Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring Street Methodist Church

There are five or six very nice churches in Westport,  a charming village on Big Rideau Lake.  I'm always taken with the big dreams and level of effort that the people in these small towns had in building not just churches, but also impressive town halls and schools in these fledgling 19th century Ontario towns.  That, and the divisions between denominations, which compared to the cultural diversity in Canada today seem trivial.

This elegant brick church struck me as unusual as the taller tower, which is on the corner of the block, is at 45 degrees to the main building.  It also has three main doors and I understand a sloped (theatre) floor, so I'm curious to take a peak inside sometime.

It was built in 1889 as a Methodist Church, but in the Church Union, when the Canadian Methodists,  and  Presbyterians merged, it would have been renamed as a United Church.  Interestingly, there is also an active Presbyterian congregation in Westport - one of the third that declined merging in 1925.

Monday, 28 March 2016

No Lack of Character

One of the things I appreciate about the harbour where I keep my sailboat are the other owners.  As you can imagine there is lots of discussion about sailing, boat maintenance and the attributes of different boats.

My friend John, bought a C & C 27 Mark III in 1975.  It was one of 10 out of 100 manufactured that year to remain in Canada. He sailed it for 40 years on Lac Deschenes, on the Ottawa River and never spent a night on it.

But here's the fun part.  The question I always like to ask these characters, is how did you learn to sail.

John grew up in Boston and as a boy, spent summers in Booth Harbour Maine. At the age of 13 he dragged an abandoned wooden dinghy out of the water and spent two summers repairing it all by himself.  He even made a sail from a bed sheet, with which he taught himself to sail.  Later on, in high school,  he owned a Dragon which he sailed on the Charles River.  All a precursor to his varied and colourful life as a graduate physician, who then became a fighter pilot and later and adviser to several Presidents.

Sadly John passed away late last year and as he did not want a funeral, I haven't used his full name.

Monday, 21 March 2016

More B & W

a scan of the lino, itself...."backwards"
It seems I've gone back to my old black and white ways.  I drew with ink  for fun for years and then stopped as it became an occupation.   As an architect, it was all about lines, or sometimes lines and heavier lines, not colour, so I  think maybe, that I started to think that way, in my very visual mind.

My wonderful mentor, Jim Belisle , explained that to me a couple of sketching trips ago.   He makes wonderful "smudges" in his endless sketchbooks and has become very painterly in his approach.

All to say, I've been playing around with lino-cut this winter and have ambitions to do a series of the huts that I love to cross-country ski to in Gatineau Park.

Several winters ago I visited each one and it was great fun to experience different trails and be first, often, to light the wood stoves.  (that's another theme - lighting fires)

Anyway, back to the lino-cut.  Shilly Shally was the first one to come to mind, as I'm very fond of that little cabin.  The first lino-cut  was a "learner" and I will never show a print, in part because, duh,  I forgot about the mirror image part and also, I've been working on a two press thing, to add the red of the barge board, window frames and doors.  Although, this image does remind me of skiing in at night, which I love to do.

I've got to get this series done then find a good workshop on woodcut print-making.....

West Port Tree Fort

Now wouldn't it be fine,
to stop and take the time,
to sketch a maple tree fort,
while on the road to Westport?

editorial comment:
I haven't been sketching lately, as you see from this careful (stiff)  drawing .... it takes me a couple of days of sketching to get in that loose groove that I aim for.

but; says me, to meself, at least I took the time and had fun doing it