Sunday, December 29, 2013


 A series of sketches, mostly of the kids with their cousins from out of town, spending quality time on grandma's iPad.

Friday, December 27, 2013

animals at the Royal Alberta Museum

After over a decade living in Alberta, today marked the first time visiting the Royal Alberta Museum, which is located right in Edmonton. There are rich opportunities for sketching in every museum, but with our kids (only mildly interested) in tow, I only got a few minutes for some quick doodles of a selection of the stuffed animals that were showcased in remarkably well-executed dioramas.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


This is what happens to kids after an afternoon of tobogganing and snowshoeing. 
Sleep tight. Tomorrow we open presents.

Monday, December 23, 2013

giant shrinkwrap, Alberta Legislature Building

An early end on this final workday of this year allows for an hour or so at the Alberta Legislature again. This has become a bit of an annual ritual, and fortunately the temperatures are just warm enough to sketch outdoors. The dome is still shrink-wrapped around some scaffolding, and as it just catches the low winter sunlight the white plastic glows orange like the jagged snowpacked peaks of the Rockies.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

wrapped presents

An assortment of most of the Christmas presents that I wrapped today.

Pre-Christmas can quickly degenerate into the busiest and emptiest time of year, and the temptation to let the culture of gift-buying and gift-giving take top priority does not help. There is nothing wrong, of course, with presenting one another with gifts, but I am reminded this year that the greatest gift we must give is the one to the baby Jesus. 

"When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:10,11 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

spiral stair

The spiral staircase at MacEwan University.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Two cameras... the mirrorless which has accompanied us on many trips and outings for the last two years,  and my new Christmas present (for myself) that I plan to take on much more minor outings.

Friday, December 13, 2013

vista to the "Ledge"

A snowy vista down 108 Street towards the Legislature, whose dome is still covered up due to renovations.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

pool viewing area, MacEwan University

It is exam time at MacEwan University, and the pool-viewing area that overlooks the swimming pool is full of students studying. There's hardly anyone swimming, but the water does have a calming effect.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

River Valley, winter

The morning started at a brutal minus 30 degrees C but "warmed up" to around minus 19 by the time this sketch was made in the early afternoon. The river itself is frozen over, but there are some subtle and intricate hues of brown and deep green drawn out by the hazy sunlight and pristine snow, which I was able to appreciate from the comfort of an idling car.

The Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall

I visited the West Edmonton Mall Waterpark for the first time. It is a place I have looked down upon with disdain ever since arriving in Edmonton a decade ago, but I was surprisingly charmed by the whole experience. I regret not riding any of the (extreme) slides; that will have to wait till my next trip.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December skyline

A piece of the downtown skyline on a sunny but hazy, snow-covered minus 20C kind of day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

gakugeikai (2013)

Sketches of parents and relatives at this year's Gakugeikai (学芸会) at the community school.  I was only able to stay for half of the program, but underneath all the cuteness and humour, this year's short plays included some tearjerkers that alluded to lofty themes. It's powerful stuff when kindergarten and lower elementary school kids are putting on shows that speak to fundamental aspects of our humanity, like a parent's love, the treasure that is friendship, the wonderful uniqueness of each person's existence on this earth...