Friday, May 30, 2014

this week's motorycles

A sunny break at the end of the week results in this week's motorcycle sketch.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

south from Norquest

Two lunchtime sessions... a panorama from the top floor of Norquest looking south.

Monday, May 26, 2014

spring storm

A familiar view across MacEwan University on a rainy spring day. I've been enjoying doing sketches regularly from this location at different times of the year, and it's been a great way to appreciate the changing seasons. There's so much green now...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday afternoon

 After a friend's birthday party and several hours of playing in the sun, the kids are exhausted... as are we.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum: part three

Although the great variety of automobiles and aircraft were impressive in their own right, I was particularly excited by the two giant excavators displayed majestically on the open prairie field:  a 1917 "Bucyrus Class 24 Dragline", and a 1929 "Bucyrus-Erie 200-B Stripping Shovel". Both were essential to the mining sites where they operated, and are rare specimens of their kind.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum: part two

Some of the planes on display at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum: part one

We were pleasantly surprised and impressed by the scale and comprehensiveness of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, located just west of Wetaskiwin, where we spent a half day on Victoria Day.

Here are just a few of the many automobiles on display...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chinese restaurant

The opposite side of the crammed round table at a Chinese restaurant family get-together.

Monday, May 19, 2014

the back yard

Sketches in our back yard. The kids demanded I put up the tent, which I did reluctantly; we all ended up taking a very peaceful afternoon nap in it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


My 6 year old as she does her homework at the dining room table.

Monday, May 12, 2014

lunchtime motorcycles

Today's lunchtime sketch.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers are like buttons...

A flower pot decorated with buttons, which my son brought home from his preschool. The attached card reads: "Mothers are like buttons -- they hold everything together."

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her... "

Proverbs 31:28 (NIV)

in Bonnie Doon

 A rather spontaneous visit to two very different eating establishments: Café Bicyclette (at La Cité Francophone), and BulGoGi House (a Korean eatery) both in Bonnie Doon.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Suzuki motorcycle

This week's lunchtime motorcycle sketch from Jasper Avenue...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

multi-colour pencils

 As my son watches the multi-coloured "Super-Sentai" superheroes on Youtube, I experiment with some multi-coloured pencils I bought 20 years ago at Tokyu-Hands. I never really ended up using them until now.  They're hard to control, but very fun to use.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

kodomo-no-hi, 2014

As with last year, I've set up our old kabuto ornament for Children's Day (kodomo-no-hi) again this year for my son (and my daughter), but this year I sketched some origami kabuto that were given to us by a family friend. These were made by his late wife, and though the elderly couple had no children of their own, it reminded me of the thoughts and prayers my own parents must have had every day for us as we grew up, and of our role to be a blessing to our own kids.

Lauren Harris and A.Y.Jackson at the AGA

my sketches of the sketches...
the original sketches at the Alberta Art Gallery
We took a quick family trip to the Alberta Art Gallery. My main interest was to see some of the paintings of the Rocky Mountains by two of the Group of Seven -- Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson.

Most of the work exhibited was smaller in scale, exuding a sketch-like quality  (some were indeed quick sketches); there was much to relate to, and I decided to sketch a couple of graphite drawings and a painting. My notes say that one of these was drawn by Harris, the other by Jackson, but the views and treatment are virtually identical. I am not sure which is correct (likely Harris?), but it was illuminating to "retrace" the intimate and personal marks made by such great artists of close to a century ago, especially of subject matter I too have drawn in the past few years.
a sketch of a Lauren Harris painting

the original Lauren Harris painting
There was also much to appreciate by copying the iconic Lauren Harris painting (one of the largest here and the focal work of the exhibit), including an understanding of his peculiar, developed totemic language, the masterful use of lighting, and detailed composition.

But my favourite would have to be the tiny A.Y. Jackson canvas that seems to capture both the immensity and immediacy of the experience of being in this part of the world, and inspires me to develop further.

a great little gem by AY Jackson

Friday, May 2, 2014

painting session

 Some bolder colours for a change... thanks to a painting session with my children (which I haven't done in a while). My son seems to have finally begun to understand how to use paint without continuously mixing and muddying colours up. But he has retained a sense of simply enjoying the movement of the brush across the sheet (rather than focusing on depicting objects). As "abstract" as it may appear, his painting, shown here, is the outcome of a story he was making up as he painted in which some superheroes were fighting some monsters; the brushmarks apparently depict (or "map out", or "translate"?) the movements that took place during that epic struggle. It's fascinating stuff.