Sketching at the Museum

It was -30 something C yesterday (translation? It was FREAKING cold out!) and so, for our second sketching venture, the newly formed Ottawa Urban Sketchers planned another indoor sketching date and headed out to a local museum. Housed in the Victoria Memorial Museum Building – a stunningly beautiful Gothic Revival style stone building  – the Canadian Museum of Nature is a sketch artist’s dream!

Entrance to the Museum

Entrance to the Museum

From architectural features to rocks to mammals to birds to dinosaurs to whales to insects, there is something to sketch for almost anyone’s taste and an artist could lose herself amongst the exhibits and die happy there — until she was discovered in a far-off future, fossilized in some quiet, obscure corner with pencil still poised over paper LOL

A portion of the carved stone ceiling

A portion of the carved stone ceiling

The museum also holds some very sentimental memories for me, as it is where, at the age of 16 to 18, I had my very first part-time job as an elevator operator, and it’s where I met the love of my life when I was 17, my future hubby, who worked there as a part-time security guard — yes, our eyes met over the crowd of museum visitors and it was love at first sight! LOL

Even as a 16-17 year old, I used to spend my breaks in the mammal gallery sketching!

Even as a kid, I often spent my breaks in the Mammal Gallery sketching! This is an old sketch from 1978, when I was 17!


Beautiful diarama of caribou

Beautiful diorama of caribou


The caribou I sketched in present day ... I've hardly made any improvements in 30+ years! LOL

The caribou I sketched in present day … I’ve hardly made any improvements in 30+ years! LOL


Diorama of Chickadees

Diorama of Chickadees


Sketch of chickadees and a stone inukglik

Sketch of chickadees, a Gyrfalcon and a stone cairn called an Inuksuit


Ana sketching a polar bear

Ana sketching a polar bear

The museum was almost empty and we didn’t have to “fight” to get a “good spot” to see any of the exhibits from. The biggest “problem” was simply not having enough time to sketch everything I wanted to sketch! It was such an enjoyable, relaxing day out with some very nice ladies that I am quickly coming to regard as friends. I really can’t wait to go again!

Our sketches

Some of our sketches (Corinne’s, mine, Mari’s, Josie’s, Ana’s – Maureen’s is missing)

Mari also keeps a blog and has posted some of her thoughts about the day too.

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4 comments to Sketching at the Museum

  • I love that it is -30 out and you’re all sketching in the arctic area!! Looks like you had a wonderful time!!!!

  • LOL Kathryn! I never noticed! Must be the Canadian in us…eh? 😉

  • I had a really great time, perfect day to be at the museum sketching with you ladies!
    (Thankfully no one died in the process and left to fossilize : )

    Fun to see how you have the drawing from earlier years, always fun to see how things have grown with time. We sure have to go back again, I never got to the mammals. So much more to draw!

    Great shots and I’m glad you were able to catch Ana on one!

  • I had a wonderful time too Mari, so much so that I bought myself a membership for the museum to ensure I will go back many many times! LOL And next time, I will try to pay a bit more attention to documenting our day by getting photos of all of us sketching! hehe