Friday, August 23, 2013

On the Home Front

After an amazing summer of travel and adventure, thoughts turn to September. I always feel that the fall is the beginning of the new year. There is a hunger to learn something new, start something fresh and get engaged in more structured activity after the lazy days of summer. There is no shortage of anticipanic at the thought of the return to the routine, a busier schedule and the loss of long bright days. Here are a few paintings from close to home as autumn races up.
As inspired by French window boxes

Deep Cove Sailing Lesson

Playing with darks and shadows

My lovely pond

Urban Sketchers

A while ago, I joined the newly formed Vancouver Urban Sketchers. It is loosely affiliated with the International Urban Sketchers, started in Seattle by Gabi Campanario
The group gathers almost every week to get out in public around Vancouver and do some sketching in urban locations. It has been a fantastic way to get past silly notions of shyness about drawing and painting in public. I seem to have a umbrella theme going.

Lamp standard in Chinatown

View across to Robson Square from the VAG

Fresh, quick sketches from the Seabus on the way home 
Park-a-Park drawing in and around a bin

Aberdeen International Youth Festival

As I suspected, I was pretty busy as a chaperone of the North Shore Celtic Ensemble at the 2013 AIYF. The other thing, if I am being honest, is that it is rather intimidating sketching in front of people you know, especially teenagers. I did develop some bravery later in the tour so captured a few details of the Granite City.
As seen from Terrace Gardens

From behind the Music Hall. Aberdeen's hanging baskets rock!

What to Do in an Airport?

Inevitably, when you travel, there is lots of down time in airports. I'm not complaining but I generally find airports a little arid and lacking things I'm dying to sketch. But I sketched none the less. I liked the imperative or was it just a strong suggestion in the departure lounge, "Buy Paris". If I could, I would. But where would I put it? Such a large keepsake.
Heading to Aberdeen 
Beautiful leather bag from the street market

Excideuil, France

We stayed on a lovely property in a dovecote, just outside of Excideuil. I liked the paintings that were either unfinished or impressions much better than tighter, more controlled  efforts. Somehow the looser journal entries remind me of the feel of the place, the purple night skies, the daytime heat and the sunbaked colour of the place.
An unfinished corner of the Dovecote

Stunning evening skies

Beautiful France

France was such a great place to sketch, if not a little intimidating. There were so many simulating things to sketch; historic buildings, close up details, street scenes, the places we stayed. And embedded in each sketch are the stories that make up the trip. Here are a few samples.
Discovering French Shandy - Panache -
as the saints observe from
on high in Chartres.
The back of Notre Dame. Lovely, hot, dusty.
Street art and graffiti in Paris was amazing and everywhere.  


Catch Up

One great thing about summer and traveling is that there is plenty of time for sketching and painting. The only drawback is that I have gotten way behind on posting to the blog. So here goes. I sketched this guy from a photo on the plane. His face sums up how I feel about trying to get all of these images up on the blog. Here we go!
Stop moaning and get posting!