We are pleased and proud that we are now an authorized chapter of urbansketchers.org, the international organization of the tens of thousands of urban sketchers across the globe.

 Keep sketching and be sure to direct the urban sketchers you know to visit this site and ask to join our group. Upon approval they will be able to post their work, as long as they adhere to the Urban Sketchers Manifesto which is posted on the right side of this site.

Sketching Toronto


Toronto City Hall is an iconic symbol of the city and the large square in front presents a comfortable venue to sketch with plenty of food vendors and coffee.


Art galleries and museums offer many opportunities to sketch in relative comfort.

The Art Gallery of Ontario has a large and diverse collection of art including a gallery dedicated to these Henry Moore plaster casts.88A72876-FB93-4AF8-AF28-6CC7F6F4ADB2


This painting is an example of Italian baroque style feature by realism and the use of intenselight and shadow.. I tried to capture some of that.


I saw the tower of this building from a distance and thought it was a bank but it turns out this combination of art deco and gothic revival is a government office building. The progressive set backs, the strong vertical elements and the many statues ( 12 I think ) all carved in stone give it  a romantic era monumental and sculpural quality.



Toronto has a lot of historic structures and I hope tosketch more of them someday,



In the shadow of Tom Thomson

Sketched this at the Parry Sound town dock a week ago, then finished the washes back at the cottage… I used a larger format than I usually do, allowing more detail.

Apparently the largest trestle east of the Rockies, and important at the time due to the booming timber industry. Tom Tomson drew the same view in 1914, after paddling up from Go Home Bay. The lumber mills that he saw  burned down shortly after… (see below; it should be obvious which one is his!)

I used to fish near this spot when we lived here in 1963 (As always, I rarely caught anything…).


Its never boring on the train! I manage to find interesting subjects to draw everyday. Another bunch of characters, captured in sketches over the past few weeks.


Calgary Urban Sketching Workshops

For the last 4 Saturdays I have participated in an Urban Sketching Workshop facilitated by Mark Vazques-Mackay and his wife Carmen.  Each day starts with a quick lesson from Mark, followed by plenty of individual instruction and attention throughout the day.

Here is a sampling of some of my sketches.

Week 1 – Sketching in a back alley in Kensington
Lougheed House
Week 2 – Inside Lougheed House



Week 2 – Outside Lougheed House
Week 3 – View from Bell Studio – Container Park
Week 3 – People Sketching at Bell Studio
Week 4 – From Plus 15 overlooking 1 ST SE

The next 4 lessons are Deep Skylines and Cityscapes in Bridgeland, Quick Capturing of Urban Organic Structures in West Village, Historic Buildings of Inglewood with Texture and Tone, and finally Mark Making in Industrial Ramsey.   It has been a blast, and I have learned so much.  If you wish to join us you can contact Mark thru his website Studio Vazquez-Mackay.


Inglewood Bridge

A year ago I was fascinated by the confluence of the CPR main line with the Sculpture Garden and the ironworks of the Inglewood bridge and did this sketch.


The rusted rivets and beams of the bridge evoke in me the  pre world war one era of optimistic industrialization and progress.

It is slated for demolition and replacement so I look forward to sketching and recording a piece of Calgary’s history.

Our recent sketchwalks visited other structures of that prosperous era.

The First Baptist Church in the Beltline is a 1912 Gothic revival with a rich mix of brick, sandstone and timber.93E466AB-9168-44BA-B6CC-F66033A5272E

The Colonel James Walker house was built in 1910.2B5750F7-17F8-481D-8596-FF8F69B69E00

Built in 1912/1913 St. Matthew’s Lutheran church has its own unique details of brick and stone. There is history of the structure on this link: https://www.bigdoer.com/20711/then-and-now/calgary-then-and-now-st-matthew-lutheran-church/987EDA68-1876-4EE1-B174-22B2FAF24271

Looking forward to our SketchWalk at the Inglewood Bridge.

Out and About – FYI


Here is some information I should have passed along. This crumpled announcement lists a number of weeks of urban sketching classes going on in Calgary. At least one of our group is attending all of them. I don’t know the instructor so have no comment on him, but I believe he is an accomplished artist.  I also think that individual places in sessions are still available if you are interested. The website to check it out is shown on the bottom of the crumpled sheet. Looks like a worthwhile endeavour.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary


We had a beautiful afternoon to sketch the Colonel James Walker home on the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary grounds. As it turns out, Colonel Walker called his beautiful home, ‘Inglewood’ and that is where the community derives its name. Who knew?

We were six in total, including Simone, our youngest member, a lovely nine year old who loves to sketch and accompanied her Dad, Matteo, who is also a recent addition to our ranks. Welcome to you both. oh, and thanks, Jeff, for holding my work so that I could hold the camera.