Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Colliery Dam Spillway

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Today the conditions were right for a bike ride along the southern route. One starts in downtown, then travels through Bowen Park, along Buttertubs bird sanctuary and across  Third Street Park to arrive at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. This is usually my first stop as there is a public washroom, a WIFI to check for email messages and  there seem to be always hockey games in progress. I  have not tied on any skates since we moved to the Island but still am a spectator who admires the agility of the players in this fast-moving game. Had last week’s City referendum question been for another one of these rinks at a modest cost of approximately 20 million,  the result would probably have turned into a resounding YES.

Anyways, after leaving this skating rink the trail leads through the Vancouver Island University Campus before it enters Colliery Dam Park, my favourite spot to stop for lunch. There are often anglers fishing for trout stocked in this lake. Today two of them were very successful for a while in catching mostly small specimens that were tossed back into the water.

I travelled very light today with only a small notebook and a few sharpy pens in my backpack. Between munching away at my lunch and watching the show that the anglers put on, I made a simple pen sketch, looking in the opposite direction towards the  new spillway.

Colliery Dam Spillway

Two more markers with  lighter shades of greys would have been handy time savers for shading areas instead off drawing all these lines with a pen. Then there is always next time; I put these markers in my backpack as soon as I got home.

Leaving this park is an uphill battle, literally, to reach the start of the southern leg of the Parkway trail. From there it is mostly freewheeling downhill to Chase River where the trail system ends. My preference is to find my way back to downtown using Haliburton Street.


Author: John Hofman

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