Sunday, March 4, 2012

British Columbia, New Hampshire, and Maryland!

We are all starting to have a hankering for spring, so I’d better get these snowy pictures out to you. This is a view drawn in January of the ridge in Kettle Valley, a neighborhood in the southern part of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Our grandchildren live here, and this is the sight as they walk to school. The turreted buildings house a coffee shop, gym, and pre-school among other necessities.

The climate is dry, and the stubbly trees are remnants of an unfortunate forest fire in 2003. A part of a natural cycle they say. Many houses were destroyed, but everyone evacuated safely.

I drew this looking west from the top of a sledding hill behind our grandchildren’s house. Parts of the scenery include the west bank of the Okanagan Valley and Lake Okanagan. There are vineyards and orchards near the lake on both sides. And on the lower left I drew two children’s parks and the tennis court. Do click on the image to enlarge it. The houses are actually crayon-box colors like this.

One day after running a few errands, I stopped at this beach for a quick sketch. I call it Apple Beach, but I believe the correct name is Gyro Beach. The apple is a concession stand, selling snacks in warmer weather. This region is apple growing territory. It was a hazy day and I tried to capture that in watercolors. The hills in the background were very indistinct as the long lake bends around to the left.

The serpent-like shape in the lake is my imaginary version of Ogopogo. Sort of the Loch Ness Monster of British Columbia, but friendly.

I was visiting during sledding season. Here is part of the school that our younger granddaughter attends. Most of the students carried their sleds with them to school. The fashionable sled this year is lightweight, and decorated to look like a surfboard. The children sped down the hills before the school bell rang, during recess, and after school was let out. And then we walked home and they went sledding some more.

After our younger granddaughter gets out of school, we wait for her sister’s bus. Here she is in her pink and purple coat with a friend also dressed in the same colors. You can see the incredibly rugged terrain here, and see too the small house on the top of the hill. Actually, it is most likely a large house with a great view.

Higher up from the valley is a community called Joe Rich. This is the view from a dining room, on a very snowy day.

Our grandchildren love our iPads and have figured out how to do lots of things with them. Here is the three year old, sitting on the bed, being creative. The cats are watching, and keeping warm. And one is listening to the pencil sounds on my paper.

On my way out of town, I experienced a 12 hour delay. Oh, joy! I ate (three times), I read, I shopped, and I pulled out my watercolor set. Here is my corner with my purple coat, sketches, water bottle, red suitcase and grey duffle.

I usually don’t care to draw people who are waiting or traveling. But I had to do something to fill the hours. Here are three waiting people, my red suitcase, a red coated airport greeter. (Who didn’t greet me.) And the little sparrows that live in every airport.

It is very foggy out. That is why my flight was cancelled...the incoming flight the night before couldn’t land in the thick fog.

On our first day back in New Hampshire from a trip to Baltimore, we drove to the town of Lempster to hear Rebecca Rule speak. She is a story collector and a story teller. Both orally and in book form. It is a good idea to go to one of her presentations first if you can, before you buy her books. Then you will be able to hear her talking when you read! It makes it even better.

We have heard her speak several times. But this time I was inspired to draw because it seemed so very New Hampshire-ish for the speaker to be sharing the stage with local historical a black wooden hearse, set off with yellow fringe curtains. Note the iron runners for winter transportation of the body. I’m guessing the two vertical objects behind the hearse are part of the horse pulling part of it all.

One day I decided to drive the short distance to nearby Andover (NH) to draw the ski hills which are right off Main Street and part of the campus of Proctor Academy, a private high school. The building in the foreground is the old carriage house according to the sign.

And now for something completely different. This is the southwest corner of Calvert Street and 31st, in the Charles Village section of Baltimore, Maryland. It is not too far from the campus of the famed Johns Hopkins University.

I knew when I saw the roof lines that this is what I wanted to draw on that day. I drew quickly with the sheer joy of allowing myself to get lost in the complex architecture. There are little bits of accuracy here and there. Hopefully enough to convey the spirit of the block....the ornamented brick facade, with tile roofs and a vaguely Dutch shaped repeating roof folly. Thanks, A.G.


  1. Love your Colorful Journeys. They are so joyful and interesting--it's a delight to be drawn in.

  2. Thank you. The world is a fascinating place.