My favorite Wallace and Gromit film is A Grand Day Out. In it, Wallace finds that while he has crackers, he has run out of cheese. Of course, that means he and his dog Gromit need to go to the moon to get some more, as everyone knows the moon is made of cheese. Gromit builds a rocket and they head off to find some cheese.
Yesterday I was reminded of A Grand Day Out because I had one in the form of Quebec City’s version of the 42nd Worldwide Sketchcrawl. We’ve held several of these and while it’s hard to do when it’s -25C, we do what we can to bring people together.
This sketchcrawl was held at the Musée de la Civilisation. This museum is a very welcoming and accommodating place and it’s ideal for such an event. As with all of our sketchcrawls, this one was organized by Yvan Breton and Celine Poulin. One of my sketching buddies, Claudette Gauvreau, deserves some credit as well as she used her infectious laugh and sociability to convince several of her friends to join us.
Just beginning to gather in the lunch area. Hard choice between talking and eating being made by many
And what an event it was. We had a couple DOZEN people at this event. I emphasize the word dozen as when you can start counting participants in ‘dozens’ it’s sort of like being old enough to talk about how many decades you’ve been alive. And dozens we had, at least 24 people and while it was hard to get an accurate count, I think it was more. What I do know is that I found it impossible to remember the names of all the people I met for the first time. But I’ll always remember the smiles on their faces.
And did we have fun. The one downside of a museum sketchcrawl is documentation as they frown on photography in the exhibit areas (click on image to get a larger image). What I can tell you is that from 10AM until 12:30 there were sketchers everywhere you looked and it was quite exciting. Some people were surprised by how relaxed the atmosphere was and how “non-competitive” we were. You can tell ‘serious’ artists about this difference between sketching and fine art but until they experience group sketching on location, it’s hard to understand it.
Looking at sketchbooks, laughing and enjoying one another’s company
A group admiring Jacques Paquet’s sketch box
At 12:30 we gathered in a basement area to eat lunch and kibbitz about sketching, pens, watercolors, and to share our sketchbooks. I’m not sure we ever had everyone in one place so I can’t show you the typical ‘the gang’ photo but here are a few clusters of people and even a few sketches I managed to snap a photo of as they were laid out by some of the participants.
I found it hard to get photos of other people’s sketches because everyone was having so much fun flipping through everyone else’s sketchbooks. Pictures come second to fun in my book but I did manage to get these few snapshots.
Guylaine Côté’s bicycle. Love this view.
Celine (top) and Pierre’s (bottom) sketches
Group of sketches
After lunch, and after we couldn’t talk any more, most of us headed back out to sketch. We lost a few of our participants as they had afternoon appointments elsewhere. Once again we invaded the exhibits like ants on a sugar cube and while we were having fun, we were also becoming part of the exhibits, as folks were looking over our shoulders and saying nice things. Location sketching is good for the ego.
We wrapped up around 3PM, most of us quite tired but also exhilarated by the day’s activities. I’m still walking a foot or so above the ground. Did I mention we had a COUPLE DOZEN participants?
Oh…I did a bit of sketching myself, though not as much as some. And I did have the ability to scan them. Here are my sketches from the day. It was definitely a Grand Day Out.
I saw this drum display as an opportunity to practice orienting ellipses as each drum was positioned differently. Stillman & Birn Zeta (6×9), Wahl-Eversharp pen, Lexington Gray ink
These were part of a large poster of clown caricatures and I thought it might be fun to draw a few of them. It was. Stillman & Birn Zeta (6×9), Wahl-Eversharp pen, Lexington Gray
You can find many more photos and sketches on the Worldwide Sketchcrawl site.