Friday, August 28, 2015

The Old Curiosity Tea Shop

Located at Markham Road, Main Street, an English-style restaurant is one of my favourite places to visit. Their signature house tea is worth to try! The restaurant is decorated with different kinds of tea pots. The plates and tea cups are very pretty. You would think you are already in England. Sorry! I couldn't sketch the food this time. Booking in advance is a must because there is almost impossible to get any seat by walk-in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sketching at Neo Coffee Bar

Sketching food is one of my favourite things to do. Today I went to Neo Coffee Bar which is a new Japanese-style coffee shop on King St. East. I wanted to try J-desert and coffee. This time I got a "Rose and Berry" roll cake with a blueberry, rasberry and a blackberry on top. I thought I would like to use my bright watercolours painting berries. I wanted to try a latte but I ended up getting a cold brew coffee instead. I loved the aroma of the coffee while I was sketching food at the coffeshop. It took 30 minutes to sketch, but less than a minute to finish my roll. That was my reward!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dim Sum Day

Almost every Chinese loves dim sum, especially in weekends. Families and friends get together, ordering different kinds of dim sums and sharing them. It is very mysterious that you cannot hear what other people said at other tables even you found they talk very loud. The tables are pretty close to each other too. This one has western style in the hall. Large traditional western-style paintings are hanging on the walls. It's a bit weird to me, the styles don't match simply. However, the dim sums taste good, love the pu-er tea which is good for digestion. Going to a Chinese restaurant for dim sums is called "Yum Cha" in Chinese.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Orange Dancing Daylilies"

Thank you for accepting me as an Urban Sketcher Correspondent! - for my first blog posting I thought I would start with a subject that I have been playing with for the past month.  The orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) in my garden which arrived in bloom a month ago.  My first sketch is titled “new arrivals”.  The container in the sketch is a new reclaimed pot ready to be filled with plants and the tall daylilies are the backdrop.

I tried to capture the dancing graceful ever- changing shadows on the neighbourhood sidewalk.  I thought about how each pedestrian interacts differently with the moving patterns and wondered if anyone notices the beauty of this connection? 

Sketching and painting the orange daylilies helped me to slow down and appreciate what was happening in my daily life.  Each flower lasts for only ONE day!
Now there are only a few blooms left.  I am sure they have certainly naturalized ( s p r e a d ) in my garden for next year’s colourful arrival!!!  In the mean time I will delight in the arrival of the shadows of the tall dried up dancing stocks on the snow to come.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sketching Toronto's Disappearing Landmarks : Honest Ed's and the Cookbook Store

Our latest group sketching session involved some of Toronto's disappearing landmarks. Toward the end of July, a couple of us visited Honest Ed's to sketch immortalize this unique and "loud" building with pens, pencils and watercolors.  I never realized how much puns there are until I took the time to sketch some of them. It was a beautiful sunny day and lots of sketchers created amazing artwork that day. It was interesting to hear some of the stories from people who remember the time where they sold fur coats for $1 and gave free turkey on holidays.

A couple weeks later, we headed over to sketch the now closed cookbook store. The entire block has been purchased by a developer who plans to keep the 1860's 3-storey buildings and add a 55-storey condominium above it. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. It already looks different then when Nora sketched it a couple months ago.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church +BB Café

I have found a café opposite to the church that I would like to sketch. Very nice interior and music, it was very relaxing in the Sunday afternoon. The pot and tea cup are very stylish (Traditional). I couldn't help to draw it down before I sketched the church. The appetizers we ordered are tasted good, prices are reasonable. For sure will come again!

We ordered a traditional tea, mocha and some snacks.
The church was founded in 1817! A very old church. I was sitting inside the café by the windows and still feeling the heat outside. The big tree has blocked the view and I think I have a reason to come to the cafe in winter for a better view.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sketching Trip to Niagara Falls

A couple of us went to Niagara Falls to sketch part of the city for a day. We took the Go train from Union Station, and two hours later, we were in Niagara Falls. It's an easy and stress-free way to get there.

When we got there, we met up with a local sketcher and went for a bite to eat in Clifton Hill before looking for some inspiration in the area.  We stayed a little bit in Clifton Hill for our first sketching session. This touristy area of town reminds me a bit of Las Vegas but geared towards families. There's a lot of visual stimulants. Then we took the WEGO bus to go see the Falls before heading to Niagara Whirlpool for our second sketching session.

There's a lot of things to sketch in Niagara Falls, we barely scratched the surface. There might be another trip to Niagara Falls in the future to explore more area. All in all, it was a fun experience on a perfect summer day.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Few Doors...

I found this lovely sundial at the University of Toronto campus near Victoria College. I meant for the painting to be about the sundial however as I painted it, the door became just as interesting. Still using my little eyeshadow kit that I converted to the world's most discreet watercolour paint kit.

This is from Riverdale Farm. This time I meant to paint the door. : ) I liked the dark recess of the interior of the barn. I switched the light direction so that the shaded side of the barn would be the right side, not the door side... just for contrast. 
Nora MacPhail

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The temporary St. Lawrence Market North

Today it was nice in the afternoon even though it rained in the morning. I went to sketch the temporary St. Lawrence Market North which has moved to the south side of  St. Lawrence Market on the Esplanade. It is a good place to check out the farmer market and the antique market on the weekend. The old location is currently shut down and going to be demolished.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Quieter Place

On Friday afternoon, it was very hot but not crowded on Main Street, Unionville. However, Starbucks is always full of people. When everyone squeezes in there, I would love to have a cup of coffee in Timothy's to enjoy a quieter moment. We replied a couple of emails here. The snacks are tempting too.