Sketching “Around Back”

I wander my town, sketching the older buildings of our fine city.  They remain my favorite sketching subject.  I try to avoid the touristy buildings; their spirits have been stolen by the gazillion photographs taken of them annually.  I’ve been doing building portraits it for about 2 1/2 years.

It may be, however, that I’ve missed the best subjects because I’ve always drawn the front doors, the facade, the part of the building designed to invite you in.  Here in Quebec, however, some of the older areas of the city present challenging and interesting subjects if you walk “around back” where some of the age and development of the city are more visible.

In these neighborhoods you see porches, old garage areas, tiny apartments and sheds, all scrunched together such that no space is underutilized.  It’s as though the logic was that ‘Here’s a wall.  We only need three more and we can…’   Quebecers refer to it as “rebouter”, which I think translates to “tied together” or something similar.  All I know is that it’s in these rear spaces you can find unrenovated structures that must date back to the 1800s.

Claudette and I were out on a sketching adventure when we came across this opportunity.  Across from this scene is a nice little park area with lots of shade.  Guess where we sat as we drew this scene.

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (9x6), Pilot Prera, Lex Gray

Stillman & BIrn Alpha (9×6), Pilot Prera, Lex Gray

2 Responses to “Sketching “Around Back””

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  1. Tina says:

    This “back door” sketch is really cool, Larry! I love seeing the parts of a town that are hidden in plain sight. Look forward to seeing more of these.

    • Thanks, Tina. We do often overlook a lot of our surroundings and I’m still surprised by how different I look at things as a sketcher.

      Cheers — Larry