A group of about 30 plein air artists paint in the Charlevoix area about once every 2-3 years and stay upriver at Les Éboulements, L’Auberge de nos aïeux. We find painting sites within a radius of 30 km from the Auberge.
Charlevoix is particularly attractive as the region has a variety of great topographic features… woodlands, agricultural lands, towns, hills, rivers and lakes. The hills are much like the Gatineau but higher and steeper with many 10 to 15% grades. I do not know how the inhabitants get around in the winter. The region is really a high plateau with hills where the snow lasts a month longer than in Quebec City.
Les Éboulements is located in the centre of the Charlevoix crater. Mount Éboulements (Mont des Éboulements), in the eastern part of the municipality, is considered the central rebound of the earth’s crust following moments after the meteor impact some 350 million years ago.
In February 1663, a strong earthquake shook the Charlevoix region and triggered a large landslide down the slopes that characterize the hills of the area, to the Saint Lawrence coast. Thereafter the area was known as les Éboulements (French for “the landslides”).
On October 13, 1997, a bus travelling down the steep road to Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive failed to slow down and negotiate a very sharp turn, crashed through the barriers and plunged over 10 meters into a ravine. This accident killed 44 persons, making it the deadliest road accident in Canadian history.
Port-au Persil is a very small community on the St Lawrence River north of Quebec City between Malbaie and St-Siméon. There is a wharf about 100m long that juts out into the St Lawrence. From there looking east, south and west are great views for paintings – large hills, town homes, barns, a church, rocks, shoreline, surf and woodlands.
The painting is a view from the wharf looking upriver. A small creek flowed from above into the small bay which was subject to the tide infilling and emptying. There were about five of us painting on the wharf at the time. The location was hugely inspiring, wind gusting and glorious sun. All who painted there thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was particularly pleased with the several paintings that resulted from the en plein air expeditions to Point-au-Persil.