Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic Gold

Celebrating the hockey victory! Canadian flags everywhere. Horns were honking and people were cheering and singing in the street. I wonder if this guy knew he was standing in front of the building where Mr. Matheson lives? When the Canadian flag was being adopted in 1965, it was Mr. Matheson (and another man, George Stanley) who came up with the maple leaf design!

P.S. Here's a "Heritage Minute" about Mr. Matheson and the flag.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Union Station 02

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Union Station in Toronto

A few months ago, one of the Urban Sketchers joked that s/he was stuck
in a waiting room with "nothing" to do...then crossed out the word
"nothing" and replaced it with "sketching." I wish I could remember
who wrote that post, because I think of it often. I've spent a lot of
empty hours at Union Station, but this time, the hour just flew by. I
noticed a dozen beautiful things I'd never seen before: the carved
stonework over the doors and on the top of the columns, the smallness
of the people in that vast space, and the bright angles of sunlight
around the windows. Amazing!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mitten Tree

Around here, when you find a lost mitten or glove on the sidewalk, you pick it up and put it on a nearby windowsill, bench or branch. That way, it stands a fighting chance of being found instead of trampled or covered up by a fresh snowfall. Today I noticed that this tree near City Hall has sprouted a whole crop of them!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pancake Tuesday

Every year, my aunt sends me a birthday card with a bit of money in
it, and every year I spend it on the same treat: an order of German
Apple Pancakes at Windmills Restaurant. This year, my birthday treat
just happened to overlap with Shrove Tuesday, and I made the most of
the coincidence. I drew this sketch while drinking great coffee and
waiting for the pancakes to arrive. And then...yum! yum! yum! Thank
you, Auntie Donna!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Watching the Olympics

I stopped for Thai noodles after work yesterday. At the restaurant,
everyone was glued to the Olympics coverage, watching the women's
skiing event. One skiier after another suffered a gut-wrenching fall.
It's not easy to swallow while your heart is in your throat!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Revisions

In this scene, a piece of music by Charles Ives gets its first performance. Most of the audience members hate it. It's too modern! But a certain young composer loves it.

He walks out of the concert hall into the snow, still thinking about the music.

It's February 1967, and he's a block away from Orchestra Hall, crossing the street toward the Art Institute of Chicago. A vintage postcard gave me exactly the view I needed. And there really was a snowstorm that day. Sometimes my librarian skills come in handy for this kind of research!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


My friends are getting used to the word "revisions." I'm working on a picture book about the composer Charles Ives, and every time someone asks "what are you up to these days?" my answer is the same: revisions, revisions, revisions!

I haven't had time to do Everdello-type sketches lately, so I thought I'd post a few of the Ives ones. Here's the pencil sketch and line art for the first picture of the book.

In this picture, Ives is heading off to work in the city. His wife's name was Harmony. I love that.

Ives used to write music during his morning commute. Back then, people knew him as a successful businessman, but hardly anyone knew about his music. Nowadays, it's the other way around.

These sketches are done with Primsacolour markers, but the finished art will be in watercolour. And we all know what will happen in between: revisions, revisions, revisions. . . . Thank goodness for patient friends and family. Thank you, guys!