Friday, July 29, 2011

morning and evening services, Sunnyside Camp

An evening service by the campfire in the woods, and another indoors during the morning at Sunnyside Camp in Sylvan Lake. The wonderful speaker this year is from a church in Yonezawa...

old truck, Sylvan Lake

An old rusted Ford truck in the woods by the lake... the trees in the summer light are shimmering, the white trunks are dazzling...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In full bloom: canola fields, central Alberta

Not happy with simply passing by the many bright fields of flowering canola, I drove a few miles into a quiet rural gravel road, where the only sounds around me were the gentle buzzing of flies and the slight rustling of leaves. It was more blissful than I had expected. If there were such a thing as an albertan "genpuukei", an emotionally significant landscape that forms a part of the collective identity, this would be one of them. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunnyside Camp, Sylvan Lake

A scene from the main sanctuary at Sunnyside Camp, the annual Bible camp organized by Canadian Japanese Ministries... with some notes on the excellent introductory talk about the Psalms as prayer for us today.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

downtown river valley

The magnificent panorama of the downtown skyline (only a portion shown here) from the Strathearn neighbourhood underscores the richness and uniqueness of the vast, relatively untamed river front green space in the middle of the urban core that we often take for granted...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

the scrap yard again...

I spent an hour at the scrap yard on my way to the office again... the same place but a different angle from last week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From the Archives #011: Guild Houses, Brussels, June 2006

 The Grand Place, or Grote Markt, a UNESCO heritage site, is the old central square in Bruxelles. It has been five years since my last trip to Europe; Brussels was a 2 day stop on my way home from western Africa, and it was way too short a stay in such a great city.

I still remember the delightful sensation of the pen dancing across the paper seemingly carefree as it documented the buildings and responded to the atmosphere around the place - something I credit to the excitement of being in the space. It's a rare feeling, kind of like a sketcher's version of a runner's high.

These sketches are of some of the ornately decorated guild houses.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boyle scrap yard

The Boyle Street area just east of downtown is undergoing a bit of a redevelopment ... scenes like this muddy, mosquito breeding scrap yard might become a thing of the past very soon. Still, a lively community exists here, anchored by the adjacent bottle depot which is bustling with activity on this warm Saturday afternoon. While I sketch from my car I overhear many animated conversations...

Friday, July 15, 2011

From the Archives #010: Boxes, December 21, 2002

As a bachelor, having just moved to Alberta, I lived in a basement apartment near the downtown area for a while, without much furniture. And for months, much of my personal items shipped from my previous place was left still packed in the tattered cardboard boxes I put them in for the journey, as sketched here on a cold winter evening just before my first Christmas in Edmonton.

Now, 9 years, 2 kids, and 1 house later, our place is no less messy.

Southgate Station violinist, July 5, 2011

This old woman has been a bit of a fixture at the pedestrian overpass at Southgate LRT Station, as she sits on her scooter busking with a violin for the Stollery Children's Hospital... her repertoire includes Bach, Massenet, and countless other unrecognizable pieces. There's a type of beauty that no symphony orchestra can create when the music is encountered in such unexpected places amidst the daily rush and routine...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Port Perry, Ontario, July 1, 2011

 We visited, on a whim (and to avoid the 404 and 401 highways on a beautiful Canada Day long weekend) the quaint little town of Port Perry, an hour northeast from Markham. Like so many places across southern Ontario, this was another charming place well worth the drive in the sweltering heat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

downtown lane

another view of another lane in downtown Edmonton, on a sunny day last week...

suburban developments north of Toronto

some relatively new houses in a suburban residential subdivision north of Toronto... surprisingly, some of these large developments are quite attractively realized, complete with some convincing detailing, sensitive urban design, and beautiful landscaping.

Friday, July 8, 2011


My nephew and my kids playing together...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a day at the Toronto Harbourfront, June 26

The harbourfront area is packed with people on a sunny Sunday...  we gave up on the idea of taking the ferry across to Toronto Island with the kids, as the lineups were horrendously long. I don't recall Toronto being THIS busy. How things have changed.

A stroll along the boardwalk... a crowd gathers around street performers, festivities sprawl from the outdoor stage at the Harbourfront Centre, while the old monumental (heroic?) concrete silos of the Canada Malting Co. lurk in the background.

My nephew's wonderfully elegant and succinct rendition of one of the tall condominium buildings we encountered...

a coffee break at Queens Quay...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

scenes from a flight, June 24, 2011

We are back from a trip to Ontario to visit family. While my daughter watches kid's shows on the screen, I kill time watching my fellow passengers.

The two kids survived the 4 hour trip without much whining.