TEXTS ON ART : Image number 1977-054.
From page 361 to page 380.

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contemplatives, the Carmelites need to know how to last, it is the same thing for
artist because we go through periods of great inspiration, we go through periods
of drought, that is to say that we'll continue to live life, to observe to reflect, to
think as a painter but the work does not come out, this can last a long time, then
again you have to know how to last. She, (one of her students present in the course)
... she told me of an experience that I believe that I understand and that I find very
important. She had begun a painting that she had not finished, then she did not
paint at all for ten years. Ten years after, she took out her painting and finished it.
She noted the tremendous progress she had made during the ten years she had not
done any. But you know, the inner journey is there, assimilation is being done,
observation is ongoing, computation is active, and then she stood there before
her painting admiring it because she could not get over it. And that, you must think
of this as an artist ... and that anyway in the sentences I've read to you from Paul V1
at mass, you have them in your photocopies, the relationship between artists and
mystics, it is very great. And you must commit yourself ... what I forgot to tell you
in mass, I had thought about it two minutes before, is that the vocation is there, we
all have one, but we must seize it, but I wanted to say we must seize it passionately,
and in this passion is going to be born what you need to last in the drought periods.
You cannot paint for five years, her it was for ten years, I also had significant downtime ...
there are those who have a down period and then they think ‘’I'm finished’’, then they
torment themselves, they torture themselves, then they think that in their lives, that they
have made a mistake it was not their vocation, it was not that, it's not true. In art it's
like in mysticism, there are times of great expression, great burst of enthusiasm and
then there are periods of drought, but we should know how to last, and I think that
an artist who does not paints but entertains non the less the preoccupation and the
love of pictures, of the message, he is always an artist, he sees life as an artist,
he progresses even if he does nothing with his hands. It matured, it progresses ...
I'm glad that Suzann gave me the example, because I knew that, that you can not
paint for years and you made great progress anyway, you take your brush and
you are not the same, you made great progress. The women at St-Jérôme do not
take the intensive course, although I found the experience so rewarding because
of the communication that we had together that I say that even in St-Jérôme,
although we can see each other regularly we should make intensive periods because
it is not the same. The intimacy, the communication that we had between us, the
sharing, is more than just three hours per week. Because three hours a week you
know, one week you feel ok, one week you do not feel ok, it takes you an hour
and a half to get into it, and then it is already time to leave, it's different.
... the true competence, where you are truly competent even if you have no technique,
is in the experience of life, that you have, and that, it is not bought, you do not need a

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diploma, I know you have experience and then, the most competent person is you.
... There is a lot of research being done in art at this time that is moving away from art,
installations, performances and all that, they do it in art galleries, there is not product left,
it is because it was in the show, it lasts two hours and then they picked up everything
and then everyone goes home. But there are all kinds of experience also that are
influenced by science, by electronics or by visual discoveries, optical effects and all
that. These movements do not last long, they will lead us somewhere, there will be
a renewal but since the last sixty years, art is looking for itself in occident... a lot.
Then one thing that is unfortunate as I told you of Quebecers is that, they go to
Japan and then they return, they learned how to make pottery in Japan, they make
Japanese pottery in Quebec. A Japanese who comes to paint here, he'll paint our
houses, our stores but he does it with the technique of his country, he keeps his
culture, and we, we alienate our culture immediately before something else, we do
not digest it, we do not assimilate it, but if you do your art within an inside approach,
spiritual, you will assimilate more. There will not be this division between your head
and your heart. With your head you are very rational, you do your business, that holds
you up, it is very solid but it does not touch you.
... I like the image of the cross, I do not know if you talk about it here, in St-Jérôme
we speak of it often. The cross is vertical and horizontal, it must be tolled it both ways,
I told myself that this is a simple sentence there but there are some who do not know it,
I find it so important that in my last exposition, that while I was preparing it, I quickly
prepared a sculpture, a large rough wooden cross, varnished with blue dye, with a
mystical poem that I wrote roughly in ink and then horizontally there were photography’s,
there were photographs of people of the region, children, people in research, but others
I had taken from books, of sports, handicapped people holding hands, elderly people,
etc… Then on the top of the vertical there was the Pentecost flame, there was the
mystical poem, and at the centre there was a piece of worked glass with metallic lace,
which for me represented the bread, and on the other side a silver hammered piece
of metal, like a wave, which represented something like a stream of blood, wine.
But still there are people that do not interpret it like that, my husband did not understand
it in that way, he said the piece of glass represented culture and the piece of metal
represented creation in a pure state. It might be possible, so I wrote it on my index
card, others will interpret it differently. My theme was the Eucharist on the world, I
was inspired by Teilhard de Chardin, who had composed ‘’Mass on the world’’
and I found it so beautiful, me, it was the Eucharist on the world.
***** (Work no. : 1992-005, ref. album 1.)

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... Yes, horizontally it was all photos, it was all the community, all glued and varnished
representing all age groups, all professions, all situations. The vertical is God, the ‘’rise’’
and there was the mystical poem that always repeated ''I will walk towards you'' and
stanzas and at the end it was marked ''Because I love you ' ' and then on top there
was just a small red and yellow flame painted like a little flame of the Pentecost. It
came to me quickly, I was just finishing varnishing and working on frames, then I
said to myself, my god, I have friends who talk to me about it and it's so true, and in
regions there may be people that have never heard about this… this is my way of
symbolizing the cross horizontally and vertically. I did it ''bing, bang, pouf''…very
quickly. I can work for years on a painting, but sometimes it happens to you very
quickly, it's fast, fast, fast.
… Yes ...Besides, I thought about that when you told me that if we did another session
another year or in six months we would have the old team of today and some beginners,
I told myself that the beginners would do quantitatively more drawings and paintings than
you because the more you advance, the more you will work your paintings, and then you
will not make one a day or one and a half days, you will work them more and more.
And you will also become more critical on the technical aspect, you'll want to deepen.
In this course we had to try many things so that you could continue to work with others
even after I was gone. You will become increasingly demanding, and when you'll want to
make a light of nature or a spiritual light you'll want to degrade it in such a way so, you
will take your time, you'll do it.
…This course makes me realize that I will be more demanding for my next classes.
Everyone should have his own Bible, it is necessary. You save so much time... because
sometimes you want to accommodate people where they are and you do not dare to
talk too openly about spirituality, then it is dragging on and then you lose great opportunities.
If you talk about your spirituality directly, you may be surprised, the person who seemed
to be the farthest will see something and join in.
... The course that I give at the cathedral’s formation centre... my Bishop is very pleased,
he said that the pastoral ministers can never talk to them and then they talk to you, but it
was difficult because it was not my way, I've always persistently discussed with God,
I’ve spent my life persistently discussing with my father and with God. Now I persistently
discus less (laughs) but when I was young it was a continuous dialogue on anything while
walking on the street, I may have looked crazy, in appearance I am talking to myself but
in reality I am talking to God. And then at some point you have to accept yourself as you
are, and then for sure I can give a course on secular art, but I am now at a point where I
no longer see the difference between a secular art class and sacred art classes, but I see

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the difference between a religious sacred art class and none religious class, but I fined
that any painting that is true, that is sincere is sacred. It will perhaps not be on a religious
themes, but it will be on topics that are sacred that our society has ‘’desacralised’’
in the last forty years with all its revolutions.

***** (Tape no. 2)

Today we enter a more spiritual aspect, because yesterday it was the same exercises
for a course of secular art. There is the trade, you need to learn the trade, so it was
mostly a research in finding your ideas, and I hope it made you realize that it is true
that painting is eighty percent in the head and twenty percent in the hands. When
you have your idea, it's going well, and the more your idea is clear, you almost copy
what you have in mind, it comes easily. I repeat one thing, it is that when you prepare
a painting project, you have your theme etc.. and you know how you want to
illustrate it, before painting, you look at each item that you put into it and you ask
yourself if it is essential for the understanding of the message. Then if it is not essential,
do not put it in, remove it. Because we always put fifty-six thousand thing on a sheet
and sometimes just two or three would say exactly the same thing, and better. At the
same time occupy the whole surface of the sheet, do not do things of two inches in a
large sheet, in fact it is much more difficult and you do not see anything. If you need a
character to express something, you do not have to draw the whole person, you can
put only the head, a shoulder, an arm ... do it bigger so that we can see better.
Well, for those who have heard about the oriental icon, because we have heard of
sacred art in the West only since the past fifteen years when the Orientals began
showing us their icons, notably Russia made a very big exhibition in Paris, and then
icons became fashionable again if we can say and it was all oriental icons that we saw.
Their Christian faith does not work like ours, they have many ways of worshiping,
decorum, rituals, clothing embroidered in gold for the priests, that we do not have.
And I think that we should love our culture that is different from the oriental Christian
culture, of the other more oriental Christian cultures. For example at the MIAMSI
congress the everyday liturgy is that of the Catholic Action ... it is where I went, it
was international, and the everyday liturgy was the responsibility of the Latin American
Secretariat. So from Mexico down, all the Latin countries and then we had the Eucharist
every day either in the workshop or at our great assemblies or in monasteries, we had
a lot of priests because there were several of our chaplains who were there. And then
all the chalices were just

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clay glasses and what was representing the ciborium was straw plates. I loved this because
since Vatican 11, we have a relationship ... we do not fear God anymore, a much more
friendly relationship, open and I found this good, we were invited to a meal. There was
a new convert from Asia. First she was a new convert, it mean that she had to turn away
from her family, it was an important gesture. But in her country, Asians, they have plenty
of decorum and greetings for all sorts of things in all sorts of ways and incense and all that
you want. And then she complained about our liturgy that we liked very much, because she
said that we did not respect the body of Christ, to put him in a straw plate and not putting
him in a gold vase. While Jesus did not do the last seen with a gold vase, I'm sure. We have
our culture and Christian humanism has brought enormously. Well, if we look at things on the
Christian side; the place of women, we can say that in the hierarchy that women do not
have a role equal to men’s. It's true, it's not perfect yet, but if we look at the status of the
Christian women, Catholic, compared to the condition of women of other Abrahamic religions,
Islamic for example, or even Christians who are close to the Orientals as in Spain ... Hey!
we could not have walked around dressed like this, to do something in those countries or on
Sunday when we went to eat at the restaurant with Dolores; a nun with a beautiful little
fashionable coat, with a beautiful little red scarf, a beautiful little red beret. You would not
see this in Spain. We have a greater freedom for woman here... and if we talk about Africa,
it is even worse, women do all the work in addition to bearing children, education and all that,
the men, they chatter and also sometimes, a little bit of war, but it is women who do everything
in the villages. And a bit everywhere on earth, women are extremely submitted, in Asian
countries female baby are killed at birth because they are girls and not as important as the
sons that they want. So in our religion, Jesus surrounded himself with women all the time,
if you look at the gospel, and even if you look at the Old Testament, they are those who
do not read it correctly ... there is a woman painter of India that made a painting and had
it printed on fabric with a pamphlet that explains everything, and that is soled at a good price,
we have one at our formation centre. That women in the Bible, women in the Old and New
Testament, they are those who have had important roles, but they have never spoken of it,
that is why we do not know them, like Miriam, we are beginning to hear her name, she had
spoken of midwives, of their role in leading the whole Jewish people out of Egypt; before
they could leave, the Pharaoh not to be contested, ordered that all male Jewish children be
killed. But they were not because the midwives disobeyed the orders and hid the, then saved
them, there are many, many things like that that have been done by women

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throughout history. And even if we look here in Quebec, for example the Indians,
you ask them, who has kept the traditions, who taught you that: my mother, my
grandmother. Then we Catholics, if there were no more women in the church, three
would have been not church left three hundred years ago (laughter). Jesus surrounded
himself with many women and that was important to the development of the community,
women are much more respected, Mary is also highly respected. Christian philosophy
which abolished the law of retaliation, revenge and all that, made it so that we have a
certain renunciation of violence, for sure that we complain about youth violence, but it is
not like total wars where everyone fights constantly and you have no more industries,
were you have nothing. That favours economic development, industrial development
and democracy. Sure we'll say that the church in place, it takes it a long time to recognize
a discovery of science, but the church is not just the established church, it is all of us,
and then the feast of All Saints Day is very important, it is not only canonized saints
that we can pray, we can ask our parents, our friends, people that we knew and found
that they were good people even if they are not canonized. For example there are much
more religious people that are canonized than laities, it's normal, because to hear a case
in canonization there are many steps, much research and stuff. So the religious communities
are much better organized to do so. You, if your neighbour was great, are you going to
organise a secretariat, an office and everything you want to make her known and then
have a permanent staff and a p. o. box so that people can write to you the graces they
have had because of her, it is really not something easily done. So that doesn't make
laities less holy.
So in oriental painting, they have a whole ritual to work, they get up more than five minutes
before starting, because they have prayers, I do not know everything they do, but they
have meditation, silence, prayers, a whole state of mind in which they put themselves
before painting. That is not exactly our way, however, to do Sacred Art, we must still
pray. It's more important that to document yourself in fifty-six thousand art books, first
because you're not there to follow a current fashion or a current thought, you are there
to convey a message of truth that comes from inside of you. Thus, the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit is essential ... the idea, it may take you time to find it, but once you have it,
you must act quickly. The Holy Spirit began to have his first official prayers in the
eleventh century, this is surprising because in the gospel he is very present. Even
Jesus said, when he announced his departure; you keep me because you

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loved me, but you do not understand me, but when I will send you the Holy Spirit,
and then you will understand. Like so after the crucifixion the apostles and holy
women were all hiding, fearful, and they did nothing. It was when they received the
Pentecost that they really accomplished what Jesus asked of them, they had the
courage to go evangelize, to go out, to do miracles, to do all sorts of things they would
not have done. Thus the foundation of the Church is the Holy Spirit and the
actualisation of salvation throughout history works through the Holy Spirit. You have
God the Father Creator, Creator of the universe, of us, of everything around us,
you have God's son the saviour, but the actualization of God's plan, the Trinity of
salvation goes through the Holy Spirit. Ask him for inspiration, then ask him not
only to be inspired, but the necessary discernment to be aware of your inspirations.
Because we often have inspirations and we let them pass by because we do not
notice them, it is like grace, it is always there but we do not grasp it all the time,
after that we complained about the silence of God. But it is not he who does not
speak, it is that we do not listen. We pray all the time, we make a lot of prayers
but we do not do five minutes of silence to listen. I do not know about this region,
but at home, there are a lot of people that do prayers of silence. What I like about
the definition ... we can talk long about prayers of silence, but the easiest way to
define it and that I like is to say: I give fifteen minutes a day to my God. You sit
down, you do nothing, ha, you can look at the time thirty times at the beginning,
you're not use to it, it's not important, you stay there, you continue, you wait, over
time it becomes very enriching. Sometimes you are sitting and you get up and say:
Ha! my god I have not done such and such a thing, you get up, you sit down again,
my fifteen minutes are not finished yet, I'm in my fifteen minutes. Obviously those who
begin the prayer of silence, for example, after an internalization session on a weekend,
as for a retreat, they will go for glory, thrilled, they will do five hours a day, but that
lasts for two weeks, instead of starting with five minutes a day. Those who have been
doing it for years, do more because they are used to it, apart from that, we have our
daily lives, we do not always have the time to sit for hours, but you take five minutes
a day, and you sit. And when I say pray the Holy Spirit to paint, to be inspired, I am
not just saying that for the day that you want to paint, get it into your daily prayers at
any time, every day, even if you have not painted for six months, it does not matter, ask it
anyway, that's how it will come; not only on the day we painted. You can pray for
each other, I pray for all my students all the time and I always ask for the providence
of the Heart of Jesus to prepare the path for me and make me fit to receive them, then
if I have students, to prepare the path for them, to make them able to receive them.
Because the goal of our work is a ministry, it is a gift, it is a mission, but it's not
individually our mission, the good word that we want to spread, it is God's

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mission. So do not be shy and you tell him; it is your mission you take care of it,
open the paths for me, prepare the ground for me. Because when you arrive in a
cold and rigid place, what do you want, you're frozen, it's normal, but when you
ask for something before, it is good for painting, but also good for a lot of other
projects that you will have to do with people. Before asking the Providence of the
Heart of Jesus to prepare the path and I always also ask for the grace and the
power of the Word of Jesus, because the word, well, I have it in the Gospel but
from there to interiorise it and have it comes into my life, that I am able to recognize
its place in the news on television or in a phone call that I received in every day life,
there is a margin. Then apart from that, to be able not to react two days later after a
meeting; ha! I should have said that, but to be able to say what we think, what we
say it is the power of the Word and of the Holy Spirit, because I'm in the same position
as the apostles after the crucifixion, I know things but I am not sure and then I am all
alone ... I love Jesus, although he is very sympathetic as a character even if you look
at the book only in literary terms, he is very, very nice, but it is through the Holy Spirit
that you understand him and even in the documentation that I have given you, they'll
explain to you the Holy Trinity and then when they arrive at the Holy Spirit and all that,
there is the Pope, I think, who said, or a father of the Church who said; after that
everything has been explained, obviously all this is fully understandable only in the
light of faith. And faith, it is not bought, you can hope for faith, desire faith, ask for
it and you receive it as a grace. It's like forgiveness, you can have good intentions,
and be ready to forgive a person who did you wrong, but to forgive to the point that
it does not hurt you any more and that you have forgotten, and that you feel tenderness,
it does not depend on you, it is a gift, you must ask for the grace to be able to forgive.
You'll forgive with your head but with your heart it is not so easy, it's not our fault, we
are like that, we do not control ourselves, we are not robots, we have emotions. So,
prayers, you will do them as you please, but I am telling you that you need to do them for
our painting even if we, we do not have a ritual of prayer all organized in advance like
the Orientals. It is very important to have good inspiration, then there are ideas that we
have that are like flashes, they jump before our eyes, but it is often necessary prior to
painting to document oneself. We keep our ideas, it is our inspiration, it is divine, it is
profound, so now to express it better or to find a relationship with the Bible, and because
you are not a biblical scholar, talk with a priest or lay person who know the Bible well, that
will direct you, that will give you the reference. There is a book that I would have loved
to show you but I forgot it at home, but that you must have here in addition to the Bible.
For each Bible there is a big book, a lectionary, the words are all in alphabetical order.
For example, if you want to do something on the serpent of Erin, you go see the word

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snake and you will have the word snake written several times and at some point there
will be the snake of Erin. And there you'll have all the times in the New and the Old
Testament where they speak of it, you go and see and you will have your reference.
There are some who have painted on joy, you look for the word joy and each time
in the Bible where it is question of joy, the references will be marked. So if you read
all that before making your painting, you will have enriched your first idea, then you'll
be able to complete, and on top of that, you're stronger because you have a solid
foundation added to what you are doing, you know that you had your inspiration and
it is also confirmed by the Word. Now, when we do Sacred Art, it is like when you
do any art, it is always more beautiful three hundred years before for people than the
year that you have done it, because they are accustomed to old things and not current
things. As Marshall McLuhan said, a famous Canadian sociologist, we look at life in
a rear-view-mirror. We think we are looking forward but we are actually looking
backwards. That is human and everyone is like that. So you will be doing things,
especially you who have done cute things, mostly landscapes, things that were very
decorative. You will arrive with a beautiful Sacred Art painting and there will be one
of your brothers in law that will say hey! you have changed, I liked your sugar shacks
better. Because they are not used to that and they will not understand your message
immediately. But that, when you have your idea and you have well thought it out…,
because ultimately, we really cannot do just anything in Sacred Art, we cannot say
silly things, it must be deep, that's why I said, we ask for inspiration. After you have
your idea, and then well you fight like the devil in holy water, and you do it, even if there
are people who contest and there will always be some, because religion is so sensitive
in the hearts of people, even the most distant from the church, if you displace the cross
well that makes them sick and they do not even go to church! They arrive at the midnight
mass, it is the only time of year that they go, there is something that is changed in the decor
or in the songs or it is not the song ‘’Christian midnight’’ as usual, then they are outraged,
it does not make any sense, they do not accept anything. Religion is alive and evolves
with us, our tradition, our culture, we do not live this in memory of what happened two
thousand years ago, we live it today. Jesus came, comes and will come. So do not be
afraid to fight for your ideas and do it. Your reference is the light within, interiority; did
I say what I had to say, what I was inspired to say. But if I have said it and if disturbs
others, too bad because with the coming times, John Paul 11 said, all Christians will
have to show their faith, as at the beginning of the community. For sure we will not be
persecuted by lions, but we will have to... we can no longer do as we did before, to
say nothing, then mix with atheists, but as we say nothing, well nobody knows anything,
and then there are never any conflicts. Because now there

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is a moral revolution, a new social moral to establish in a secular society, which is in this
century, which challenges all institutions as political, religious, educational and medical
and then Science comes up with new problems; euthanasia, is not easy to solve.
Because if science was not so advanced, that problem would not arise, everyone
would die of a natural death, now you can not die of a natural death, you die of cancer,
you die of heart attacks, you die ... Our grandparents also died, they died of cancer,
but they did not know it, they were not anxious for three years with their chemotherapy
treatments. They live until they died, they lived happily. While today we channel practically
everything, it is almost a requirement that when you are old, you're going to stay in a
nursing home, it is considered as normal, you will not stay home, you will need to be
taken care of. There are choices to make, we do not have to be therapeutically harassed,
the Church recognizes that Christians can refuse treatment, as it well knows that it must
accept medications to relieve pain, even if it shortens life, such as morphine in the case
of the very suffering, morphine helps but it shortened life, but the Church accepts that you
take the morphine if you want to have it. Because of the development of science, we live
much older than before, I am forty five years old, I am young, there are many who died
at thirty-nine years old after raising their families, not so long ago. Today we live much
younger and much longer.
So because of health problems, of ethical problems, in all areas of life, there are questions
to ask and then you must hag on, to do that you have to resource yourself, you must pray,
you have to meditate and when I talked about praying for painting, I was also speaking to
paint in a spirit of prayer. You do not pray while you are painting , but since you have
offered it, your painting is a prayer, all that you are doing is a prayer. Me for example,
before doing something important, I have my hands blessed, like for the chapel, I might
even have my brushes blessed. This is not an obligation, it's my little personal tradition,
I have that, I find it's romantic and I think it's beautiful and I love it. But there is still a fact
there, it is my hands that are going to do it, but it's not just my hands, because I'm going to
submit myself to what inspires me. Then you have your creative freedom to defend, and that,
it can happen with religious people, you can do a Madonna that you find super beautiful,
your pastor does not like it, it is not like that that he saw it when he was young, he can
not imagine it like that. I had done Ste-Thérèse of Lisieux, I had put a veil on her, and I
had put blue in it, not to show that the veil was blue, it was simply in the harmony of colours,
a reflection of light, the veil was blue. They all come to me and say, come on, everyone will
think that that is the Holy Virgin ... Do you think that the Holy Virgin was wearing a blue
veil all the time in Galilee, they are all traditions which were made in each

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culture. We have a culture that is quite new and in regard to Sacred Art. So you can well
draw a Holy Virgin that will have a rust veil and a gown... certainly there's always the
problem of the understanding of the viewer before the painting. Understanding… we
have had this debate with many students; do we write our references, our biblical phrases
or are poetic sentences that we have composed ourselves, do we write them on our work
or not. Personally, I decided to write them. It is no more important than the image, the
sentence is not necessary, but a person who wants to deepen the image, if he has the
sentence on top of that, has the chance to make a deeper and longer journey into the
message of the painting.
I looked at your drawings last night while putting them away and I said to myself that there
were some that spoke, that really said something, that it was more than a simple exercise.
And I thought that for Mass, when we will offer them at the offering on Thursday,
it might be fun to write a thought on some of our works, one or two of our works,
it can also be on yesterdays exercises than on the drawings of today or what we will do
from now to then. And then ... well it's a more complete offering.
So, what I wanted to say to you was mainly about the question of prayer that you are
may be asking yourselves about, because you've heard about all that oriental ritual prayer
that we do not do. This is not true, we do them too, it does not in the workshop out loud,
but we do them anyway and we must do them to be supported and be inspired, to be
able to discern what is important , that is very important, because you can have a lot of
inspirations and they are not all equally important from one to the other, you can not do
everything, so you must be able to discern. You could say: I'm going to take a course in
theology at the university but still ... I do not think it would improve your inspiration, your
inspiration comes from your sensitivity, from your life, your inner wealth, you’re true spiritual
experience, really felt, and that in embarking into Sacred Art, you add another dimension
when you lend yourselves to the Holy Spirit to express what he want to express to the world.
It is certain that you will draw on your experience, on what is happening now, today.
We are not painting for those who are at Mass on Sunday, we are painting for those
who are not there, we paint to spread the good news. Everybody is going to do it according
to his style, I often paint images that are issues of today; a single parent family, youth suicide,
war, love, but always with words of the gospel, and I also paint for the young with very bright
colours, young, I mean people below forty years old. There are also older people that like it,
but it's more the young people that like it. And for example, you bring a person that is far
away from the Church at Mass, at a homily, he will leave, he does not want to be there.
You tell him to read the Bible, he went to university, he took courses in comparative religion,
and says that all religions are equal, and if I was in another country, I would have another religion,
it aggresses him or he has

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bad memories of a time when it has been badly taught by the Church that is made up of men
who made mistakes, of ... well ...
... even if on one of your paintings there is a psalm written throughout it, that does not aggress
people, that's really an open door to get in touch. Painting, I noticed this, the people I know
who are very distant from the church, who are very anticlerical and want nothing to do with it,
will come and see one of my exhibitions and they will love it and they will come to talk to me
about it. Then there is one, the three theological virtues and another one a psalm, and there the
Song of Songs. And then they discover the Bible like that, through the pictures, an image of our
times in which we find ourselves in, but in which they also find themselves, and it is a good way
of bringing the Good News which is privileged, and it has always been. In the time of the
great cathedrals, they told the whole Bible in the stained glass windows, people could not
read and there was virtually no printing in those days, only a few handwritten copies. So
they learned the Bible and their catechism through the paintings and the stained glasses of
the cathedral and it is still the same thing. For sure that a picture is much more accessible
than a text. And especially for our time, if you have older children, they probably are not
going to Mass as often as you imagine (laughs). And if you talk to them about it it will
annoy them, it will be worse. You can pray for them and that's probably all you can do,
but through your painting they will respect you because they will know it is you, if they
do not want to see your painting it is that they do not want to see you, but they love
you even if they are anticlerical. It is an approach to enter faith and to familiarise
ourselves with level of involvement of faith and the Bible and the Word also.
Well, I have said enough for now. I especially wanted to clarify the issue of prayer;
that we do not do like the Oriental, but we need to do anyway, in our own way,
each of you will find your way and as I told you; not just pray before painting the
day you want to paint. Put them in your daily prayer, a little prayer of two seconds ...
ask for inspiration and discernment ... preparing the path for you ... to inspire you.
Something very short, a sentence or two, but do it regularly even if in leaving here
you do not intend to paint all week, do it anyway, then you'll be inspired ... but listen also.
Then about the little book which we discussed where you put your notes, your notes
can be phrases, ideas, it can be part of a drawing, it can be a composition or when you
have a thought; I'd do this and that etc. ... but I cannot draw it like this... well you write
a word, you even write the colours you have in mind ... you put everything in your notebook.
Obviously if you have a large sketchbook, it takes one away to prepare your painting,
that’s one thing, but if possible,

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find a small unlined notepad, that you can drag in your bag. Inspiration can come at any
time and if you do not mark it down in your notebook, you will not remember, you'll forget.
Also, there are days when one feels like painting, we have three hours before us, then we
would try it but we do not have any special inspiration, we go through our notebook and
then we see things, hey! Hence we are glad to have already prepared projects, because
we feel like doing something but we feel less creative to invent. So then, we deepen our
idea that we had six months before and then we choose. The same thing for the drawing
elements, it can be a profile, it can be a tree branch, it can be anything that you do not need
right now ... at some point you need it ... how is it made, you turn your pages, you found
one ... perfect, I will use it. The little notebook and the little daily prayer is very important,
and it will make you live in a spiritual and artistic spirit all year long, even if you do not
produce much, it is not the quantity that counts. There are many who love it and will do
more, but there are some who are going to do three a year, but it does not matter, if these
three are really an accurate word, it is very important. Then as I said, if you make paintings
and you started to give them to your relatives and your friends or sell them not too dearly
around you, always take a photo or a slide, two if possible, and if you have no money,
take at least one slide, slides are cheap since you do not print them, then if later you want
to make a photo you can always make a negative from your slide; because we do not notice
how we evolves. Suzanne gave a beautiful testimony about it this weekend, about a painting
that was not finished, she had done nothing for ten years. After ten years, she took it out and
finished it, she was ecstatic, she did not understand the progress that she had made in ten years
even if she had done nothing. But when you think painting, in terms of painting, you assimilate.
As I said, starting next week I'm sure you'll notice more things around you. And when you will
see paintings, you'll notice much more also. But not just the paintings, anything, nature, people's
movements, expressions. You'll get in the habit of noticing because you need it, and because
the small enlargements that we made last evening, it was to notice the bunch of small details
that are there and that we do not put in and makes it more real. Thus, you will develop your
observation skills naturally without effort. And then you will always assimilate and you will
always progress, even when you are not doing any, as long as you do not strike it from your
life. If you say; I love it, even if you do not have time, even if you stay for years without doing
it, you carry it in you, you live with that, it continued to evolve anyway.

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So, well, the four categories of painting that we have done, all images falls within these four
categories, may it be a photo, a calendar or a painting, all images falls within one of these
four categories. Now just for fun, I say that there is a fifth; free drawing (laughs). In free
drawing there will be a bit of all the four categories that will mix, something special may come
out of it. Ha! there is something I forgot to tell you, it is a little joke, but that is important;
I always tell my students that for painters, there are not three theological virtues, there are
four : faith, hope, charity, and ‘’to dare’’.
That is very important. We must not censor ourselves by saying; I do not know how to do it.
We dare and then even if it is crooked, it does not matter because we learn by doing and
then the next time, we know how. And anyway event before making your colour painting,
we prepare a painting project, we make a sketch, we do not start anywhere on the white
sheet without knowing where we are going, we prepared ourselves. You have your Bible
for that too, if you want to search for words, references, there are those who have worked
with me for many years, only in the psalms, they always take their inspiration from the Psalms.
You take your psalm and then there are references at the end of the line, you'll read the
references and you follow; one of my students called it a guided tour, a guided tour in the Bible.
You take notes, you find things, it is not possible, it ends up by touching you more, it becomes
easier to know how you will illustrate it, because it touches you.
So, take another sheet of newsprint and then, I will not bother you, I will not make any
commentaries, you do a free drawing, but use your experience that you have gained yesterday ...
there must be details that we can see, you learned to make details last evening, there must be some.
And then, there must not be big black outlines on a white background. Put in greys, masses
of grey, make degrades. Use everything you've done and seen others do, the best that you
have seen in the day to do your drawing. Then do what comes through your head, what you
feel like doing, freely to your liking, no constraints.

***** (Prior to her departure, her students gave her a miniature ''anode'': This is how is called the
‘’copper ingots’’ produced by the Noranda mine. Inscribed on it:



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***** (Notebook for courses in Sacred Art. 1989 - 90.)

- Sensitive internal sincere

- Sense approach: secular - plastic - A. Moles.
or religious

- stimulant for self and others (history and culture that is written gradually. (Symbolism?)

Oct. 12, 89

- What is Art?
5 min. of reflection
5 min. of exchange, twosomes
Discussion max. 20 min.

- Ex. Charcoal
. 4 levels of the image:
tangible concrete - abstract tangible - concrete tangible - intangible abstract.
. the 5th (!) free
(½ hour each max.)

- reflection - how do you distinguish
. the social man
. the psychological man
. the religious man

- see together pictures of icons from the viewpoint of ''similarity''

Oct.19, 89

- Gouache: what is for you ‘’personally’’ the most concrete in life.
what is for you ‘’personally’’ the most abstract in life.

- When we say ''in life,'' how does it sound to you
. does spirituality incorporate itself into life or
. should we separate the question in two i.e.

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1. ‘’in life’’
2. in spirituality

-. what is the sacred?
. do those who ignore the religious sacred, ignore the sacred ‘’as such’’?

- what is man
. the sociological man
. the psychological man
. the religious man - understanding. - Know the inspiration.

. our young people who grow anarchically are they ‘’wasted’’ or fundamentally ''superficial''
. is dialogue with them worth it?
. we always paint for those who follow us, is it worth it to paint for our youth?

Theme: ‘’does the ‘’above’’ exist? How to put heaven and hell back in their place to be
able to free the bond of love and communication with the divine.’’

Theme to paint:
"is the future worth while? "

What images constructed of:
superimposition, juxtaposition
influence of light
colour variations.

February 1st, 90 ex:
What distinguishes MY ‘’inner life’’ from what I call ‘’life’’?

Auberge St-Jérôme
syllabus, course objectives

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I – Take aged persons out of resignation if necessary and / or prevent it.
II - bringing back the philosophy that age is in itself an experience and an expertise of life too transmitted.
III - all healthy persons should/must express themselves
IV - all decent persons must tend towards a balanced; emotional, intellectual and spiritual life.

Techniques used

I - sketches and graphics
drawing and composition
colours and colour mixing


II - the concrete tangible thematic image
the concrete intangible thematic image
the abstract tangible thematic image
the abstract intangible thematic image

objective to be attained

III – Original and personal development of a technique and of thematics.

‘’Affectivity’’ is a fundamental structure of our personality.
God dwells in the depths of our being.
Listening to our affectivity is listening to one of the strongest voices of God within us.''
Yvon Poitras
in ‘’Welcoming the sun’’
Editions: Paulines.

***** (End of the notebook.)


***** (In 2004, Monique was planning to prepare an exhibition in Sacred Art.
Here is a note she wrote to that effect.)

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Notes for an article - exhibition

- Your approach in Sacred Art attached to your social commitment created a
serious a very serious climate ... etc. ... etc. ...
After a withdrawal (renouncement) from public life, you come back in strength,
with lightness and abundant imagination ... etc. ... etc. ...
what is the MEANING of this explosion? ? ? ...
‘’PURITY’’? ? ?


***** (Partial transcript of an interview a student of Monique made with another
student of Monique’s within another course she followed. Context: Renee is at
Louise’s house and while answering Renee’s questions shows her her works.
The three stars, *** represents the questions, answers and portions of text not
relevant to the transcript and that have not been transcribed. All other punctuation
marks are part of the original transcript of the interview.)


Your idea was to show me what you did before.


Before moving on to something else.

Yes, because it's like, for me, when we will arrive at Sacred Arts,
it is like a bridge, even almost a big leap into the unknown because
it is not in the same way that we approach painting in Sacred Art.

PAGE 379


*** When we went into the region of La Malbaie, Baie St-Paul, I do
not remember if it was there, but somewhere in the lower river, the Laure
Conan museum anyway.

Yes, yes ...

There was an exhibition of naïve painters...

Yes, yes. I must tell you how I found it very interesting in the sense that
at the bottom line it is a bit just what Monique would say. Before thinking
of my technique I reveal what is in me through painting and that's why she
often left me alone. Sometimes I would have wanted a model to draw
a hand, a model to draw a skull, but she let me do it in my way.

O. K. so in fact what she was aiming at was to see how you saw the hand,
how could you see this skull is then how not to copy.

No, but to leave me ... and also I thought that it was that which promoted
self-confidence, to have spontaneity and then to paint it as it came. I remember
what Monique made me do also, I say this here but when it becomes time to
do portraits, I've done little portrait, it is still a matter of having confidence in
myself. Then she said you'll find your kind of portrait meaning for example that
when Monique who has very personal faces, that she found her own way to
make faces. Jean-Paul Lemieux has his way to make his characters.


*** Another thing, if you notice the things that I did before, it was always small ...
that's it, then you'll notice the change eh.

They will be larger.

PAGE 380

The jump that Monique makes us do, I assure you, eh.


*** It's like pastoral, it is learned on the field.

Ah yes! On the field, oh yes! There's no more on the field than that!
You really have to adapt. I had an idea while you were talking, Monique
told me that at some point, maybe it was during your retreat at The Pottery
or it was perhaps at another time, she said, Louise, she locked herself in
her room I do not know how many days and then she began to reflect on
sacred art. Is it true?

Yes, yes. That was in January. We had done September, October, November,
December and I reproduced it in those three months. It was just three hours a
day eh it was something, leaving on Saturday morning (*** from Grenville),
to go to St-Jérôme, getting into the spirit of working, then there is all the soul
searching. How she introduces us to sacred art and to bring us to a point where
it is an expression of something that I was living at that time. Then when I came
here in this new place, well it is certain that I lived different things. You know
when you see a new environment there are things that hurt us, there are things
that tug at us. So then I came here one morning, a Saturday morning, I was
tiered of my week, I had been questioned a lot by the people who are simply
people of faith, things have to be done in that way and then there are the people
who have their heart on their hand, who are generous, who forget the laws, so
everything tugs. So she told me to illustrate that. So it is not like that it is not
right away like that. There are many steps, there were old paper there: it is there,
there, that I had to do this learning to have enough confidence in myself to put in
to pictures what was the strongest that I had in me, you know? So what I came
to me as an image? The image that came to me was a land that was torn, also a
man who was quartered that was holding two things in his hand, one side of the
law, a book, I want to illustrate it as best I could ... one the other side a heart.
So you start like that. She, that’s it, she makes us work on that. She makes us
work in the way that she makes us talk, and then your picture, she wants me to
give it body, she wants me to give it a meaning and then at some point she'll say
something like; well, the heart, everybody uses that to express this, find something
else to express the love that will express ... so. So it is like that that slowly I expressed,
the tearing, the

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