Wednesday, 24 August 2016


There's an old saying among public transit users: "The wait is half the journey."  And that's a good thing.  The late ferry, the seabus that left just before you got there, the bus that is on schedule but you didn't want to miss it so you got there 10 minutes early - those are all drawing opportunities.  Especially if you're like me and don't really know how to use your smart phone.  All it takes is paper, a water-soluble pen, a brush and a bit of water.

Ten minutes before walking onto the ferry:

Just missed the seabus:
And best of all, the captive models (colour added later):

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Flamenco at Granville Island

Tying together two of my drawing themes - Granville Island and flamenco - put on a free flamenco show by Fin de Fiesta outside Performance Works as part of the All Over the Map dance series.  It has a great outdoor setting, with a big grassy hill overlooking the stage, but also thick tree cover to give shade on a hot day.  A bit different from a smoky little underground bar in Seville at midnight, but the musicians and dancers were just as good, and between shows you can watch the world strolling by, paddling by, sitting by the bay, or trying to capture it all in paint.  Next up: Aché Brasil this Sunday and N'nato Bara Fa from Guinea the following Sunday.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Slide the City

The hill that is lower Lonsdale is a problem - people don't casually stroll more than a block up from the waterfront, and it makes an easy bike ride into full aerobic exercise.  But once a year, the city of North Vancouver puts the hill to its true and proper purpose - four blocks of the street are converted into a waterslide.  The only problem is that there are a lot of people in North Vancouver and not many fun events, so when one happens, there are huge crowds.  By the time I finished my sketch at noon, the lineup was over three blocks long and not moving anywhere (and none of it in the shade).  But it's a great captive audience for sketching.  And I finally figured out what some of those lurid colours in my paint set are for.

Monday, 1 August 2016

The View in Two (plus two)

One of my (many) goals is to be able to capture a scene quickly - two minutes with the pen and two minutes with watercolour.  Plus maybe a couple minutes for "Where did I put my brush?", "Why won't this lid come off?" "What did I just drop in the lake?"  It's not that I'm impatient (except when biting insects are involved), or even really that there's way too much out there that needs drawing.  It's to try to force myself to see what's important, and let all the little details go (at least sometimes - I like those details too...).  Here are some recent Views in Two:

You have to be quick to draw Active Pass from the BC Ferry.  They won't stop the boat, even if one of their paying customers is drawing.  Something about the schedule, apparently.  Whatever...

The quickness of the pen-free sketch of First Lake at Hollyburn was mosquito-motivated.  There were a lot more interesting things going on with the reflections than I caught.  Next time.

The view from Hollyburn Peak was a bit more leisurely on a finally-warm summer morning.  I could probably draw the entire panorama from memory by now.

None of those quite met the goal of 2+2 minutes.  But this one of the front garden did.  I was trying to capture the whole blooming, buzzing confusion of a summer afternoon - while the water boiled for tea.