Winter is descending upon us quickly. It actually snowed yesterday, though it’s still not cold enough to stick around. That will happen soon enough. There’s still the occasional day when I can brave the temperatures and sketch outdoors, as long as I don’t do it for very long.
So I’m in the middle of summer-to-winter sketching transition. I’m warming up my watercolor pencils for visits to museums but, for the moment, the watercolors are close at hand for when its possible to use them. I’m getting out my heavy coats, hats and gloves, for the walks to those museums and I’ve buffed up my winter boots.
It’s all sort of depressing when I think about it. I try hard not to but the short day lengths are a constant reminder of what the next five months will bring. We’re down to ten-hours of daylight and by the time we get to mid-December, we’ll be in the dark for all but eight hours of every day. I guess it could be worse; I could live in Finland. Those guys have really short days.
And that reminds me, I had to get new batteries for my museum light. A light is a requirement for sketching in our museums as while the subjects are lit, the rooms have subdued lighting. I use a Mighty Bright book light that clips to my sketchbook and it works great.
The light and the rest of my materials showed up at the Musee de la Civilisation last Saturday. I was with them. I was there to meet three other sketchers and to sketch in the warmth and comfort of a great museum.
When I arrived they were checking in. Gilles wasn’t yet a member of the museum (a real bargain for a sketcher in a cold place – I went there over 50 times last winter) and he was filling out the form to become one. I sat down and quickly sketched him. We all chuckled over the result and headed to the exhibits.
The new big exhibit is Paris, 1889-1914. At that time, Paris was a hotbed of technical achievement in addition to its famous art and cabaret communities. Paris hosted the worlds fair in 1889 and in 1900, a time when things like telegraph and electricity generation and uses were still novelties. This exhibit reflects this, with a mixture of art (eg – Rodin sculptures and a lot of paintings of Paris), lots of material from stage, screen and cinema, early bicycles, steam-powered cars, and a lot of different electrical gizmos and gadgets. In short, there’s lots of stuff to sketch.
I’d met two of the sketchers at our recent sketchcrawl and as this was the first time to be sketching in a smaller group with them, we (well, I mean I) spent a lot more time talking than I did sketching. We had a lot of fun talking about materials, what winter sketching in Quebec is like, and just a bunch of general chit-chat.
My plan was to sketch three things on two pages and knit them together into a ‘journal’ page as this is an area I want to experiment with more. Sadly, I only managed to get two sketches finished so the page isn’t quite what I had planned, but here it is in any case. Hope you like it. I hope the four of us can get back to the museum real soon.