Sunday, 31 July 2011

The backside of Parliament

I really liked the double page (1:3) format from our recent trip, so when I saw some drawing pads in that format in the art supply store I bought one.  This is Parliament Hill, here in Ottawa, as viewed from the other side of the Ottawa River.  I only captured about a third of the panorama, so I'll have to return with a finer pen.

And with this we close out another month.  I set a goal of sketching three times a week back in April.  Easy on vacation; in an average week, not so much.  I have done fairly well towards that goal and am feeling some improvement.  I am also becoming more selective in what I post.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Double Pagers

This last posting from our trip are sketches from Lake Garda, Verona and Venice.  We happened to be in Verona on a Saturday attended an Opera in the ancient roman Arena that evening.  It was an amazing experience with about 9000 people in attendance and at least 250 on stage.  Nothing virtual about it - no amplification and with the exception of a puff of smoke when the villain was hit by lightning, no special effects.  The audience is allowed to come and go and bring in food and drinks.  I guess when the seats are stone and have been spilled on for 1600 years, you worry a little less about stains.  Good thing too as the Opera was four acts and with the elaborate set changes took 4 hours.  True confession: we left early.

These are photographs as my scanner is too short for the double page, so they aren't flat, but I think the colour is better than the scanner picks up.  I guess I'll have to either learn how to calibrate  colours and stitch, or get a better scanner.  If I were under 30 that would be an easy choice, but I think I'll investigate scanners first.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Bolzano to Venice by Bike

I'll start this narrative with the obligatory Urbansketchers drawing from the airport.

I was able to do several sketches a day on the trip - many over lunch.

On the third day of the trip we caught a ferry and travelled down the length of Lake Garda.  It was a proverbial milk run and stopped at least a dozen times in 4 hours.  These stops were incredibly brief but did allow me a couple of minutes to lay down some ink, then apply some washes as departed.  It was a great exercise and helped me loosen up.  What a wonderful afternoon.

Strange sketches from a bike trip - the ones I've included have a definite water theme.  This one was a canal in Padova and the next in Venice.

Venice was fantastic for a boat lover.  Everything comes and goes by boat and hand-truck.  The water taxis were elegant 30 foot launches and even the water buses are classic narrow, canoe stern craft.   The boat handling was beyond competent in the narrow canals.

This sketch combines two of my fixations - construction and watercraft !  A little odd, but harmless.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Postcards from Italy

We just got home from a cycling trip in Italy.  We rode from Bolzano in the Dolomite mountains down to Venice where we had a few days to just wander around.  I did lots of sketching, including some postcards.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Pretoria Bridge

We live close to the Rideau Canal which passes through Ottawa.  Canal tour boats are designed to pass under the Pretoria Bridge, but larger craft must signal the operator to close the bridge to traffic and lift the middle section to provide 6 m clearance. The photo shows the bridge raised.

Canada Day

We haven't gone downtown for Canada Day for years, but one of our nieces, Claire, wanted to visit and do the full deal.  Our dear friend Wendy hosted a brunch in her office overlooking Confederation Square and we saw Kate and what's his name arrive in an open carriage for the ceremonies.

Parliament Hill and the streets were absolutely packed with people, most of whom were dressed in red and white, the colours of our flag.  The City looked very festive with Banners and flags everywhere.