Ottawa in the rainPosted: May 4, 2014
John Ruskin was the original urban sketcher. I was in Ottawa today to see the exhibit John Ruskin: Artist and Observer. I’ve always thought of him mainly as an art critic so I was astounded to see his meticulous drawings and watercolours. The exhibit is composed of his observations of architecture and architectural details, geology and rock formations, alpine towns and mountain tops, plants and clouds, each rendered in fine, fine, fine detail. It’s definitely worth the trip to see the show before it closes next week.
Since there was no opportunity to sketch outdoors I spent a bit of time in the museum cafeteria, hoping to find a good view of the parliament buildings. No luck seeing them but I did face out onto a garden with Roxy Paine’s sculpture One Hundred Foot Line, a spiky, spindly stainless steel tree trunk that squiggles up into the Ottawa sky. A perfect complement to Ruskin’s trees and a really fun object to draw.