“I am for an art that helps old ladies across the street.” Claes Oldenburg

December 4, 2017

November drawings complete. I think I may be getting tired of my black pigment liner and grey markers – or it could just be a general lack of inspiration. December will be a busy month with Christmas-themed subject matter.


“authorship is a dubious concept…” – Victor Pelevin

November 20, 2017
“I had never understood my own poetry particularly well, and had long suspected that authorship is a dubious concept, and all that is required from a person who takes a pen in hand is to line up the various keyholes scattered about his soul so that a ray of sunlight can shine through on to the paper set out in front of him.” – Victor Pelevin in Buddha’s Little Finger

August 12, 2017, 8″ X 5.5″

Still not feeling much like painting, so I’m posting more of my drawings from July and August.

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” – Robert Motherwell

November 6, 2017

October and 31 daily drawings complete. I followed a general theme in October – I set out to capture small spaces. In many cases, this amounted to adding a horizon line in some of the images. It changed my approach somewhat though, so I will count it as a success – even if it’s not obvious to anyone but me. I found myself consistently resorting to my favourite medium of a combination of a Copic pigment pen and the Koi Coloring Brush Pens in warm greys. I really do like the way they blend on the gessoed paper of my Moleskine books. I recently tried out another brand of the markers – the Zig Clean Colour Real Brush Markers. But after a bit of playing with them, I’m not enjoying how they behave. I will spend more time with them before I write them off.

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.” ― William S. Burroughs

October 9, 2017

Another month of daily drawing complete. I had wanted to work on a grey ground this  month, thinking I’d play with adding white, but I didn’t find myself all that interested in it when I sat down each evening to draw. I also found the texture of the grey gesso different than that of the white and it wasn’t as nice to work with. It was a bit of a push to do these drawings this month. Hopefully I will find more energy for it in October. I am starting to think about what my project for 2018 might look like…

“We go forward, looking in the rearview mirror.”- Marshall McLuhan

September 25, 2017

July 8, 2017, 5.5” X 8”

I have just not felt like painting lately. I’ve done a bit here and there, but nothing that has amounted to anything. Instead of paintings, today I’m posting some of my favourite drawings from my current sketchbook. In January I started my daily drawing project in order to improve my drawing skills. In June I realized I was not seeing the improvement I had hoped to, so I started a fresh sketchbook with the intention of drawing 30 minutes a day minimum – including the time I put into my daily drawing. It’s gone well and I feel like I’ve been a bit more experimental and playful as a result. Here’s a small sampling.

“The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky

September 11, 2017

Thirty-one hand drawings complete. All done in black Copic Multiliner pens and Sakura KOI Watercolor Brush Pens in three shades of warm grey.

Some thoughts:

  1. I liked working with this combination of pens. The Copics did not bleed with the grey pens and the grey pens blended nicely on the gessoed paper. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but it might be nice to find a colourless blender pen to soften the transition between the lightest grey and the white of the paper. I may have to explore that.
  2. Hands are made up of really weird shapes and can look pretty bizarre from different angles
  3. I found it very valuable to focus on the shapes I was drawing, and not the fact that I was drawing hands. I was specifically thinking about drawing this fold in the skin or that bump of flesh or wrinkle and not about fingers or finger nails.
  4. I enjoyed drawing the baby hands the last five days the most. The cute little chubby knuckles and pudgy fingers were more fun to draw than my own hands – especially when mine often came out looking old and claw like.
  5. It is far easier to draw someone else’s hands than my own. I had to tape my sketchbook down to keep it from moving and then do a lot of squinting. And I would inevitably move my hand during the drawing and notice it only at the end when things didn’t quite line up as they should. I am very appreciative of my kids’ willingness to play hand models for me when they could.
  6. I only drew from photos a few times – including the baby hands. I try to draw from life for the simple reason that I am here to learn and to develop my skills at flattening reality. If I have the camera doing that flattening first, I am limiting my opportunities to improve.
  7. Overall I like the result of the August drawings and might have to take up a another theme in October. It helps not to have to try to decide what to draw each day. And surprisingly, I didn’t get bored with the repetition.

“We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art–we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” – Anais Nin

July 31, 2017

Another month complete – thirty-one drawings and fourteen paintings made it a busy month. I’m taking some time to draw conclusions from my painting challenge and will post them together in two weeks with those notes.