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Monday, 26 May 2014

First Sketchout with Charleswood Art Group

It was a glorious day today. This was Charleswood Art Group's first scheduled sketchout for the season. We chose to go to Assiniboine Park and specifically to meet in the Leo Mol garden. Due to the very harsh and protracted winter, the tulips were not near blooming. Turnout was small with Ruth, Roberta, Sylvia, Susan, Diana, Diane and Shirley coming out.  Most left by noon and Diane and I spent the remainder of the day there sketching almost continuously.

What caught my eye initially was a group of small shrubs which appeared to be forsythia. There were still some bright yellow flower near the outer finer branches but also a carpet of bright yellow petals on the ground. It was like a beacon  in the English Garden ... it just shone out! This I felt was my best painting of the day and I hope to do a studio painting from my sketch and photos. I still need some spring paintings for my upcoming show in the fall.

Also in the English Garden, I tackled a really interesting vignette of wheelbarrows. I loved the shapes which included their shadows underneath. I took several photos of them and one of the gardeners moved them to the formation in my sketch. Fortunately, I have photos of the other arrangement.

Diane and I also tackled painting trees. We chose a group of trees that had everything; everygreens, cedars, shrubs and a background of trees with leaves just emerging. We had very little time to do this as our stomachs were suggesting it was lunchtime and we were starting to feel the heat of the sun.

Lunch was muffins, cheese and an apple (both of us brought the identical lunch) outside the Duck Pond shelter. Canada Geese were very interested in our lunch ... probably because Diane was throwing out bits of her apple for them.

After lunch, we tackled doing quick pencil gestural drawings of people as they stopped to admire the birds in the pond. This was really fun to do. It's amazing how quickly you can get something down and it will be recognizable. Just before doing the sketches, a few guys came around and asked if we wanted a dilly bar. They must have had some left over from selling at the Teddy Bear's picnic ... who could refuse! It was a nice and unexpected treat.

We wound up our day by having a coffee in the Qualico Family Center. While I was drinking coffee, I did two pencil sketches of two different couples at the very next table. I remained incognito by keeping my sunglasses on and tipping my sketchbook upwards. They had no idea that I completed these quick sketches of them.

On the Shirley bliss factor scale, this day was definitely a 100!

This yellow was like a beacon in the garden

Wheelbarrow vignette

Trees are hard to do - the shape, the color

Gesture drawing is so much fun!

A couple captured lunching at the Qualico Family Centre

Yet another couple captured at the same table later

The beautiful forsythia? that I painted

Sylvia looking very fashionable for sketching

Diane, the "Goose Whisperer"

Diane's work on trees

Some of the essentials: camera, shades, big hat ....

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