and the chapel.

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  9. Barbara Beynon says:

    I simply love this posting–both the painting and your description.

    Like

  10. Bernadette says:

    Beautifully rendered. Your colors so clean and fresh telling of the bitter color of the day. The addition of figures adds so much to the painting! Thanks too for the reference to Leonard Cohen. This is a beautiful work!

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  11. Reissa Rapkin says:

    so beautiful

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  12. I love the lamps inside this church, don’t you?

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  13. This is very beautiful. I love all the colours!

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  14. Judy Sopher says:

    This is lovely. it has a quiet feel to it. How I wish I could visit there. But I can do so through your paintings. Also-the limited palette is so effective. Thanks for this one.

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  15. Northern Traveller says:

    Shari – this is BEAUTIFUL – so alive and fresh!
    And don’t we all love Leonard Cohen – thanks for the story :).
    M xoxo

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  16. janice fleetwood-bean says:

    Beautifully done, loved the history note. jfb

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  17. Nice church, not sure if I’ve seen that one, is it in Old Montreal? I really like how the tree in the corner, and buildings add perspective going into the church!! I also like how most of your colours are neutral, lolz, Montreal in winter is a pretty dull neutral place.

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  18. Marta says:

    Love this one, Shari. And fun to know the story of the lyrics of Suzanne.

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  19. Beautifully done and with a great story!

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  20. Janice Kelly says:

    Love that Church. Enjoy that you’re bringing so much Montreal to me and with such delightful artistry.

    Like

  21. Donna says:

    This is so beautiful. So glad you managed to capture this. It’s 60 out right now and I’m outside facing the sun!

    Like

  22. TonyU says:

    Beautiful painting Shari and love the ‘people for scale’. Sadly I’m old enough to have bought ‘Suzanne’ when it first came out … happy memories though.

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    • Thanks Tony. So I’m curious to know if you still have that album from 1967? Just asking because we still have all of our albums and of course many duplicates too. Did you keep them?

      Like

  23. Anne Klaus says:

    Beautiful Shari. This is also one of my very favourite spots in all of Canada, for all the reasons you mention and just for its historic beauty, such atmosphere just to be in its presence.

    Like

  24. Such a beautiful painting Shari. I can feel the silent, cold, clean air around the chapel. I just love your stone work, red doors and tire tracks. Huge Leonard Cohen fan I am.

    Like


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