Last Trip To Ottawa For A While

We made our final trip to Ottawa for a while.  Our daughter just graduated from University of Ottawa and we moved her to Montreal where she’s entering law school at McGill.  I gotta tell ya, I’m too old to be moving from school to school.  Been there, done that, even have souvenir t-shirts.

But since we were there, it seemed only appropriate that I should do some sketching.  The first chance came when we agreed to meet our daughter in Rideau River Park.  I don’t know if that’s what it’s really called but it runs along the Rideau River and Chantal and I had parked our butts on a bench while we waited, so its Rideau River park to me.

I got out a Stillman & Birn 6×6 Beta spiral book and just started quick-sketching everything and anything.  No rhyme or reason to it, which is fun sometimes.  Find a white space on the paper and fill it – easy peasy.  Here’s a couple of the pages I did.

I drew stuff; I drew people, and I even drew some of the birds on the river.  But then my daughter showed up and there were other things to do.  We hadn’t seen her in a while.

A couple days later, Chantal and I went down to the Parliament area and sat on a picnic bench in the shade.  I’m showing this next sketch to make a point to those who feel “I’m not good enough” to sketch around other people.  I was scribbling this teeny, tiny sketch (3×4) in the tiny sketchbook I mentioned in a previous blog post.  I’ve been having fun doing these really tiny sketches but they’re really crude and mostly just warm up sketches. Even that gives them too much credential.

Anyways, a really nice lady from Italy asked if she could sit because she was waiting to take the Parliament tour.  Chantal started talking with her, she saw my sketch and got genuinely excited about it.  She took a photo of it to show to her friends.  My point is, people are amazed that anyone can draw anything.  You don’t have to be good to sketch in public.  You just have to sketch in public for people to think you’re good (grin).

I started drawing this next sketch because we were sitting right near the corner of a building called East Block on the Parliament grounds and we  were on a hill, affording an interesting view where I wasn’t having to look up a lot to see the top of the building.

While I was working, a Chinese family from Manitoba came to sit.  They were waiting for a tour too.  Their son, a young teenager was excited to see someone drawing and showed us a couple of the sketches he’d done.  He wanted to be an animator and was making a good start at it.  They watched as I did this sketch and I confess that half a dozen people asking questions was a bit distracting, but Chantal fielded many of them so we sort of formed a temporary clan as I sketched and they waited for their tour.

Chantal and I were both getting hungry so we headed off to forage.  Once sustained we decided to go sit in the center of the busiest intersection in Ottawa.  Well, sorta.  There is a triangular piece of land near Parliament with a lot of traffic passing on all sides.  This place is filled with statues, including a memorial to Canadian military actions complete with honor guard.

I drew the Laura Secord statue, the famous candy lady.  Some defend her statue status with stories of her running for kilometers to warn the British of an impending attack by Americans during the war of 1812 but I know its the chain of chocolate stores that brought her fame.  It just had to be, though most deny she had anything to do with the candy business.

When I finished that sketch I was getting pretty tired but I quickly draw this part of Chateau Laurier, a posh hotel that’s nearby.  All sorts of errors in this one but it was a fitting end to the sketching day.  When I was done we headed off to meet our daughter for dinner.

6 thoughts on “Last Trip To Ottawa For A While

  1. Many wonderful sketches sounds like you both had a wonderful day and met some nice people. I’m sure you had a fantastic time with your daughter at dinner as well.
    Great day!!!!

    • Yes, Lynne, it was a great day. I always enjoy talking with the people who talk to me while I sketch. There are always the goofy questions like “Are you and artist?” but the general social interactions are the best. — Larry

  2. Wait, don’t go !
    We KW Urban Sketchers are heading to Ottawa at the end of September and some of the lucky ones (me included) are having a workshop with Shari, the rest of the time will be spent wandering and sketching.

    Yesterday I sat by the Grand River sketching and the same thing happened to me, someone stopped and took a photo of me sketching.

    It looks like you had a great time and as usual your work reflects it.
    It’s great watching your progress over the years.


    • I hope you get good weather for your Ottawa trip. As you know, our weather has been spotty all summer. Lucky that you’re going to get to take Shari’s tree class. Wish I could have worked out the timing for that myself, particularly now that I know you’ll be there.

      Your sketches from the Grand River are wonderful. Looks like you had a really full day of sketching, and sketching where you could actually concentrate on your efforts.

      Your comment about my “progress over the years” made me smile. I sometimes wonder about people’s view of my progress from looking at my blog. I get the impression that most people pose only their best on their blogs. I’m not really like that, principally because I sometimes draw in 2-minutes and sometimes over 2-hours. I don’t post everything I draw (too lazy to scan everything) but I tend to mix up careful sketches with not-so-careful sketches 🙂 The sketches in Ottawa were done in the 1-minute to 20-minute range, without much concern about accuracy, shading, etc. Sometimes I wonder if I do too much of that sort of thing, but mostly because of the blog and the fact that I’m posting so much of it there 🙂 — Larry

  3. I enjoy all your posts and drawings. Doesn’t seem possible that your daughter is that old . Sounds like you are all doing good. Cheers, Carolyn

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