Friday, December 29, 2017

Alberta, California, and New Hampshire

As many of my readers know, we spend a few weeks in the spring and fall in Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada, where our younger daughter and her family live. One fall day I drew this panoramic sketch of the North Saskatchewan River, which bisects the city. It is always a beautiful light green shade. The river is born in a glacier the Canadian Rockies, and it flows north into Hudson’s Bay. Minerals scraped from the floor of the glacier contribute to its color.

I got in the warm autumnal colors too.

In downtown Edmonton there is a new arena for the Oilers, the NHL team. We were parked in the back, where the Edmonton Community Arena is a part of the building. Our granddaughter was playing there on her hockey team.

I just couldn’t resist the curves of this building. The light poles added to the effect.

  I keep drawing our littlest grandson’s shoes. Maybe I am trying to slow down his toddler years.

 And one day, our older grandson rode his bike over to our condo for a visit. He parked it in the hallway. And while he played, I had plenty of time to sketch it in ink and put in some colors with water soluble colored pencils.

  In the airport in Edmonton, I found a display case with these wonderfully beaded moccasins from Sachs Harbour, way up in the Arctic area.

 Our other branch of the family, our older daughter and her husband, lives in Los Angeles. Here is a coffee shop called Blue Bottle, on Third and Broadway, a short stroll from their apartment. The sky was its usual clear blue.

 My daughter and I took a walk to Olvera Street, a few more blocks east of her apartment. The origin of California as being part of Mexico is widely seen in Olvera Street. The food, the music, and the products in the market are pretty convincing that you have slipped over the border into Mexico.

 Back in New Hampshire, on the East Coast, we attended the Holiday Open House at the Button Factory in Portsmouth. This old solid brick building was once the international center for the manufacture of shoe buttons. Eventually, there was no longer a need for those items. Since the late 1960s, it has been repurposed as artists’ studios.

One of the artists had spotted me drawing in Portsmouth a few weeks earlier and invited us to visit her studio at the upcoming event. It was indeed a happy occasion, well supplied with wine and cheese. And art.

 It is plenty cold and snowy here now in New Hampshire. But the winter berries are bright red and attract the birds. It is a cheerful sight.

Another happy winter sight was the blooming of a red and white amaryllis bulb that was given to me. 

And yesterday, I awoke early enough to see the winter sunrise in the snowy woods. 

The art on this blog posting is a mixture of traditional sketching on paper, and images done on my digital art app called Drawing Pad. It is a ton of fun to use it, as I am playing with light, as well as line and texture. And I can adjust the colors to be either opaque or translucent, thin or thick, smooth or textured, and all combinations of these. The digital images are these: the moccasins, the Blue Bottle, the red trees, the amaryllis, and the sunrise. My art tool is my left index finger.


  1. I was entranced by the amaryllis even before you explained how you did it. Your art is really wonderful for showing the beauty of simple things.

    1. Thanks Angie. In that drawing, I started with the grey background, then drew on top with semi opaque white. Is an amaryllis simple or complex? As a flower, a complex one! But I know what you mean.