Steatite and serpentinite

Spending time drawing in a museum is a great way to really see a collection. Today at Sunday sketching with the Montreal Urban Sketchers group we started in the Inuit room at the Museum of Fine Arts. Hoping to avoid the crowds, I think the early morning visitors to the museum went directly to the blockbuster show (Van Gogh to Kandinsky), leaving our group mostly to ourselves with the carvings. Almost everyone seemed to find something to draw in the room and I’m looking forward to seeing what drawings other people post since I had to leave early. I started filling the page with one of the big sculptures — the great textured Shaman Head carved out of whale vertebra — and then drew the tiny polar bears made out of serpentinite. From there it was kind of fun to look for objects that would fill in the empty spaces on the page like the Alaska mask that tucked in nicely under the shaman or the little head next to the bear.


8 Comments on “Steatite and serpentinite”

  1. Pat brookes says:

    Shari, Do the museum have restrictions about what kind of materials you can bring in with you?


    • Hi Pat,
      This museum does. We can only draw with pencil in the galleries. Marc was using pens and no one stopped him but I’m sure in some of the more popular exhibits the guards might be more vigilant.


  2. Ross says:

    So, Shari… I know why you aren’t getting many comments on this post… it is because you chose the ugliest group of subjects to draw. Good drawing… but the subjects! Did you go into the room called “Disfigured and frightful carvings”?


  3. Ross says:

    You don’t know what to say? Do I have to help with everything here? [exasperated tone]

    What I would have said was… “I am sorry that you find this blog so challenging, Ross. I try to not make it too intellectual for my followers, but I can see that this is still a problem for you… last week you couldn’t tell the difference between a sign and people walking behind a hedge… today, you have completely failed to understand the aesthetics of Canadian Aboriginal art in a museum… what do you suggest that I do to make it easier for you?”


    • You seem to know exactly how to reply to Ross. I think next time he sends some type of sarcastic comment I will ask for your advice. Thanks.


      • Ross says:

        As you are obviously having trouble dealing with anyone who writes anything other than “You are soooo inspirational, Shari”, how about I start including possible responses with my comments? For example…
        [Oh, Ross. That is soooo kind and generous of you. It is such a help to have someone like you commenting on my blog… how can I ever thank you?]


      • Yes, I think you should do that. It would save a lot of time.


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