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.

June Sketchcrawl at Galerie Louise-Carrier in Levis

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Our next monthly sketchcrawl (June 19) should be fantastic.  We’re holding it in conjunction with an event that’s held every other year at Galerie Louise-Carrier in Levis.   In addition to the gallery’s exhibition of nature artworks, the artists of those works will be on site and other activities will take place in a park area next to the gallery.

I went two years ago and they had art demonstrations, acrobats, activities for kids, and a woman doing trick horse riding.  It was a real circus atmosphere and very much a target-rich environment for sketchers.  if you’re interested in drawing architecture, the entire neighborhood can be your playground as the gallery is in the older part of Levis and the architecture is stunning.

2013-06-24YvanBreton_smYou can get more information on the event from the Croquistes de Quebec website or the Louise-Carrier gallery website.  Whatever you do, don’t miss this one.  Bring a lunch, your pointy devices and some paper and be prepared for a great day.

Rain In The Alleyways

Last Sunday was our May sketchcrawl through the alleyways of Limoilu but things didn’t go as planned.  My first sketch was interrupted by rain, big drops hitting the sketch before the ink had dried that created ink splats to form on the page.  A quick run to the coffee shop where Yvan and Ginette shaking off their own rain.

This was Ginette’s first sketchcrawl and we had a great time getting to know each other as we sat in the cafe, sketching people.  Clearly she was the highlight of this sketchcrawl as it just went downhill from here.

We are almost desperate to sketch outdoors and the sketchcrawl was supposed to be our first outdoor sketchcrawl of the year, so when the rain stopped we headed out again to do the proverbial try, try again.  Same results, and in my case it was worse – another sketch ruined.  We decided to pack it in and that was probably a good thing because almost immediately the rain started coming down in buckets.

Stillman & Birn Delta (8x10) softcover, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10) softcover, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

The attempts to sketch alleyways put me in the mood to try again as in Quebec City alleyways provide large shape-clusters that are both appealing to me and challenging, particularly all the stairways going up the back of the structures.  So, when the weather turned nice on Wednesday, I headed out to sketch.  Here are two sketches I did that day.  They don’t have any color on them because I forgot to put my watercolor kit in my bag.  Hope you like them.

Stillman & Birn Delta (8x10) softcover, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Delta (8×10) softcover, Platinum 3776, Platinum Carbon Black

 

May Sketchcrawl Down Limoilou Allies

 

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Some of the most fascinating parts of a city are behind the scenes, the back doors if you will.  In parts of Quebec City, most notably Limoilou, these are accessible to the artist through the ruelles or allies.  Most parts of Quebec City don’t have them but Limoilou has them and that’s where we’re headed for our next sketchcrawl, on Sunday May 8th.  For details of the event, head to Croquistes de Quebec website  for details.  If you need motivation, here’s a wonderful video that the Ottawa Urban Sketchers did when they did an similar sketchcrawl.  See you there.

 

April Sketchcrawl At Museum Chapel

musee-amerique-francophoneSpring rains have started so soon we’ll be able to have our sketchcrawls outdoors.  On Sunday, April 10th, at 10:00AM, though, the Croquistes de Québec will meet at the chapel associated with the Musée de l’Amerique Francophone.  If it’s warm enough the area around the museum is full of sketching targets, but if not we can sketch in the chapel.  Some of us have been sketching there throughout the winter and since the place is full of statues, woodcarvings and fixtures that are worthy of sketching.   Check the Croquistes de Québec site for details.  I’ll include a few of the sketches I’ve done in the chapel as examples of the possibilities.  See you there.

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Musee d'Amerique chapel altar

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March Sketchcrawl at Les Collections de l’Université Laval

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Yippee!!!  The Collections de l’Université Laval has reopened following renovations and we’re going to have a sketchcrawl there on Friday, March 11th, starting at 9:30AM.  Don’t miss this one.  Notice that this is a Friday rather than a Sunday.  The collection is not open on Sundays.

Yvan Breton has arranged for us to start the day with a tour of the facility so it’s important for you to be there at 9:30.  If you’re unfamiliar with this collection, it contains the contents of the abandoned Natural History Museum of Quebec and thus contains a large number of stuffed animals and many cultural and anthropological artifacts.  In addition, there is a large plaster cast collection, another wonderful collection that was abandoned by the university fine arts department when they decided that drawing wasn’t nearly as important as being able to use a paint roller (grin).

There will be a LOT to draw so bring a bunch of paper.  You’ll need to bring a lunch as well.  I’m excited.  How about you?  For a complete schedule and directions, go to the Croquistes de Québec website.

 

January Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

Built over 200 hears ago as the city's first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world's most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada

Built over 200 years ago as the city’s first prison, the Morrin Centre now also houses one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada

I’m a bit late in announcing this and for that I apologize.  Holidays have messed with my internal clock.  The next Croquistes de Quebec sketchcrawl will be held at the Morrin Center library.  Yvan went above and beyond to allow us to sketch there.

If you’re not familiar with the Morrin Center it’s the home of the Literary and Historical Society of Québec, an anglophone organization.  The crowning jewel of this organization is its library, which, with large, leather-covered rectory tables, bookshelf-lined balconies and tight winding stairways, is Quebec’s version of the Hogwarts library, without the book that scream at you.

Unlike most of our sketchcrawls, this one will be in the afternoon only, from 1PM to 4PM.  You can get details of the event from the Croquistes’ website.  I’ve never gotten to sketch there so I’m looking forward to it.  See you there.

Cemetery Sketchcrawl Was A Big Success

It’s too late in the year to have an outdoor sketchcrawl in Quebec City.  We did it anyway.  Our group met at 10AM at the Mt. Herman Cemetery, a large expanse of rolling hills, tall white pines, oaks and maples and an ambiance that makes one want to meditate.  There’s a haiku group that meets weekly just to sit and write haiku poems.  I can understand why.

But we were there to draw.  Mark Brennan, one of the nicest guys in all of Quebec City and director of the cemetery, offered us the facilities of his building so we had toilet facilities as well as a kitchen and table around which we could sit for lunch.  As it turned out this really put the frosting on our sketchcrawl cake.

We went out to sketch and after some wandering, I sat down to draw a monument with a statue on top.  I had just done some organizational lines when Rene came over, introduced himself and told me that there were some other people that had just arrived.  So, as the organizer, I grabbed my stuff and hoofed it back up the hill to welcome people.  The cemetery is huge so it was no small feat to find everyone but find them I did, all busy sketching and in no need of my smiling face.  I gave it to them anyway.

I was heading back down to my sketching location when I met someone and that encounter became an hour-long discussion of fountain pens and inks.  Eventually I realized that there was something of an information overload occurring and so I told her I’d send her some links to the products we’d been talking about (Goulet Pens should give me cut) and I finally got back to sketching.

I got a few more lines drawn before I saw Rene and Gilles walking along the road and realized that we’d agreed to meet at the house at noon for lunch.  Guess what time it was.  So, once again, I packed up and walked with them.  Lunch was fun as we sat around talking (well, mostly I listened as I still have a hard time maintaining a conversation in French), some other people arrived, and we were having a bit of a party, sharing sketchbooks, talking about the virtues of gathering to sketch, etc.

Having had food, drink and comraderie, we headed back out to sketch and I was determined to finish at least one sketch so I headed immediately back to my statue.  It was now 3 1/2 hours into our sketchcrawl and I’d sketched no more than 15 minutes of it but I was having a lot of fun.  Sometimes it’s just not about the drawing.

It had also cooled somewhat and my Arizona bones were hurting, literally.  My arthritis and the cold froze up my hands to the point where I was having a hard time holding the pen and getting a straight line was out of the question.  But I finished the sketch and then ran over to a car full of sketchers and spent a few minutes inside warming up (grin).

Mt Herman Cemetery

Stillman & Birn Beta, Namiki Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

In all, we had a dozen sketchers, enjoying one of those ‘crisp fall days’ that authors talk about.  We sketchers call them ‘awfully cold’ but we did have fun.  Thanks to everyone who came and to Mark Brennan who made it all possible.

November Croquistes De Quebec Sketchcrawl

Stillman & BIrn Beta (6x9), Namiki Falcon, DeAtramentis Document Black

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

http://www.mounthermoncemetery.com/

It’s starting to cool down here in Quebec City but undaunted by the cold, the Croquistes de Québec will gather at the Mt. Herman cemetery for our November Sketchcrawl on Saturday, November 7th.

Because of the season, we’ll be starting at 10AM rather than our normal 9:30 time.  You can get more details on the Croquistes de Québec website.

Mark Brennan, director of the cemetery, has graciously offered us their meeting room for lunch so bring a lunch along with your sketching gear.  Everyone is welcome, of course.  We hope to also have a couple cars available as movable ‘indoor’ sketching platforms if that is necessary.  I’m sure, though, that it will be warm and sunny and we’ll all have a good time.  See you there.

Mt Herman cemetery scene

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

 

Sketching Together: July 12th

Jean D'ArcFor a while we had regular sketchcrawls in Quebec City.  With each one we gained more and more participants because everyone found them so much fun.  Well, just like the Terminator, “We’re back!”

Yvan Breton has proposed that we have monthly sketchcrawls on the second Sunday of every month.  These will be informal events with time and location suggested but otherwise, it’s up to you to bring your sketching materials and lunch.  You’ll get out of these events what you put into them but most people immediately start enjoying the comaraderie of the events and they learn from each other about techniques, tools, and maybe different ways to enjoy sketching.

Women enjoying the ambiance of Parc Jean D’Arc

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Kiosk at the west end of Parc Jean D’Arc

Our first event will take place in Parc Jean D’Arc, on the Plains of Abraham, on Sunday, July 12th.  We’ll start at 9:30 and finish no later than 4:00, with a lunch break somewhere in between.  For more information, Yvan has set up a web page with all the information here.  We hope you’ll join us.