The Future Of Sketching Is Good In Quebec City

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Every year, Le Soleil, the premier newspaper in Quebec, conducts a writing and drawing contest for young, creative citizens.  The Musee de la Civilisation just set up a display of the art entries and it is truly inspiring.  As I looked at all the great drawings I couldn’t help but think of a quote from Danny Gregory’s The Creative License:

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked one day what I did at work.  I told her that I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?” – Howard Ikewoko

1Kids do know how to draw.  And we adults do seem to forget, both how to do it and how much fun it can be.  We in Quebec City are lucky that Le Soleil puts so much effort and resources behind fostering creative activity from our youth.  Thanks, Le Soleil.

Here’s a few photos to give you some idea of the variety and quality of these drawings.  These kids are good.0.75

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New Stillman & Birn Blog and Sketchbook Giveaway

Recently I did a quick review the new Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbooks and I’ve repeatedly extolled the virtues of their entire product line, to which I am very much addicted.

So, I’m more than a little bit excited that they’ve decided to open their own blog, On Paper.   They’ve had a Facebook page for a long time but Facebook has major problems with graphics and they seem unwilling to do anything to fix it so it’s nice to see S&B moving to blog technology to present great sketches done on great paper and to talk about their products.

S&BZetaThat’s not all the Stillman & Birn news, however.  They’re giving away ten of their new Zeta sketchbooks.  All you’ve got to do is send them your name to enter.  You can see details here, as well as the email address.

39th Worldwide Sketchcrawl In Quebec City

*** Les détails sont disponibles ici, en français.

I’m excited about our upcoming participation in the 39th Worldwide Sketchcrawl.  Quebec City sketchers are going to ride rather than walk during this sketchcrawl.  Maybe we should call it a sketch cruise.

traversieralphonse-desjardins-ext-ete4_STQOur organizers, Celine Poulin and Yvan Breton, have planned an event you won’t want to miss as we’re going for a boat ride.  Starting at 13:00h, Saturday April 13th, we’re going to board the ferry that traverses the St. Lawrence Seaway, between Quebec City and Levis.  Once on the boat we’ll sail the ocean’s blue, going back and forth between the two cities, sketching to our heart’s content.  We’ll can sketch from the indoor passenger rooms and their large viewing windows or from the decks themselves.  There are bathrooms, vending machines, and seats available.

Total cost will be $3.10 for a ticket and if you’ve got a monthly bus pass, it’s free.  What could be better than to have two coastlines and numerous ships and boats to sketch, as well as a steady stream of passengers.

traversieralphonse-desjardins-extmonde8_STQYou need to check the weather and dress accordingly.  You’ll need your sketching gear and a lunch.  Oh, no ability or talent is required – just some paper and a pointy device that can make marks… and a smile.  We thrive on smiles.  I hope you’ll join us.

Event Details

Date: 13 April (Saturday)
Location: Quebec City ferry dock
Time: 1300h
Cost: $3.10 (unlimited number of ferry crossings) – free if you have a monthly bus pass.

Les détails sont disponibles ici, en français.

If you’d like or need more information, you can contact me (French or English) at larry@larrydmarshall.com.  While it’s not required that you R.S.V.P. it would be nice if you let us know that you’re coming so we can look for you.

38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl in Quebec City

I received this from Celine Poulin, via email:

38e Sketchcrawl à la Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique française

Bonjour à tous les amis du dessin,
Un 38e Sketchcrawl aura lieu à Québec le samedi, 19 janvier prochain. Voici les renseignements pertinents :
 
Lieu : Chapelle du Musée de l’Amérique française, 2 Côte de la Fabrique (à côté de la Cathédrale de Québec)
Coût : Gratuit (annoncer au guichet que c’est pour l’activité de croquis)
Heure : 13h
 Apporter son banc ou sa chaise pour plus de confort.
 
Pour infos : http://www.mcq.org/fr/maf/renseignements.html
Pour ceux qui veulent visiter le musée avant l’activité, c’est gratuit de 10h à 12h le samedi (janvier et février seulement)

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chapelle_2For those unfamiliar with French, the 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl will be celebrated by Quebec City sketchers on Saturday, January 19th at the chapel associated with the Musée de l’Amérique française which is at 2 Côte de la Fabrique (next to the Quebec Cathedral).  This chapel was secularized for banquets and meetings but it’s gorgeous  and should be great for sketching.

This is a free event.  Just tell them at the door that you’re there for the sketching activity and they’ll let you in.  We’ll start at 13:00.  Bring your materials, and if you have one, a stool, as it will be more comfortable than standing all afternoon.

MuseeFrancais

You can get information about the site here: http://www.mcq.org/fr/maf/renseignements.html

View Location Map
Lastly, if you would like to visit the museum, during January and February it is free from 10-12h on Saturdays.

 

People Power Responds to Congress

It bothers me how automatic “What can I do?” and “Citizens have no voice” rolls off the tongues of people in North America.  We still outnumber our governments and we shouldn’t lose sight of that.  Here’s a great story of some people who didn’t and they saved their post office from the budget cut axe.  Earnest Ward tells the tale of how a bunch of artists saved their post office.

 

36th Worldwide Sketchcrawl – Quebec Style

In conjunction with the Worldwide Sketchcrawl effort on July 14th, We’re having a sketchcrawl here in Quebec City.  I hope you’ll join us for some sketching fun.

Date: July 14th, 2012

Time: Start at 10:00 AM

Location: Meet at the Plains of Abraham’s Jardin de Jeanne D’Arc (corner of Rue de Bernieres and Avenue Tache)

Cost: Free; but you will have to provide your own materials.  Bring your favorite pointy devices and sketchbook.  Also, we will picnic at lunch time so bring food and drink.  There are water fountains on both ends of the garden and restrooms are available.

If you’d like more information, please contact:

Bethann at drawntoquebec@gmail.com
or
Larry at larry@larrydmarshall.com (418-525-4985)

We’d love to know in advance if you plan to participate but drop-ins are also welcome.

Her Book of Shadows – Free In Celebration of Spring

 

If it’s free, is it a sale?

Spring has sprung in Quebec City and I’m happy as a clam.  Walking in the sunshine, watching the snow rapidly disappear, makes this Arizona boy VERY happy.  To celebrate, starting today and continuing through Friday, March 23rd, my mystery novel, Her Book of Shadows, will be free on Amazon in Kindle format.  I think you’ll like it and you can’t beat the price (grin). To download the book, click on the appropriate outlet for your region:

It always feels good to “win” NaNoWrimo

 

With six days to go in NaNoWriMo, I hit the 50,000 word plateau that brands me a winner and turns my NaNo progress bar purple.  The word count and purple bar shouldn’t mean much.  It doesn’t mean much.  What matters is getting the draft of a novel on paper.  It looks like I’ll need another 20k words for that but we’ll see.  Clearly, though, the end is in site and I’ve got the bones of what I think will be a great story, after a considerable amount of rubbing and polishing on my part.

I hope that your NaNo writing is going well and that you too, will be a winner.

NaNoWriMo: A Writing Opportunity

It’s that time of year again, when there’s lots of buzz about the upcoming NaNoWriMo event.  If you’re a writer, or a wannabe writer who hasn’t heard of it, National Novel Writing Month happens every November.  It an oft-misunderstood event by those who have never done it and a cherished experience by those who have.

The obvious goal of NaNoWriMo is what it takes to win – write 50,000 words in one month.  Winning, though, means getting a certificate that says you did it and as great as the feeling that comes from receiving it, the small size of this token of “winning”  should underscore the importance and value of this aspect of NaNoWriMo.  If “winning” on this level were the only goal, you could copy the first 50,000 words from a dictionary and submit it.  You would “win” but that’s hardly the point.

What is the point is skills acquisition – a specific skill.  Fiction writers need talent and imagination.  Writers need to understand grammar, and other writerly stuff.  But a person with perfect grammar and great imagination can never complete a novel without one other skill, a skill that most wannabe writers lack.  It’s the ability to put your butt in the chair to write on a regular basis.

We all mean well.  We plan, we think, we “have the story in our head.”  But we also have excuses for why it doesn’t get written.  Our “muse” isn’t cooperating.  We’re too busy.  Some even use “I’m such a procrastinator” as though this were some genetic disposition that explains it all.  The excuses don’t matter.  In the end, most well-intentioned people never complete even a first draft of a novel.

The truth is, writing regularly, and with purpose is an acquired skill, just like any other.  It must be acquired and doing it alone is difficult.  It must become a habit.  That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in.  Starting November 1st, tens of thousands of writers, like yourself, will launch themselves into an intense writing month, requiring a word production of 1667 words per day if you want to meet the 50k goal by November 31st.  Support is provided in many forms and with so many people in the same boat, doing the same thing, it is easier somehow.  NaNoWriMo lets you experience being a productive writer and, if you perservere, it will cause you to get that story that’s “in your head” down on paper.  It won’t be a polished novel at that point but it can be with some subsequent effort on your part.  Once the draft is written, the rest is much easier.  Many NaNoWriMo novels have been published and many more will be.  Maybe yours.

Sign up for NaNoWriMo.  It’s free, it’s fun.  And add me to your buddy list.  My NaNo name is larrym.

 

Cheers — Larry