Thursday, December 24, 2015

Just Heard The News - R.I.P. Mellos

Just heard the news: The Mellos restaurant in the market is no more.

On Monday, December 21st, Mellos served its last meal on Dalhousie St. after 73 years in Ottawa.
"Mellos, the longtime greasy spoon diner turned gastro supper spot, served its last meals and cocktails to a full house Monday night at the intimate spot on Dalhousie Street where it has dished out food since 1942." (Source: CBC)
Since Monday, the iconic Mellos sign went missing (http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/12/22/not-over-easy-the-mysterious-case-of-the-mellos-sign) and then a news reporter located it http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/market-mystery-wheres-the-mellos-sign. It would be awesome if it has been placed in storage until Mellos can open elsewhere again!

I liked the ghost like look of this quick sketch that I did and thought it was fitting for my final post about Mellos. R.I.P..

R.I.P. Mellos
(ink and graphite wash)
by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman
My previous posts on Sketching Mellos




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pets in Windows Etc.

"Pets in Windows" are part of my "daily sketches" created from photographs.

I see a lot of  pets looking out windows and watching me and my labrador Lexie while we are on our daily walks around Centretown and Lowertown, Ottawa. It always makes me smile and I always snap a picture to sketch later when we get home.

Some pets seem curious. Some seem sad (like they are hoping for their owner to return?). Some seem to be just relaxing and enjoying the warmth of the window sill and the view. They all pose politely for me and Lexie.

They seem so happy to be noticed.

I thought it would be fun to just keep all of my Ottawa Centretown "pets in windows" sketches in one place on my blog.

Pets In Windows #1
Inktober No.13 " I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat
Taken from my art journal

Pets In Windows #2
"Behind Bars"
Taken from my art journal - ink and watercolour

Pets in Windows #3
"Golden Triangle Kitty"
Taken from my art journal

Pets in Windows #4
"Cool" Cooper St. Cat
Taken from my Moleskin art journal

Pets in Windows #5
"Locked Out"
Taken from my Strathmore art journal - mixed media

Pets in Windows #6
"Sitting Pretty on Somerset West"
Taken from my Strathmore art journal - ink
Pets in Windows #6
"Chillin' and Relaxin' on Bank St."
March 2016: Strathmore art journal -watercolour

Pets in Windows on Balconies #7
"Cooper St. Cats"
June 2016: Moleskine art journal -watercolour, gouache, and ink

Pets in Widows #8
"How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?" (Elgin St., Ottawa)
June 2016: Strathmore art journal -watercolour, gouache, and ink
Pets in Widows #9
"August 8 is International Cat Day!" (Cooper St., Ottawa)
Strathmore art journal -watercolour, gouache, and ink
Pets in Widows #10
"Pooch On A Pillow" (Cooper & Bank, Ottawa)
August 23, 2016: Strathmore art journal -watercolour, gouache, and ink
Pets in Windows #12
Cats at Hi Jinx  (Kent and Cooper)
August 2018;  Strathmore art journal ink and watercolour)
Pets In Windows #14
Being Watched on Cooper St
India Ink on Bristol (for Inktober 2018)
Pets In Windows #15
The Benmore Cat
Acrylic on Strathmore Canvas Paper 400 Series


Friday, December 18, 2015

Monet and Sketching at the National Gallery of Canada

The Ottawa urban sketchers met at the National Gallery Thursday night, but I headed over an hour early to sneak in a visit of the Monet Exhibit: "A Bridge To Modernity" and loved it!

The paintings were familiar to me but there's nothing like seeing them up close! I found the Argenteuil palette sombre and interesting. What I love most are his landscapes with yellows and blues.

There were interesting activities to do such as a room with a large screen and a film running of a bridge with running water that you could sit and paint on an iPad (provided). Another activity was a photo area where you could dress up and use props to appear on a postcard of the bridge that Monet painted. I couldn't resist and took this fun little picture of myself:

Monet: A Bridge to Modernity exhibit: photo area
It was really challenging to sketch at the museum under the rules of "pencils only" and "NO erasers", but I managed to get four sketches done in just over two hours: a  Lalibert√© statue (below), Reid's piano, a chapel statue, and the giant Christmas tree in the grand hall.

My coloured pencil sketch of sculpture "Jeunes indiens chassant "
by Alfred Lalibert√© (19 May 1878 - 13 January 1953) 
He was a Canadian sculptor and painter based in Montreal.
His output includes more than 900 sculptures

Many fellow urban sketchers sent their regrets by text or on social media - it's a busy time of year - we understand. We still had wonderful attendance despite the seasonal challenges with some great familiar faces and some new folks too! I love that!

Ottawa Urban Sketchers

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On The First Day Of Christmas....

My Centretown Gave To Me".....

I walk the sidewalks in Centretown, Ottawa a couple times of day with my yellow labrador retriever Lexington ("Lexie") and I always see things that I want to sketch!

I carry a camera so that I can take a quick photo of things that catch my eye and, time permitting, I will do a quick sketch (1 to 2 hours) when I get home. I call these my daily sketches and I post them on twitter using the twitter hashtag #dailysketch.



My #dailysketches are very different from my #urbansketches or my #pleinair paintings which are always done on location.

I thought it would be a fun December challenge to sketch the twelve days of Christmas in Centretown. I am already at Day 8, but I am anxious and a wee bit worried about finding material for Days 9-12!

When the daily sketch is finished, I will tweet it and add it here. I hope you enjoy! Best of the season to you and your loved ones.

"Wooden Snowman", Cooper St."
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch
(ink and watercolour)
On the First Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me..
A Snowman Carved From A Tree


"Two Shefford Urns", Cooper St.
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch
(ink and watercolour)
On the Second Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me..
Two Shefford Urns,
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree


"Three (O'Connor) Door Wreaths", O'Connor St.
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch
(mixed media)
On the Third Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me..
Three Door Wreaths
Two Shefford Urns
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree

"Four Candy Canes", Bank St.
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch
(mixed media)
On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me..
Four Candy Canes, 
Three Door Wreaths,
Two Shefford Urns,
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree


"Five for Fifty Sale"", Aziz & Company, Bank St.
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch
(mixed media)
On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me..
Five for Fifty Sale,
Four Candy Canes, 
Three Door Wreaths,
Two Shefford Urns,
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree


"Six Skaters Skating", Ottawa City Hall
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me
Six Skaters Skating, 
Five for Fifty Sale, 
Four Candy Canes, 
Three Door Wreaths, 
Two Shefford Urns, 
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree


"Seven 'Franks A Grilling", Bank & Laurier,
Cindi Foreman-Moynahan's art journal sketch

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Centretown Gave To Me
Seven 'Franks' A Grilling
Six Skaters Skating, 
Five for Fifty Sale, 
Four Candy Canes, 
Three Door Wreaths, 
Two Shefford Urns, 
and a Snowman Carved From A Tree

Monday, December 14, 2015

Forgotten Spaces - The Documentary

One of the highlights for me in 2015 was sketching 'forgotten spaces' once a week with a group of amazingly talented Ottawa artists. Each week we would explore a new alleyway in Ottawa. At the end of summer, we had a show and our work was featured at Chinatown Remixed (appropriately, in a special alleyway).

I am looking forward to a 2016 summertime return to Ottawa's alleyways.

Here's the documentary "Forgotten Spaces" by filmmaker Justin Nalepa. (You can find Justin at Jackpine)


My sketch of our outdoor art show "Forgotten Spaces"
Our alley leader, Colin White, sketching in the bottom frame


Photos of the Chinatown Remix Art Show
"Forgotten Spaces"

My last sketch of an Ottawa alley (summer 2015)
Chinatown Remixed - September 19, 2015


DigiFest

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Daily Sketch: The Sunburst Building

My Instagram photo of my lunchtime sketch 
of the Sunburst Building at Bank & Slater
I stopped for sushi at the Miso restaurant on Bank St in Ottawa and did this quick sketch while I ate a great bowl of miso soup and a platter of their vegetarian sushi.

I noticed the "Sunburst Building" sign for the very first time!

That is the best part about urban sketching. You always see things that you would never see until you pause to do a sketch.

I wondered why it was called the "Sunburst Building" and when I got home I did a quick google search which landed me on the urbsite page: http://urbsite.blogspot.ca/2013/03/from-pork-to-perfection.html. There is LOTS of information on this building at the urbsite blog.

The "Sunburst Building" in the 1940s
Source: City of Ottawa Archives (Dave Sproul Collection)
via the Urbsite blog
From the urbsite blog:
"The building at 129-131 Bank Street appears to have been built ca.1910 for the Matthews-Laird Co., meat suppliers, with two floors of offices and workshops to rent above. By the 1940s the storefront was divided into two for L.J. Fraser Ltd., haberdashers and a shoe repair shop. 
The building's ground floor exterior was given a not unsympathetic renovation in the 1980s which was then cluttered up by a cheerful mess of signs. The original store height is now divided into two cramped levels."
Why is it called the "Sunburst Building"? I still don't know. The urbsite - an incredible source for everything historical in Ottawa - ended their post with "For some reason, it is now called the Sunburst Building"

If you have any idea why or how it received this name, please let me know in the comment section below.

Here is the palette that I used for the sketch - a QOR watercolor sampler that I received and used today for the first time. These watercolors were quite lovely to use in my art journal (Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media, 100% cotton paper).

Golden's new QOR (pronounced "core") watercolor line uses a unique binder called Aquazol® instead of the usual watercolor binder - gum arabic. The name "QOR" comes from a technical acronym meaning "Quality of Results."

The colors in my sketch dried quite vivid and strong and didn't lighten with drying. This is one of the main selling features of the Aquazol® binder. I would like to definitely try some more paintings with this sampler in the future.

QOR watercolor sampler
QOR watercolor sampler

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Daily Sketch: The Silver Rose

I love this little building at 196 O'Connor and I have been itching to sketch it in my art journal. It is always polished and beautiful every time I walk past but at Christmas time it is most lovely.


The house is now a flower shop called The Silver Rose http://www.thesilverrose.com/about.htm


The history on the door says Jon B. Lewis built this house in 1873.

By 1996, the house had only changed owners three times in 120 years!! When florist Gerald R. Arial purchased it, it was in serious disrepair and he chose to lovingly restore it back to life maintaining its original victorian charm. He completed his work in 2007. What a beauty it is!



Initial sketch

I sketched the house in graphite first and then I used watercolour (6 colours: Winsor red (PR 254) and Winsor blue, Winsor lemon (PY175), DS burgundy yellow ochre, (PY43) Payne's Gray and Viridian Green (PG 7)), ink and a white gel pen.

My initial sketch included the large side gate, but I cropped it out (above) because I am not sure it helps the sketch? Here it is in full below.

Final sketch


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Daily Sketch: Maple Almond Butter Cookies

The last part of November and the first week of December were busy with medical appointments and Christmas preparations. I still try to squeeze in some time each and every day to sketch.

Below is my #DailySketch of the ingredients for a new cookie recipe that I was trying. In between batches I sketched the ingredients on the kitchen counter. FYI - these cookies are delicious!

The Ingredients

The Cookie!