Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Ziva" Paperwhite bulbs: experimenting with pens

 I bought some "Ziva" Paperwhite bulbs at the local Home Depot; they were essentially leftover Christmas items, and I plan on planting them indoors with the kids.

I also bought a Noodlers Ahab fountain pen (and Noodlers ink) today, and thought the bulbs might be a good subject to compare the fountain pen with the dip pen nibs I've used the past few months. The first pair of sketches are done with the new fountain pen (another review here... I am amazed that there's a world of passionate fountain pen enthusiasts out there...), and the others are 4 different steel dip pen nibs. As far as fountain pens go, my new toy is a very low-cost writing instrument, but still, it is by far the most expensive tool I've used. Apart from the fact that I don't need to continue dipping the pen in an inkpot, I very much enjoy the smoothness and flow of the ink that forces me to keep the nib gliding on the paper. I was a bit disappointed that the nib was not nearly as flexible as I had imagined, but still, I enjoy the character of the lines, and I can always apply extra pressure when needed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Break Forth Canada 2013, part 3

One more sketch from the Break Forth 2013 conference this past weekend in Edmonton: a 2-spread panoramic view of the Shaw Conference Centre main hall, showing (perhaps) half of the 10 or 15 thousand people who were gathered on Saturday night to worship... here in the dimmed hall we are listening to David Nasser's talk.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Break Forth Canada 2013, part 2

Some more sketches, this time from two of the five breakout sessions I attended:

a sketch while Gary Thomas discusses the pitfalls of our tendencies towards becoming numb to the richness of God's blessings in our daily lives and the role of gratitude in preventing spiritual decay... an inspiring (and humourous) reminder in humility that can also be heard here;

and two sketches while Brad Jersak speaks on how we discern God's direction in our lives, and which ended in a time of prayer that brought me to tears as I myself felt I "heard" God's gentle and encouraging voice...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Break Forth Canada 2013, part 1

This weekend we have been attending the Break Forth Canada 2013 conference that takes place annually at the Shaw Conference Centre, here in Edmonton. As always, we have been inspired, energized, encouraged, and positively challenged in our faith journeys through the various breakout sessions and corporate worship with the 15,000 or so others who have travelled all the way from places like B.C. all the way to Ontario (and apparently Winnipeg, as seen here...) and beyond.

These sketches are from the Friday night and Saturday morning main assemblies. More sketches to be posted...

Friday, January 18, 2013

St. Joachim Parish Church

The beautiful spires of St. Joachim Church are easy to miss in the outskirts of downtown Edmonton, but once you stand in front of the building you can't help but pay attention. It's elegant yet humble, and spending some time sketching it allows one to appreciate its coherence of composition and ornamental detailing. I am curious now to experience its interior.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


A bunch of radishes from the grocery store; a good subject to try out a series of different metal nibs I have recently bought.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Douglas Block and double portrait

During our kids' nap time... an old building along the commercial strip on Whyte Avenue, and a double portrait that includes my son taking the said nap. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Alberta Legislature and 108 Street

The Alberta Legislature building is currently under renovation, and its great dome is covered in scaffolding and white shrink-wrap. 108 Street, which aligns "The Ledge" with a lounge "look-out" at MacEwan University ( from where this sketch was done) has also been revamped and repaved; it will be interesting to see whether/how this street continues to develop in the coming years.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

electrical poles

Some electrical poles along a downtown lane.

After a cold snap through Christmas, it's a sunny and almost balmy zero Celsius. The long blue shadows streaking across the smooth white snow create a beautiful moment in the wintery urban landscape.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the house...

After acquiring a new dining table from IKEA, I set up a structure in the living room with the cardboard packaging, and as I imagined, the kids promptly began setting up a little bed inside, decorated the outside, and took their nap under the flimsy corrugated roof. It made me contemplate all kinds of things about the origins of dwelling, including this quote from my days in architecture school...

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” 
Gaston Bachelard: The Poetics of Space