Sunday, October 11, 2015

Creativity By Night

I got into the Byward Market during Nuit Blanche, another very busy spot, and came across artists in the midst of  work, something of a challenge given the winds that had picked up. This artist is Virginia Dupuis. She specializes in landscapes and floral art, and has in the last while moved her way of creative thinking into art telling a story. I'd met her last year during Nuit Blanche, as she was taking part in what is called the Human Library. She took part again this year, and we had a chat and looked over her work.

The Human Library is one of my favourite parts of Nuit Blanche (and here I didn't photograph anyone I spoke with!). The concept is to bring together artists, writers, photographers, and other creative minds. The public can book a half hour's time to chat with them, and I find the experience engaging and refreshing from the creative perspective. Aside from Virginia, I spoke with photographer Lois Siegel, whose work in the city is well established- she had a collection of her own work on hand, as well as samples of images she liked because of the light or the angle of the shot. We talked about the photographer's creative process. Katharine Fletcher was another creative spirit I spoke with. She's a writer and artist with specialties in travel, the environment, and nature. Katharine and I talked about changes in the creative life, and about her concept of artist's trading cards. And I sat down with Marie Bilodeau, a fantasy novelist. Marie and I chatted about the life of a writer and what goes into the genres we work in. All in all, the Human Library was such an enjoyable experience this year.

The artist working next to Virginia that evening was Maureen Rooney Mitchell. One of the enjoyable things about this evening is the chance to watch an artist at work. I see I wasn't the only one watching her brushstrokes.

There was another artist close by (I didn't get her name) working on a depiction of a shop across the sidewalk from here, which happens to be a new shoe store.

Something unusual to finish this post- Amelia Louis devised this concept, the Applause Choir. A small group of people cheering and applauding anyone passing by. The expressions on the faces of the choir and their passersby made the whole idea work.


  1. Nice series. It lovely to look the artist in their working.
    And I love the last photo, the happines is so big in their face.
    Have a happy weekend

  2. admire anyone who can create art live!

  3. Thanks so much for showing us what a delightful evening it was. I would have loved to have listened in on your conversations with the writers and painters. And the idea of clapping for passersby makes me feel all good inside just like it must have felt for the people who were being clapped for. Super!

  4. Really creative atmosphere it seems.

  5. Fun to watch artists at work. Autumn colors often bring them out, although I haven't spotted any yet on my hikes.

  6. I love these types of art events. Is it "white nights" because it is held during the longest days of the year? Northern Russia, St. Petersburg specifically, does a lot with "white nights."


  7. A very nice event, I like that last photo with the red carpet, so funny.

  8. Really enjoyed this post William, you know how much I enjoy art and the artist's perspective on their work. I think this may have been my fav part of Nuit Blanche also.

  9. Beautiful work they do and who doesn't enjoy an applause. :)

  10. You do have so many fascinating and wonderful things going on in Ottawa! My mother was a painter and I used to watch her work - she was very good. The guy in the 3rd photo down is a dead ringer for a man who just moved into our area and bought some of my lawn equipment!

    Love that applause choir.

  11. I need to get out to this kind of event as it really makes us think and I am awed by what the artists can do. I like the applause group.

  12. I can't imagine painting all night long!

  13. I like events like this that show a lot of creativity. Inspiring!

  14. Your white night is much, much more interesting than ours!

  15. What a great event this must have been. Lots to see and do and lots of interesting things to talk about and learn.

  16. Ha. I have better things to do with my evening hours, being in that choir ain't one. Clap,clap,clap,clap...

  17. Love the art and the faces on the red carpet walkings are great.

  18. @Orvokki: I took several shots of the applause choir, but this one was my favourite.

    @Tex: my artistic skills are minimal- all my creativity goes into writing and photography, but I'm fascinated by the artistic process, so watching painters at work like this was enjoyable.

    @EG: I wonder if the Human Library concept is something that happens in other Nuit Blanche locations.

    @Blogoratti: it certainly was.

    @Revrunner: it might well depend on locations.

    @Janis: I think the original Nuit Blanche idea goes back to Paris, and it might well have had that idea in mind. Here we've been at it for four years now. This is the third year in a row I've attended.

    @Marianne: it was a very good concept from the artist!

    @Grace: it's always a pleasure to interact with other creative people.

    @Deb: oh yes!

    @Lowell: the fellow she was painting seems, from the image, to be quite a character.

  19. @Red: I read an article recently on the concept, and apparently Calgary and Edmonton alternate years for this.

    @RedPat: it was challenging given the gusting winds.

    @Marleen: indeed!

    @Linda: thanks!

    @VP: the organizers and artists did a great job this year.

    @Sharon: it was quite a pleasant evening!

    @Birdman: I wonder if they took breaks!

    @Norma: me too.

    @Whisk: thanks!

  20. Cute ideas. I applaud you for spreading such positive news.

  21. That is a cute idea and I have always enjoyed watching artists paint.

  22. Great stuff William, such a good idea bringing writers, artists, photographers etc together it expands everyone's creativity, we have just had similar here...

  23. This looks like a tremendous amount of fun. If there were a similar event, I would sure be there.

    And, to respond to your comment, although Connecticut is one of the States' richest states, Hartford itself is a poor city. The city pays for the basic upkeep of Elizabeth Park, but capital improvements and special features are funded by private donations and occasional grants from the State.

  24. Wonder if we have something like this in the states.

  25. That's quite an evening. Loved the paintings. They have an art tour here where you go to the artists studio or some are at a huge central location. Once there you can talk with the artist if they have time and aren't selling. I usually visit a few.

  26. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!


    Beijos Marie.

  27. Nice way to spend a crisp evening



  28. Neat. It's interesting to see artists work.

  29. This looks totally fun and inspirational. And the Applause Choir sounds like fun.

  30. i love to watch folks paint ... so fun. we were at a National Park, & got to see some one painting away ... they are so creative, talented. ( :

  31. Always nice to look at artists during their work.

  32. @Hilary: me too!

    @Eve: thank you!

    @Denise: me too.

    @Geoff: it's a good way to spend an evening.

    @Jack: I'd have thought that to be basic upkeep, but such is life.

    @Shelly: I do know some American cities do it.

  33. @Mari: we do have art tours here as well in certain neighbourhoods.

    @Marie: thank you.

    @Cloudia: it is!

    @Linda: definitely.

    @Kay: when I saw it in the guide book, I wondered what that was about, and was pleased by the result.

    @Beth: I've also seen artists here painting during the Tulip Festival.

    @Jan: it certainly is!