Waterside Sketching

Tuesday, August 29, 2017



All summer long I’ve been traveling from one watering hole to another, with my daughter by my side and a sketchbook in tow, repeating what I am calling 'A Waterside Sketchfest' at every swimming hole we hit!

  • Swim, sketch, swim - repeat!

This has been a winning routine for me and my girl, and I have to say for the reluctant swimmer, which my daughter is, sketching is a great in between "dip" activity, (I use the term "dip" loosely, as with my little bean, it's more a "flash of water" and then out!) And best of all, me and my kid, and whoever joins us waterside, get to collaborate creatively!

So here are the keys to hosting your own successful Waterside Sketchfest:

1. Ziplock bag of markers, pens, pencils… or anything that makes a mark on a page. Next year, I’m hoping to be brave enough to bring some watercolours… then I’ll be able to write a "Waterside Watercolours" post! Fun Fact: Crayola markers run like watercolours when they get wet! Super cool effect.
2. A sketch book that is not so precious… because it’s going to get wet! You are waterside… it's kind of a guarantee that your pages will end up waterlogged and soggy. But water splotches can add some unpredictable beauty to your work!
3. Snacks –totally unrelated– but totally awesome!
4. Comfy towels to sketch on!
5. Oh and a beach umbrella if in full sun... and lots of suncreen!

*Small side note, might I also recommend some waterside stitching... and even though your sunscreened fingers may fumble and slip with the hand sewing needles, and you will probably get sand under your applique... it's totally worth it!

We’ve also been lucky to be have some pretty awesome guest stars on our swimming/sketching adventures, I’m talking about you Auntie Jo, Lo, and Meena-Mo!

Here are a few of the fun poolside/bayside collaborations we've had over this summer, and the bodies of water that inspired them:

The Alex Duff Eclipse Art!
Joined by our good friend Jo, we hit up the Alex Duff outdoor pool in Christie Pitts and sat on our beach towels sketching water spirits, and eclipse inspired characters! Then we bobbed about in the kiddie pool, one of four pools at this SUPER kid friendly outdoor oasis here in Toronto. I seriously love this pool!
Also... saddest pedicure ever... this is what happens when you paint your nails, two seconds before heading to the pool on your bike. DOH!

The Giovanni Caboto Poolside Summer Memory Map

Just last weekend Nomi and I dared to dip during another cold snap, something that we've been getting very used to this summer. We hit up our local outdoor pool, the Givovanni Caboto, which I've definitely mentioned once or twice on this blog. The water was so warm, but MAN it was cold when you got out.

Bundled up in our towels we put our heads together and sketched out this scene, a "mapshot of our summer", including the adorable wading pool up the street from us that we've never been able to get to when it's open and full, but have spent many a night running around in its empty state under a setting sun.

Nomi also snacked on KD... pretty sure that is a certified swim snack, but I'll need a few other of my swimmers to weigh in on that.

Wasaga Beach In Blue

For this Sketchfest, we were joined by fellow swimmer Lady Lo. We took off on a rare hot and sunny Sunday this August, for a road trip to one of my favourite Ontario beaches, Wasaga (you can read Laura's amazing recap of our day here!) Nomi and I collaborated on a large beach scene which essentially just turned into a page of blue crayola marker... but it felt on point...

...because when you are at Wasaga looking out at that beast of water, all you see is blue! Lo, also did one of her patented stone doilies.

And I have to feature the snacks from this trip... because they were off the hook!

Stitching at Shebeshekong Bay

This picture says it all. Traveling sewing studio for the win! This is one of my many returns to Shebeshekong Bay this summer, visiting my dear friend's cottage. And that classic Aperol Spritzer would be my Docktail selection for this summer, if we hadn't already crowned it one of the official Docktails of 2015.

Finally, I leave without mentioning the Shebeshekong tannin rich water, which is out of sight: "Like swimming in silk!"

Meaford's Loose Threads
I'll be following this post up with one fully dedicated to the beautiful beaches we found in Meaford  in early August. Absolutely stunning water scenes!

But here is a small sneak peek at where I sat and sewed beachside until someone had to drag me away! I was so inspired that weekend, and below is my attempt to stitch my state of water full-mind.

In conclusion, bring a sketchbook along for the swim, or really whatever creative project you have on the go, or that you can risk getting wet. Who knows what will come out of your waterside musings? I suggest getting out there and finding out!


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