Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Radar beach and hill

A weekend trip to Tofino on Vancouver Island, with the view through the upper deck window of the ferry, a walk down to Radar Beach and the view from Radar Hill.  The beach is down an officially unauthorized trail in the National Park.  There's even an official sign saying it is officially unauthorized.  It's basically a bushwhack down a cliff then through a mud bog.  As a result, when I first got to the beach, on a beautiful sunny Sunday, there were exactly as many people as there are in the picture - none!  The easily accessible viewpoint on the hill was more inhabited, by blackflies.  I didn't really notice them when I was drawing, but now my arms, legs and neck are a pretty impressive collection of red bumps.  But worth it to appreciate the view - in contrast to a tourist who looked for 3 seconds then said to her husband "There's nothing here."

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Crossing the line

I finally did a panorama sketch on a full two pages of my Moleskine, crossing the centre line that had been a solid boundary for the previous 80 or so pages.  I was trying - with limited success - to follow the wide-view style of Sigrid, our fearless leader who was absent (with leave) from the meet-up at Lonsdale Quay today.  A couple sketchers there did remarkably detailed closeups of the city across the water, telephoto complements to my fish-eye view.  An older lady watching me draw told me that one of the cruise ships across the way carries 2,500 passengers, and "That's disgusting.  How could you ever get to know anyone?"  There was also a 4-year-old boy who was concerned that I would fall into the fountain I was sitting on.  His warnings were vigorous, but somewhat ineffective, as he was speaking Dutch - I had to wait for his mother to come over and translate.  But I am glad that I and my nearly-complete sketchbook did stay out of the water.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Our Lady of Perpetual Cacophony

Holy Rosary Cathedral - built in 1899-1900 and "Vancouver's best example of Gothic Revival architecture" - looks peaceful behind the cherry trees of the adjacent public plaza, except for the thing I couldn't draw -  the noise.  The noise!  The abominable, bombillating, clanging, discordant, ear-fracturing noise of the bells! They managed to be completely random and annoyingly repetitive at the same time.  There are bad bells, there are awfully bad bells, there are human-rights-abuse bad bells, and then there are the bells of Holy Rosary Cathedral.  The homeless man trying to sleep on the bench opposite me had his hands clamped over his ears, until he finally gave up and went running away crazily.  The only possible theological reason for such caterwauling must be the auditory equivalent of fire and brimstone - reminding sinners of just how bad things will be if they don't fess up.  
     Fortunately, I got evicted by a security guard before any permanent psychological damage, because the "public plaza" (as I'm sure it says in the development permit from the city) is apparently only for employees from the adjacent bank tower.  We had a conversation that went: Him: "You can't draw here."  Me: "Yes, I can."  [Ten-minute pause while superior was contacted.] Him "No you can't."  And then that age-old excuse for any irrational behaviour "I'm only doing my job."  But I was done, and thankful to flee.

Down the lane way is this construction, which I don't think is in the Gothic Revival style.  Passers-by are in imminent danger of electrocution, because there are three transformers on the platform of rotten boards above the powerlines.  Add it to the list of "Best Vancouver Places Not To Be During An Earthquake".

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Canada Place and cruise ship

An urban sketchers meet-up on the Vancouver waterfront today - a hot sunny day!  So much so that I had to hide in the shade, which I guess shows that everything averages out, after a wintry weekend last week.  The cruise ship terminal was bustling with the first ships of the season, loading on the huge amount of stuff that is consumed in each cruise.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Thirty foot pool

Thirty-foot pool is a deep green swimming hole between two sets of waterfalls in Lynn Canyon.  There were kids jumping off the cliffs on the first hot day of the summer - despite gruesome signs showing the various ways other kids have died doing just that.  And, amazingly, two tourists fell in, fully dressed, in the 45 minutes that I was painting there.  Both survived.