Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wayne Gretzky Drive

A bright but nippy Saturday morning bike ride yields a sketch of a very familiar part of the city -- the bridge across the North Saskatchewan River along Wayne Gretzky Drive (75 Street). The lush green summer landscape is gradually giving way to some autumn colours in the river valley. Meanwhile, the underside of the bridge provides an unfamiliar but rather muscular urban space, with giant board-formed concrete pillars supporting heroic steel members, and the thunderous sounds of vehicles passing overhead.

MacEwan University

 Two views of MacEwan University on a cold week that saw the first snowfall of the year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Three nights worth of sketches of the kids asleep, drawn with some dried out fat crayola markers, which I found worked quite well for this type of subject as long as I drew fairly economically.

It's been a relatively smooth transition back to the regular routine of school, and we remain amazed at how much they have developed their own personalities and qualities over the summer.

"For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well."   
Psalm 139: 13,14 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

badlands landscape

Glimpses of the badlands landscape in Wayne ("Then 2490, Now 38") and East Coulee (pop. 3800 in its heyday, now about 150). 

During the mid 20th century, the Drumheller Valley area was home to 139 coal mines. Now, none operate, and the last one closed in 1979, leaving behind the traces of what was once a booming, optimistic industry and a way of life. Witnessing a landscape that has been left by the circumstances of geology and shifts in economics and technology and now being supported by tourism (and paleontology), is what makes this place an intriguing one. 
(photos: East Coulee School Museum, entrance signage at Wayne AB, abandoned wood bridge by the Atlas Coal Mine, decommissioned grain elevator in Dorothy, AB.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

fresh apples

On this "last" day of the summer, a casual drop-by visit at a church friend's place resulted in an opportunity to pick some apples. These are not the sour kind that can only be made into pies, but sweet and  delicious. And unlike the store-bought kind, each has a unique appearance that seems to tell the story of our summer.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

waiting at the Eco Station

I once again found myself without a sketchbook on me (a fatal situation as far as sketchers go...) when I was unexpectedly forced to wait an hour or so in a long lineup to discard a carload of household items at the local Eco Station. Fortunately, there was a pen in the glove compartment, and the flaps from a box proved to be a great surface for some sketches of the truck in front of me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

scenes from an acreage

As urban folk, we are drawn to the special opportunities we have to experience rural homes such as that of our dear friends living on an acreage east of Edmonton. This summer, we had opportunities to enjoy a campfire worship time under the stars (and in the presence of the northern lights last night), taste the many delights from their impressive vegetable garden, and simply enjoy one another's company.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Our kids and their cousins on my side of the family, all together for the first time in three years.

Monday, August 25, 2014

at the Royal Tyrell Museum

The Royal Tyrell Musem, located 5 hours southeast of Edmonton in Drumheller, is full of subject matter. There was not too much time to sketch on my recent visit, but the large format Moleskine sketchbook allowed me to do two very loose doodles of a Pachyrhinosaurus and a Triceratops.

The Rockies: part 4: Miette Hot Springs

A soak in the hot springs in Miette in the late aftertoon, before heading back home...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Rockies: part 3: Bow Lake

Some of the mystical views across Bow Lake, with some jagged ranges framed by glaciers. Some more freedom on a larger format sketchbook for a change...

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Rockies: part 2: Lake Louise

The panoramic view of the mountains at Lake Louise, unfortunately without the lake in this sketch.

On this long weekend Sunday, Lake Louise felt like an entire city had descended upon it, turning it into something not unlike the atmosphere of K-Days (I am aware we contributed to it by our mere presence). Our plan to have a leisurely coffee at the Chateau changed quickly to avoid stress, and in the end we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the much smaller and quainter Deer Lodge, with its old Rocky-esque architectural character.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Rockies: part 1: Saskatchewan River Crossing

Some early morning mountain views around Saskatchewan River Crossing, where the Icefields Parkway meets the David Thompson Highway, between Banff and Jasper. From here the North Saskatchewan River flows all the way through Abraham Lake, Nordegg, Rocky Mountain House, Devon, all the way to Edmonton and beyond.

IKEA duvet covers

The kids take a long afternoon nap. Their daily schedules have been completely out of whack for weeks, and we need to start thinking about re-conditioning them as they approach September.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

roasted pig

A feast this weekend at the in-laws entailed a whole roasted pig, crispy and juicy, which drew out some unexpected primal instincts in us urban adults and some interesting questions from the kids, like:
 "Is this a boneless pig?" and
"Can we pet him?"