A City Bathed in Smoke

I live in Langdon – about 20 mins east of the city for those who don’t know – so when I woke up tasting smoke in the air I was a little worried our planned sketch outing was going to be a bust.  After all – the city was bound to be even smokier.

When I passed 17th ave and could at least see some detail on the skyline – I began to figuratively “breathe easier”.

Tom Campbell Hill offers such a beautiful view of the Calgary Skyline.  And the wall around the monument at the top was the perfect height to turn into my sketching “desk”


One thing that sketching in a group provides is a change to tackle subjects you may have avoided…like the skyline.   I’m not one of those people who can shrink down a huge panorama into a tiny sketchbook page…so I don’t.

I was also very happy to see my usual urban sketching friend, Kris, come out to sketch with us too!


and I even finished 100% onsite!  The finished sketch…



A Bridge in Quarry Park

My twins had been in swimming lessons at the Remington Y in Quarry Park for the past two weeks.  About a week in, I happened to glance to the right as we were driving into the parking lot and what to my wondering eyes should appear…but a gorgeous stone bridge complete with archways and water.  An urban sketchers dream! (Well THIS urban sketchers dream, anyway)

So, on the last day of swimming – I packed my sketching supplies and said “You have 40 minutes – go forth and sketch”

It was a race against the clock but I managed to even get colour on it in the 40 mins I had…and only had to tweak a tiny but at home.


If you’re a local sketcher, looking for a quiet place to sketch – this is definitely a nice spot.  The bridge is gorgeous and there is a great mix of surrounding office buildings and greenery.

First Time Out

It was early morning on August 4 and I was antsy for a break from the 24/7 of momdom.  I had decided I’d go out urban sketching by myself and had thought I’d head to Inglewood…until I found out Sunfest was happening and that sounded like a special kind of hell to sketch in.   So, time to enlist Google.  I typed in “Urban Sketching Locations in Calgary”…and the magic happened.  I discovered Calgary now has an official Urban Sketchers group…and they were meeting that very morning.  If I hurried – I could make it!

So hurry, I did!  I made it to Cafe Rosso right at 11!

We were sketching Stephen Avenue that morning and soon we were on our way to find a subject.   Initially, I wandered up past the Bay to sketch the old Palace Theatre but between an awkward location and dodging raindrops, I managed to make mud of my first sketch.  Ah well – that’s why sketchbooks have many pages.  I turned the page – and walked my stuff back to the rest of the group and set up to sketch the Bay Building.

I’d always been daunted by those arches.  It was a huge moment when I sucked it up and just did them.   My perspective is still off, but I had fun.


It was so fun seeing everyone’s sketches.  I also loved the sharing of information that was happening in the group.


And after, back at the coffeeshop, seeing how everyone interpreted the location was so fun!   I’m so glad I went (even if the Matcha Latte I had was the weirdest thing I’ve ever ingested)


Calgary urban sketching workshop

Yesterday  I attended one of the urban sketching workshops offered by local studio Vazques-Mackay. It was a pleasure to meet Mark and Carmen, and the other participants to the session. I enjoyed the sketching session very much and look forward to attending more. Below are my two finished sketches.

IMG_2238Morning sketch – former Calgary science center
IMG_2239Afternoon sketch – Millennium skate park