Saturday, 26 September 2015

Edmonton Mid Autumn Festival

Despite having lived in Edmonton, Canada for 12 years, I don't think I really understood the size of the Chinese community in the city until I attended the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival celebrations recently. It was extremely well attended, support coming mainly from the Chinese community itself. 

The 2014 census of the metropolitan area of Edmonton estimated a population of 1.3 million driven partly by international migration. I’ve not been able to ascertain the number of Chinese living in the city but the vibrancy of this annual festival (only in its second year) sure indicates that it is a healthy number. 

The Mid Autumn Festival celebrations in Churchill Square provided 9 hours of non-stop entertainment culminating in a lion dance parade and the launch of hundreds of Wishing Boats in the pool in front of City Hall. 

My spouse and I lasted 5 hours, ample time for a few sketches. 

Here’s some of the performances we watched. 

My favourites were an orchestra of Chinese classical instruments and a 1930’s Shanghai-style song and dance routine by a group of mature (but very slim) ladies in beautiful long cheongsams. Unfortunately I was so busy watching these that I didn't sketch them.

Here's the main sketch in progress.

The interesting grey building in the background is the Art Gallery of Alberta.

The cone shaped building in the photo above is City Hall.

Pen and ink, watercolour, #Stillman&Birn, Alpha Journal 8.5x5.5"


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Sketching at the Alberta Legislature Building

The Alberta Legislature Building was completed in 1913. It stands on a site which was once a location for Fort Edmonton, a fur trading post. How romantic when you think about the history of this site!

This was the venue for the September sketchcrawl of Urban Sketchers Edmonton. Our small group of intrepid sketchers were windblown and frozen by the end (13 degrees C not counting windchill) but were lucky to get a couple of sunny hours in. This sadly could be the last outdoor sketch meet for the year.

Copic multiliner, Pentel Brush Pen, watercolour,  on Strathmore 400 series Watercolour Journal 7.75”x9.75”.

For more on The Alberta Legislature.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Rutherford House

Built in 1911 Rutherford House was the home of Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first Premier of Alberta and founder of the University of Alberta. Saved from demolition, it became an Alberta Provincial Historic Site in 1970. The house (open to visitors) has been restored and furnished with belongings of the Rutherford family among other Edwardian-era artifacts. Originally built on spacious grounds, it is presently quite hemmed in as buildings of the adjoining University of Alberta encroach onto it. 

It still has a nice garden at the front (with strategically placed seats) which made for a very pleasant sketching venue. 

Presently closed for renovations, the Arbour Room in Rutherford House is expected to re-open in 2015/16. On the menu in this tearoom is tea and scones…the latter baked from the exact recipe of Mrs. Rutherford!

Here is the side view showing the tearoom on the right at the back of the house (a converted sun room)

I’m starting to like using my Pentel Brush Pen and appreciating a good watercolour paper sketchbook.

Copic multiliner, Pentel Brush Pen, watercolour,  on #Strathmore400 series Watercolour Journal 7.75”x9.75”

For more information on Rutherford House.

More Train Sketching

You could say I have a thing about train sketching. These sketches were done over 4 train trips. On each trip I caught a bit more of the passing neighbourhood. Embellishments done at home.

This next one was sketched from the Health Sciences Station platform while waiting for the train.

Pitt pen in Global Handbook Journal (5.5"x5.5").