Friday, 12 June 2015

Mo' Edmo'

I took an extra day on last week's trip to Edmonton to go to Elk Island National Park, about 45 minutes east of the city (at least that's how long it took at 4 a.m., as I headed out at robin o'clock to see some eastern birds).  There were no people, great trails, lots of birds and bigger wildlife - but also mosquitoes.  Not quite as big as the bison, but more aggressive.  I can draw in hot and cold, busy cities, mountaintops, wind and even rain, but the bugs defeated me.  So my only drawing was of Lake Astotin, from a bluff where the wind kept the little biters away.  It seems unfair that when summer finally comes after the looong winter, people only have two weeks to enjoy it before the onslaught begins.  I guess it makes them tougher...

Speaking of tough people, I tried to venture beyond the funky confines of Whyte Avenue to draw the more typical Edmonton of vacant lots, industrial yards, warehouses, oil drilling equipment storage, malls, more oil drilling equipment storage, more vacant lots.  That lovely scenery for an urbansketcher seems to stretch for miles around the city and starts within a couple blocks of Whyte Avenue.  But when I ventured there I ran into an unconscious (I'm assuming) body in an alley, a drug-addict trying to break down the back door of a metal-working shop, and two guys on motorcycles who made a point of swerving towards me to make me jump out of the way.  I decided to do another drawing of Whyte Avenue...

And finally, as always, the airport - this time on a golden summer evening.

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