These ten images all link together to create one 7.5 inch by 112.5 inch scene. I did two of these panoramic scenes during my stay here; one here at the Wells Community Gardens, and the other at the intersection of Sanders and Pooley Street. They're each a full 360 degree view. If you took the last panel and moved it over, it'd line up with the first. It was a real challenge, dealing with changing light and perspective, dogs, kids, mosquitos and moving cars (although in Wells they really don't move that often). I always seem to be a little bit invisible when I'm sketching on location, sitting there overhearing all the goings-on in the neighbourhood, children playing in the playground, people gardening, strolling, enjoying life on their street. It was kind of funny how the locals had all been stepping around me for days, but when they came in to view our work at the end of the project they were surprised to see their homes and all their familiar buildings around town captured here. Their delight at having their homes captured made me very happy!
I had a couple of real challenges while doing this piece. The first was, after laying it all out and doing most of the initial sketching, I discovered the paper I though was watercolour friendly was not at all. The first drop of water made it puff up like one of those compressed sponges getting it's first dose of moisture! Normally I would have panicked, but here in Wells everything is so laid back I just sort of stared at it and thought, 'hmmm'. Good thing I happened to grab a box of pencil crayons just before I left Penticton. It was much slower than it would have been in watercolour, but I think it was a good exercise. Next 'argh!' moment was after I discovered this cool sepia pen and ink on a side trip to historic Barkerville. I was having great fun with it, had sketched maybe a house or two in this lovely ink, when I dropped the pen and bent the nib. No more pen. Again, I could have freaked, but instead decided to head back to Barkerville to buy another one. It meant packing up my camper in order to get mobile, something I hadn't banked on doing during my stay here. On my way back to where I was parked, I popped in to one of the little galleries on Pooley Street. I told my tale to the woman working there, an artist I met up here last year at a workshop. She walked in the back of the gallery and came out with a fist full of pen nibs for me to use. How nice is that! I just seemed to meet so many generous people here. I can see how people come here and decide to stay.