Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Today's Daily Sketch - "Sketch Du Jour"

The purpose of today's post is to share some "jour" themed sketches and ramble a bit about the word "jour".

I take it as some sign of serendipity or synchronicity that the word "jour" has been popping up and causing me to take pause over the past few days.


First, it was a lovely piece, "The Art of Arrival", written by Rebecca Solnit that immediately started with what the word "journey" used to mean:


Then I was drawn to the light at my front door, and the coat rack with the winter coats (*sigh* still) and the sign in the hallway that says "Bonjour".

My Moleskine daily sketch " Bonjour"
Lexington Grey Noodlers ink and watercolour


Then I though a little about my art journal and how, as part of my daily practice, I sketch in it each and every day or "chaque jour" and create what could be called a "sketch du jour" or "daily sketch.


I couldn't help but follow this tangent even farther and I encountered a new term"contre jour" which is French for "against daylight". I guess I had not heard of it before because it is a photographic term and technique in which the camera is pointing directly toward a source of light, like this:

"contre jour"

On of my favourite Ottawa photographers, Christopher Ryan, had posted a recent photo to facebook that I thought "that would be fun to sketch" and I realized that what I liked about it was that it was a contre jour photo of sorts. The light is in such a way that only the silhouettes of the couple holding hands is visible. I loved that and the shapes and colours of all the signage. I liked the photo so much I asked Christopher for permission to use it as a reference for the daily sketch below.

Photo by Christopher Ryan (used here with permission)
My art journal colour study of "Elgin St"
 (Gouache on 100% cotton paper)


I will end this post with the word "sojourn" which is both a noun and a verb meaning an impermanent stay reached by journey, or a period of temporary residence. (The words sojourn and journey are cognate through their roots in the French word jour, meaning "day").

A synonym for "sojourn" is "rest" which will be a future blog post

A dictionary of etymology of the English language: and of English synonymes ... By John Oswald
Isn't it funny how a single word "jour" can take you down an interesting path that can feed your art?

This "tangent du jour" led me to another artist, Paul Madonna, who marries his art with text in a most fascinating way.

Paul Madonna quote

"Madonna is an artist and writer with a background in painting and is best known for his series All Over Coffee, which he calls a 'strip,' a comic strip without the comic. Madonna's ink-on-paper drawings are characterized by their detailed depictions of urban cityscapes paired with stories. Madonna prefers to draw on site and straight to ink" (Source: Wikipedia)

Results from a google search of Paul Madonna

If you are unfamiliar with Paul Madonna's work, I strongly suggest that you visit his website https://www.paulmadonna.com/

Who knows what kind of journey it will take you on aujourd'hui? Enjoy!


  1. Wonderful, thought-provoking post, Cindi! And lovely sketches.

    1. Thanks so much Lissa! Hope to sketch with you again soon!