Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Bob Ross

The Bob Ross is the "committee boat" at Britannia Yacht Club.  This means that it anchors across from race buoy at both the start and finish lines of a race so that the race officials can see along the line for false starts or to time the various classes as they finish.

She, or is it he?, is moored in a quiet corner of the harbour waiting for the first race of the year.

Lunch in the "Market"

Last week an old pal David, visited from London England for a few days.  He is Canadian but has now spent more of his life in England than Canada.  He is also an artist so we had a good time chatting and sketching together.  Lunch, of course, is always a prime opportunity and the natural place to take him was the By Ward Market district to find a restaurant with a patio.  Something I rarely do.

When travelling, I want to sketch everything. But here in my own city, it's more challenging to see those opportunities, or perhaps feel an urgency to catch it while I can.  So, it was great to having a sketching pal show around town because it helped me see Ottawa through the eyes of a visitor.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Library

Well, not just The Library, but the back side of Centre Block as seen from Major's Hill Park.  The tower on the left is the Peace Tower and the Library of Parliament is the   stepped conical roof to the right.  The copper roofs were replaced on with a restoration of the library a few years ago and are still bronze coloured as it takes several years to weather to the lovely green colour on the Centre Block roofs.

Friday, 16 May 2014


"The drawings are executed with an architect’s eye, balanced with a love of freshness and spontaneity."
Marc Taro Holmes

Last night I uploaded my book about walking and sketching my way across northern Spain to the print on demand publisher, Blurb.

I didn't have a book in mind when I did the sketches.  Oh yah, the idea had gone through my mind, but it seemed overwhelming.  However, along the way, people would look over my shoulder as I was sketching and ask if I was going to "do something with them".  I thought I might look back on the journals, but  I really draw and paint because I like doing it, not because I believe anyone would buy them.  And anyway, I couldn't cut the pages out of my little sketchbooks to show them on a wall.  Not to mention they are really small, and I love big pieces.

When I got home I started writing - almost compulsively.  It helped me to process the trip.  It was still sort of a dream to do a book.   A slender little thing, at 96 pages and only using about half of the 120 sketches I did in the four weeks.  But its funny how these things work on you and while it took a lot of investigation and a few false starts, but here it is.

It has been a great experience and I learned a lot.  Now, I have several ideas for other projects like this. Not because I think it will be a living, so much as because it's intrinsically satisfying.  But... it would be nice to break even.

It can be ordered from Blurb - and even if you aren't interested in buying one, check out Blurb - you may want to do something yourself!

Marc Taro Homes, one of my Urban Sketcher pals and mentors posted a nice review of the book on the Urban Sketchers site.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Harbour Stuff

Last night our sketching group met at Britannia Yacht Club.  Due to the late spring very few boats have been put into the water, so there was lots to draw.

Aside from the boats one of the things I love about harbours and boat yards are the various mechanical devices and equipment.  Most of these objects are unabashedly functional and inevitably a little dinged up and rusty.  I even like the names - bollards, winches, sponsons, davits, engine wells and the like.