My daughter was coming home from Ottawa during her Easter break from school. In a brilliant bit of planning we decided to go get her rather than have her take the train to get home. In this way we could spend a day and a half in Ottawa, visit museums, and I could sketch.
The plan was perfect. We got up early Thursday morning and drove to Ottawa. Skipping the details of the day, our plan was to visit the Natural History museum starting at 5PM because on Thursday nights the Ottawa museums are free. And so, with sketching gear on my hip, we headed inside.
To be honest, I was overwhelmed, both by the five floors of great stuff to sketch and by the fact that I was with wife and daughter and we wanted to see as much of the museum as possible. I managed one tiny quick-sketch of a sandhill crane while we were resting our feet. But we had lots of fun and besides, I’d be at the art museum all day tomorrow. Plenty of time for sketching.
And so it was that the next morning we headed to the art museum, arriving at opening time. This is where the flaw in my plan became evident. It was Good Friday. All the museums were closed. In fact, most of Ottawa was closed.
But it was a nice day. It was sunny, 8C and no wind. Given Quebec City’s winter, this was nothing short of a miracle so we sat down in front of the art museum. My family said, “Why don’t you sketch?” I felt guilty about leaving them doing nothing while I sketched but they talked me into it.
Sketching quicker than I normally draw, I drew the top of the Parliament library that was peaking up above the trees. When I finished I realized that I HAD SKETCHED OUTDOORS. Finally!!! It was April 3rd…a day to remember.
It only took 20 minutes or so but did I mention that I got to SKETCH OUTDOORS? Does this mean spring has finally come to my world? Well, not really. We drove back to Quebec City yesterday and woke this morning to look outside at the snow that was falling. Instead of sketching, I wandered aimlessly behind a snowblower. Will it ever end?
Outdoor sketching anywhere is something to celebrate! Alas — at least you have your memories.