The End of the Road

I recently took a trip with a friend all the way up to the end of road #138, on the northern coast of Québec. It’s 765 miles of driving along the Saint-Lawrence river, wide open spaces of woods, countless intrepid rivers, pristine air and mosquitoes.

The immensity of this wilderness takes you beyond words: silence stills your mind and space takes hold of your heart. This was a perfect place to gain some perspective, and I came back with a decision: do less and do it better.

One of the things I want to do better is my art. This means I must retreat to the studio for now, and so won’t be writing as regularly. This blog will keep you informed of upcoming events, such as a group show I am proud to take part in this fall, at Galerie des Beaux-Arts des Amériques. You can also find me on Instagram.

This has been an enriching and exciting experience, and I hope it brought you joy along the way.
Stay tuned for upcoming events.

“La Romaine River, Minganie”, 2019, photo Louise Jalbert
“On the rocks at Grande Bergeronnes, Manicouagan”, photo Guilda Dionne 2019

Falling Peonies

This is the last drawing of peonies, done while they bloomed in such magnificence as to fall under their own weight. Don’t you find there is such seduction in the way these voluptuous creatures offer themselves in total abandon?

Abandon and sensuality are beckoning us now. This is the time to breathe in the sun, absorb the yellowed sky and warm air, to rest and share good times with loved ones. Have a wonderful time. I will be back with new inspiration in mid- August.

Louise Jalbert, “Falling Peonies “, 2019, Ink on paper, 8.5 x 11 inches


Every spring, the apple trees in front of my home bloom in lavish pink. During two weeks, the fragrance and color of the flowers attracts honeybees that come buzzing into them, carrying pollen to fertilize the flowers. Once fertilized, the flower ovaries become fruits.
Then the flowers fall to the ground, spreading a regal carpet of soft petals, and it feels as if some lavish wedding has been going on. And it has.

At this time of the year, after the long months of winter, nature is surging forth in a great effort, as sudden and dramatic as birth itself. There is so much to see, it is hard to keep up. And having a garden, there is also much to do.

I used to stress out, torn between work in the studio and the garden. As if one would take me from the other: rather, one feeds the other. Hands in dirt or in paint, nipping a branch or mixing a color, it is the same the creative process.

Nowadays, the garden is calling for my attention and gratefully, I run to it. Fresh air, sun, foliage dancing in the wind, birdsongs : this is pure happiness after too much time in the stillness of the studio. Painting has been slow lately, and I need time to work at it patiently.

So I follow life’s abundance where it happens and trust another germination is going on, that will bloom in it’s own time.

Louise Jalbert, “Appletree flowers”, and ” In the Garden” 2019, Photography.

The Linden Tree in Early April

I look at trees a lot. Those that live near my home, particularly close to a window, become familiar very dear with time. They seem unchanging but they do change a little bit every day, just like us.

For almost ten years, I gazed at this linden tree outside my studio window. In summer, his flowers would perfume the garden and in winter, his large branches laden with snow were majestic.

Here it is in a sketch, done one April day at the very beginning of spring.

Louise Jalbert, Linden Tree in Early Spring, gouache on paper, 2004, 12 x 8.5 inches


I thought some color would do us good today, so I am sharing this painting from a series of a few years back, called “Orange”. The idea was to explore the possibilities of that color, and the energy that springs from it.

Louise Jalbert, “Orange Becoming Sanguine”, Series “Orange” Acrylic on Canvas, 2008, 16 x 20 inches. Photography Guy L’Heureux

Art and Daily Life

Art comes from a natural desire to express our being. It is an impulse that wants to seize an emotion or an intuition and bring it into the world. I think we all have this urge to express ourselves, and to create, everyday.
Whether you do it as a pastime or as your life’s work, that form is born out of who you are. And only you can do it that way, in that moment, whether it is singing or painting or cooking. This is not something you do for others, though you may enjoy sharing it and others may benefit from it. It is something that you do because you want to: it is a form of love.

There are a great many levels to where you can take this, or have fun with it, but basically it is the same aspiration. Some of us though, fly very high.

Lately, I have been listening to Franz Schubert‘s piano compositions which touch a particular cord in my heart. Why Schubert? Why now? I don’t know yet, and being short of words only adds to the joy of being enraptured as I discover more of his music.

Among the many brilliant pianists who play Schubert, I find Maria Joao Pires‘s interpretations poetic, with great depth and subtlety of emotion. As if the air in my soul had been stirred by a bird’s wings, and suddenly I can breathe again.

Not only is she an accomplished artist, she is also somebody who has thought deeply about life, and who infuses everything she does with the same quality of attention. So I will leave her the last words:

“I don’t believe so much in art in terms of something for rich people or talented people, or for the big concert halls or for the big museums. I believe in art in all day life, in everyday, so that you really put it in everything you do, doing things well, with beauty, you know”.
Maria Joao Pires, pianist

Louise Jalbert, “Bird resting on branches”, 2018, Photography

A Tapestry of Bark Paintings

During my 2017 solo show Le nez dans l’herbe, I put together a group of bark paintings on a wall.

I had been doing bark paintings, along with grass, foliage and water studies in the course of this series (Le nez dans l’herbe could translate as smelling the grass), and with each of those, I was fascinated by the endless variety of rhythm and color they inspired me.

The subtle and muted colors of bark take a significance when painted on a larger scale. Since the purpose of this series was to bring the visitor in contact with the sensorial aspect of nature, I thought putting up a wall of 22 x 30 inches bark watercolors would make a surrounding effect.




This is how it looked in my studio as I was preparing this ensemble.






I was pleased with the result (as you can see)
because this body of work brought me a step further in my ongoing research for expressing the sensorial aspect of nature.



Louise Jalbert, “Bark Tapestry”, 2017, Watercolor on paper, 5.6 x 10.2 feet

The Bareness of Bark

Once in a while, I like to get back to a feeling of bareness, of looking at what is essential, setting aside all the superfluous and complex and agitated in my life. Winter is a good time to do this, as nature itself is devoid of adornment.

For some reason, the bark of trees gives me the impression of bareness. Perhaps because I notice it more when the leaves have gone, or could it it be the restrained palette of browns and grays?

Yet, upon looking carefully at a single patch of bark, I see a whole world: intricate in patterns, complex in textures, with a great variety of nuances. Muted, certainly. But also rugged, strong, protective, and so discreetly appealing.

And so the humble bark conveys an invitation to see more in less.

Louise Jalbert, “Large Bark no 7”, Watercolor on Paper, 2017, 22 x 30 inches


The opulent array of colors that illuminated the trees only a week ago is now adorning the ground, carpeting lawns and streets with a lavish expanse of faded oranges.
In this final act of their life cycle, leaves are taking a majestic bow.

There is great elegance and grace in this aerial beauty coming to rest with such sumptuous abandon. As they desiccate, the leaves bring a coat of lightness and rustle to the hard concrete; under my steps, they exhale an earthy scent that stirs childhood memories of playing in them.

And from beginning to end, how mysterious and grand can also be the familiar things in life.

Photo Louise Jalbert, 2018

A Gouache Study

This is a gouache study of my children at a young age. Color sketching has been a foundation of my practice since the very beginning.

And painting people is something I want to get back to. If a quiet moment amidst your busy schedule appeals to you, let me know, I am looking for models.

Louise Jalbert, Children watching TV, 1995, Gouache on paper, 6 x 8 inches