Paris In Quebec City…Sort of.

The Musee de la Civilisation launched its new Paris 1889-1920s exhibit by holding a special grand opening on a Tuesday evening.  As I’m a member I got an invitation and Yvan and I decided to go.  We saw it more as a reconnoitering session than anything else so our plan was to quickly run through the exhibit, noting what would be good to sketch.  This exhibit will be one of our principle sketching subjects this winter.

We decided, though, that we should go early enough that we could sketch in the old port for a couple hours before the event and that’s what we did.  We sat in Place Royale, a tourist hot-spot and boy, were there tourists.  Because of our lousy weather it didn’t seem like summer to us until we looked at the sea of people.  So, we looked up and I sketched this roof line over the heads of the tourists.  Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Pilot Prera and Lex Gray ink.

2013-06-18PlaceRoyaleC

When we finished up we still had some time and we wandered into a place adjacent to Place Royale that has a cannon battery pointing out at the St. Lawrence, to protect Place Royale from the tourist and ferry boats.  This is the gate into the place but from the inside, looking out.  I felt a bit rushed so it got a bit wonky but I like the sketch nevertheless.   Same sketchbook and pen/ink combo for this one.

2013-06-18GateC

Downtown Sketching Event

There is a series of outdoor sketching events, in Quebec City, this year.  Time will tell how organized, or not, they are but Yvan and I attended on a week ago.

We were to meet downtown in a small park near the Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City’s challenge to Hogwarts.  It’s a grand hotel and there’s a huge fountain in the park next to it.

2013-06-14MesquiteWhile waiting to meet up with Yvan to walk downtown, I did this little sketch of a branch that caught my eye.  It doesn’t take much to get my pen moving.

When we arrived there were four other sketchers there and we all scattered about and got busy sketching.  Yvan and I took advantage of the fact that they’d been working on the fountain and it was dry.  We climbed into the fountain, sat on its perimeter and started sketching some of the fountain details.

2013-06-15Fountain copy

We broke for a quick lunch and then it was back to sketching.  I love this large steeple and so it became my target.  About half an hour into the sketch it started to rain so we hot-footed it to the Subway a block away.  We got lucky and got a seat by the window and we drank coffee and sketched through the window.  There was a bike race going on and the rain didn’t stop it so we had plenty to sketch.  I’ll spare you my quick sketches from that session as they’re particularly bad.

Once the rain stopped, though, we returned to finish our sketches.  Here’s the steeple.  Done in a Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7) using a TWSBI Mini and Platinum Carbon Black.

2013-06-15SteepleC

It was a great day, though I remember being particularly tired at the end of it.

When A Sketcher Sees Red

2013-06-23J.Herbin1670I have a bottle f J. Herbin 1670, a dark red that’s not waterproof.  I’m not exactly sure what to do with it but I decided that I should experiment with using it for sketching.  I loaded up my Wahl-Eversharp Symphony with the ink and while watching baseball I doodled a bit, creating this page in a Strathmore ‘toned gray’ sketchbook.  Wish the paper was better but for pen-only work it’s not bad.

2013-06-23WindowI’ve been playing around with this color as a street sketching color and I’m not sure how well that will work out but I sketched this window and lamp as sort of a test.  Same Strathmore gray paper.

While riding the ferry to another event I did this small sketch of one of those tie-off thingies (sorry for my use of technical terms).  For some things I can see this color being fun to play with but I won’t be giving up my bottle of Lexington Gray anytime soon.

2013-06-24ferry

Desperate Sketchers Brave The Elements

Last Saturday was supposed to be the Bazar des ruelles in Limoilu which is always a fun event.  This is a part of the city that, when built, included alley ways behind the houses.  I think those went out of style with the invention of ‘suburbs’ but it affords a great opportunity for the people in this part of Limoilu as they organize a huge garage sale every year, with signs and balloons all over the place, that direct wanderers up and down the ruelles to the many garage sales.  There are also places that sell hot dogs and there are things for kids to do as well.  In short, it’s a city-wide party.

I was supposed to meet my buddy Yvan at 8AM and we did meet.  We stood under umbrellas as the rain came down and even we could figure out from the note on the signs saying “in case of rain, we’ll do it Sunday” that we were alone.  We turned it into a sketcher social event, spending several hours talking art, drinking coffee and playing with fountain pens.  We also planned to meet again the next morning.

2013-06-09WindowSunday began with me standing, same place, same umbrella, different rain.  Yvan showed up with his umbrella and we stood.  Then we headed to the coffee shop where the guy there told us that the event had been rescheduled for next week (Jun 15th).  So, after coffee, and quite desperate to draw SOMETHING, we headed downtown to the library, where we did quick sketches of umbrellas with feet through the library windows.  I did this small sketch of a window across the street.  Yvan’s sketches were wonderful.  Mine were…not so much.   Stillman & Birn Alpha (4×6) and a Noodler’s Creaper as the pointy device.

 

2013-06-09KentGateHouse

It finally stopped raining so we headed for the old city and set up under an awning where the calesh horses get to snack and wait for tourists willing to part with a lot of money for a ride.  This is a sketch of the Kent Gatehouse (not surprisingly it’s associated with the Kent Gate, the middle gate of three gates that let too many cars have access to the old city.  It felt soooooo good to sketch something outdoors, though it was still too cold for comfort and threatening rain.  Stillman & Birn Zeta (5.5×8.5) and a Pilot Prera/Lexington Gray combination.  By the time we finished I was cold enough to express an urgency for getting indoors and preferably at a place where I could drink something warm.

2013-06-09BuildingWe’d talked about the McDonalds in the old city and I’d told Yvan about its’ nice second floor view.  We headed there for some well-deserved warmth.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get one of the ‘good’ seats until we were about to leave but  we grabbed them and quickly did sketches.  I did this building.  Yvan did something really nice.

 

We wandered around looking for something that turned our heads and we ended up sitting in a gravel parking lot for some apartments, looking up at this tower attached to an old building.  The sky spit rain on me on occasion which is why I left the sky blank.   Same S&B Zeta sketchbook; same Pilot Prera pen.

2013-06-09Tour

I mention Yvan a lot but I never show you his sketches.  Yvan sketched the same tower that I did, did a much better job and then, while he was bored and waiting for me to finish, he did this sketch of me finishing up my sketch.  Yvan is amazing and I’m lucky to call him friend.

BretonY_2013-06-09_Larry-Marshall-St-Jean-Baptiste_sm

Such is life for a mid-June sketcher in Quebec City this year.  The prediction is for sunshine this weekend, though, so I’m really excited.  Maybe summer will be better than spring.

 

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Here it…June and my street sketching spring is almost gone with not much to show for it.  We’re setting records for rainfall if, records are a consolation, but they don’t do much for my disposition.  I’ve got to figure out how to get my brain to be happy sketching indoors from pictures, I guess.

2013-05-28GableUntil I do that, these are the sorts of things I’ve been doing.  I hopped off the bus one day and did this tiny sketch.  When I look at it what I remember was the rush I got from actually doing a sketch outdoors.  I was only off the bus for 10-15 minutes but it was a precious 15 minutes.  Done in a Stillman & Birn Alpha (4×6) using a TWSBI Mini and Noodler’s Lexington Gray.

2013-05-311stAveRestaurantAnother day, I got to the bus stop just as my bus was pulling away.  I quickly did this little sketch of a somewhat ugly restaurant across the street.  This place has changed hands so many times I can’t remember all the restaurant names it’s announced proudly to a customer base that never came.  Not sure what kind of food they serve now.  I’m one of those who never went.  Same sketchbook but I was using a Noodler’s Creaper here.  Only had 10 minutes as I had to catch the next bus.

2013-06-03Ferry

I tried to have a sketching day with my friend Claudette.  It was raining but we climbed aboard the ferry that traverses the St. Lawrence.  It only takes 10 minutes to cross and crossings take place every half hour.  We made several circuits but, for me, it was not a great adventure.  The fog was so bad that you couldn’t see the buildings on either side of the St. Lawrence and for a while it rained so hard you couldn’t see much of anything.  Mostly I just looked out the windows and wished it would stop raining.  This sketch was done in an S&B Alpha (10×7) with the TWSBI Mini.  I sort of lost interest by the time I got to the vending machines (grin).

Will it EVER stop raining?