Kicking The Year Off With A Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

We had a great sketchcrawl on Friday.  Yvan arranged for us to sketch at the Université Laval Collections and somewhere around a dozen sketchers showed up.  Some of us sketched stuffed birds, mammals and insects while others took advantage of the large collection of plaster heads.  Still others sketched items in the large display windows outside the facility.

It was made particularly special because some of the people who showed up were not using the typical pen & wash approach that so many of us use.  Johanne was using charcoal and a white pastel pencil to capture likenesses from the plaster heads, while others did beautiful renderings with pencil.  It was fun to talk with them about their approaches and to appreciate the results.

I did a lot of talking because, unfortunately, my arthritis flared up in my drawing hand.  It does this on occasion and is not only painful but it hampers my ability to draw.  I did do one sketch before it got the better of me though.  It is a tufted-ear squirrel.  I think it’s Sciurus vulgaris but I’m not certain of that as there was no label on the specimen.

Stillman & Birn Beta (8×10), Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon ink

In spite of my hand, I had a ball because of all the great people in attendance.  It’s hard for us to have sketchcrawls in winter because it’s so cold outside, so it’s special when one is as successful as this one.  Thanks to Yvan for organizing it and to Madame Wagner for hosting us.

Croquistes de Quebec: January 6th Sketchcrawl

Almost forgot to announce the upcoming sketchcrawl.  Yvan has arranged for us to visit the Université Laval Collections.   If you’ve never been there, this is the place where the entire collection from the long-defunct Natural History museum is houses so there are, by my estimate, around a gazillion stuffed animals waiting to be drawn.  In addition, there is a vast collection of plaster casts that were once used by the Laval art department, back when drawing was part of the fine arts curriculum (grin).

Anyway, there’s a LOT to draw there and the atmosphere is really nice as it’s a limited access facility so you don’t have to worry about people (except maybe me) looking over your shoulder.  Anyone who has been to one of the sketching events we’ve had there will tell you, it’s fantastic.

Sadly, we do have to break from our normal Sunday sketchcrawl habit because the Collections are only available Monday through Friday.  This event will be this Friday, starting at 9:30AM.  For more details, check Yvan’s posting of the event here.  I hope to see you there.  I’ve colored this post up a bit with a couple of the sketches I did during last year’s sketchcrawl.

The Saga Of A Sunday Sketchcrawl

Last Sunday was our monthly sketchcrawl.  We were to meet at a historic house, the Maison Alphonse-Dejardins, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Levis.  I was excited to visit the place and thankful that Yvan had arranged for us to sketch there.

Early Sunday morning, I set out on a walk to the ferry that took me just a bit less than an hour.  The ferry took 10-15 minutes to cross and then I had to climb a cliff (a gazillion stair steps are provided) and then into the older part of Levis where the house resides.  I was there at 10AM.  The air was crisp, which is a fancy way of saying I was glad I was wearing gloves, but I knew that people would be showing up soon.

But they didn’t.  Nobody came.  In fact, the house itself was dark.  I began to wonder if I’d written the date wrong.  Cell phones are handy at such times and the website announcement made clear my error.  Because of the house’s Sunday schedule, it didn’t open until the afternoon so the sketchcrawl was scheduled for 1PM.  @#%$!!

And so I walked to the stairs, descended the cliff and walked to the ferry.  I crossed the St. Lawrence and walked home.  I didn’t do the math, though, and when I arrived at home I realized that to get back to Levis by 1PM, I’d have to leave in… about 10 minutes [sigh].

I gave some thought to not returning but being the devoted sketcher (or fool – you decide) I put my coat back on and headed out the door…to walk an hour, take the ferry, climb the cliff, and make my way to the house.  I made it but since I’d been on the move from 8:30 to 13:00, I was exhausted and wasn’t much in the mood to sketch.  I just wanted to sit down.

The house, though, is sketcher heaven if you like sketching items you’d find in a Victorian house.  It’s a place I’ll be going to several times this winter for just that reason.  But on this day I found myself in the kitchen and in one corner there was a wooden, hand-agitated washing machine.  It had been semi-restored as a display piece but the staves that made the body of the machine had been glued together and the metal bands that would normally hold everything together were placed, somewhat askew, just for show.

2016-11-13washer

I couldn’t look at it without seeing it as a cartoon and so, channeling Gary Larsen as best I could, I drew it as such.  It’s not my best work but I had fun doing it which is my criterion for success.  And I only had one more trip between the Maison Alphonse-Dejardins and my place.  I went to bed early that night.

September Sketchcrawl At Jardin Des Gouverneurs

jardin-des-gouverneursThe Croquistes de Québec will hold a sketchcrawl at the Jardin des Gouverneurs on September 11th, starting at 10 AM.  That’s the little gem of a park just south of the Chateau Frontenac.   It should be lots of fun as the park is beautiful, with lots of great sketching subjects.  I hope to see you there.

July Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

A month ago I wrote about sketching at Jardin botanique Roger-Van den Hende.  That incredibly long name is attached to a very large arboretum that is a really, really great place for a sketcher.  And this month’s sketchcrawl, organized by the Croquistes de Quebec was held at this little piece of heaven.

What was fun this Sunday was that in addition to a dozen sketcher, we shared the arboretum with a group of watercolorists and another group of people doing crochet.  If that weren’t enough, a large group of students came to the garden.  They were a group of French immersion students who were on a mission to use their vocabulary to talk about plants and flowers.

All of this is to say that I did a lot more talking than I would at most sketching sessions and so my sketching time suffered.  Still, I found a place that was out of the crowds and I plunked myself down in front of this neglected potting shed and drew it.

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (5.5x8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (5.5×8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

We had some new people at this sketchcrawl and so there was a lot of sketchbook sharing so we could get to know one another better.  This is one of my favorite things about sketchcrawls and they seemed to enjoy it as well.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5.5x8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (5.5×8.5), Esterbrook J2048, DeAtramentis Document Black

It was getting late when I sat down to draw some lilies.  I only got the ink drawing done by the time it was time to leave.  I thought I’d show you that as well as the sketch after I added some color to it at home.  Do you ever get a chance to sketch in botanical gardens?

2016-07-17-57lilies