Painting the Calgary Grain Exchange Building

Grain-Exchange

As I mentioned previously, I was contacted for the second year in a row by the Downtown Calgary Association to create illustrations for their winners of the Vitality Awards.  At the last minute they also decided to commission one last piece, a gift for a gentleman who will soon be retiring, of one of his favourite buildings in Calgary, the Grain Exchange.   It’s funny, I have lived and worked in Calgary my entire life.  The bulk of my professional career has been spent working in the downtown core, and I take the bus past this building every morning.  I’ve frequently wondered what it’s floor plans look like, and what life inside it must hold.  Our downtown holds so much history, young as we may seem in the eyes of any other city.

I didn’t have any solid goals or ideas in mind when I started with this blogging business – and I use the word business extremely lightly, I promise.  At the outset, I never imagined I would end up creating illustrations of Calgary’s own buildings for one of its corporations.  To me, that feels huge.  At the beginning, it would have been unbelievable.  The other thing I really enjoy with their awards is that painting the winners forces me outside of my comfort zone and into projects I didn’t think I could handle.   I’ll share a few more of my works of the winners on the blog here next week, but for today I wanted to leave you with this.  I agreed to paint it in one evening.   I was forced to sit down without hesitation to start drawing this.  As a side note, one of my new life rules is when in doubt – use a ruler.  I’m slightly less kind to myself about it, it’s more like “Stevie.  Use the damn ruler.” but you get the drift.  One evening and look what I was able to come up with.  My apologies on the image quality – it was late when I finished and I was not in the mood to fight with my scanner, so this is a very quickly cleaned up version of an iPhone photo.  Still some progress to be made, but I think this is a solid start with architectural renderings.

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