Category Archives: Sketching
JULY 1 2022 – CANADA DAY
Emily Carr was born in Victoria in 1871. She was a painter first, but it was her books that made her famous before her art was widely appreciated. She had a hard time making a living and so in 1913 she had a boarding house constructed for herself, built on a corner of the family acreage. There she passed the next 20 years or so, eking out a meagre living as a landlady, and painting in her top floor studio. Eventually she became too ill to be a landlady, so she traded the house for a smaller one and rented it out for the income. She rented a small cottage for herself elsewhere in town. A number of years ago I designed the top floor renovation of the house Emily traded her boarding house for.
Railroads were once common in my life. My mother was a secretary at the Canadian Pacific Railroad HQ in Montreal. Close by our house were two double track railway lines where trains moved constantly every day – huge trains pulled by chains of locomotives. One was the CPR, the other was the CNR. Both went from coast to coast and everywhere in between. I took the CPR Canadian across Canada and back, on vacation with my parents. I once took the CNR Super Continental out to Edmonton. Then I switched to flying, like everybody else. The train got too expensive here, but not in Europe. The last train ride I took was from Geneva to Dusseldorf a few years ago. That cost 100 Euro! I never see trains on Vancouver Island now; there are none. All we have is an abandoned railway line that some people are forever trying vainly to resurrect, which will in all likelihood never happen in my lifetime. Freight still moves by train, although I never see a freight train. One of the first songs I learned to play was Freight Train. I met some hobos in Thunder Bay once, at the rail-yards, when I was attempting to hitch a ride across Ontario. They said they were going to jump a freight train, but since I had no food and no idea where that train was going, I declined to join them, so I took the train to Montreal, sitting in coach overnight and all of several days for $60.