Saturday, 30 September 2017

September life drawing

Back at life drawing - or, in this case, life painting - for a couple weeks.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Toronto Kensington Market

The Kensington Market area is an urban-sketcher-magnet in Toronto, with old buildings, odd buildings, many characters, street art and lots of colour.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Southampton boats, beaches and beer

A quick trip to Ontario included a visit to the family cottage in Southampton.  The town is an old Great Lakes fishing centre.  Most of the commercial fishery is gone, or changed over to the First Nations, but one of the old boats is still there.  An old commercial fisherman stopped by and told me about the history of the boat, from its 1930's construction in Milwaukee to the present day.  It's not really a working boat any more, but at least it is still floating.  It's actually quite a bit lower to the water, and with a blunter front, than my drawing.  I was too influenced by the very different-shaped ocean-going boats I'm used to seeing in Vancouver.

The big beach has a boardwalk that is the social centre of the town, at least for the cottagers.  Everyone strolls on it, and everyone says "Hello" when they pass.  If you're sketching, almost everyone will stop to talk, flip through your sketchbook, and tell you about their ink drawings, watercolours, photography or print-making.  It's that kind of a place.

Down past the truly enormous flag at the end of the main street, a marsh has formed in the last couple decades of low water, behind a gravel bar.  There were dragonflies, frogs, herons, and migrating shorebirds.  One of the town's iconic lighthouses stands on the pier across the river mouth.

The sunset is the other social centre, providing an almost-daily chance for painters to try their luck with dripping a sun-red spot of paint into the still-wet paint of the lake and sky.  Sometimes it works.

And, being a civilized place, there is a respectable micro-brewery in town.

Friday, 22 September 2017


The longest journey starts with ... an even longer flight delay.  But, really, that's just an extra four and a half hours of drawing time (except for the two hours spent waiting in lines to try unsuccessfully to get on an earlier flight).  The Air Canada service people showed remarkable consistency, at least for us economy-class passengers:

Airports are much like one another, but the view is nice in Vancouver.
There was just a little daylight left once the flight finally got going, enough for a quick sketch of clouds over the mountains in British Columbia.

At least Air Canada bought us beer after all that.  (Ha ha, just kidding - of course they didn't buy us beer.  It cost $7.50.  But it did occupy 20 minutes drawing it.)

Monday, 4 September 2017

Long weekend in the 'hood

I stayed around the neighbourhood this weekend.  But what a neighbourhood it is!  And fortunately I started a few days early on the long-weekend draw-a-thon.
First, a rare blustery day for a mid-week trip to Maplewood Flats, my local birding area.  It was so stormy that I thought it might actually rain, but it didn't.

Then a view of the North Shore from Stanley Park on a Thursday ride.  This could be the most viewed painting in (my) art history - I'd guess about 50 people watched me painting while I sat on the Stanley Park seawall.
Friday was a hike up Mts Strachan and Hollyburn, first passing by the 1963 crash site of a T-33 navy training jet.  All the torn-up pieces of the plane are still there.  It's fairly shocking to come across the wreckage along the steep path in the forest, and it's a more striking memorial than a plaque or monument could be.
One of the three groups of people I saw all day were on the summit of Mt Strachan, but they left soon, giving me the whole peak and its fabulous views all to myself.
On Saturday, we went to nearby Gambier Island for an annual Labour Day event with the inlaws.  We traveled via gill-netter, conveniently slow enough to allow sketching on the way.
Some views from the island: morning, mid-day, afternoon and evening:

And cousins of various ages playing volleyball with a watermelon-themed beach-ball.
Finally today, back up Hollyburn Mountain for another hike with friends and a swim in the lake, which supports a diverse marsh at one end.
That's the sort of busy long weekend that you need a long weekend to recover from!