Statues and Memories

Two sunny Saturday’s in a row was good luck! Sketching from Connaught Park on that Saturday was ideal!68ECF5FF-AEFC-4B8C-8886-963D25469922

There is so much public art downtown that we can do it again!


I think I maybe over coloured these ladies but it was a fun exercise.


I was a bit heart broken by all the turmoil in Hong Kong because I had a wonderful time there, sketching and socializing! These were done two years ago in an old fishing village.


I took a sketch break during our visit to the Stampede grounds and learned a little bit about the iconography of tipi paintings.


Can you tell that this sketch was done during Stampede week? It was done in two sittings and I enjoyed talking to our international visitors starting with their peeking over my shoulder.


I shall be attending the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam in two weeks and will be happy to post photos of the event!

Thanks to Jim G. for collecting the mounted sketches and for connecting with the library.

Happy Sketching everyone!!!  Rod

Three More Sketches

It was a cold day in May when we came downtown.I found a great spot on the plus 15, warm and dry, to capture these beauties. They are curved steel wind baffles to mitigate the wind tunnel effect of the large plus 15 bridge.

And they were so complicated that I spent my 90 minutes struggling with the line work and coloured it up at home!


At Barb Scot park I was drawn to the Carl Safran building, the stone work is amazing!!!


Another sand stone building that fascinates me is the McDougall Building. I did this one in two sittings, weeks apart.


Happy sketching!

I shall follow up with the logo soon……


3 Recent Sketches

cSpace is a building that breathes visual art. I ended up sketching the sketchers! I think we should someday revisit the building.


On a cold day in May we sketched indoors in the now half empty Eau Claire Market.


It was a good weather day to sketch the Peace Bridge! I added the geese later because they are so much a part of the river’s banks….and to have a little fun!


Keep Sketching!


Ideas for a LOGO?

Hi Sketchers!

In July we can exhibit our work at the Public Library where a logo and contacts sign would identify us.

These are sample USK logos from the groups in other cities.

It would be nice if we had one too! The logo could go on a business card, could be a rubber stamp on sketches, for sure on our website or even on a banner for our group photos.

There is so much talent in our members so I am making an informal call for submissions: ideas and sketches.

Thank you all,








Sketching Vietnam

My wife and I stayed in a town called Hoi An in Vietnam for a few weeks in March to have a leisurely escape from winter and to experience this beautiful country. For me it was a wonderful opportunity to have time to sketch every day at an unhurried pace.


Many mornings I would get up early and walk into the old town with my stool, my bag of drawing stuff and my coffee thermos. The streets would be quiet before the hordes of tour groups and the local residents would be starting their day. Most of these were done in two consecutive mornings because I didn’t want to miss the hotel’s breakfast.

The motor bike is the family van and the pickup truck of Vietnam!



Doing this sketch by the river was particularly relaxing and the chicken was one of many seeming to live in the strip park along the river.


Sometimes I would try to focus on architectural details. The yellow wash on the buildings is the signature colour of Hoi An Ancient Town.

Sketching in the comfort of an open air coffee shop with a delicious Vietnamese black coffee or a local beer is ideal.


Buildings don’t move and are easier to capture than people but it’s the activities of it inhabitants that define it’s culture.

The women of Vietnam work hard and long, especially in the markets. Their skin is completely covered because the dark tanned skin is undesirable, a young lady traditionally is less acceptable for marriage. Ironically, I was happy to get some tan!

The straw hat is made of palm leaves and a bamboo frame. It is very light, reflects the hot sun, repels the rain and is made from local materials. However, it did not seem to be worn by the younger generation. Traditional and practical are just not “cool”!



An hour from Hoi An lie the thousand year old ruins of My Son, a complex of Hindu temples from the Champa civilization. They were abandoned 500 years ago and rediscovered by French archeologists just over a hundred years ago.


Dining is delightful in Vietnam and the street food is everywhere. The food carts are mobile and the competition for a good location is tough. The mostly women sellers work long days and into the night.B06AC03A-7FCF-4BFA-B6B5-63AE3E098773

It was a wonderful place to vacation and each sketch is a memory.

Happy sketching!


Display your Sketches in the New Library

Hi  Calgary Urban Sketchers,

The new public library has a wall dedicated to the “Calgary Story” and they would be quite happy to display our sketches of buildings and scenes of the city. The wall space is on the third floor. This would be nice publicity for us personally and for urban sketching in in our city.

Here is a photo of a current exhibit of photographs. The pieces are suspended from a bar on wires so there are no wall mounting hooks required.


This is wall available for us.


I recently had a request for copies of my Hong Kong sketches. Staple print services will scan your sketchbook and make pretty good prints. I was reluctant to rip the pages out of my sketchbook and this allowed me to keep the sketchbook intact..

In the two photos below Staples printed the sketches on foam board with a glossy finish. One is 8 1/2″ x 11″ and the other 11″x17″. Scanning, printing and foam board mounting on the larger size was under $10.00.



The exhibition display wall is available in either July or August of this year so there is time to organize your submission. I shall issue a reminder in early June.

Keep Sketching!!!!