It’s been fairly obvious from my lack of posting and my comments that I’ve been lacking inspiration. That it’s still too cold to sketch outdoors hasn’t helped but the problem has been more basic than that.
So how can it be that I woke up this morning chomping at the bit to do material prep and to draw? It came from this past weekend when Laurel and Marc Holmes stopped to visit. Two of the best people I know, we had a great time, mostly while sitting and talking.
The idea was to sketch together and we did that, but not much. We bumped into two problems. The first was cold and windy weather that made sketching outdoors almost painful. From the looks of things, outdoor sketching is a couple weeks away for me.
The other problem was the Museum of Civilization here in Quebec City. Pre-pandemic this was my go to place to sketch when weather was bad because it was always full of stuff to sketch. I hadn’t been there since 2019 but it seemed like a good solution to our dilemma. I spent a bunch of money to renew my membership and Marc and Laurel spent a lot of money on tickets. We all wasted it.
You know those movies where someone returns to a place of fond memories only to find it devastated or inhabited by zombies? That was how I felt. The bedrock of this museum has always been two large permanent exhibits and four large exposition halls where expositions came and went, always providing good stuff to draw. What we faced were three of those halls permanently empty and one of the permanent exhibits gutted and closed off. What remained was horrible. The “big” exhibit was a historical presentation of a famous Quebec politician but it was just a bunch of large photos of him and a few trinkets from his life. There was very little to draw. And so I got to enjoy Laurel and Marc while sitting in restaurants or the drawing room of their B&B. And while I’m sure they were disappointed, I thoroughly enjoyed their presence and our discussions.
Marc showed me a bunch of 5×5 direct watercolors he’d done during the excursion they were returning from and they really excited me. I couldn’t think of much else. I’ve got to learn this approach to “sketching” (when Marc does it the results need to be framed and hung on a wall) and I’ve commited to doing his annual 30 paintings in 30 days event that starts in June. Hopefully I can figure out how to do it before then.
Here are a couple sketches that I did in our empty museum.
What a disappointing change to your museum! I know you’ve sketched there many times in the past, and I’ve enjoyed seeing your sketches. I wonder what caused that change…? Pandemic loss of funding?
I’ll say. It came as a shock. Major cutbacks took place well before COVID but even then, they managed to fill the halls. It was just that they couldn’t afford to bring in the big exhibitions. They also had to fire a bunch of the people who became friends in the sense that I was seeing them all the time. There’s a bunch of politics involved, as usual 🙂