Monday, 21 June 2010


5.5"X3.5" Watercolour & ink in Moleskine

Not a very good photograph but I was too lazy to scan it (I have to take my laptop into the other room). This is really "Noon on the Common 158" or something, but I thought I would take advantage of the date to call it something else. I found a great spot with my back to the wall of RH1 (the main rehearsal studio, otherwise known as the Studio Theatre for a few weeks of the year). I think that this tree has figured in a few paintings and drawings over the past few years too.
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Thursday, 17 June 2010

Noon on the Common Again

11"X3.5" Watercolour pencil in moleskine

Another view that gets somewhat overdone due to the location of a strategically placed bench.
I remember having a conversation with a friend, someone that I had thought was fairly enlightened, who couldn't understand why the Common was so jealously guarded by the town. It seemed to him that, in a community surrounded by farmland, it was quite unnecessary and should be made available for development. I remarked at the time that people may once have felt that way about High Park in Toronto or Central Park in NY City, and that in a hundred years the people of Niagara-on-the-Lake would be glad that the Common had been protected.

That was about twenty years ago and suburban sprawl is already hemming in the town on the West. There is water to North and East so this pastoral haven to the South is a very precious thing. Long may it remain protected!
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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Youngstown NY

8"X5.5" Pen & Ink
An interesting day. I must have walked through half a dozen climate zones on my lunchtime walk. It went from cool and overcast to gale-force wind to blazing-hot sunshine to storm-laden clouds and back to sirocco-like hot wind again.

I have drawn and painted this scene several times already. That's what happens when there is a strategically placed, comfortable bench by the river on the Niagara Parkway.

By the time I had walked down here I only had about half an hour but I provided entertainment for some passing cyclists and helped them to avoid an extensive detour by pointing out that they were in fact on the right track to get back into Niagara-on-the-Lake. They were ready to go back the way they came, which might have taken them to Niagara Falls, about 10 miles!
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Thursday, 10 June 2010

A Taste of Empire

7"X5.5" Pencil in moleskine

Jovanni Sy is playwright in residence at the Shaw Festival this year. The likeness is not good (sorry Jovanni but you wouldn't stay still). He has been working on a performance piece scheduled for production next month (June 29 to July 24) at the Miele Demonstration Kitchen in Toronto's St. Lawrence Market, presented by Cahoots Theatre Company. Today we were treated to a reading of the play.
In the full version he will "cook a traditional Filipino fish entree in real time while humorously deconstructing the historical, political, and ethical aspects of the dish". We had to imagine the kitchen and the delicious aromas as well as the video which provides instructional and humourous counterpoint to the text. It was all great fun though and one of the many perqs of working in the theatre.
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