Art in Inglewood

A perfect day for sketching in my favorite neighborhood. Sandy did a masterful job, and I bumbled along as usual.

A great day regardless. Met a number of tradespeople familiar with the buildings in the neighborhood, got a bit of a sunburn, and soaked in the atmosphere of an impending long weekend…

Informal Sketch Session; Thursday, April 18. 1.00pm

The weather looks to be perfect on Thursday, so I am planning to sketch the Livery and Nash Hotel near 10 ave and 10 St SE (very close to Crown Surplus). I’ll probably stop in for a coffee at Gravity Cafe either before or after, depending…

If anyone is interested, please let me know. There is lots of parking in the area, but I’ll probably take the train to the City Hall station, then walk over through the East Village, just for the exercise… it takes about 15 minutes.

A sad day…

A sad day for anyone that has stood in awe at Norte-Dame. One of civilization’s great architectural achievements.

This view brought home by my father in 1961. A watercoloured etching that probably dates to the 1930s…

Worth reflecting that every day Urban Sketchers capture places and moments that are fleeting, and important.

Noorduyn Norseman

A morning well spent drawing, and great conversation afterwards! My contribution… as always, stand back and squint. Apparently the mind fills in the rest…

I flew in Norseman aircraft (plus Beavers, Otters and Dakotas) with my parents when we lived in construction camps in Northern Ontario during the 1960s. They were the heavy haulers of the bushplane industry, on floats or skis. Along with pulp and paper trains, they were the only links to civilization. There were no roads…

Thanks for organizing the event!

Sketching with the Sunshine Coast Plein Air Group

On my last trip to Oz I had the opportunity to attend several sketch outs with the local Plein Air group. They are incredibly inclusive; instant friends, and willing to share and instruct anyone with an interest. It is a long-standing group with a large following led by a small core. One of the organizers was secretary for a large USk group in the USA; she is just starting the long process for USk affiliation for the Sunshine Coast club.

They meet weekly (Fridays from 12.30-3.00). People take turns organizing locations, and they generally visit each spot two weeks in a row. All communication and trip planning is done via a closed Facebook group…

Like USk Calgary, drawing is often wrapped up in a coffee shop (Australia is full of independent cafes, and has a long history of coffee culture, thanks to waves of immigration from Italy and Greece). A ton of fun. Most people post online afterwards, and there is healthy chatter about techniques, tools and vacation plans. Cafes are also used for rainy day locations…

A few of the group are semi-professional. They sell their drawings and paintings at shows, on line, via Instagram etc. Others are retired art teachers, and some are active instructors. Passerbys and other artists often stopped for a chat. Regardless of level, it was all very positive.

Others have varied interests and styles. Some make their own sketchbooks, cutting up watercolour paper that they stitch and bind. Lots of colour on the sketches. People were experimenting with powdered colour that they would sprinkle on the paper and spray with water. Some brought paper to sketch on that they had underpainted in advance, to give a moody background. Really interesting!

Highly recommended if you are ever in the area! For me Fridays were a highlight that I looked forward to…

Fast and Loose on Australia’s Sunshine Coast

I recently spent a few weeks at my old stomping grounds north of Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia. Warm, semitropical, and hundreds of miles of beaches centered on Noosa National Park….

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have the patience or skill to do high accuracy drawings! My general goal these days is to loosen up my style and get better at capturing the feeling of a place. Aussie sketchers are really big on colour, so I have been moving that way too. Lots of experimentation, with mixed results…

Encroaching cyclones produced huge waves and high winds, which were interesting. Water is difficult to capture at any time!

Most of Australia’s beach towns are an eclectic mixture of cafes, shops, pubs and markets. Plenty of places for practice. I am always amazed by the amount of interest from owners and passerbys. I was often approached by people, and the reception was always positive.

The main draw is the ocean though! And at any given time you would find groups of people sitting and watching it while lost in thought, surfers checking out the break, people walking on the sand, and lifesavers going about their business…