Thursday, April 12, 2012

Drawing Lessons . . .

We're in Vancouver today, having arrived yesterday afternoon for a French lesson (those loud creaks you heard were my brain wheels trying to turn), then taking in Hunger Games followed by delicious thin-crust pizza next door to the cinema, and then a rather romantic walk home in the light rain across the Burrard Street Bridge, admiring the city lights.

Today we walked back across that bridge to enjoy breakfast at The Epicurean (we heartily recommend this spot for breakfast, lunch, coffee, or what-have-you) and then sauntered over to Granville Island to shop for ART Supplies at Opus. And that shopping trip is my excuse for all the photos here, taken during our Illustrated Journal class of the weekend before last. It just seems to me that the roll-up-the-sleeves working solidity of Alison's studio, along with all the accoutrements of art, is gorgeous enough to celebrate.

As is Alison herself, my good friend, neighbour, and now, teacher . . . I couldn't help but think of her, quite honestly, when Duchesse posted her paean to Jane Birkin. Alison always manifests that same elegant and apparently effortless style, beautiful and practical at once.
Here she is demonstrating some principle of composition, if I remember correctly. . .
But it might also have been a lesson about colour mixing . . . I love the various palettes that developed over the weekend.  Soon I'll be working up some of my own, having dropped a bundle of cash on a surprisingly small selection of tubes. Still, how helpful to be given a list of starter colours (never mind the chance to savour a host of wondrous names -- ah, cerulean!).
I also bought sketchbooks and a Moleskine Journal (which Alison recommends for the quality of its paper, capable of being worked with watercolour on both sides). I bought a starter set of coloured marker pens (with fine brush-like nibs), and a few metallic markers. Paul bought a SpeedBall system of holders & nibs -- and some ink to dip those into (I think I'll borrow them to use with my watercolours).

After we've had our fun weekend with Nola, I hope to play with my new supplies on an introductory page for the journal . . . perhaps a list of things we hope to see in Amsterdam (I bought a Lonely Planet guide today -- getting so excited!)

Today wasn't all running around on errands, though. I also managed a visit with my daughter in her professional role as Registered Massage Therapist -- very nice to have one of those in the family! Now I'll mark some papers while Paul's at a Strata council meeting and then we'll head out for dinner at our neighbourhood Greek place. Such a lifestyle contrast from the island's quiet  (from Thursday after my last class 'til Tuesday afternoon, I stayed at home except for my runs or walks around the island's 4-kilometre circumference! No shops, no crowds, no traffic!).

Tomorrow morning, we'll pick up our little girl and take her back to the island for a few days (she phoned a few weeks ago and asked if she could come to our house -- who cares if there might have been some parental prompting?!).  I suspect that the next post might feature someone playing on the beach . . .


15 comments:

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    1. and it's the grand-daughter, not the artsy stuff, right?

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  2. What a delightful art space and I'm glad you shared the list of necessities to get started with this illustrated journaling. Life in the city sounds like a delicious contrast to the delicious island.

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    1. It's really a great contrast, Terri. I can be quite a hermit on the island, so it's good to change pace occasionally with a trip to the city.

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  3. I always like hearing about your life in the city so I watched some of The Real Housewives of Vancouver - something tells me you don't run in those circles (nor would you want to)!! However, I did learn something from your post today - I now know the term 'strata council' and what it is! P.

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    1. I've never seen a Real Housewives show, but I've seen a bit of coverage in the local papers about this new version. Nope, not quite my circle! ;-)
      You must have strata councils back in Ontario as well, no? Although we wouldn't have known much about them either, if we hadn't got our city apartment when Paul ended up working there. . .

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    2. Well, according to Wikipedia, condominiums are known as "strata" in BC, so there you go! P.

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  4. I just discovered your blog after reading Pondside's comments. I had just been cleaning up in my space and discovered the set of paints I bought in September - it would have been wonderful to go to a painting lesson in Vancouver. Somehow - I'll try to make a start again...soon. I looked back on your blog and enjoyed your posts - I'll be back to visit again.

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    1. Glad to have you reading, Sheila, and so good of you to take time to comment -- thanks! I found taking a weekend course was a really good way to get into a mood and pick up some know-how so that I might carry on. The trick will be to keep finding pockets of time . . .

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  5. Ooh, new art supplies from Opus! That place is dangerous. What fun you'll have, and what fun we'll have enjoying your creativity!

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    1. It's beyond dangerous! Wow, I had no idea! But we did have fun filling our basket. We'll have to wait until our little girl goes home, though, before taking the new toys out to play.

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  6. it was such a delight to be able to share this part of my world with you. Nothing makes a teacher look better than a gifted student--I was not surprised to discover that you had a flair for colour and design!

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    1. Watch out! I may be back for the Watercolours class one of these years . . .

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  7. Did you enjoy The Hunger Games? Kitty went three times in the end, she loved it. I thought it better than expected but needed cutting by about 20 min’s.
    I was reflecting about your response to the last post, and I do think the camera has made life a little too easy, and yet even that elicits a grown from my family when we are walking, it is as if they have to get to the other end whereas I like to stand and watch. Drawing is great for that, and if you do get a chance in Paris you may find that life ends up coming to you!

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  8. We did enjoy it, but I did notice myself looking at my watch a few times, so have to concur with your editing suggestion.
    It's true, isn't it, that the camera stops us from taking responsibility for looking and remembering on our own. Yet at the same time, it's often the way that some of us (like you and I) TAKE the time to look, to store up, to appreciate. Perhaps it's what gives me an excuse to stop my partner's pace and just look, through the lens. I'm really hoping that drawing will let me deepen that process.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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