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Sketching Is Never Boring

November 29, 2010
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Sketching on Hailstone Island, Georgian Bay, 2003.

Recently I was going through old photo albums in the studio and came across this image of me sketching in a tree house on Hailstone Island, Georgian Bay in 2003. The photo brought back a memory that I had forgotten of no ordinary sketching excursion. I remember going to the tree house to do a sketch of the cottage the family was staying in for the week. Once I negotiated the rope ladder to get up to the tree house, I set up my watercolors and pens and got to work. As the sketch was nearing completion, I heard something approaching the tree house. I expected to see one of my children making their way through the brush. When I’m sketching, I don’t want to break my concentration so I waited until the little one made it to the base of the tree before I looked down. It was not a child. It was a black bear cub!

Two thoughts rushed into my mind. First, why is there a bear on a this island? Second, where there is a cute cub, there is probably a protective mother bear. I don’t remember what happened next but I was up at the cottage in seconds wishing I had had my camera with me in the tree house. I must have forgone the rope ladder, jumped down to the ground and scurried away up the hill to the cottage. I’m an artist, not a bear wrestler. We never saw the mother bear and learned from the locals that a bear had not been seen on the island for years. The family joked that I should have sketched the cub. Below is a sketch of bear that I did recently in the safety of my studio.

Sitting Bear (2010) by Jamie Kapitain. Ink and watercolor sketch.

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