REM at dusk

I look at this REM challenge not only as a way to document a significant construction project in Montreal, but also as a way to strengthen my urban sketching skills. Yesterday I went to the site at 3:30 pm, which is just before the late November sun sets in this part of the world. I had to draw quickly at that hour, and paint fast too. The light was bright and clear, the shadows were sharp, but I knew it wouldn’t last.

In my cold car, drying time is slow, and I didn’t want to wait precious minutes turning on the car heater, so a lot of this was done wet-in-wet, especially when I painted Anne (the yellow gantry) as well as the long elevated rail line. I debated about leaving out the Canadian Tire sign, but having it there helped me place the shapes around it. Note to self: even when time is of the essence, spend a little more time drawing the signage and making sure it’s centred on the panel.

10 Comments on “REM at dusk”

  1. M. L. Kappa says:

    I note once again that, if you are obliged to paint something from life fast, you might lose in accuracy or detail, but you do gain a lot in vivacity and zest, if I might so describe it. Love the painting!


  2. Judy Sopher says:

    Nothing wrong with the centering–adds to the charm. (I didn’t even notice till you pointed it out.) An artist is not trying to be a camera. Unlike the wayI started out being very realistic, with time, I have tried not to be a camera. Ha. Anyway, this whole group of paintings are so very beautiful. So much color in a construction site. Usually its only the cones.


  3. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear Shari,

    It is an amazing work you did.
    With your quick but keen observation, by drawing all the most important items of safety and work at Gantry,with in a short span of time is not only admirable but surprising too.

    Champion you are really.
    Regards and blessings


  4. John says:

    It looks great. Taking the time to put in the sign was a good move. In short an awesome sketch


  5. When you write about the speed it takes to get this down on paper before the sundown, it lends a whole new meaning to “REM”: it might be the réseau express, but it certainly takes some rapid eye movement to sketch it. I love the iconic Canadian Tire sign. 🙂

    I hope that when the grand opening takes place, you will have an exhibition of your fabulous work on site or nearby. In mega projects such as this, there’s a lot of pride among the workers in having been a part of it — and your work documenting it honours theirs.
    As you know, in Vancouver it’s called the Skytrain and my in-laws loved saying “le train du ciel” invoking an image more like “la chasse-galerie”!


  6. Jean says:

    The sign placement seems to make the perspective of the rail line even better! My eyes were drawn in as they should be. Fascinating progress! Thanks!


  7. Doug Elliot says:

    A great series, an interesting project.


  8. joantav says:

    This is great! I’m enjoying seeing the progress on the project as well and seeing it from different views. The sign also gives you another red/orange spot for your eye to travel to. Well done!


  9. Denise says:

    I agree with joantav, this series of paintings have been fun to see. Would have never thought a major construction site would be such an artistic subject.


  10. Linda Murray says:

    Wow! The colors just pop, Shari! 👍 Love it!


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