Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stone Men

Last night our sketching group visited the studios of Smith & Barber -stone carvers.  They are currently working on the restoration of the West Block of the Parliament Buildings here in Ottawa.  Their specific contributions is the replication of various architectural ornaments and details.

They work in an amazingly traditional manner - mallet and chisel on stone, with incredible precision.

Phillip Smith stayed late to let us in and in talking to him his passion for stone carving was evident and infectious.

I was taken by some of the "green men", sort male nymphs or fairies which became part of the Gothic lexicon of ornament, but have much longer origins back to the Celts.

I invited my sketching friends Marc and Laurel to come all the way from Montreal ( a 2 hour drive) and they did!   A gift to me for their company. They made friends, as they usually do and documented the evening with Laurel's photos and Marc's sketches.  More to come, no doubt, this summer at the Stone Carving Festival.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Little Colour on a Grey Day

A little bit of colour is welcome on a grey winter day when there aren't even distinct shadows.  This yellow shed around the block from my home was the closest to sunshine I saw yesterday - unusual here in Ottawa which is known for is cold but clear, sunny winter weather.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Daly Street

The backsides of buildings continue to fascinate me.  As the large trees in front of homes decline, are removed and not replaced, more and more, the large trees can only be found in the interiors of the blocks.

I also like the way you can read the evolution of the buildings with additions cobbled onto additions in stages.