Ferns In Captivity

I live on a part of the Earth where you can go into forests and find wild ferns hanging out as part of the forest understory.  So much so, in fact, that fern leaves, before they’ve unrolled, are collected and sold as Fiddlehead greens in our grocery stores during late spring.  This is novel to a guy who grew up in Arizona.

Of course you can also find them kept in captivity, kept by those with greener thumbs than mine.  There were a bunch of them in the same place as the Chinese statues I talked about in my last blog post and I drew one of them as they live in really nice clay pots.  I should have posted the sketch with the statue sketch but I forgot all about it.  I post it here to make up for that omission.

Stillman & Birn Delta (8x10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Chinese Statues In Ste-Foy, Quebec

When they were building it, some of the cynics referred to the grandiose building that was to be Ste-Foy City Hall as the “Taj Mahal.”  It really was on an over-the-top building just to house the mayor and his court.  And the irony is that it wasn’t too many years later that all the smaller municipalities were merged with Quebec City and city governance moved, principally into the Quebec City Hall.

I’m not sure what the function of the building is these days but one thing it does is to keep the rain off a couple of beautiful Chinese statues.  It’s just as unclear why these statues exist in Quebec City but our group took advantage of them to do some sketching during yet another rainy day.  It was a fun days and I hope you like my result.

Stillman & Birn Delta (8x10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Rainy Tuesday Sketching

We can’t catch a break with the weather it seems but Yvan and I sat under an awning in open-air atrium at the museum and sketched very large potted plants.  This area becomes a restaurant when weather permits and these huge pots will be moved around to decorate the area.  I was struck by the fact that while these huge planters were very similar to one another, none of them were exactly alike.

Large planters at museum

Stillman & Birn Alpha (8×5), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Back On The Plains Of Abraham

Well, the last time I was on the Plains of Abraham (in Jardin Jeanne d’Arc) I froze because I dressed for summer and Mother Nature was still thinking early spring.  So, I returned on Friday, in long pants and wearing a jacket.  And I’m glad I did because it was very pleasant to sit in a grassy area and draw this scene.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5x8), Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5×8), Platinum 3776

The structure is an interesting one.  It is a military observation/gun emplacement built by the British to defend against a potential attack from the United States.  What’s interesting about it is that you’re looking at the “thin” side of the building.  The walls on this side are typical stone while on the side facing south the walls are very thick to withstand cannon fire, and maybe even a Trump speech (grin).

Sketching In Parc Jeanne D’Arc

We’re in an intermittent rainy period so it’s been hard for us to plan our weekly get togethers but I recommended that we gather at a large park associated with the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.  This place is beautiful and in the middle of it is a large statue of Jeanne d’Arc, after whom the park is named.  Weather reports said it would be sunny in the morning and that the rain would only come later in the afternoon.

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (8x5), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (8×5), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

So some of us did show up and we were greeted with cool (16-degree) temps and significant winds that made it feel quite cool.  All the smart people (ie – everyone but me) wore long pants and jackets.  I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Undaunted, I sat behind a bunch of tulips and started drawing.  The flowers were blowing around and I’m sure my body temperature was dropping.  Nevertheless, I did draw three tulips before I had to choose between hypothermia and getting up and walking around.

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Platinum 3776

I visited everyone else, saw what they were drawing and then walked up and down the garden a couple times, half looking for something to draw and half just trying to stay warm.  Eventually I decided to do a quick sketch of one of the drinking fountains.  I love them but I need more time and temperature to do them justice in a sketch.

I kept moving but at this point my shorts/tshirt garb and frozen physiology had become foolhardy.  I certainly couldn’t concentrate on drawing so I was close to calling it quits.  One more lesson learned, maybe.

But I saw Hubert sketching and I related to his scrunched down form, head poking out from between the turned-up collars of his vest.  It just seemed tell the story of my day and I had to quickly sketch him as well.

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Platinum 3776

Stillman & Birn Alpha, Platinum 3776