Albert Pitcher works on his intricate pencil-and-ink drawings in his room at Almonte Country Haven.
Lines are drawn on Almonte Country Haven resident
Albert Pitcher continues to create structures in inkAugust 9, 2012
ALMONTE, Ont. - Leafing through the binder, Albert Pitcher recalls details about the buildings he’s sketched and their surroundings.
There are dozens of churches, castles, homes and other striking structures to see. They leap from the binder pages onto the walls of his room at Almonte Country Haven. About six of Albert’s finely detailed and striking drawings hang in frames around the space, and a small drafting area on a desk stands at the ready.
It all represents an interest that’s spanned a lifetime.
“It’s fair to say that you’ve been in the drafting field for most of your life, doing drawings of various types,” Michael Pitcher says to his 86-year-old dad.
The former electrical design draftsman agrees as he, his son and wife Evelyn chat with the OMNIway.
The binder was a Father’s Day gift this year, gathering approximately 90 drawings that Albert has done since 1941.
“One of the reasons we decided to put together a book was because there were too many to put on the walls here,” Michael says.
“They’d paper the wall,” Evelyn adds.
Administrator Marilyn Colton says visitors to Albert’s room can expect to stay awhile and talk about his drawings. His warmth and sociability endear him to residents and staff alike at the Lanark County long-term care home.
Albert agrees his drawing is a passion but not necessarily art.
“I’m not an artist as you think of it; an artist plays with colours,” he says.
Albert’s interest in drawing began at age 15 in his native Great Britain. He was evacuated from London during the Second World War and learned from an art teacher about perspectives and other technical aspects of the craft.
“Our art teacher would take us out and say, ‘There it is, draw it,’” Albert says, noting the subjects were often structures like churches.
“That was the beginning. And then I drew houses and anything that attracted my attention.”
Albert especially likes churches for their stonework and unique architectural style but has also replicated everything from agricultural buildings to train stations.
He’d often discover buildings of interest on community drives, photograph them and then drawn them in pencil followed by ink.
Drawing was also integral in Albert’s professional life. He became an electrical design draftsman and worked for an airplane company and in shipyards in Britain.
Coming to Canada in 1953, he worked for AECL for 25 years.
Michael remembers his father pursuing his passion as he was growing up. While assembling the binder, he discovered there were times when his father didn’t draw.
But he’s always come back to it.
Albert struggles to articulate why his love for this work has endured, but he does say there is a sense of accomplishment.
Asked if he’s proud of his creations, he assuredly replies, “Oh yes.”
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