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.
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.