Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quebec City: Travel Sketches

Street musician Claude Berger

Street musician David Ogalde

The Parliament Building

Sveta and Sylvain

People watching a street performer

Château Frontenac with authentic Quebec rain drops on the painting

Université Laval

I fell in love with Quebec City all over again: the architectural details, the small winding streets, spacious avenues, and the overall European feel. The last time I visited Quebec City was three years ago. On the first visit, I took pictures of every window and every corner of every building (I was so fascinated with the architecture and atmosphere of the city). During this visit, though, I sketched and sketched, a few moments here and there, quickly, furiously, while doing the usual touristy routine (stroll, eat, museum, shop, stroll, eat, stroll, eat). My husband Ben and I were also lucky enough to have the non-touristy side of Quebec City shown to us by my friend Sveta and her husband Sylvain, who live in the area.

The more I sketched, the more I felt a part of the city. Most tourists happily put me in the category of a native, a local attaction of sorts. I never saw that much interest in a person sketching (though I never tried to sketch in Belarus).
After many more or less successful fast drawings, I decided to do the unthinkable and wake up before 6am and dedicate a few solid hours to sketching. I am not a morning person and for me being outside at 6am is a rare and fascinating expreince. Life just seems so different and fresh and simple and very strange. Peopleless Quebec City is an experience in itself, which I shared with a few more people an hour later. It's interestng to sketch so early in the morning; you are half awake and you are just drawing without thinking. People at this hour also seem more friendly, open and part of a sort of morning team.

I met a few nice people while I sketched and became the sidekick of a street performer trumpet player. He played. I drew.

Well, I liked that morning adventure so much that I decided to do it one more time before leaving Quebec City. This time wasn't quite as smooth. It rained a few times while I was traying to sketch the Chateau Frontenac, which in a way helped to keep the sketch loose and watery. Then I spent some time running after a harp player, whom I noticed a few days ago and I thought that he had a really interesting face and he plays a beautiful instrument. I found him, and I have two sketches to prove it.

This whole sketching experience was quite unexpected. Even though I brought a lot of sketching materials, my ink pens ran out of ink, my two sketch books quickly filled up, and I lost my favorite brush pen. I was definitely not prepared for that amount of drawing. I honestly wish I could travel more and sketch on location more and experience the city, the vibe, the community in that way.


  1. Wow...it looks like you guys had quite the time up North creating art in another city. Capturing movement and faces must be really difficult. I like your architectural paintings too.

  2. Katia, I think I have your favourite brush pen here, at my place! :) I am happy that Québec City inspired you so much! I would like you to see it in winter, it is absolutely beautiful. Just want to let you know that both of you are welcome here anytime. We had a great time!

  3. Yaaay,
    My penbrush is not lost!!!
    Sveta, we will be back in winter for sure.
    Tim, the city is beautiful and I just wanted to draw everything.