Friday, June 29, 2007


I went to my Dad's cottage last weekend for a few days and worked on this sketch while I was there. While I sat on a chair on the dock and sketched, a little otter appeared from under the dock to munch on some weeds around the rocks. I can't decide if I thought it was cute or disgusting. Maybe a bit of both.

It's a great cottage with lots of sunlight inside and out and there are a few little islands in the middle of the lake I have yet to explore.

There was a cottage-naming contest last summer and I won with my entry of 'Kimmelot.'

On Friday nights everything is quiet - except for the banjo music and maniacal laughter coming from the trailer park nearby, and the calling of loons from the lake.

"In short, there's simply not / a more congenial spot / for happily ever aftering than here in [Kimmelot]. " - King Arthur

You can see this piece larger on the sketchbook page.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Car Crash

This car was sitting in a parking lot behind a fire station and I spotted it while riding my bike. There was glass all over the ground and one car door was sitting comfortably in the backseat, another one was twisted around in an awkward position pointing skyward, and there was another one in the front seat. Only one door was left on its hinges.

If I'm in a car and I'm not in the front seat, I have always sat in the back seat on the right. I just don't feel right sitting on the left side.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Three Birds

This is a painting of three birds I was commissioned to do recently. I asked for the client's favorite birds and put together a piece incorporating them. I normally only do two birds in a piece, but when it was too hard for them to decide on just two birds I figured it wouldn't be too hard to work in a third.

These birds are (from top to bottom) the the western flicker, the western meadowlark and the bush tit.

You can see this piece larger on the sketchbook page.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Aberdeen Pavilion

The Aberdeen Pavilion was built in 1898 for the Central Canada Exhibition's agricultural exhibits (it is known locally as the Cattle Castle). It took only two weeks to build at a cost of $75,000 and was inspired by London's Crystal Palace.

In 1991 after many years of being closed to the public the building was slated to be demolished, until thankfully, it was saved and a major renovation was approved at the cost of $5.3 million.

The building is currently used as an exhibition hall and caters to a variety of events. I think there was a high school graduation party on the first night I worked on this while sitting in the parking lot on my camping chair.

You can see this piece larger on the sketchbook page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Paper Planes

I painted this a little while ago but never thought to include it on my website. It was part of a series of pieces I did of children drawing with chalk on the sidewalk and flying paper airplanes.

The buildings in the piece are based off some photos I took of New York when I first visited a few years ago and headed to the top of the Empire State Building one afternoon.

I'm not a big fan of pigeons so I thought it would look nice to replace them with paper airplanes.
You can see this piece larger on the sketchbook page.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Supreme Court of Canada

This is a sketch of the Supreme Court of Canada, located here in Ottawa. It was designed in an Art Deco style and opened in 1946.

It was designed by Ernest Cormier, an illustrator, engineer and architect who also consulted on the design of the United Nations building in New York City.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Corktown Bridge

This is a sketch of the new bridge that spans from Somerset Street West across the Rideau Canal towards Ottawa University.
It was only recently named the Corktown Bridge, after the name given to the area during the construction of the Rideau Canal. The people who lived in Corktown during the early 1800s were poor Irish laborers and their families who built a shantytown on the swampy banks of the canal.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ottawa Grand Trunk Railway Station

Here is a sketch of the old Ottawa train station. It opened in 1912 as Grand Trunk Railway Union Station and in 1966 it closed its doors as a functioning train station. Designed in a beaux-arts style, the train station (now a conference center) is one of the most beautiful buildings in Ottawa.

I was able to tour inside the building during Doors Open Ottawa and the main waiting area is copied in a half-scale replica from Pennsylvania Station in New York, which was still only being built at the time.

It's really a shame that it isn't used as a railway station anymore, I wish more people could enjoy the inside of the building. This sketch is a view of the old train station from across the Rideau Canal, drawn from the lawn of the National Arts Center.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Doors Open Ottawa

This weekend Chantal and I biked around town to look inside some of the buildings that are normally closed to the general public. It was a perfect weekend for it and we ended up seeing about 15 places all over Ottawa.

The first place we visited was the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary which is located in the Birkett Castle, built in 1896.

Just up the street is the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

It was built in 1912 out of limestone and featured Corinthian columns. Unfortunately the inside isn't as impressive as the outside.
Some other highlights of the tour include the Laurier House, Embassy of Algeria, the old Ottawa Jail, Earnscliffe (British High Commissioner's Residence) and the Laurentian Leadership Center. The highlight of the whole weekend was probably the old train station. I have a sketch in the works, so you'll be seeing that soon.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ottawa Tech Wall

This is the Ottawa Tech Wall at Bronson and Slater. I set up my camping chair at center court and sketched for a couple hours. The graffiti wall is a semi-legal wall that was freshly painted with the Ottawa Senators theme in bright red and metallic gold paint.

I've played ball here a few times but the rims and the court are in disrepair. I've never seen mesh on the hoops and there are weeds growing out of the cracks in the pavement and trash strewn around.

A couple of years ago I played a game of one-on-one here and it was getting dark. It was almost too dark to see the rims but there was enough light from the streets to keep playing, and whenever we looked up, bats were flying above us.
I think I won.