Chinatown Sketches

Last year, not being able to travel to Asia, I started a series of sketches in this uniquely visible cultural neighbourhood. I had great feedback and am carrying on.

The Moon Gate entrance to Sien Lok Park.

Hang Fung Foods has a very modest visual presence on Third Avenue in Calgary but is a busy source of Asian groceries.
My wife once sent me there to buy red beans which were sold in bulk to make “hung dau saa”, delicious red bean dessert. While sitting and sketching, there was a succession of food trucks delivering stock for the store.

The Far Eastern Shopping Centre combines restaurants and market stalls. What I wanted to capture the Bas-Relief Carvings almost hidden by the foliage.

From close up the view of the distinctive roof of the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre is blocked by the base building so I set up in the adjacent parking lot. It is a detailed scaled down version of the upper roof of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The two guardian lions protect the west entrance.

Chong Chou immigrated from from Vietnam and started the Golden Happiness Bakery opening this second location in 1988.
I used Gansai Tambi watercolour metallic paints to pick up the shiny signage….and I took extra time attempting to get the lettering all correct!

Built in 1954 the brick facade of the Chinese United Church stands prominently in contrast to the newer taller residential buildings behind it.
The street scape has changed radically over the generations.

I am fortunate enough to live downtown and can sketch the inner city!

Keep sketching,


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