On the morning of February 26th, I schlepped off to the Ecomuseum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue to draw with the (Sub)Urban Sketchers. The zoo is a wonderful place with animal species exclusively from Québec.  

When I drove into the parking lot, I was surprised at the number of cars that were already there on an early Sunday morn.  

"What a busy place, whoda thunk"? I mused.  

Last time I visited the museum was quite a few years ago. I must have gone on a week day because on this occasion I was in for a bit of a shock. Lots of parents come with their children for this perfect learning activity. The zoo isn't big and that is part of its charm....BUT...and it's a big BUT, Sunday mornings is not a good time to go and sketch. I quickly ascertained that my drawings would have to be quickies because wild kids kept screaming and running around me. 

I don't recall my children having been quite that loud and rambunctious when I took them on outings. I was exhausted in no time.

While inside, I managed to draw turtles and a couple of snakes but I thought it might be more pleasant and quiet outdoors. 

It was but unfortunately also incredibly cold. I wore gloves that had the fingers cut off at the ends so I was perhaps better prepared than the others to draw in these conditions but again, it soon became obvious that the drawings would have to be quick.  I had to warm up the tips of my fingers at regular intervals.

This was a second outing for the (Sub)Urban Sketchers and a somewhat challenging one, although freezing fingers and screaming kids are all part of the onsite sketching experience. It trains artists to draw under all types of conditions. I'm slowly learning which materials to bring depending on weather conditions and environmental noise.

I will definitely go back when it's warmer to draw more birds of prey. I love their expressions, they just seem so incredibly annoyed with the world...wonder if they watch the latest breaking news on CNN?