Where do I begin?

This is a very busy weekend in Montreal. I know I might make it seem like the Urban Sketchers workshop is the only event in town, but going on at the same time, in the same location or close by, are Diverscité (the Montreal version of Gay Pride) and Osheaga (a huge three-day music festival.) Rumour has it that the closest hotel room to be had is two hours away.

I had a bit of a different demo planned for today but the group really wanted to see how to select a subject to sketch and how to simplify a complex scene. No better place to do this than in Place Jacques Cartier, right in the middle of all the action. I started this demo before the crowds arrived but by the time I was done a fire breather had set up in the square (he drew quite an audience) as well as numerous leather bracelet vendors, polka-dotted clowns, tour groups and other assorted visitors. My demo is a bit of a paint explosion but the general idea was to create a feeling of action and energy. The weather held out until the final few minutes when a few drops had everyone scrambling to pack up their sketches before the rain spoiled them (hence the lack of books in the group photo!). We’ve been so lucky not only with the weather but with a very special group of students who have made teaching this workshop great fun.


13 Comments on “Where do I begin?”

  1. Sharon says:

    I see my friend and fellow sketcher Christine enjoyed your demo today. Guy and I have to get back out to Montreal and hook up with you and Marc again soon.


  2. nirbhayasindia says:

    How very stunning this is! Have you taken a picture after painting it? I love the wide angle and the strokes of colour. There seems a lot of life here! Thanks for sharing. Whether we paint or we write (like I do) some part of ours comes out and shows up, doesn’t it?


  3. monique says:

    Lovely group:-)
    And great painting.


  4. Ross says:

    Great again! I love the deep foreground.


  5. Lee Kline says:

    Whew! That sky and clouds. Amazing.


  6. Rooi says:

    I started planning to do your workshop next year


  7. johnmarkguest says:


    Thanks for being such a fabulous host. I really enjoyed watching you paint and learned a lot from you and the rest of my new friends in the Group A. I hope to visit again next year with a little more practice under my brush….

    I love the energy that this particular piece ended up with. Having seen it come to fruition only gives it more meaning.



    • Hi Mark,

      It was really great having you in the group. I keep writing this to everyone who emails, but the group dynamic was so great that it was not only fun to teach but fun to get to know all of you. The whole weekend exceeded our expectations in so many ways. I guess overplanning will do that. I also learning a lot about event planning!!

      I hope you had a safe trip home. I was pretty tired on Monday, as I am sure most of the group was.
      Keep on painting. You had a great start! And maybe one day we will make it to Texas.



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