Reporting From Outside Quebec City Hall

I was on the beat and walking in front of Quebec City’s City Hall when I came across this.  It looked like the mayor had moved one of the offices (or lab) outside, just to the left of the main entrance to the building. There was only one administrative assistant as far as I could tell.

What is underway here is unclear.  I know that Mayor Lebaume is pulling out all the stops to get an NHL hockey franchise for Quebec City.  Maybe this is his latest attempt.  The mainstream press have said nothing at all about this, so I hope I don’t become the next Ed Snowden for exposing these activities.

halloween scene outside city hall

Stillman & Birn Beta (9×12), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Return To Museum Sketching

I wonder what my dad would think if he knew that the thing I remember most about him was him saying to me (often), “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached.”  The sad thing is that, decades later, he’s still right.

I headed off to meet sketching buddies at the Musee de la civilisation the other day, which amounts to full acknowledgement that outdoor sketching is finished, or nearly so, for the year.  It’s starting to get cold and this Arizona boy doesn’t do cold.  None of us is very excited by the current expositions at the museum but there’s always something to draw, if only to provide practice and opportunity to try different techniques.

Once at the museum and I started thinking of sketching, I realized that I’d forgotten my light and my stool.  Most of the rooms are so dark that without a light clipped to my sketchbook, I can’t see what I’m drawing.  And, oddly when you think of it, most of the displays are low, requiring a stool to get your eyes on level with what you’re drawing.

Lucky for me, my head was attached and I used it to decide to draw something from the main entrance, where the museum seems willing to pay the electric bill and thus there is sufficient light.  I thought about the stairwells, they’d be an interesting drawing challenge.  I thought about the old bones of a boat that’s part of the entrance display.  To do it justice, though, would require a lot of hours.  I thought about drawing the ticket counter, but I’d already done that once.

Instead, I looked out the window to the courtyard associated with the museum and did this sketch.  I forgot a lot that day but because of this sketch I’ll always remember to be grateful that my head is attached.

Quebec City Museum of Civilization courtyard

Stillman & Birn Beta (6×9), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Sketching For InkTober 2015

Every year the internet is treated to a stream of sketches in the name of Inktober and this is is no exception.  I don’t formally take part as I already draw constantly in ink and so I just continue to post my normal drawings.  But I was out the other day, having filled a Pilot Prera with DeAtramentis Document Brown ink and I thought about Inktober and did several sketches while on my walk.  Here are a couple of them.

rocks along the St. Charles RIver

Right now the St. Charles RIver is at very low levels. I thought these rocks warranted a sketch.

Bassin Louise power stations

Bassin Louise did a major service upgrade this year with the addition of these power stations that allow boats to plug in. Now that the boats are being removed from the water for winter, the stations are available for me to draw. So I did.

Maybe I’ll do a few more of these before October is over.  I enjoyed the ink/pen combination and the tiny nature of these sketches.

Megacerops In Ottawa

My daughter was coming home for Canadian Thanksgiving (it’s in October) and rather than have her take a train, I wisely reasoned that it wouldn’t cost any more for me to drive to Ottawa to pick her up and bring her back to Quebec City.  Yes, it would mean ten hours of driving but heck, I could spend a couple hours sketching in the nature museum (I have a membership).  And yeah, maybe that is a bit crazy but I am, as Steve Martin used to say, a “wild and crazy guy” when it comes to sketching.

So, at 3:30AM I drove out of town so that I could arrive at the museum when it opened at 9AM.  This insanity was rewarded with a wonderful early morning sketching session where I got to hang out with a family of Megacerops.  Well, actually they were life-size models of them.  They roamed Manitoba and some of the plains states, but they went extinct a while ago, maybe even before I was born.  They sure were big, though, and he wouldn’t fit on my paper and I decided that this end was better than the other end.

Stillman & Birn Beta (9x12), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Beta (9×12), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

When I finished I had to leave to meet my daughter for lunch.  We had a great lunch and then continued to chat until her afternoon class.  At that point I repeated my 20-minute walk back to the museum, intent on doing more sketching.

It was not to be.  When I arrived I learned about something called a PA day.  I don’t really know what PA means but it happens in schools.  What it meant to the museum was that every young kid in the Ottawa area was at the nature museum, or so it seemed.  The nature museum is designed for kids to get excited, have fun and with so many of them there the decibel level in the museum, accompanied by the frenetic movement of little bodies around the rooms suppressed any notion I had of drawing.  I made the best of it by actually visiting the museum like a normal person, reading the plaques and learning a few things about the exhibits.

So, please do me a favor.  Look at my Megacerops a few extra seconds; I drove ten hours to draw it (grin).

Coffee With Claudette

Claudette and I went for coffee at Paillards on rue St. Jean.  During the tourist season it’s impossible to get a seat there as it’s a great place for lunch or just to have some fine Quebec pastries.  But it’s also a fun place to sketch people.


I ordered a café au lait  and thought about drawing it but remembered that I’d done that last time I was there.  Our session there was a short one but we got to meet a fellow sketcher who was visiting from England.  It was fun and the coffee and company was good.  Here’s a couple of pages that resulted.