A Dinner Table at Night, John Singer Sargent, 1884
On Friday I went to Elora. (apologies to Kat for not looking you up). My friend Jean was driving and we went off to have a creative day of plein air art, out in the country. We brought watercolors, conte chalk, pencil crayons and pencils. We also brought our sunscreen, water and imaginations. Jean wanted to start at Elora, so off we went. It was over an hour's drive west of my place.
This photo by David Wilcox shows some buildings in Elora perched over the Grand River, at the gorge in the river where the old mill sits. The old mill, with the gray roof is an inn, but it was closed for renovations on Friday, so we couldn't eat there. We found lunch on the main street, at a crepe place and then went off on our expedition. We followed Middlebrook Road along the river and were considering sketching farms and crops. The hay was baled and lay in the fields awaiting harvest.
Middlebrook Road came to a side road which was the Weisenberg Road. It looked to us like a dead end dirt road, but it wasn't. We found this interesting bridge two minutes down the road and sat on the bridge to sketch river some scenes of the Grand River.
Here was our view of the Grand River through the rusty rails of the old bridge. I liked the rocky outcrops along the riverbed to the right middle section, Where the river disappears in the distance there was a beautiful array of pink flowers on the right shore. It's difficult to see in this clip.
Here is a better shot of the river without the bridge rails. The Weisenberg Road turned out to be way busier than it looked and we kept having to move for cars crossing the bridge. Besides, it was sunny and hot. So after about 45 minutes of very bad watercolor attempts, we moved on.
Continuing down the Middlebrook Road, it became Covered Bridge Road and the next thing we found was a covered bridge in the village of West Montrose.
There was a comfortable shady spot at the end of a road, with a great view of the bridge, so we stopped there, took out our equipment and began again. I did pencil crayons this time because I find water colors really aggravating. Acrylics are better for me, but they are bulky for transport. This sketch is a little more successful. We spent two hours here.
We finished up at 4: 30pm, just in time to be back on the highway for rush hour.
Just before the highway home, where we arrived at 5:00pm, was the Aberfoyle Inn. Since my daughter began university in this area in 1994, I had to pass this inn every time we visited her. I always wanted to have a meal at this place, but until Friday could not convince anyone to stop. Jean was happy to stop for an early dinner and avoid rush hour, so we stopped.
Jean had the duck and a Merlot, I had the lamb and a Shiraz. We both had the asparagus soup. You know when you are given a memorable meal you won't soon forget..... this was it, definitely delicious!! Of course this day out reminded me of art and dining, and so I shared.
Maybe nearly as funny as a Frances Garrod poem, the art that comes from my fingers should never be seen on the same page as a John Singer Sergent. In art circles, some consider Sergent to be the greatest sketch artist of all time. He is gifted and brilliant. On Friday, I was humble and lost in the Mennonite country of Wellington County looking for bales of hay and finding bridges. It was a fabulous Friday!!
There is no music today.... just lots of pictures.
If you like music, you could hum a river or a bridge song and look through these pics again. =D
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