New Central Library – Calgary Urban Sketchers

Back on March 5 of this year, Rod posted a note about an upcoming opportunity for the Calgary Urban Sketchers group to display our sketches of this great city. Our opportunity is quickly approaching – August we will get to display our sketches on the “Calgary’s Story” wall on the top floor of the library.

I am posting this note to solicit sketches of Calgary from the members of the Calgary Urban Sketchers group. We are looking for contributions from all members of the group, as long as they are urban sketches of Calgary.

Original sketches can be taken to the print shop at any Calgary Staples store (or a similar business if you have another preference), and they will scan your sketch or sketches, then crop and enlarge as you wish, and print on foamcore (also known as foamboard) in the size you specify. Letter size is the most popular so far, but there is also room for 11″ x 17″ inch if you so desire. Landscape or Portrait format as appropriate. Typical processing time is 2 to 4 days and the cost is quite reasonable. You keep your original sketches.

One to four sketches per member, mounted on foamcore, is what I’m looking for. Please sign your prints so you receive credit for your work.

I REALLY want to avoid a last minute scramble to get the prints, so please review your sketches in the next week or two, and give me the copies by Saturday July 20. The easiest way to find me is to show up at one of the upcoming group sketching sessions. Also email me at to let me know you have some sketches to contribute and when you will be bringing them. The July schedule should be posted on the “Events” tab shortly.

Please let me know if you have one or two”most favorites” in case we get too many sketches for the wall space available and have to prune.

When August is over, we will take the prints down and return them to you. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility of damage after a month of being on public display. That is why we want prints of your work, not your originals.

I am also looking for as many volunteers as possible to help mount the sketches on the wall. There’s an old adage about “many hands make for light work,” meaning the more volunteers the lighter the work for each of us. I expect we will be mounting the sketches on Thursday August 1 but will confirm once we have a firm date from the library.

This is our time! Let’s make it an event to remember.




A house at Crescent Heights

Crescent Heights has a wonderful overview of downtown Calgary from across the Bow River.

I thought I would draw a wonderful vista of the downtown on Tuesday night, but when I got there I was somewhat overwhelmed by what I saw. I settled for a sketch of a beautiful brick and frame house at the end of the block. It took about 30 minutes to rough in the pencil sketch, then another 30 to ink in most of the lines, and then I had to stop for the night. As an instructor once told me, “the mind can’t absorb what the butt can’t endure.” I finished the lines this morning and then the watercolour washes later today.

This was in a 5-1/2″ by 8″ sketchbook.

House at Crescent Heights

Calgary Marathon on Sunday May 26

Just realized the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is happening on Sunday May 26. It starts and ends at the Stampede grounds and goes out to Bowness. The marathon will cross the Bow using the Zoo bridge to Inglewood, Centre Street, and 14th St W, will use Memorial Drive and will pass through the Beltline along 11th Ave S. This may make it difficult for some to reach Barb Scott park (our next sketching location) on Sunday morning.

More information¬† can be found by searching on “Scotiabank Calgary Marathon.”


From a snowy day in February

This is the Alexandra Centre in Inglewood, drawn on Feb 16 but only coloured with watercolour washes a few days ago. I struggled a lot with the colour of the shadows, and scrubbed off at least two versions before getting this cool gray on. On the right hand side, you can see where the “waterproof” ink was starting to give up as I scrubbed off the previous wash. The day was cloudy with a lot of snow falling, so the shadows were pretty weak.

Alexandra Centre cmprsd