It was almost exactly like Georges Seurat painted it in "La Grande Jatte" — people gathered on the banks of a river on a glorious Sunday afternoon, sailboats in the distance, cool breezes coming off the water — except the island was Montreal, the river was the St. Laurent and the people were sketchers. The event "Picnic Vernissage" was organized by the Stewart Hall Cultural Centre and Art Gallery in Pointe Claire, in conjunction with Urban Sketchers Montreal. It was a day of drawing and picnics on the grass, followed by a vernissage of sketches in the gallery.
When you plan these types of events, you're never sure how many people will show up. Our typical Sunday sketching outing in Montreal has about 25-30 people on a good day, but I guess the spectacular setting and the perfect weather was a real draw, because we counted over 80 sketchers including some from Toronto, Vermont and Quebec City!
Many of the sketchers chose to draw and paint the mansion overlooking the lake that houses the gallery and Cultural Centre. Here's my drawing of the building from a few weeks ago.
I was hoping to get more drawing done at the event itself, but all I really had time for was a sketch of one of the giant poplars on the lawn. Our hosts spoiled us with food and drink, and there were so many people to talk to.
At the end of the day, gallery volunteers hung all the work, where it will remain all summer long. The quantity and variety of work completed by the sketchers during the event was astounding! If you are in Montreal during the summer, please stop by and have a look.