Ottawa Plein Air Adventurers - July

With next to no rain and temperatures often in the high 30s-low 40s, July has been a scorching hot and extremely humid month here in Ottawa. Our first plein air date in July had to be postponed due to sweltering temperatures in the 40s, but fortunately it cooled off  a wee bit the following week, so on July 12, several of us met up in the morning at the Notre Dame cemetery.

Cindi preparing her sketch to paint (click to enlarge).

I have always really loved this old cemetery. It’s got a sort of neglected, lonely, haunted, yet extremely peaceful feel to it.

Kate sketching a beautiful stone statue (click to enlarge).

Because it’s a Catholic cemetery, there is an abundance of statues decorating most of the graves — statues of angels and cherubs, of Mary, of Jesus and of various saints.

One of the many statues of Mary to be found in the cemetery.


Sara working in watercolour (click to enlarge).

I spent my time at Notre Dame working on a pen and coloured pencil sketch of a statue of Mary.

My completed sketch (click to enlarge).

After our picnic lunch, most of us packed up and headed over to the Beechwood cemetery, which is directly behind Notre Dame, so wasn’t far to go at all.

A view of the large waterlily pond at Beechwood with some of our adventurers already sketching (click to enlarge).

Beechwood has a completely different feel to it, with its beautiful landscaped gardens, gazebo and other sitting areas and pretty water features. I always think of Notre Dame as a place for the dead and of Beechwood as a place for the living.

Kate working in ink.

The afternoon was starting to really heat up, so I wandered around and took photos rather than working on a second piece. A couple of our group had skipped Notre Dame, choosing to arrive earlier in the morning at Beechwood and had beautiful paintings already underway.

Min working on her ethereal painting of the pond (click to enlarge).


Johanne working on lilypads (click to enlarge).

~ * ~

Our next plein air adventure took place the following week on July 19 at the Rockcliffe Park pavilion, which is a massive, gorgeous stone gazebo in Rockcliffe Park overlooking the Ottawa River and Point Gatineau.


Sara and Anne painting and sketching the pavilion (click to enlarge).

Despite the heat of the day, there was a nice breeze inside the pavilion, so most of us chose to sketch from inside its shade … though a couple of brave souls sat out in the heat under the canopy provided by a lovely old maple.

Clarisse preparing to sketch her view (click to enlarge).

Not only were we surrounded by an incredible natural view, but the pavilion’s architecture is also stunning.

Kate working on her sketch (click to enlarge).

We broke for lunch at about noon. I truly feel so blessed to have met all these lovely ladies and be able to take part in these outings with them every couple of weeks. I think of our get togethers as my mental health days! 🙂

I so enjoy getting together with these ladies every couple of weeks.  (click to enlarge).

I remembered to get a shot this time of what we were all working on.

Some of our incomplete sketches taken just after lunch (click to enlarge).

I ended up leaving just shortly after lunch as I had to take the dog in to the vet, so I completed my sketch later that evening at home.

My completed sketch of a beautiful old maple (click to enlarge).

Looking very forward to my next outing with the Ottawa Plein Air Adventurers!

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