Sunday, 29 November 2009


7"X5.5" Pencil in Moleskine

This is our fearless leader. Erin did all the hard work of organizing this weekend's show. I think it should be counted a success, even though it wasn't really for me. It was the first show for this particular group and it always takes a while for these things to get noticed.

I have had a busy weekend and I may not get to do any painting, also I have a commission which I really must start working on, so my postings may be a little thin for a while. I will continue to sketch and post these from time to time as well as some archival material. I think it is time to reevaluate for the new year and decide how I want to move forward.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Artisan Market

8"X5" Pen on paper

Day 2 at the artisan market was no better than day 1 for me. It was a learning experience and if I ever do anything like that again I will be sure to take some more inexpensive items, get some greeting cards printed perhaps. There was some interest in my local scenes, but not enough to encourage anyone to reach into their wallets.

Having spent most of the morning yesterday doing quick sketches of my fellow vendors (more to come) I decided in the afternoon to paint the stall across from me. They weren't selling any more than I was so I thought it would be a good bet that it would remain unchanged for a while. When I was about half way through the owner decided that the reason they weren't selling anything was because of the poor display and she completely rearranged the whole thing!

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Friday, 27 November 2009


7"X5.5" Pencil on Moleskine

I spent the day at a craft show, the first I have ever taken part in. I am not sure whether it is the right venue for me, but a fun experience anyway. It is showcasing the local chapter of Etsy sellers, mostly jewellers. This lady was selling all sorts of handmade baby clothes and sat knitting all day.

I spent most of the day sketching my fellow sellers so you may see some more over the next few days.

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Cello Study

11"X16" Oil on panel

I am going to have to rename this blog if I don't pull my socks up. My postings have been far from Daily for the past few months. I did well for the first year and really did post something every day, but this year has been tough. I am hoping that after Christmas, once I have got a few things out of the way, I will improve.

Here again is an older painting. I always enjoyed drawing and painting my boys as they practised. They don't play much any more, maybe they will get back to it one day.

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Saturday, 21 November 2009


5"X7" Acrylic on board

I admit to being rather fond of squirrels, even though I know they are just bushy-tailed tree-rats. Ours must be among the fattest in the city. They raid our compost for moldy bread, it doesn't seem to do them any harm but I am not sure that I would recognize a squirrel with ergot poisoning. It probably just makes them squirrelier than usual.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2009


11"X14" Oil on canvas

This is another one from the St. Catharines series, again a couple of years old. Anyone local will remember this landmark on Geneva Street, it was such a vibrant shade of emerald green. Unfortunately, last year they covered it in brown vinyl siding.

I was never quite sure that this one was finished, but here it is anyway.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Another Morning on the Canal

7"X5" Acrylic on board

I never seem to have my camera with me on the best days, when the air is so still that the water is like a mirror. This one wasn't bad, there was no sun but the reflections were good.

Buy Now - $50 + S&H
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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Fall Colour 8

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Well we are nearly done with Fall. The reference photo was taken a couple of weeks ago but there are still leaves on some of the trees.

There is a big maple on the corner by our house that still has about 95% of its leaves, some of them are still green. It is always one of the last to drop and one reason why we end up doing much of our raking in the Spring. Last year the weather got really crummy before we could get any raking done. At least the boys have filled 25 bags already this year, we will probably fill as many again, one of the disadvantages of living on one of the leafiest corners in Canada.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wine & Cheese

All 3.5"X5.5" Pencil in Moleskine

I haven't posted for a couple of days but I do have a good excuse. On Monday night we hosted a house concert with brilliant guitarist Laura Young who was visiting from Barcelona where she lives. I managed to sketch a few pictures as I was sitting at the back, but I really had to be quiet as you could hear a pin drop in that setting. We had about 25 people, so it was intimate but very well received and I think a great success. As you can imagine we weren't up to cooking much beforehand (I would have had to clean the kitchen again), so we mostly feasted on the wine and cheese we had provided for the post show reception.

Last night I went to a silent auction and performance in aid of Carousel Players, a local professional theatre company who specialize in taking theatre to schools all over the region and occasionally tour further afield. It was great fun, they did a reading of Danny, King of the Basement by David Craig which I hadn't seen before and enjoyed enormously. It was funny and touching and extremely well presented. I didn't really have time to eat before I went so I filled up on, guess what? Wine & cheese. The wine was courtesy of local winery Marynissen and very good.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


7"X5" Acrylic on board

Herring Gulls are ubiquitous. This one is quite young, he still has some of his juvenile spots in evidence on his neck and head.

I grew up by the sea and got used to seeing them everywhere, they are sea-gulls after all. The Herring Gulls were only one of several species one would see on Worthing beach. There were Black-headed Gulls and Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, as well as terns, divers, sandpipers and plovers. It was only when I found myself in the centre of this vast continent that I realized just how far the Herring Gulls disperse. Anywhere around the Great Lakes they are almost as common as they are by the ocean. I am not sure how far away from the Lakes they can be found. I don't think I have ever seen any in the desert, but I am willing to be corrected.

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Saturday, 7 November 2009

AGO Cafe

8"X5.5" Pencil on paper

I didn't really have any time to paint today. I went to Toronto and visited the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). They have a great collection of Canadian art thanks largely to the bequest from Ken Thomson. I think they must now own every Krieghoff on the planet and a pretty enormous collection of Lawren Harris, amongst many others.

I have mixed feelings about the new Frank Gehry addition to the building although it has received rave reviews from many. I think I will just keep my opinions to myself though as I would probably simply display my total ignorance of modern architectural form.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Against the Day

9"X6" Mixed media

Not much of an offering but at least I tried.

I went for a short walk at lunchtime and sat for a few minutes to do this quick sketch. I wasn't helped by the fact that I was drawing "contre jour". It was also a bit chilly and I didn't have my fingerless mitts with me. I did find a great place to sit however, back-to-front on the soccer bleachers. This provided a ready-made table.

I used watercolour pencils, "Graphitint" pencils and three different pens for this. As well as the fountain pen which I use quite a lot, I also used a Staedtler pigment liner and my latest toy, a Pentel pocket brush.

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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pony Mart

11"X16" Watercolour on paper

Another of my St Catharines series. Locals will recognize this distinctive building.

They are trying to revitalize the downtown area, much like every other city in North America. It would be a shame to lose buildings like this, so much has gone already.

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Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Rapid City Cycle

11"X14" Oil on canvas

This one is a couple of years old. I had an ambition at one time to do a series of local landmarks but I ran out of steam. At least I started do "daily paintings' and they sapped all my energy so that I had nothing left for larger pieces.

I think the great appeal of the little paintings is that they are so much less of a commitment. When it is just a 5"X7" and only takes an hour or two I feel that it doesn't matter if the result is uninteresting or second rate. When I have wasted a whole lot of paint and time on an expensive canvas and at the end of it I feel that the subject and composition weren't worth the effort, I get very depressed.

This painting is SOLD

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Sunday, 1 November 2009

Backlit Mutsus

7"X5" Oil on board

I should know better than to start a natural light painting at 4:30 pm on All-Saints Day (right after the clocks have gone back). The light had gone long before I finished.
I am a big apple fan and Mutsus are among my favourites. J. went out and bought three bushels today. They should last for a while if we can just find somewhere cool enough to keep them.


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