Into each life some rain must fall – Henry Longfellow
I wonder if Longfellow was thinking of plein air sketching when he wrote that famous line. Probably not. But as spring came to Quebec City it came in couplets, a a day of sunshine followed by a cold, rainy day. And I was poised with sketchbook, wanting to hit the streets to do some sketching.
And so it was when I woke to a ‘to do’ list that said, ‘go sketching’, but the day greeted me with cloudy skies and cool temps. I’d made that appointment with myself and I wasn’t going to let a few clouds prevent it, no matter how ominous they looked. And so I headed out, hopping a bus for the downtown area.
Though it was a bit cool, I was having a great sketching session as I sat on my Walk Stool, capturing one of the many interesting buildings within my habitat. As the Urban Sketchers say…show the world one sketch at a time. I’d gotten the sketch to the point of adding details when it started to rain. In atypical fashion, I’d actually anticipated the need for an umbrella and I got it out, opened it, and decided that I should take the proverbial ‘location shot’ before I left for the day.
Aside from the fact that the umbrella was one of those small things that are too small to truly protect humans my size, I bumped against another problem; I didn’t have enough hands. If evolution was so smart, we’d have three. I only have two.
I needed to hold the sketchbook up so the photo would include both the sketch and the actual building and, of course, I needed to hold the camera. I could put the umbrella down but then the sketch would get wet. And so it was that I was trying to hold umbrella AND camera in one hand, the sketchbook in the other.
I had looked relaxed and confident while I was sketching. Now I looked like some sort of contortionist. Trying to hold camera and umbrella while looking through the viewfinder, while holding the sketchbook out in front of me was, well, trying. And then there was the problem of having a free finger to push the button. I gave up on trying to look through the camera. I shot several quick photos, hoping that one of them actually included sketch and building.
Somewhere along the line my oldsheimers caused me to forget this sketch and a couple weeks has gone by. I ‘discovered’ it as I was flipping through my sketchbook and I decided it was overdue for completion. This is the result. Hope you like it. Have you ever been caught in the rain while sketching?
Like all of my sketches, this one was done in a Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7) sketchbook. I used a Lamy Al-Star and Platinum Carbon Black ink to finish it. I may have used the same pen when I started the sketch too but oldsheimers strikes again. Color is Winsor & Newton Artist Watercolor.
Larry, that’s a fantastic drawing of a very unique building! I really love your choice of colors. And thanks for my laugh of the day, visualizing you trying to manage three important things with only two hands.