Saturday, December 29, 2012

scenes from an afternoon shopping

The view towards the very busy parking lot (Highway 2 is beyond) from the second floor cafeteria at Ikea by South Edmonton Common, the sprawling and enormous retail power centre that anchors the south end of Calgary Trail/Gateway Boulevard... and another ubiquitous scene in a parking lot.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Won Jung Gak Korean Restaurant

The interior of a Korean restaurant we had lunch at today for the first time. Despite its location in an industrial area and its rather unassuming concrete exterior (it seems like a renovated 1970s warehouse), the interior is full of tasteful wooden furniture complemented by its exposed wood structure and decking, and large glowing pendant lights. The food was great as well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve: winter afternoon

 The last "normal" Christmas spent at home here in Edmonton was in 2007. In 2008 we flew to Ontario, and the subsequent three winter holidays have entailed me travelling alone to Japan to visit with my ailing parents, be by their side, and witness them being called back to be with God in heaven. So this is a particularly special Christmas season for my family as I am able to stay at home. It gives me time to sketch the mid-winter view outside our bedroom window -- an especially peaceful urban scene on this frigid (minus 23 C) but beautiful Christmas Eve. Sketching my daughter asleep also helps me recognize and find peace today.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

gingerbread house

The kids have fun decorating a gingerbread house... surprisingly, they did not eat much of the candies at all.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Alberta Legislature Building

I've been dying to get to the Alberta Legislature building for a lunchtime sketch ever since seeing its distinctive dome shrink wrapped during restoration work, but it's been too cold. From a distance, the light membrane tautly enveloping the scaffolding is quite elegant, especially in the snowy winter city. Today was a mild minus 5 degrees Celsius and sunny. I haven't been here for years...

My watercolours still froze on the palette as well as on paper, which actually added some character to the sky...  Despite the cold it was a pleasant experience, chatting with a few passersby and wishing one another a merry Christmas in a peaceful park setting, while listening to some pleasantly tasteful music over the grounds speaker system.

Monday, December 10, 2012


 Miscellaneous sketches of my daughter from the weekend... eating, drawing, and being taught to write by some older kids.

Seeing her use chopsticks (not too well yet...) transports me suddenly down memory lane, reminding me of the Chinese restaurant my family used to frequent decades ago in Perth, Western Australia, where patrons stared in amazement seeing my sister (then 4 years or so) use her chopsticks with precocious mastery... I hadn't thought about that place for decades, but it's nice to see it still seems in operation.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

late morning bus ride

I don't usually take the bus all the way to work, but a late morning somehow translated into a longer trip on the bus, and I took advantage of the relatively empty ride.

Monday, December 3, 2012


 Various iterations of my camera using various pens...

bamboo pen

 The Sunday morning ritual of my son watching Youtube clips continues yet again today. Today's session is an opportunity to try out the bamboo pens I bought yesterday on an extended outing to an art supply store. I've not used bamboo pens for over 15 years, and the last time I did use them I could not yet appreciate the spontaneity it brought with it. I'm still familiarizing myself with the quirks while adjusting the nib and ink flow (lots of intricate whittling and poking...)  but I'm loving the freedom it brings. It lets me loosen up a bit more... something I need after an unnecessarily intense weekend of Christmas shopping and, more importantly, the beginning of what essentially is the Church year -- Advent.