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Showing posts from February, 2008


5"X7" Oil on panel

As an "artist" or at least a painter, I have the perfect excuse to indulge in my natural instinct to hoard. I can always convince myself that I "might want to paint it one day". This little chap falls into that category. He once belonged to my late mother-in-law and was a present from her sister. I expect he has a history but I don't know what it is, he was probably purchased in a museum shop and is a replica of one of their exhibits. He stands only 3" tall (including stand!) and is gilded to look like solid gold.
The little lumps of "gold" around the base were part of some fancy gift packaging, I couldn't bring myself to throw them away because, well, you guessed it.
This is practically actual size, but I painted it at about 2:1, not that easy to do, especially with my middle-aged eyes.
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Bluegrass Lady

7"X5" Graphitint & Aquarelle on paper

I did say it was time I drew some people. I realize that the only other figure I have included here is the statue of St Anthony, not exactly life drawing. Well this isn't really life-drawing either, but a photo of Ella when she was home for Christmas, playing Ben's bass.
Graphitint is great for low-key winter scenes, but they don't produce a satisfactory yellow or anything even approaching a fleshtone, so I supplemented tonight. Mind you, the watercolour pencils aren't much better, still, this was an interesting exercise, I may do do more of these.

The French Castle

7"X5" Graphitint on Paper

Fort Niagara is in Youngstown, New York at the mouth of the Niagara River. Here, seen from Canada, is the "French Castle". Built in 1726 by French engineer Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Lery, it is the oldest part of the fort.


7"X5" Graphitint & aquarelle in paper

This is not in fact a windmill as you might think, but a wind machine.

"Wind machines are tall, fixed-in-place, engine-driven fans that pull warm air down from high above ground during a strong thermal inversion, raising air temperatures around cold-sensitive crops such as grapes." (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers)

They are all over the peninsula, not unattractive but they have as many critics as supporters. The sound pollution they produce is quite considerable.

Back Windows 2

7"X5" Graphitint on paper.

The angles of these old buildings are always interesting. When they were first built, these windows would have looked out over the second Welland Canal.


5"X7" Oil on panel

I was getting quite hungry while I was painting this. Not much to say about an apple really, I was feeling the need to paint some food after last weekend's veg-fest.


6"X4" Oil on panel

Crocii, everyone says crocuses these days. My built in spell checker even has a red line under it. Whatever, they are one of the first flowers of Spring. These came in a pot though, still nothing in the garden. It snowed again this morning.
This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop


7"X 5" Graphitint on paper

This staircase design (specifically the scroll-work under the treads)must be peculiarly local. An architect friend from Toronto said he had never seen one like it, but I know of at least two others within the Niagara Peninsula with the same design.


7"X 5" Graphitint on paper

This is between my back door and my car. I walk past it several times a day. I am awfully tired of the ice and cold, I am really looking forward to some Spring-themed pictures.
Rehearsals started at the theatre this week, always an early sign of Spring. Today I watched the first "sing-through" of the musical. I wish I had taken a sketchbook with me, although I doubt that I would have had the courage to use it. It is a lovely sight, all those attractive, talented people in that huge sunny room looking out onto the Common. I must start doing more people paintings.


4"X 3" Watercolour on paper

I couldn't resist doing an extra tonight when I saw the moon.

This was about 10:15 pm EST. It was just coming out of full eclipse.


5"X7" Graphitint on paper

Another bitterly cold day, I wonder how the birds survive. They congregate by the hundreds on telephone wires and bare branches, backs to the wind. Then suddenly they will swarm up into the air, fly around for a few seconds and settle again.

My Chair

7"X5" Graphitint on paper

I have rather a weakness for humble little antique wooden chairs. If I had enough room I would like to collect them. As it is I have several, all different. This one is my favourite, it fits me perfectly but nobody else in the house likes it, an excellent arrangement really.

Klein the Cat

5"X7" Oil on panel

A lot harder than a zucchini! You'd think a sleeping cat would be a fairly immobile subject. Actually they move about every ten seconds, especially when they know someone is watching them.
If she looks a little crazed that is because she is. She doesn't like me very much, she is really a man's cat.
She also has a cast in her left eye which only adds to the effect.

The Last Hothouse Tomato

5"X7" Oil on panel

Tomatoes are not at their best at this time of year, but at least the locally grown hothouse tomatoes have a little more flavour than the bred-to-travel variety.



5"X7" Oil on panel

What can you say about zucchini, the vegetable we love to hate, especially in August as we smilingly accept yet another basket of surplus from out well-meaning neighbour. 2,124 zucchini recipes here are some ideas.

Turk's Turban

5"X7" Oil on panel

The vegetable of the day is a "Turk's Turban" squash. This was an especially handsome one, but I painted it in a bit of a rush as it had to go into the oven for supper.
Please go to my Etsy store if you would like to buy this painting.

It's Cold Out There

5"X 7" Watercolour on Paper

More vineyards in the snow. It was very cold earlier this week but beautiful skies again. At least it is still light when I drive home now.
This really is horrible paper I have been reduced to. I thought that if I used watercolour rather than pencils it would work better, but it really doesn't help much.

Doorway 2

7"X5" Graphitint on paper
This door leads into the St Catharines courthouse, I am not sure what the original use would have been. The main entrance is in the front of the building and is elevated by one storey, this is ground level and on the James Street side. The cow's head above is interesting, I am not sure of the significance. I think this is a bar or a nightclub now.

I had to use different paper tonight, the texture is coarser and doesn't work so well for these pencil sketches.

More Gulls on Ice

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

I don't know what this barrel-like thing is. It sits in the middle of the canal just south of the Lakeshore bridge, by Port Weller Dry Docks.


5"X7" Graphitint on paper

These trailers house migrant farm workers from April 'til October, I think they are empty right now. I hope so anyway, it was -13C today and they don't look well insulated.

Three Limes

5"X7 " Oil on board

I am developing an affinity for fruit I think, I am finding it very satisfying to paint, anyway. After yesterday's ghastly Spring flowers, these were quick and easy.

This painting is SOLD, however, if you would like to buy a giclee print of this piece please visit Imagekind

Spring Flowers

7"X5 " Oil on Board

Talking to my sister in London this morning, I was reminded that it is already Spring there. Here it isn't all that cold at the moment (0 C) but a long way from Spring. We still have several inches of slushy snow and a forecast calling for -14 C tomorrow night.
At the market this morning I fell victim to these little pots of flowers. I am not very good at painting flowers in oils yet, my botanicals have always been done in watercolour, I guess I need to practise some more!

Rubber Ducky

5"X 7" Oil on board

I couldn't bring myself to get rid if this little chap when my kids outgrew him. He sits on the side of the bathtub and has to be dusted every so often.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

Silos in the Snow

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

At least I think they are silos. They are enormous (well, look at the size of the trees, and those aren't saplings!) and sit in the middle of flat farmland beside the 406. Behind and to one side of them there is an old-fashioned drive-in movie theatre. I have often driven past at twilight and seen the the screen lit up beside this structure, but I have never been able to put the two together into an interesting composition.

Shadows on the Lock

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

The canal is a constant source of inspiration. Nobody else seems to be painting it. The locks, the lakers, the birds, the bridges are all endlessly fascinating to me.

In the bleak midwinter

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

These little farmhouses look so lonely in February. It is very flat around here and the homesteads often appear to be very isolated in the middle of a snowfield

St. Anthony

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost things, usually depicted in a brown Franciscan robe, holding the infant Jesus in one hand and a lily in the other. This charming and rather battered statue seems to have lost both the lily and the baby, and the brown robe has seen better days too.
He once stood in a Quebec church but was saved from the wreckers in the 70s and now stands in my friend's dining room where he occasionally receives requests for assistance with lost items from the Portuguese cleaning lady.

Hothouse Tomato

5"X7" Oil on panel

I have decided that I must start timing myself. I can't spend too long on these or I miss the point I think. Today I spent almost exactly an hour which seems just about right.



5"X7" Oil on panel

I have been meaning to try painting downstairs, using the lovely north light in the dining room. The reflections on the highly polished table are fun too. I can't remember when I did so much still life. Maybe if I do enough of it I will eventually acquire some reasonable technique. I have long held that technique is an insignificant part of artistry, but it sure speeds things up if you have some facility with the medium.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

White Orchid

7"X5" Oil on panel

Orchids are so corny. However they do have the great advantage of lasting forever. This means I could take a couple of days to do this if I wanted but, true to the spirit of this blog, for better or for worse, here it is.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop