Sketching On Ile Aux Grues

IleAuxGruesMapIle aux Grues (Crane Island) is the largest islandof an archipelago in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, near the point where it widens into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It can only be reached by ferry and then only when the tides are favorable enough to provide enough depth for the ferry.  The few children that live there go to school on an airplane every day, which sounds pretty cool to me.

Last Wednesday, though, it was sketching day and five of us went sailing to Ile aux Grues for a day of sketching.  It was an ideal day.  As we learned late in the day, this included a breeze which kept the mosquitos away from us.

The hike across the island is 1.2 km through oat and corn fields, with church steeples sticking up out of the greenery and everywhere you looked was a sketching subject.  There is just one idyllic scene after the other on the island and it was hard to decide where to stop, until we came to the location of this scene.  All of us wanted to draw it so we spread out to our favorite perch and point of view and set to work.  Next time I do this scene I’ll get closer.  Maybe I’ll also be better 🙂

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Then it was time for lunch and more walking.  Some started searching for a bathroom.  But once lunch was over we split up again to sketch.  I walked back down the road to a place we’d passed that I thought particularly interesting and started sketching.  It was so pleasant that once in a while, I’d pop out of my sketching meditation and just sit, looking out at a ship passing by or a seagull squawking about something.  This was a day that sketchers dream of, only I was living it.

But, at one point, the rest of our group came marching down the road in my sketch and ‘decided’ that my sketch was finished, which is why I present it in kinda-sorta, almost finished condition.  They wanted to walk down to the cheese factory (the island is known for its high-quality cheeses) and that’s just what we did.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (6x9), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (6×9), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

There’s not much point in buying cheese if you’re not going to eat some of it so we all reconnoitered around a picnic table in the camping area and chowed down on cheese and crackers.

After a while we realized that we had to make our way back to the ferry landing and the person in the campground gave us “instructions” (note the quotes) for how we could “just walk down this dirt road and turn right.”  Well, that put us in the middle of a mosquito-infested forest with what was sort of a trail, but not really.  We did eventually make it back to the ferry but this is exactly why men don’t ask for directions 🙂

Our day wasn’t done, though.  We had an hour to wait for the ferry and so we drank some coffee and I wandered down the queue with Yvan where he gave me a great lesson in starting with general pencil tone, followed by drawing on top of it.  It was quite an eye-opener.  Now, if only I can get it into my brain.

July Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

A month ago I wrote about sketching at Jardin botanique Roger-Van den Hende.  That incredibly long name is attached to a very large arboretum that is a really, really great place for a sketcher.  And this month’s sketchcrawl, organized by the Croquistes de Quebec was held at this little piece of heaven.

What was fun this Sunday was that in addition to a dozen sketcher, we shared the arboretum with a group of watercolorists and another group of people doing crochet.  If that weren’t enough, a large group of students came to the garden.  They were a group of French immersion students who were on a mission to use their vocabulary to talk about plants and flowers.

All of this is to say that I did a lot more talking than I would at most sketching sessions and so my sketching time suffered.  Still, I found a place that was out of the crowds and I plunked myself down in front of this neglected potting shed and drew it.

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (5.5x8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (5.5×8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

We had some new people at this sketchcrawl and so there was a lot of sketchbook sharing so we could get to know one another better.  This is one of my favorite things about sketchcrawls and they seemed to enjoy it as well.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5.5x8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5.5×8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

It was getting late when I sat down to draw some lilies.  I only got the ink drawing done by the time it was time to leave.  I thought I’d show you that as well as the sketch after I added some color to it at home.  Do you ever get a chance to sketch in botanical gardens?

2016-07-17-57lilies