We made our final trip to Ottawa for a while. Our daughter just graduated from University of Ottawa and we moved her to Montreal where she’s entering law school at McGill. I gotta tell ya, I’m too old to be moving from school to school. Been there, done that, even have souvenir t-shirts.
But since we were there, it seemed only appropriate that I should do some sketching. The first chance came when we agreed to meet our daughter in Rideau River Park. I don’t know if that’s what it’s really called but it runs along the Rideau River and Chantal and I had parked our butts on a bench while we waited, so its Rideau River park to me.
I got out a Stillman & Birn 6×6 Beta spiral book and just started quick-sketching everything and anything. No rhyme or reason to it, which is fun sometimes. Find a white space on the paper and fill it – easy peasy. Here’s a couple of the pages I did.
A couple days later, Chantal and I went down to the Parliament area and sat on a picnic bench in the shade. I’m showing this next sketch to make a point to those who feel “I’m not good enough” to sketch around other people. I was scribbling this teeny, tiny sketch (3×4) in the tiny sketchbook I mentioned in a previous blog post. I’ve been having fun doing these really tiny sketches but they’re really crude and mostly just warm up sketches. Even that gives them too much credential.
Anyways, a really nice lady from Italy asked if she could sit because she was waiting to take the Parliament tour. Chantal started talking with her, she saw my sketch and got genuinely excited about it. She took a photo of it to show to her friends. My point is, people are amazed that anyone can draw anything. You don’t have to be good to sketch in public. You just have to sketch in public for people to think you’re good (grin).
I started drawing this next sketch because we were sitting right near the corner of a building called East Block on the Parliament grounds and we were on a hill, affording an interesting view where I wasn’t having to look up a lot to see the top of the building.
While I was working, a Chinese family from Manitoba came to sit. They were waiting for a tour too. Their son, a young teenager was excited to see someone drawing and showed us a couple of the sketches he’d done. He wanted to be an animator and was making a good start at it. They watched as I did this sketch and I confess that half a dozen people asking questions was a bit distracting, but Chantal fielded many of them so we sort of formed a temporary clan as I sketched and they waited for their tour.
Chantal and I were both getting hungry so we headed off to forage. Once sustained we decided to go sit in the center of the busiest intersection in Ottawa. Well, sorta. There is a triangular piece of land near Parliament with a lot of traffic passing on all sides. This place is filled with statues, including a memorial to Canadian military actions complete with honor guard.
I drew the Laura Secord statue, the famous candy lady. Some defend her statue status with stories of her running for kilometers to warn the British of an impending attack by Americans during the war of 1812 but I know its the chain of chocolate stores that brought her fame. It just had to be, though most deny she had anything to do with the candy business.
When I finished that sketch I was getting pretty tired but I quickly draw this part of Chateau Laurier, a posh hotel that’s nearby. All sorts of errors in this one but it was a fitting end to the sketching day. When I was done we headed off to meet our daughter for dinner.