November 30, 2011


November 29, 2011
Along the Transitway one fogged morning, a crane on Lebreton Flats appeared in the distance above or between buildings, maybe the new condo development. The crane seemed to tear into the clouds, leaving the only rent in the gloom across the sky.

I made all this up, then filled the rest of the page with a few dozen lines. Bumps and crowds have increased of late, though it might be a faulty perception caused by my need for extra space and seats these days. What you see here are a few genuine and frustrated-then-amused attempts at straight lines. My difficulty with this is that our buildings crave straight lines, which I can't supply. So, I cope. I think the thirties are all about coping. Older housing, younger children, mid-life career, the body tempering. Fog, mist, snow and rain are ideal subjects -- in-between weather for the middle of things.

November 23, 2011

Stillness, absolute zero

Finally winter! Cleansing, absence, quiet, beauty. Floating along, flush with the first snow, when --
Bam! Passed an overturned bus in a ditch.

What he wants is
stillness, absolute zero
when everything becomes
the same, perfectly still,

Patrick Lane, from Winter

November 22, 2011

Grey skies. Red skies.

November 22, 2011
November 21, 2011

These are maybe a bit bland? I am still getting used to these markers. Do you guys like them? Too marker-y? I need more colours. Grey skies are getting a bit dull. Happily, as you may observe from these images, I own three different greys.

November 18, 2011

No more cage for Ada

November 18, 2011

You guys getting sick of all these drawings of the Parkway yet? Why didn't I buy a light blue marker, hmm? And I lost a light green marker in Europe. Drat.

My little girl sleeps in a bed tonight for the first time. I feel proud and wistful. Good thing it's just the mattress on the floor (for now). We heard a thump and found her lying body on bed, head on floor!

November 17, 2011

Pedestrian bridge by Lincoln Fields

November 17, 2011

If you know this scene, you know this drawing is all wrong. I get a few seconds to put things down, and the rest is from memory. The real world is so detailed! I don't let it get to me. I wasn't meant to see clearly anyway, otherwise why would I need glasses? This drawing resembles the way my real eyes see the world.

November 16, 2011

Drawing what's in front of me

November 15-16, 2011

We drove by the Champlain Bridge, so I drew it. We cut through the market, so I took down a lamppost. We idled in front of Urban Outfitters, so I drew their mobile display and the woman across from me. The Transitway filled in the white space below her.

What I absorb through my hearing and reading often jumbles me up. So many things competing for attention, and more difficult, so many worthy -- and mutually exclusive -- opinions and experiences. By contrast, what I see adds up to something, or at least the pieces of my days seem coherent, when I draw them side by side. It's a relief and a way of calming my sense of the world.

No drawings from my trip last week, alas! Six planes, three trains, and two busses took more out of me than I had. However, I took photos and will clean any decent ones up to share with you this week.

November 3, 2011


November 3, 2011

Next week I will visit Ypres and Passchendaele in Belgium as part of a familiarisation tour of important First World War sites. On Remembrance Day I'll be in Houlten, one of three Canadian WWII cemeteries in the Netherlands. I won't be able to steal any moments alone for drawing, so I'll have to take very good memory pictures. I had also wanted Jeff to come with me so that we could have the evenings together -- our first ever overnight time without our daughter -- but it wasn't to be. Happily, his mum is coming to help him out while I'm off.

I read a tutorial about how to blend with the Copic markers (basically, saturate the page a bit). Here is a five-minute attempt on the Gatineau waterfront from this afternoon during the only decent drawing time I got. Looks like paint, eh?

November 1, 2011

Sketches of the Ottawa River Parkway and Transitway

Still trying to get a feel for these new Copic markers. Turns out they sell blending markers to help blend colours. At this point, I'm just wondering if their strong smell should be a warning to me while pregnant.