“It starts with this: …”

JUN 20, 2020

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” – Stephen King

June was another scattered and chaotic month and I didn’t even try to do anything intentional with my drawing beyond just showing up everyday and spending time at it. 

It was a month where I found my materials provided me some inspiration. On one of my trips out into the world (beyond work), I found a pack of pens on sale at Staples. When I picked them up, I had thought they were pigment pens, but later realized they were paint pens: Derwent Graphik Line Painters to be precise. The set I have is #2 – which includes 5 colours: ‘High’ (light blue), ‘Brilliant’ (dark blue) ‘Envy’ (green), ‘Clockwork’ (yellow) and ‘Bricklane’ (red). These pens are fine-tipped at .5mm, opaque and permanent once they dry, but while they are wet, they are water soluble. It’s not difficult to get them to spit out a bit of extra ink that you can use as a wash or splash across the page. I played with some of these techniques – not nearly as artfully as the people on YouTube, but it was interesting (June 6 – 8). The fact that they are fine makes it a bit tedious to fill large spaces, but I intend to pick them up again soon. 

I found myself drawing hands a few times in June and at the end of the month I resorted to graphite – which turned into my plan for my drawings in July, which I hope to post in the next couple of weeks. 

Thank you for checking out my work. 

Do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting. – T. Carl Whitmer

It’s June and just more than three months into this global pandemic – these ‘unprecedented’ times – and although in a lot of ways I am settling into this new and ever-changing normal in some ways, I am feeling very erratic in my art production. And it shows in my artwork from April. I‘m going to optimistically say that I’m starting to have more days where I feel like I have a bit more focus, energy and time to apply myself, but it is a very slow trend in that direction.

I am still creating art every day. Some days that may just be playing a bit with watercolours (it seems I’m watercolour challenged, but I’m still trying) and other days I will do quick blind contours or quick line drawings. I find pulling out materials that I don’t often use or have maybe never used, helps – if for no other reason than there’s very little pressure to achieve any particular standard. Right now my intention is to continue drawing or painting every day. And as I get to it, I will post my artwork here.

“We are artists. We are all subjective people; we have a point of view. It doesn’t mean we are right.” – Raoul Peck

September 9, 2019

For the few July daily drawings I completed, I started with blind contour drawings. I was playing with various tools – drawing with wooden skewers and plastic stir sticks dipped in black ink with a bit of colour added in ink. The July 2nd drawing is ArtGraf Tailor Chalk on a damp inked surface. The ink and ArtGraf interacted in an interesting manner with a bit of resistance between the two that I quite like. I took a break from daily drawing for most of July and all of August, save for the two drawings below. Now that fall is here I’m back to drawing every day in September and will post the results in early October.

Aug 3, 2019 Alberta Gallery of Art


Aug 4, 2019 Give Me A Hand

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” — Edwin Markham

September 24, 2018

In August of 2016, my son Ben and I started writing an interactive story called “The Legend of the Pockets”. For the longest time, we worked on it very sporadically, but in the last six months, it has become a Friday morning project that we work on at breakfast before our days begin. Although we may be consistently adding to it, the story is anything but consistent. And is nowhere near finished. It is quirky and strange and may even be somewhat amusing, but you will have to be the judge of that yourself. We have a lot of ideas about how to continue the story and we are open to hearing more suggestions. In the meantime, we are introducing it to the world here. We will be continuing to add to it on an ongoing basis.

Please feel free to leave any feedback and ideas as comments below. We hope you enjoy it.

Click to play Legend of the Pockets

Excerpts from LOTP:

“You put your hands in the pockets. They are oddly really deep, almost like you’re reaching into another reality.”

“Weirdly, his intense green eyes match his custom, designer Converse shoes.”





“Your path is at your feet whether you realize it or not.” – Agnes Martin

September 10, 2018

August drawings complete and posted. And once again I have spent the month mainly drawing a small number of objects in isolation and under harsh lighting. I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone in September – we’ll see how that goes when I post those drawings in October.

And on September 24, I will be posting a work-in-progress that is completely different from anything I’ve shown here before. It will be interactive, quirky and, hopefully, a fun experiment!


“One must go on working silently, trusting the result to the future.” – Vincent Van Gogh

March 6, 2017

So my February drawing challenge was to draw from photographs using black ink and grey markers. I had thought drawing from photos would be easier, and although the actual drawing was easier as everything is already flattened, I did not enjoy it as much. It was a pain to find images that I liked and I doubt I’ll do it again. The grey markers were to help me notice value more, but it wasn’t until the 13th that I clued in that I needed to shift how I was working and focus on the various values of the forms rather than drawing outlines in black and filling them in with grey. There are a few drawings that I like in the group, quite a lot that I don’t care for and some that I consider cringe-worthy. And that’s ok. It’s an experiment and it’s all good.

What I gained most in February was more ease in jumping in and being less precious about the result. I’ve reached the point where I care less about how each drawing turns out and more about the practice of drawing.

I completed the second and third lessons in my Craftsy class with the result of the third lesson below. And although I understand the point, I’m getting a little tired of painting the same subject over and over. Apparently I have a short attention span. We’ll see what lesson four brings.

2017 March, Paint & Palette Essentials, Lesson Three, 14″ X 11″
2017 March, Paint & Palette Essentials, Lesson Three, 14″ X 11″

“We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.” – John Berger

January 16, 2017

My work from the last two weeks:

Striped Lemon, Jan 14, 2017, Mixed Media on Masonite, 10" X 8"
Striped Lemon, Jan 14, 2017, Mixed Media on Masonite, 10″ X 8″

The latest in the 6″ X 6″ Circle Composition series:

Circle Composition 13 WIP, Jan 14, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 6" X 6"
Circle Composition 13 WIP, Jan 14, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″


And my daily drawing challenge so far:

When I did my drawing a day project back in July, I decided to use the same medium all month – black drawing pens and a bit of watercolour. I used a small watercolour sketchbook to work in that had 28 pages to which I added 3 more small sheets that I tucked in the back to contain the entire month’s work. I’m carrying both of these ideas over into this new project. I’m using a 2017 Moleskine planner set that consists of 12 small 3.5 x 5 soft cover books. Each has a different colour cover and a page for each day and they can all be contained in a hardcover. The lines on the pages don’t bother me, but the show-through from one page to the next does. So I’m experimenting with gessoing every second spread to avoid that. For the month of January I’ve chosen graphite as my medium. It’s been awhile since I’ve messed with graphite and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m not as fond of the way the graphite responds to the gesso on the pages, but I’m working with it and trying different things – sanding the gesso a little and using harder pencils, or just dispensing with the gesso and accepting whatever show through results. So far it’s going well. Two weeks in, 50 to go.


“Let frustration fuel inspiration.” – Sonia Boyce

January 2, 2017

This is a group of three panels that currently don’t look like much, but will hopefully evolve into something interesting. I want to play a little with shallow space, text and layers. I’ve started them in acrylic, but will shift to oils with cold wax medium to see if I can work with translucency as well. I have a lovely vision – time will tell how close I manage to come to what is in my head.

With the beginning of the new year, I’m full of ambition. I want to make 2017 a more prolific year than I’ve had for awhile and I am focussing both on developing skills and on experimentation. This isn’t anything new, but I have a renewed energy to bring it about. I intend to draw daily this year and post at least some of the images to Instagram and some here as well from time to time. When I look around my studio I see too many unfinished pieces, so I will be trying to finish work on them. And I seem to have developed a habit of painting over canvases and boards repeatedly if I’m not fond of how they look – again – this idea of layers that I find intriguing. We’ll see what other trends come out of the year. It’s a new year and I feel there are endless possibilities ahead. We’ll see how they unfold…