I don’t know what it is about French but the names of French organizations are impossible. This includes the Collectif des ateliers libres en arts visuels de Québec, the name of an artist group in Quebec City. They were established to facilitate winter life drawing sessions and that is still their principle activity but they are starting to organize outdoor summer activities as well. This past weekend was the second year that we assembled at Parc Chauveau, a park on the north side of Quebec City. It’s a beautiful place. The St. Charles River runs through it, providing considerable sketching fodder.
Organized by Denis Couture, a really nice guy who teaches drawing and photography at a local college, it was truly a shame that on this day, there were only three of us in attendance. The up side is that the day was a bit more laid back as we could do pretty much what we chose to do.
Our first stop was the river, in a place where a large tower of rock, remnants from long-term erosion, juts up from the river. It seemed fitting that we should draw it. I decided it might be fun to put it in the background and to make Fernande, one of my sketching buddies, the central focus for the scene. This was also the first time I got to use my new Namiki (Pilot?) Falcon. I think I’m in love. More on that later.
Denis knows the area quite well and he suggested that we climb back up to the road and cross the bridge to the other side of the river where there are rest rooms, picnic tables, and a trailhead for the Parc lineaire trail that runs for 32 km along the St. Charles River. In fact, if I would have followed it for about 16 of those kilometers I would have arrived home.
As we ate lunch Denis suggested that we walk the trail some and that the views from high above the river were wonderful. He was right about that but for my next sketch I plunked my tripod stool down in the middle of the forest, off the trail, and started drawing some unknown plant. For a building guy, I was surprised how much fun this was and how much I wanted to do it. I used a different approach from my usual pen first, watercolor as an afterthought approach. I think I’ll talk about this separately as this post is becoming a bit long.
In spite of the poor turnout for the event, we had a really great time. The rest of the folks just missed out.