Chute Montmorency is a large waterfall just east of Quebec City. It’s a major tourist attraction, a mini-Niagara Falls I suppose. It has all the tourist amenities. Large facility at the base of the falls greets tourists and there’s a large parking lot to accommodate a constant parade of vehicles.
There’s also a tram and a smiling attendant with their hand out. You can pay the price or you can climb a veritable labyrinth of stairs up to the top of the falls. We did neither.
Locals, wanting to get to the top take a metro bus that drops them near the top and next to a hotel that sits at the tram terminus. There’s a wonderful boardwalk that tourists walk along to the falls and it provides spectacular views of the falls as well as the St. Lawrence River. We took the bus.
I met my sketching buddy, Claudette, on the bus and we walked the short trail down to the west end of a large pedestrian bridge that runs right across the top of the falls. The views are pretty spectacular from there. So, what do a couple of urban sketchers do? We set up at the end of the bridge and drew the bridge. We’ll draw the trees, beautiful canyon, and the falls themselves some other day. I guess it truly is a mindset as both of us did this without much thought.
I decided to work in a small format as I’ve been doing a series of smaller sketches. I got out my little Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and started drawing. Claudette did likewise with her 5×8 Strathmore 467-series sketchbook. These are beautiful, brown-covered watercolor sketchbooks, though they are in landscape mode which is not idea in my view.
It seemed that we both finished our linework about the same time as I noticed that she was getting out her watercolors as I reached for mine. She had hers. I did not. I’d left my watercolor kit sitting on my desk.
While disappointing, it allowed me to stand up and move around, giving my old knees a stretch. Then I sat down and did a quick, small sketch of Claudette working on her sketch. Obviously, I added color to my sketches when I got home.
We wandered up Avenue Royale which is a very old street lined with older, though often completely renovated houses. These are majestic houses with lots of what my dad used to call ‘gingerbread’ trim, large front doors and porch areas.
We only found a few dozen things we wanted to sketch but it was time for lunch. Feeling recharged by good food and conversation, we returned to the falls area and I sketched this little snack kiosk, again in my 3×5 watercolor book. Then, we hopped on the bus and came home. Paraphrasing the Terminator…”we’ll be back.”