Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Morden Mine Tours

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Occasionally I conduct a tour of the Morden mine for school children with the teachers and some parents, on behalf of the Friends of the Morden Mine Society. However, last Sunday the City of Nanaimo celebrated  “World Rivers Day”” events which included a tour of the Morden Mine, and I volunteered to show the visitors around. About a dozen people showed up for a very enjoyable morning walking around the site, concluded with a short hike to the Nanaimo River along the old railway grade that was used by the coal cars to take the coal from Morden and South Wellington mine sites to Boat Harbour. Some of us were delighted when we sighted  salmon  swimming in the river presumably on their way to the spawning grounds.

After the bus picked up all the visitors, I set down to make another sketch of the concrete structures at this provincial historic park.


This time I sat down in the parking lot using the trailhead sign from the RDN as a bench. In this view, the much taller head frame is partly hidden behind the coal chutes.  This  location is actually too close to the subject, but mature trees around the park block the views of the structures from locations that where unobstructed 15 or even 10 years ago. I guess cutting down trees is not commensurate with provincial park objectives, not even for historic parks. It took me awhile to make this sketch as the forest of columns and beams have to be drawn in proper perspective to avoid a mix-up or a picture that looks like an Escher visual illusion.



Author: John Hofman

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