Last Saturday was supposed to be the Bazar des ruelles in Limoilu which is always a fun event. This is a part of the city that, when built, included alley ways behind the houses. I think those went out of style with the invention of ‘suburbs’ but it affords a great opportunity for the people in this part of Limoilu as they organize a huge garage sale every year, with signs and balloons all over the place, that direct wanderers up and down the ruelles to the many garage sales. There are also places that sell hot dogs and there are things for kids to do as well. In short, it’s a city-wide party.
I was supposed to meet my buddy Yvan at 8AM and we did meet. We stood under umbrellas as the rain came down and even we could figure out from the note on the signs saying “in case of rain, we’ll do it Sunday” that we were alone. We turned it into a sketcher social event, spending several hours talking art, drinking coffee and playing with fountain pens. We also planned to meet again the next morning.
Sunday began with me standing, same place, same umbrella, different rain. Yvan showed up with his umbrella and we stood. Then we headed to the coffee shop where the guy there told us that the event had been rescheduled for next week (Jun 15th). So, after coffee, and quite desperate to draw SOMETHING, we headed downtown to the library, where we did quick sketches of umbrellas with feet through the library windows. I did this small sketch of a window across the street. Yvan’s sketches were wonderful. Mine were…not so much. Stillman & Birn Alpha (4×6) and a Noodler’s Creaper as the pointy device.
It finally stopped raining so we headed for the old city and set up under an awning where the calesh horses get to snack and wait for tourists willing to part with a lot of money for a ride. This is a sketch of the Kent Gatehouse (not surprisingly it’s associated with the Kent Gate, the middle gate of three gates that let too many cars have access to the old city. It felt soooooo good to sketch something outdoors, though it was still too cold for comfort and threatening rain. Stillman & Birn Zeta (5.5×8.5) and a Pilot Prera/Lexington Gray combination. By the time we finished I was cold enough to express an urgency for getting indoors and preferably at a place where I could drink something warm.
We’d talked about the McDonalds in the old city and I’d told Yvan about its’ nice second floor view. We headed there for some well-deserved warmth. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get one of the ‘good’ seats until we were about to leave but we grabbed them and quickly did sketches. I did this building. Yvan did something really nice.
We wandered around looking for something that turned our heads and we ended up sitting in a gravel parking lot for some apartments, looking up at this tower attached to an old building. The sky spit rain on me on occasion which is why I left the sky blank. Same S&B Zeta sketchbook; same Pilot Prera pen.
I mention Yvan a lot but I never show you his sketches. Yvan sketched the same tower that I did, did a much better job and then, while he was bored and waiting for me to finish, he did this sketch of me finishing up my sketch. Yvan is amazing and I’m lucky to call him friend.
Such is life for a mid-June sketcher in Quebec City this year. The prediction is for sunshine this weekend, though, so I’m really excited. Maybe summer will be better than spring.