July 2016: This week I had an appointment on Wednesday afternoon on Albert Street and knew that later that evening I was to meet friends in the area of Preston Street. Given the amount of construction in downtown Ottawa, I decided to get a lift to my meeting, take my “Art Toolkit” (art-toolkit.com) with me, and choose a location to sit and practice my skills. It is six months since I started my experiment to “practice not to be perfect” and enjoy the activities of drawing and painting. I definitely see an improvement but most of all I am enjoying the activity. My walk proved my theories. There appeared to be so many interesting views to stop and sketch. I am finding that my comfort zone is a structure or a building, as I can find references, proportion and scale.
I walked from Albert Street, down Bank Street, along Gladstone Avenue and then Preston Street. Preston Street is part of the area titled “Ottawa’s Little Italy”. The area was a destination for immigrants following the Second World War and for the Italian-Canadians moving out of LeBreton Flats in the early 1950s. Preston Street is commercial in nature with stores, cafes and restaurants. It appears as an area in transition with two storey houses adjacent to either new condominium buildings or lots with development signs indicating a new development is in the planning stages.
As I looked west from Preston, down the smaller streets I could see entrances to the path adjacent to the O-Train. Since I was meeting Jim at our friend’s apartment, I ventured on the path looking for a spot to sit in the shade and pull out my wares. I chose to sketch some houses on Norman Street, a street bounded by the path adjacent to the O-Train and Preston Street.
I sat along the path, chose a view and concentrated at the task at hand.