Winter Sketching Refuges

We’ve had some great luck with our indoor venues as of late, although the winter has been mild enough to likely make the occasional outdoor sketch feasible. But with no shortage of vibrant new spaces to explore, we haven’t had any lack of heated options.

I love this goldfish mural at the Central Library, because it’s constructed as a mosaic out of multicoloured book spines! It’s also heartwarming to see so many people of differing ages and backgrounds sharing and appreciating these public spaces together. It’s an easy place to lose track of time in too!


Another fun Saturday morning was spent at Brookfield Place in the heart of downtown. Because it’s connected to the +15 walkway system that links many downtown buildings and high-rises, there was a steady flow of foot traffic in spite of the various vendors and cafes being closed for the weekend. The architecture makes use of a lot of glass and open vertical space; one entire eating area is planted with full-size trees to add to the expansive feeling. It also made for a lot of fun with light and reflection!


A Season of Sketching

Throughout the winter months, we were longing for the weather to warm so we could sketch outdoors, but once spring hit, it seems that weekend plans quickly blossomed along with the flowers. In spite of conflicting schedules, the courageous sketchers have met up on every Saturday throughout the summer. And we’ve amassed a growing number of us in the process! Such fantastic momentum! Rain or shine (and recently, smoke as evident below) have not hampered turnouts and enthusiasm.

Our ever-growing Calgary chapter on Tom Campbell’s Hill, on a smoky August 11th

This post is long, long overdue, but better late than never. Here are some of the highlights from our meetups throughout the season:

I’ve been taking a perspective drawing class at ACAD to try to improve something I’ve always felt was a weak point; I clearly need to keep practicing on location, so this is great homework!

Looking west down Stephen Avenue
Coffee and treats out of the rain in Cafe Rosso on August 4th

Can’t wait to see everyone again this weekend!

Hidden In Plain Sight

I have often found Calgary to be a city which is very underestimated in its beauty. Living at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it’s easy for it to be overshadowed by the majestic natural vistas that abound just an hour away from the bustling city. But if you’re willing to take the time and explore, there are countless beautiful urban scenery and details to be discovered right in our own backyard. I wanted to share some of my favourite sketches of my home from the past few years.

The first is the view from my old desk at work towards the Bow Valley Square buildings, downtown. Each of the four highrises in the building are situated on a corner of one city block, so from my vantage from the 12th floor across the street, it always seemed like looking out through a tunnel.


I confess that this next one was done from a photo, but it was such a chilly day! I caught this shot over lunch in Chinatown, with everyone rushing to get indoors.

Calgary - Chinatown

Winter sketching outdoors is actually enabled every few weeks when the warm chinook winds blow in! This was finished over couple days during a particularly warm January.

Calgary - Downtown