Urban Sketching: Pointe-à-Callière 18th Century New France Market

Last Sunday I joined USK:MTL down at the Old Port for the Pointe-â-Callière 18th Century New France Market. My good friend Rosalind joined me and we visited and sketched – a very rare thing for us to be together without our children.  It was fantastic!

The event was so well executed. There were little rustic kiosks set up along the streets and an impressive number of actors in authentic 18th century costumes were littered among them.  I had a few moments of being a little sad that I had actually left my children at home – like when the band came marching through, and the soldiers fired their muskets. They would have loved it.

I was impressed with how authentic all of the props seemed. The wooden barrel shown above was bound together not with rope or steel, but with tree branches – I’m not sure which species. The man’s sandals were made entirely of rope.

We ran into an Aristocrat, all decked out in pink and blue, complete with man-makeup and a long curly blonde wig. He had made the entire outfit of brocade and linen himself. He even made the wig! He later explained he was a hairdresser by trade and the wig was actual human hair.

Being born into a logging community, I have seen many logs being cut through the width by hand with a two man crosscut saw, but this was the first time I had seen one cut down the length this way The handle at the end of this saw is set up for a second person to help push/pull the saw back upward. The guy on top of the log was no spring chicken – he was up there intermittently while kids came through to give it a go and he not only had great balance, but strength and energy. I wonder how sore he was the day after. It looked like an intense job. My hat off to him.

This event is absolutely on my repeat list for next year. So much fun!

~Side Note: Google just AutoAwesomed my watercolour image. For better or worse, it shows all the variations I uploaded before settling on the one at the top of this post. You can see that I removed the hand of the woman in red after fiddling with it a bit. I think it was one of those things that when you stare at it too long it loses it’s shape/meaning. Was it a hand? A duck beak? Who can tell. So I removed it.

More about Julie Prescesky

Julie spends much of her time paying attention to what's happening around her. At Design Inkarnation, she's head designer, illustrator, writer and creative problem solver.

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