Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Recent Sketches around Nanaimo.

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Lately, the weather seemed reluctant to improve as it persists in presenting rain and cold winds. However on exceptional days I venture out to find a spot to sketch. I have two sketchbooks that I use these days. A 6×9 inch and an 8x11inch, both have about 60 lbs cheap cartridge paper or pulp. It wrinkles a bit when applying a light wash. Real water colour paper is much nicer to work on but it is expensive, which I find inhibiting.

Another sketch of the shacks at Pipers Lagoon.
Fitzwilliam Street at Wallace in the Old City Quarter. New York pizza, which is one of our favourites, is located on the corner and an office building is visible as a backdrop.
A Monday morning sketch, one of three, made during the “Plein Air Nanaimo” group outing of this morning, in the vicinity of the yacht-club, with Protection Island in the background.
Second one of today’s sketches. This is a shack with a security gate to allow members access to the ramp going to the docks.
Another half-hour scribble of some old building close to the yacht-club with a cutoff view of the Regency Condo on the left. I settled down in my little sketching stool and got to enjoy the company of half a dozen Canada Geese, that were trampling around me. They will continuously produce a buzzing sound, perhaps to express their dismay of me interfering with their activities.
View from City Hall. Mixture of old and new buildings in downtown Nanaimo.
White Sails, a popular neighbourhood bar. Restaurants and bars are open again, with some restrictions, and customers are flooding the places.
One of two foot ferries connecting Nanaimo with Newcastle Island, a provincial park.
Ramp to load railway cars onto a barge. I find this a fascinating structure. It probably dates back to the 1920’s or so. Steel elements are connected using rivets rather than bolts.
Millstone River Falls in Bowen Park, close to downtown. In winter time the water level is very high and the falls reach all the way across.
Moorcroft Regional Park in Nanoose. Too much white in this picture, however, it is not snow. Sometime, I may apply a greenish grey wash over it, and then again, maybe not.
Some old houses on Albert Street. I like the bench across the street as it is comfortable to sit on and to draw. One has to put up with second hand smoke from someone enjoying a cigarette with weed, also known as cannabis, marijuana or pot. It is no longer an exception, but rather common these days. We quit smoking more than 40 years ago, but I still like the smell of it, particularly a good Dutch cigar.
View of the shore and the waterfront walkway along Newcastle Avenue.
Some old houses on Newcastle avenue next to the Funeral Home.

Author: John Hofman

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