The subway stations are great locations for perspective drawings, so I attempted one the other day. It's interesting to see how the stations look like compared to the ones I was used to back in Montreal. Here in Toronto, some of the platforms like at the Union Station, are very narrow and there's not a lot of space to move around. Other stations are also really cold as they are not all fully enclosed or are essentially open to the outdoors. One the other hand there are a lot of stations, which is very convenient, and there are a lot of new ones under construction, which will be even more convenient. It will be interesting to see how the new stations are designed compared to the old ones.
I thought it would be fun to explore the use of mushrooms in popular culture as a continuation of the discoveries I made so far based on John Allegro's book. One of the most obvious is the story of Alice in Wonderland when she meets the caterpillar smoking a hookah on top of a mushroom. He tells her that one side of the mushroom will make her grow while the other one will make her shrink as an effect from ingesting it.
The plan for our 6th meetup was to go sketch the Christmas Market at the Distillery District, but we were so cozy and comfortable at our meeting point, Balzac Coffee Shop , that we decided to stay and sketch there the entire time. Despite the place being packed due to the holiday attractions all ten of us managed to find a nice spot on the second floor. It gave us a great opportunity to get a birds eye view of the space.
This coffee shop has a lot of character and interesting vignettes to sketch. I managed to capture various groups of people enjoying a hot drink after waiting in line forever. I felt bad for the staff, they were going non stop. The coffee machine just couldn't keep up with the volume order fast enough. While I was waiting for my drink, I took the opportunity to sketch the sweets on the counter and a portion of the only coffee machine. The staff was moving too fast for me to capture them.
It was great to see all the sketches from the other artists. It always amazes me to see the variety of subjects that can come out of a single location.
During easter, there's a tradition for kids to go find decorated eggs hidden mostly outdoors. Some believe that this activity originated from the search of the amanita muscaria mushroom. If that's the case, it would explain the reason for decorating the egg in the first place.
The next stage of the mushroom cycle is compared to the mythological Phoenix, a bird known to die by fire and to be reborn from its ash cyclically on its own. Some say the mushroom at this stage resembles the open wings of the bird and just like the bird, dies and is reborn again on its own. Interestingly, the phoenix was adopted as a symbol early in Christianity and its ability to die and be reborn again can be compared to resurrection.
On our 5th meetup, we first went to the Union train station. It's a beautiful space with lots of great architectural details. I could spend hours sketching in this space. We had planned to go to the Skywalk as well but it didn't work out that day. There was way too many people for our group to comfortably find a spot to sketch, so we went back to the union station for a little more sketching before heading towards the subway station to meet the Toronto Subway Sketch Group. It was really fun and we had a great turnout. It was funny to see the reaction of some people entering our cabin and seeing a couple of us with our sketchbooks sketching people. I managed to do a couple sketches, but I always wish I had done more :)
We're lucky to have Mei, who's also a photographer, in our group. She took quite a few awesome photos of us during the event. Check out her facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/meicphotoart) to see more from our latest meetup as well as several other sketching events and her own sketches.
Our next meetup will take place at the Toronto Christmas Market on December 7. Then, the next day we'll join Sketching Around the City to sketch at the University of Toronto Campus downtown.
This week's TGIM is based on football but can easily be used in any aspects of life. The one line that stuck in my head is all about giving up old habits to get to the next level. What am I doing right now that I need to stop doing? I think it's a question that needs to be answered on a regular basis. In my case, the first thing I did was to cut cable TV and spend more time being creative by drawing more. I have to say, this one decision has brought a lot of positive changes for me this year. So as far as I'm concerned, what ET says works. Now what's my next move? I really need to think about this one. There's still a lot of hidden potential that needs to come out and play :)