Day 1 Monday, Sept 11, 2017; travel to the Abbey
Day 2, Tuesday, Sept 12, 2017; first full day at Abbey
A group of 4 sketchers made a “sketching retreat” to Westminster Abbey in Mission, BC, Canada. That’s a little over an hour east of Vancouver, BC. It is a very quiet place with no internet, no TV, no radio and no newspapers. I had cell coverage but I didn’t use it much. Some of our group participated in the worship life of the abbey as well.
We arrived late afternoon on Monday so I didn’t get any sketching in that day. I got settled into my simple room and then we walked the grounds a bit together. The Monastery has 200 acres, not all of which is available to us but there is an extensive system of trails. We were warned against going out to the farm as “there is a guard dog”.
The morning on Tuesday was quite foggy. I’d thought to go to the viewpoint but thought better of it, given the fog. So I walked down to the stone cross I’d noticed in a field and discovered it to be the Abbey cemetery.
Since it was still very misty, I next explored the church and sketched there. Even on such a cloudy day, the stained glass windows glowed.
After lunch the weather cleared and became a bit too hot to sit in the sun. One of the sketchers told me of a shrine in the woods so I went in search of it.
Another shady spot had a view of these intricate red gates. They do not border a fence so I don’t know their purpose, other than, perhaps, to keep vehicles off the internal road. It leads to a large shed where the tractor and trailer are stored. I later discovered 3 of us had all sketched these gates!
One of the monks sat with us at table for all of our meals. Breakfast was the younger Brother Maximus. Lunch was the guestmaster, Father Mark. Dinner was the genial Brother Meinrad. Since he knew we were artists, he took us into some of the private areas of the monastery to see the art. There are murals done by one of the monks.
In the evening, after dinner, I watched Marc Taro Holms’ Craftsy class on Travel sketching (I had downloaded it to my tablet so I could watch without access to internet). I tried his wet on wet, “charging in” technique to sketch the sunset out my 2nd story window.
Day 1 photos
Day 2 photos