Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1001 Journals [Joined]

Today I signed up and joined 1001 Journals, a series of travelling journals where you do a few pages and then pass it on to the next person in line. I am in line to receive Journal #5190 and #5191. Lets see how it goes.

September 27, 2011

Yesterday Lindsay May posted my sketch on her web-site. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 24, 2011 [more]

Saturday when I came back from my visit to Granville Island, I ran into Bob my neighbour. He was out raking leaves (yes.. it is that time of year already). Bob owns the Tudor house next door at 1995 Comox Street that I sketched as part of the "Vancouver West-end Sketches 2011" sketchbook I am working on. I showed Bob my West-end sketchbook and he was really interested. He said he would like to buy a copy when or if I publish it. Bob indicated that he used to own the English Bay Inn across the street but sold it and bought this house. I was asking a little about the existing house he is in and he told me that it is sub-divided into four suites. Bob lives in the upstairs, there are two suites on the ground level and one basement suite. The basement suite has a walk out, so is not totally below ground. The house is fairly large so actually has 3 distinct addresses. The basement suite has 1995 Comox Street address with an entrance onto Comox. The two ground-level suites have separate Chilco Street addresses. He tells me he is adding an extension at the back of the house too.

Bob also indicated to me the harp I saw being pushed along the seawall was not his. A young guy used to store his harp in Bobs basement suite until someone moved in. The young guy plays the harp often in Stanley Park.

I did not want to hold Bob up from his chores (leaf raking), so I left him with the promise to talk again soon and get some details about the house and the English Bay Inn.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 24, 2011

I have been busy between work and doing personal sketches and Birthday cards for friends, so my posting has been sparse. Anyway, in preparation for the World-wide Sketchcrawl No. 33 on October 15, 2011, I went down to the Granville Island Public Market to scope out the location. I am hoping I can attract a number of other local Vancouver sketchers to come out and join me at the Granville Island Market for the Sketchcrawl.

In honesty I did not get to do any on-site sketching, but had my unsophisticated little point-and-click digital camera with me. I was mostly there to check out the facilities, what to expect to sketch later and just relax. Lots of interesting people, things and places to explore. I think this will be a good place for our Sketchcrawl.

Something that caught my attention was a young lady, Lindsay May a singer songwriter who was out singing playing both guitar and mandolin, at the back of the public market. I listened, watched and clicked a few photos. When I got home after the outing, I decided to do a sketch from a photo of Lindsay singing. I planned then to use the sketch as a mini-ad on the Sketchcrawl 33 Vancouver forum thread to attract local Vancouver sketchers to come out. I did the following sketch in pen and ink (black and white) thinking I may add a splash of watercolour later to the original. At the moment I think it looks just fine as a black and white sketch.

"Lindsay May at the Granville Island Public Market"
[Click on the image for larger view]

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 16, 2011

BC Hydro was working on the power transformers at the back of my apartment building. I was watching out my office window and decided to sketch them hard at work. They were working further down the back lane so it was necessary for me to take in the scene in detail using binoculars. This is a new one for me sketching and flipping back and forward looking at my page and then looking out through the binoc's. Unfortunately using these binoculars flattened the focal plane so close and distance items got squished together losing some of the normal perspective. The poles and power lines were annoying as they blocked some of the view of the truck but were never-the-less part of the action so they stayed. This seems to add some of the charm - IMHO. Anyway I kept at it and here is the result. Watercolour was added after the workers had gone but they are reasonably true due to some notes.

Hmm.. some of the neighbours must think I am a peeping-Tom or peeping-Dave (peeping and sketching combo). LOL

"Our BC Hydro at Work"
[Click on image for larger view]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Short Break

The last few days I have taken a short break from sketching stuff for public consumption. I have been busy doing sketches and stuff for upcoming birthdays etc. Once I have done this, I will return to sketching more of the West-end.

Also am busy getting ready for Sketchcrawl 33 - coming up on October 15th 2011.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011

While waiting for a response from a client today, I noticed a guy washing windows on the side of one of the high-rise apartments nearby. This one was hanging down the side of the building at the Stanley Park end of Nelson Street in Vancouver's West-end. Anyway here he was merrily wobbling back and forward with his bucket and squeegee hanging from a rope. When I first noticed him, he was doing windows on the 12th floor... yikes not my kind of job. "I don't do Windows" is a common computer joke for us types who prefer Mac's.. :-)

Anyway out came the sketchbook and pens .. I divided the sketchbook page into 6 sections so that I could force myself to keep each "window" view figure sketch the same relative size. Tried to keep things really simple, not much detail as this guy was moving pretty quickly. I had read somewhere on an Urban Sketcher Symposium site that they recommend keeping sketches simple and that it is generally okay to leave out unimportant details. They suggested that the important thing when sketching figures is to show the activity and create interest, definitely detail sketching the lint falling out of the guys pocket is not something that is needed in the drawing. :-)

Whew.. that was exhausting trying to keep up with him :-)

So here it is with a splash of watercolour...

Oops.. I used yesterdays date on the drawing.. I'll have to correct that..guess I lost a day somehow.. :-)

"Windows Professional 2011"
[Click on image for larger view]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Old Watercolour Painting

A friend today was talking about "Hummingbirds" and this reminded me of a watercolour painting I did many years ago. It never got framed and was just hidden away in my watercolour paper drawer. Anyway, I dusted it off and did a quick photo to share. The original was drawn looking through the living room window at my parents house in Belleville, Ontario. With the passing of both my parents, the house now belongs jointly to my brother Keith, his wife Ann Marie and I. At the time of drawing and painting, we had frequent visits from a number of different types of hummingbirds as they were attracted to the flowering shrub by the front deck, and the hummingbird feeder that my father kept stocked with some syrupy food. This painting I think was done in 1998 or 1999 but I cannot remember exactly when.  Ugh! I have left some kind of mucky fingerprint on the painting. I guess at some point I will have to carefully remove it.

Well according to the hummingbird official web-site, the only version frequenting the eastern US and Canada was the Ruby-throated. But this does not look like the pictures of the Ruby-throated hummingbird, but it is what I saw. I suppose some of the coloration seen was due to reflected light from the environment. The other hummingbirds appear to have been females.

[Click on image for larger view]

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little Blue Sketchbook

More sketches in my "Little Blue Sketchbook". Also shown is the sketchbook cover.

Sketchbook Cover

"Robson & Bute - Rainy Day"
"Starbucks - More Customers"

"Blow Dry and Fluff"
"Starbucks - Chance Meeting"

West-end Sketchbook in Progress

As indicated earlier, I have been accumulating sketches of the Vancouver West-end with the intent of publishing a limited copy run. This is to chronicle my view of places and things in the West-end during 2011. Below are photo's of the West-end Sketchbook as it sits today. At this time there are 12 sketches in the book with facing pages ready to receive notes about each sketch.  I definitely need to get out and do more sketches in the book and keep the process moving before 2011 ends .. LOL. In the next few days I will also be interviewing some of the building owners to get more specifics with the intent to write the facing page notes. Shown below are 5 of the sketch pages and the sketchbook cover.
[Click on each image for larger view]

Sketchbook Covers 
For those interested, the cover of the West-end 
sketchbook was done using a photo printed image
of one of the sketches, applied to the front with
double-sided transfer tape, then clear laminating
film was applied to protect the image. The other
smaller sketchbooks had origami paper applied
to each cover using double-sided transfer tape. 
This was done to make each sketchbook unique
and readily identified in my bag. Not sure yet 
whether I will apply laminating film for protection.
All 5 of the sketchbooks shown are "Moleskine"
Watercolour sketchbooks.

West-end Sketchbook Cover
I decided to add the photo to the front of the sketch
book and applied laminating film to make it more 
durable when "out in the field".

First Sketch page - English Bay Inn

Second Sketch page - Hirshfield House

Third Sketch page - 1995 Comox Street
Laughing Statues

Roedde House

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sketchcrawl Wall of Fame

On Sept 2nd, I started my "Sketchcrawl Wall of Fame" by framing and putting up a few sketches from a few sketchcrawlers around the globe. Each framed sketch has permission from the original artist with the explicit promise this is for my home use only with credits to the artist. Two artists included so far are James Robertson (San Francisco, USA) and Somsesh Kumar (Bangalore, India).

I hope to get permission from a number of other sketchcrawl artists in the next few weeks and then frame them too. The images framed are photo prints with the exception of two original sketches by James Robertson.

Note: These are NOT sketches done by me but rather by other artists.. I cannot claim any credit for these great pieces.

Somsesh has posted the following on his blog at
[Click on image for larger view]

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3, 2011

I was sitting here on the couch looking out the window and checking my "eyelids for holes" when I noticed Fluffy was listening intently to two sparrows chattering away outside. This went on for about half an hour before the birds flew off. I imagined that my dear cat was catching up on the local gossip. I guess the birds knew they were safe through the window and Fluffy knew there was no chance of grabbing them, so she was content to stare and listen.

So I grabbed the first sketchbook and pencil I could find and drew this sketch. Not the best photo, as I find my camera does not pick up pencil well. Never-the-less, here it is.

"Catching Up With The Local Gossip"
[Click on image for larger view]

The birthday card version for my cousin in the UK
[Click on image for larger view]

Friday, September 2, 2011

August 31, 2011

Sketch for August 31, 2011 is of the Diamond Centre For Living (formerly the Weeks House). This building is part of Barclay Heritage Square in Vancouver's West-end. The Diamond Centre For Living, formerly known as the Weeks House, was originally built for a prominent Vancouver pioneer family.
When George W. Weeks - the builder of Weeks House arrived in the newly incorporated City of Vancouver to open it's first Hudson's Bay Company Store, the city had just 1,000 inhabitants. The year was 1886. Weeks later told a newspaper reporter that he could see the place had a wonderful future.
Weeks lived at Weeks House with his wife, Hannah, their two daughters, Hilda and Rhoda, and two sons, Campbell and Hubert. George Weeks lived in the house until his death in 1948. After George's death, the Weeks family continued living in the house. An unmarried daughter, Hilda, remained there until the late 1950s, when she sold it to the McClintock family. The Parks Board purchased the house in the mid-1960s, and Bernard Kelly stayed on as caretaker until 1994.
The exterior of the house was refurbished by the Iredale Partnership in 1990 at a cost of $120,000. In 1994, the house was leased to The Vancouver Friends For Life Society for $1 a year for 10 years, with a provisio that the necessary funds would be raised to refurbish the inside.
On December 1, 1995, the beautiful renovated home was renamed The Diamond Centre For Living. in honour of the Diamond family of Vancouver, recognizing their important role as philanthropists and leaders in renovating the wellness centre.
Today, the Diamond Centre For Living houses Friends For Life, a wellness centre providing holistic health therapies to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Offering a warm, supportive "home-like" environment, the house has provided a safe-haven for the nearly two decades for over 3000 individuals living with life-threatening illnesses.

"The Diamond Centre For Living"
 formerly the Weeks House
[Click on image for larger view]

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 30, 2011

Sketch for Tuesday August 30, 2011 is of Barclay Manor, part of the Barclay Square Heritage Park at Barclay and Broughton in Vancouver's West-end. The house sits on Barclay Street between Roedde House and the Weeks House. Barclay Manor has 6 rooms available to rent for functions. The house has changed considerably since its construction in 1890 by Lucy and Charles Tetley. It began as a small "L" shaped structure which was moved 15 feet to its current location. Various additions occurred, and in 1909 architect R. J. MacDonald designed a conversion of the house into a private Hospital. From 1919 to 1926 it was known as Rosary Hall, a residence for Catholic working girls, and in 1926 it became a boarding house. The Iredale partnership designed the renovation of the building into a seniors community centre in 1990.

"Barclay Manor"
[Click on image for larger view]