Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Alberta, California, New Hampshire, and In Between!

We took our three grandchildren to the Terwilligar Recreation Center, in Edmonton, Canada. Three times.  The entire indoor rec center is amazing with four hockey rinks, an enormous swimming pool, and all sorts of other sports fields and equipment. This indoor playhouse, within the rec center, for children ages 4 to 11 is four stories high with plenty of climbing stairs and ramps inside to burn off energy and build muscles.

The resident cats in the home of our daughter have a bunk bed. Top bunk is Squiggy, and Leo gets the bottom bunk.  Leo’s tail is amazingly long and fluffy.

I don’t usually draw people when I am traveling.  People often looked bored to me, and I don’t enjoy drawing boredom.  However, this young woman was traveling with her young child and two grandparents.  They gave her a little rest time, and I liked her face in repose.  And I remember the days of air travel with young children too.

 And then I got bolder and sketched this man, one seat back and across the aisle.  He was very absorbed in his work and never looked up. I am still not sure if his black leather hat is drawn correctly. Maybe close. He looked like he should have been panning for gold. His very thick and fluffy ponytail, a bit like Leo the cat’s, was even longer than this.

Our second  flight of the day was to Los Angeles to spend a week with our other daughter and her husband. And their two pugs, one great dane, and one cat.

I spent a week drawing their neighborhood, downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). Here was my first effort at the Grand Central Market on Broadway and Second Streets.  The proprietor kept an eye on me and was appreciative of my efforts.

I have no idea how to cook and eat cactus leaves, but I bet removing the spines comes first.

In DTLA, there are loads of art deco buildings including several theaters on Broadway.  They are used now for special events as well as rented out for filming.  This ornate, highly sculpted building has the fascinating name of the Million Dollar Theater.   This truck was setting up for a shoot, which I saw happening the next day.  The amount of work and mix of skills and equipment involved in setting things up was impressive, and the setup time vastly exceeded that of the actual shoot.

Film and TV shoots are common in the neighborhood.  We have gotten used to seeing ‘New York City’ police cars on the nearby Los Angeles streets.

 Next up, I drew the Chester Williams building on Broadway and Fifth. Or rather a very small detail of it. Parts of the ground floor have recently been refinished and restored as a pharmacy.

My husband and I stood in the middle of a narrow (but nicely treed) median strip as I drew this funicular called Angel’s Flight. It is located just behind the Grand Central Market. It connects two neighborhoods, Bunker Hill and Downtown, at an elevation difference of 298 feet.  Built in 1901 and originally located nearby, it then cost a penny to ride one way.  It was relocated here in 1996 as part of a redevelopment program and now costs 50 cents to ride.

B.P.O.E. means Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a fraternal and service organization.  Its local lodge was adjacent to the original location of Angel’s Flight, but the connection between the two is still unclear.  Link for further detail.

Angel’s Flight is currently closed for some safety issues, but I took the ride up thanks to YouTube.

Back in New Hampshire, I am still posting my drawings of towns drawn during my two year project of drawing every town in the state, all 234.  I have just a few left in the box. Here we are in Bartlett. 

New Hampshire historical marker number 77 at the roadside states that “This rustic cottage was once the home of Thomas Murphy and his wife, Lady Blanche, daughter of the Earl of Gainsborough. Thomas was the organist at the church on the Earl’s estate. The commoner and the lady eloped to America, where Thomas taught at the Kearsarge School for Boys in North Conway.  Lady Blanche, a noted writer and contributor to such publications as Harper’s and The Atlantic Monthly, died here in 1881.”

The town hall in Easton flies the flag of the Lupine Festival.  This town is deep within the White Mountains.  When the long winter is over, Easton is happy to join the nearby town of Sugar Hill for a combined week long celebration of the beautiful spiky blue wild flowers.

It is only right to repeat this drawing of Mount Lafayette in the town of Sugar Hill that I originally posted two years ago.  Here are the lovely blue spikes of lupine at the edge of a field. After this year’s long hard winter, they will most likely be late to bloom.  But bloom they will.

Stoddard is in the southwest corner of New Hampshire.  I drew the late afternoon sun peeking around the edges of these old wooden buildings. Stoddard was once a very busy center of hand blown glass bottles.  The local sand produced lovely shades of amber, brown, and red glass.  Unfortunately, after a certain date, the fashion shifted to a demand for clear glass.  And the industry moved elsewhere.  Now, of course, the beautifully colored Stoddard glass bottles are collectors’ items.

According to the 2010 census, Sullivan, named for a Revolutionary War General, has a population of 677 people.  The town just east of Keene was made up of land from Gilsum, Keene, Nelson, and Stoddard. This monument to the memory of soldiers lost in the Civil War extends beyond what is seen here, and includes a stone obelisk. The fenced area is across the street from the stately Congregational church.