Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Forgotten Sketchbook

It's amazing what one can find when cleaning up. I found an old sketchbook the other day, tucked away among a bunch of old papers. I can't really remember when I did these sketches. I think I was just fooling around - none of them are finished drawings. But it was fun finding them again.  

It reminded me of the things I like to do when I am drawing - the things I like to look at and how I try to put marks down on paper to give a sense of what I see.

My interests haven't changed much over the years. I am still fascinated by gesture and drapery.

Flipping through this forgotten sketchbook inspired me and I decided to add a brand new sketch. I pulled out some felt-tip markers and enjoyed myself splashing around some colour for about half an hour. I am going to try to do more in the future - several times in the past, I resolved to do at least one drawing a day, but the daily grind has intervened and I've neglected these resolutions. Thank goodness for little reminders of what's important dropping into our lives once in a while!

Monday, 26 November 2012

And What, To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

...but snow! When I got up this morning, I was surprised to see the first dusting of snow on the ground. Not a lot, but enough to cover the roads and roofs of buildings and the railing on my deck. The sun was just starting to rise when I took this picture, giving a pink tint to the new snow.

The first snow is always exciting. I must admit that it is much nicer to walk on than drive on (the traffic reports this morning were full of stories of accidents). My usual route to work was bright and cheerful with the white snow and blue shadows.

It was a trifle slippery in spots and people were walking carefully. I had to dig out my winter boots this morning but now I'm good to go for the season. More snow? Bring it on!  

Sunday, 25 November 2012

More Reflections

The Ottawa River was so still recently, one calm chilly November evening as I was walking back to Ottawa from Gatineau. The city had a perfect mirror image in the water. Perhaps the cold made the water clearer and more reflective, like an icy glass sheet.

Incidentally, like other bloggers who have been told they have run out of storage space, I decided to bite the bullet and pay so I could continue this blog. I hope to come up with some new ideas soon. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to keep it going.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Like many other bloggers whose posts I have been reading lately, I have received a message that I've used up all the space on my blog for posting pictures. So this may be the end for my blog - or it may not. It has been fun and I would like to continue these random posts of my experiences and thoughts. We shall see......... 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Wonderful Afternoon Painting from the Model

This past Sunday, I spent a wonderful afternoon at the studio of a friend of mine, doing some painting using a live model. There were several painters who participated in the session and we all set up our materials and got to work.

The model was amazing. She held a pose for 5 hours (with several breaks, of course). I was delighted by the light and shadow on her face and the relaxed gesture of the pose.

I took this picture when the model was resuming the pose after a break and one of the artists, John, was talking to her. John's beautiful painting can be seen in the foreground.  


I haven't had the opportunity to work from the model like this for many, many years and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Here's to the delights of this classical way of making art!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Death and Beauty After a Killing Frost

Last night the temperature went down to minus 8 degrees (Celsius) and we had a deadly frost. This morning, as I was walking to work, I saw some plants in a vegetable garden that had been killed by the frost. Even though the leaves were limp and bowed down in death, they were very beautiful in the morning sunlight.

I believe these were lettuce leaves. They had been lush and healthy the day before, but now they were covered with a white rime and shrivelled with cold. This is a harbinger of things to come, when everything will be shrouded in a deadly white blanket of snow. Brrrr!

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Changing of the Light

After Sunday, when daylight saving time ended and we moved our clocks back an hour, I experienced a phenomenon that happens every year at this time - namely, the shifting of when it is light and dark. Last week, when my alarm rang and I got up, it was dark. This morning, when I got up, the sun was rising and it was light.

These shadows cast by the morning sunrise were delightful and it was a pleasure to get dressed and eat breakfast without needing to turn on the lights as I had to do last week.

However, the reverse happened in the late afternoon. Last week, when I was walking home after work, it was still light out. Today when I left work, the sun had already set and it was quickly getting dark.  

By the time I had reached the Byward Market area near my apartment, it was pitch black and all the storefronts and restaurants had their lights on - unlike last week when there was still an hour's light to enjoy. Oh well - the changing of the light is just one of those things that mark the changing of the seasons, which is always fascinating to watch.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Calm Day on the Charlottetown Waterfront While the Storm Raged Elsewhere

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, while Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on New York City and New Jersey and proceeding inland to cause problems for Southern Ontario, I was safely in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where the weather remained calm the whole time. I was there on a business trip, but whenever there was a break, I went for walks and explored the city. On Tuesday, I walked to the waterfront and discovered this lovely park with a boardwalk.

There were boats still on the water and the waves were fairly calm. The sky had a few clouds but they didn't look threatening.

It really was pleasant to walk along the boardwalk and look out toward the river.

There is something so soothing about seeing and hearing - and even smelling - water.

On the other side of the waterfront park, I saw several classic Maritime fishing boats. No one was around - the scene was so quiet and peaceful. It was very strange to realize that not very far away to the south, the coast of the United States was being hit by violent winds and powerful waves. How strange, unpredictable and amazing Nature is!