Sunday, 28 June 2015

Mactaggart Sanctuary

We took a walk through some of MacTaggart Sanctuary today. It’s been awhile since we’d been there, not since our beloved dogs passed away. They loved this delightful area of natural forest right in the heart of the still developing neighbourhood of Riverbend in south Edmonton. The donation of this parcel of land to the City of Edmonton was made possible largely by local philanthropist Sandy MacTaggart who purchased the land from the original owner who wanted the land to remain untouched for the benefit of the public. Apparently this man lived in a shack insulated by newspapers and didn’t shower! 

Undulating ungroomed trails run through the sanctuary and skirt the Whitemud Creek that runs through it. The Wild Rose, official flower of the state (Alberta) was out in bloom.

The sanctuary is reached from busy 23 Avenue across a bridge named Smith Crossing. The bridge commemorates Robert and Elizabeth Smith who were early pioneers in the area. They did much to enhance the agricultural development and preservation of this creek area.

Unfortunately there was little shade and a very hot day so I only managed 2 very quick sketches and added the colours after I got home. Pity I forgot my camera.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Summer Solstice 2015

I've sketched this scene many times before and this one I did to commemorate the summer solstice this past Sunday 21 June. Living in Edmonton (the northern-most big city in North America) going to bed in summer when it's still light and being awakened by the dawn at 4.30am took a bit of getting used to when we first moved here. 

I started my sketch at 9.15 pm and completed it at 10 pm (accuracy was sacrificed for speed). The shadows kept getting shorter as I worked. Unfortunately on this particular evening the neighbourhood wasn't bathed in the warm pink glow that often happens at sunset. 

The photos below were taken at 10pm 

and 10.30pm.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

"Immense Mode" installation

Trying a slightly different style here (influenced by European illustrator and Urban Sketcher Miguel Herranz  after doing his "Stretching" course in Sketchbook Skool). This installation called "Immense Mode" is made up of thousands of carved, fired and glazed bricks that cover an armature designed by a team of engineers to support the 42,000 pound legs. It sits on a transit island at Southgate Transit Centre, Edmonton and never fails to attract my attention each time I go past.

The work is by Red Deer, Alberta artists Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur. They carved and assembled the bricks in their Red Deer studio before numbering, firing and glazing each brick. The installation was then reassembled on site.

My sketch was done on location. Colours added at home. Photo was actually taken on a different day.

For more information see:

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Glenora Bed and Breakfast Inn

Last Saturday was the June Sketchcrawl of Urban Sketchers Edmonton and we went as a group to sketch the Glenora Bed and Breakfast Inn before the wrecking ball hits it. Built in 1912, a 24 storey apartment tower is to go up in its place. Thankfully the developers are taking the facade down brick by brick and it will be rebuilt to form the the base of the new apartment tower (restored to what it looked like in 1912). 

There has been some controversy over whether the new high-rise will spoil the character of the neighbourhood. Glenora is an old, attractive and somewhat upmarket neighbourhood. It’s said that when the area was being developed in the early 1900’s, the local elite wanted to live close to the original Government House which is just across a bridge from where the Glenora Bed and Breakfast Inn presently stands. I guess this all makes good sense.

It was a wonderfully warm day to be sketching outdoors again (this has been a long time coming). A great Indian lunch and show-and-tell for the group was held later at Nosh Cafe just down the street. Unfortunately I was too hungry to sketch my lunch and my Masala Dosa was just too good.

#Glenora Bed and Breakfast Inn #Urban Sketchers #Edmonton

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Trying my hand at Reportage

Drilling Work
Days 1, 2 and 3, chronicling the "happening" below our building. On the first day they started work at 6.30am. I think drilling is now over. Apparently there is a water leak under the concrete which is causing the building to shift!

Tour Buses
Sketching at 6.30am. Two tour coaches were parked in the parking lot opposite our building. People got dropped off in private vehicles and got on the buses. All Asian. Japanese or Korean I would say from their dress (nice hats) and behaviour (bowing). A lady in pink (obviously management as I ascertained later) got off one bus, took a photo and disappeared around the corner. She appeared about 5 mins later dragging another lady by the arm. The new arrival got put on a bus and the two buses took off. The lady in pink got in a car and drove away.