Monday, 22 May 2017

Long weekend of drawing

I fit a lot of drawing into the first long weekend of the summer.  I started with a ride up the Seymour River, an annual trip to see some birds for my yearly "NMT" (non-motorized transport) bird list.  When I was there last year - the first person in the morning up the bikes-only road - I was coming down a long hill and slowed for a speed gate (put in to avoid head-on collisions among cyclists).  Just ahead, I saw a big black bear feeding on the side of the road.  This year, I was passing through the gate thinking how grateful I was that it had prevented me from zooming down the hill right into the bear, when I looked up and saw (the same?) very large bear about 40m away.  He stared at me for a few seconds until I gave him a loud "Good morning, bear!", then he turned and ran down the road into the forest.  There's a lot of power rippling through those creatures when they run!  I drew the surrounding valleyside from a bear-free picnic area, serenaded by a MacGillivray's warblers, one of the birds I was looking for.

Back home, the garden is blooming on a compressed schedule after a cold wet spring, juxtaposing flowers that normally bloom at different times.  I carefully composed the white poppies in this drawing, then, annoyingly, forgot and painted one azalea-purple.  There's no going back with watercolour...

The next morning I went down to Maplewood Flats, where a passing boater had discovered why they are called "Flats".  The tide was still going down, and it looked hit-or-miss as to whether the boat was going to be lying sideways on the mud-bar when the tide came back in.

Then I rode over to West Vancouver and an UrbanSketchers' meetup at the Ambleside Artisan Farmers' Market.  It's a happy mix of busy market - more artisan than farmer at this time of year - the beach with many weekend loungers-about, and a few food trucks, including new-for-me Burmese food - tasty!

And finally today, the buy-two-get-one-free day of the weekend, I skied up Hollyburn Peak, where there was still a good 4m of snow, even though the temperature was getting up towards 20C.  I've drawn quickly in the past because I was cold, or hot, or about to get soaked or eaten by bugs, but today's motivating force was a UV index that must have been off scale up a mountain with clear skies in late May and a bright white snowpack.  I also made a stop at First Lake by Hollyburn Lodge, where the inky-black water is starting to melt pathways through the still-deep snow.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Bright life

Apparently I've been into the bright colours at life drawing recently.  And so, fortunately, was one of the models, the props on the stage, and the world at large.