Plein Air Club

If any of you are in the Montreal area this summer, come join us. It’s a lively group of great painters, working in all media. (I might be the only mixed media fanatic, tho this does create interesting stories when the winds pick up.) We might be anywhere from 5 to 50 artists, and only a few times over the last 19 years have I ever been alone.

Plein Air 2013
Year 19. The Magic is still working, so we still after all these years don’t want to change much. We’ll return to many of our favourite sites, but this year we are adding two new ones. Same rules as before: there are none. We want only your camaraderie and your enthusiasm. You are welcome to come to as many or as few as you can.
. Open to all artists. Pass it around to your friends. Free. Sites with entrance fees are noted.
. Meets Tuesday at a new site, 10AM until the last one goes home.
. Your choice of medium, what you can carry, plus your lunch.
. No rain checks. Unless there is a weather warning to stay home – go for it. A 40% chance of rain means a 60% chance of sunshine. If not, paint the rain. We’re often very lucky.
. No reservations. If you plan on attending, just show up.

May 21 – Bois de Liesse the historic Pitfield House. We’ll go back to an old favourite. It’s still early enough to catch the spring perennials in bloom around the pond. Or the long sweep of lawn, or the interesting houses down the lane, and through the paths into the woods. Enter the Park at 9432 Gouin West, 100 yards west of Autoroute 13. Metered parking.

May 28 – Moulin Legaré, 232 St-Eustache, Saint-Eustache. Fabulous waterfall with an old flour mill, built 1762, good views along the footpath, rushing water or calmer pools that we like further down by the observation deck.. There are heritage homes on the street worth painting. Public parking 100 yards from entrance. Cross the footbridge.

June 4 – Cap St Jacques, but this time by the beach through the other entrance further west. The Chateau Goyer is very paintable, along with a few rustic houses and the beach itself. I thought it best to go just before school’s out, less crowded and no extra fees ($4.50 per person) beyond parking ($8.). The canteen won’t be open yet, so bring lunch. Outhouses, but the Centre d’Acceuil at the other entrance is modern. 21115 Gouin
June 11 – Baie D’Urfe Town Hall. There is a beautiful rock garden here, with ponds and water plants. The Town Hall building itself is charming, and from here you could walk over to the park on the bay to view either the boats or Fritz’ Farm. Highway 20, exit Morgan road to the end.
June 18 – Parc-nature de l’Ile-de-la-Visitation. 2425 Gouin. A well-tended park, historical houses in the Old Ahuntsic area. My favourite spot is the mill ruins behind the Maison de Meunier *, where some of us have lunch at the (very crowded) outdoor cafe-terrasse. Past Papineau to Gouin [one-way], follow the signs to De Lille. *Best street side parking here.

June 25 – Sandy Beach, Hudson. There is an enchanting maze of footbridges and lookout decks over a meandering stream, with a panoramic view of lake of Two Mountains, and sailboats. Beach Road at Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre (washrooms, parking). The entrance is just past the tracks at the iron gates and the large map. If the parking is full, there’s plenty on Halcro road, keep right at the end of Wharf road.

July 2 – Maison Valois on Valois Bay. 331 rue St Charles, Vaudreuil Dorion. We were here in the 90’s! A small park with great views, especially from the smaller island (cross the small bridge). A wide open stretch of lake of Two Mountains with the bridge in the distance, even a view of the church spire, plus sailing boats and kayaks, terraced lawns and interesting houses, and water lilies in season.

July 9 – Centre de la Nature Laval. 901 ave.du Parc. We went back last year and found lots of new changes. There’s a colorful mini-town at the Village des Arts but my favourite is still the rock gardens, the swan and geese in the pond, the gazebos and paths up by Parking Lot #4. rte 440 to 125 south.

July 16 – Greenwood, 254 Main Street, Hudson. A beautiful historic home built between 1732-1860. Now a Centre for Living History. Their famous phlox should be in bloom this week. Rte 40, direction Ottawa, exit 26, right on Bellevue, left on Main. Street parking. Entrance fee $5. or annual memberships.

July 23 – Coteau-du-lac National Historic Site. One of our first favourite places. Rolling hills overlooking rapids, a canal, cannons, ship skeletons and fishing holes, with a neighbouring millhouse, with a terrasse overlooking the falls. A famous hotdog stand Le Caveau on the corner. Exit 17 off Highway 20 west, south to the end, turn right on Chemin du fleuve, to 308A on the left. $3.40

July 30 – Pointe du Moulin. Ile Perrot. There is still so much to paint here. On highway 20 to Ile Perrot turn on Don Quichotte right through to the very end. The mill is difficult to paint – it has become a challenge that draws artists back every year. Free on Tuesdays.

August 6 – Ste Anne de Bellevue Canal National Historic Site. There is so much to paint: the boats, the locks, the large open waters, the bridges, the roof lines of the clustered shops and restaurants and tourists on the promenade. A good viewpoint is at the park itself, across the locks. Or the small park near Christie street. Highway 20, exit Ste Anne de Bellevue.

August 13 – The Lachine rapids, in Lasalle. The best view of the churning rapids, in a well-groomed park with small bridges through bird sanctuaries and gnarled trees, against the backdrop of the city. Take the river road. It becomes Lasalle blvd, and just east of Bishop Power is the parking lot, between 5th and 6th ave.

August 20 – Ile des Moulins Park in Terrebonne. A picturesque island setting with a cluster of old stone buildings. Stroll by the river for the rapids, or across a quiet bay with summer houses, or the historic lane now the hub of gourmet restaurants. Autoroute 25 north, exit 22 E to rte 344, chemin St Louis. Well sign posted. Note: rte 440 in Laval merges with highway 25.

August 27 – Cap St Jacques. 20099 Gouin West, drive all the way to the last parking lot, by the Ecological Farm and the Maison Brunet (newly restored). Last year’s end-of-season picnic was a success and the consensus was to repeat it. Bring your own lunch and/or “pot luck” if you’d like. The ruling is “alcohol permitted as part of a picnic with meals” . Bring a “show and Tell” of your favourite plein air work (which doesn’t have to be this year’s and might not be a great painting but have a great story to it.


2 Responses to “Plein Air Club”

  1. linda denis Says:

    Thank you for doing this schedule for plein air painters, year after year

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