Like most places, Quebec City has many “convenience stores.” The more modern ones are the typical glass-faced square boxes that often come complete with a gas pump. But Quebec City, more than many other large cities, still has a keen sense of neighborhood and the “depanneur” is a major part of it. Each of these small, independently owned stores is unique in what you may or may not find within their walls.
One thing is certain – they have more character than their modern competition. No depanneur illustrates this better than Marche St. Ursule which is on the street of the same name and just off one of the major tourist streets in old Quebec City.
I’ve wanted to draw this store for a while but during the peak tourist season it’s tough because there are a lot of hotels just up the street and lots of tourist foot traffic that passes in front of the store as well as on the narrow sidewalk across the street where I have to sit to do the sketch. Since the tourist season isn’t cranked up yet, I thought I’d give it a try. It turned out it was only kinda-sorta tough but I had a lot of fun conversations with tourists who were making their way down the street.
I also left my fountain pens in the bag and used a Sharpie Fine Pen (** note that Sharpie Pens are different from Sharpie Markers). Lee Kline first introduced me to these pens and I’m not sure why they’re not more popular with those who like this sort of pen. They are equivalent to a Micron 03, at least in line width. The ink is very waterproof and, like most ‘felt’ pens, their line is absolutely consistent, which is good or bad depending on your view. They have virtues that the art-specific pens don’t have, however – they are available at in many drug stores and they are CHEAP. I paid $2.50 for a pack of two of them.
I think I love this one most of all. Partly, I must confess, because I adore red. It’s the happy, energizing color. I often wear red with my other favorite color, turquoise, which is somehow nurturing. Probably look like a walking optical illusion.
I’ve been wanting to be in London again, increasingly badly these days. When I was there last, we were right across from several little convenience stores sort of like this. Tile floors, wooden shelves, all sorts of things tucked in among the conveniences. Right in the center there was a sandwich/pizza store with a lot of other things.
I love your shop. So much to see so neatly, but without too much technical neatness taking away the warmth. Wish I could visit this one nearly as much as my London ones. My only regret, if you could call it that, is that we were so perfectly located, a few blocks off Bayswater, across from Kensington Park, parallel a few streets over from the jumble of Queensway and only a very short tube or bus ride to Oxford Circus. “sigh”
Maybe, once my French has been worked on with a bit more consistentcy, I’ll try a Quebec visit, have wanted to do that since grade school.
I’m a fine line sharpie addict, keep a good supply of the fine, extra fine and the set of colored extra fine lines on hand. Have you seen the stainless steel one? Less than five dollars here and there are replacable cartridges. V. cool.
Thank you from silly, rambling Ashleigh!
Glad you like my red ‘depanneur’, Ashleigh. You can “ramble” here as often and as much as you like. If you like red, you might like this sketch I did in 2012 of what has to be the most ‘happy’ building in Quebec City: https://larrydmarshall.com/brightest-building-in-quebec/
Now…to those Sharpie pens. I was not aware of the Sharpie pen with replaceable cartridges. The biggest reasons I avoid using these nylon-tipped pens is that they are disposable and we’re covering our Earth with “disposable” plastic. It’s one of the reasons I like the Uniball Signo UM 151 gel pens as you can buy replacable cartridges for them. Thanks for the tip.
Now…to your colored Sharpies. Which ones do you have and like? I’m looking for some fine-tipped, permanent ink pens. I’ve got Tombow pens, Stabilo pens and some others but they’re all waterbased. I notice that Sharpie has some called “permanent” and wonder if they will hold up to a yellow wash put over them. Opinions? Recommendations?
Cheers — Larry
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