“There is intelligence when you are not afraid. “ – Bruce Lee

So I’m only two months behind in posting my daily artwork. I hope to be caught up by the end of the summer and back on track for the fall – I figure a global pandemic should warrant leniency. Above are my daily drawings / paintings from May – a bit of a scattered mess really – and so it is appropriate that I provide a scattered mess of thoughts about them.

It was another month where I didn’t feel all that inspired, but kept at it regardless and found myself playing with materials to make things more interesting. My peppers on May 3 were done in gouache – a medium that I haven’t used for many years, but nevertheless had in a drawer and enjoyed working with again. May 7 I found myself combining grey scale markers, a dull pencil and watercolours. It’s an odd combination, but I kind of like it and the strange mix of textures. My impulse online pandemic shopping included the Gamblin Reclaimed Earth Colours (how could I NOT buy them – they are limited edition and really pretty!) and for my May 9 painting I wanted to work with the Rust Red. I like the palette I used in this painting and may revisit it again at some point. Sadly it reminded me of Starbuck’s Lemon Raspberry Loaf that I haven’t seen for quite some time. My May 10 ultra green pears were a combination of pigment pen, brush and ink and watercolour. I came very close to not drawing at all on May 16 – somehow life was just overwhelming that day – but instead I experimented with the Procreate app and an Apple Pencil and ended up with this odd chair drawing. I definitely have a lot to learn about this medium – perhaps I will delve further into it at some point. May 17 was the first painting in my series documenting the very short life of the tulips near my front steps that I inadvertently planted in sub-optimal sunlight conditions. I spent more time playing with water colour this month – on the 18 and 20. May 21 is my abstracted rendition of the Alberta Gallery of Art – a building fashioned of large undulating swathes of metal. Can you tell I was reading about Lawren Harris on May 22? More tulips on the 24 and 16 – these were the early days when they were still young and alive (no spoilers – really). I have always loved rendering fabric and I did so with a varying degree of detail on the 25 and 27. May 29 may become a painting – I like the strong line of the profile I referenced from Antonio Pollaiualo’s Portrait of a Lady and the de-emphasis of the details of the face. Back to markers for the last two days of the month mainly because they are quick and fun to use. 

All in all it was a haphazard month, but I made it through and didn’t miss a day. Sometimes I sit down to draw and it feels like such a chore and I wonder what the point is, but I push myself to follow through and just do it. Sometimes on those days I walk away afterwards feeling like all I accomplished was checking a box – only to return the next day and think “hey – that’s kind of cool, I need to do something like that again!” Of course other days I come back and wonder what I was thinking, inclined to crumple it into a ball and forget I had bothered. And none of that matters really. What matters is to come back. Over and over. And eventually what I draw will become something I’m proud of.

Thanks for checking out my work. Come back soon to see how June and July went.

“You have to learn to feel confident about the prospect of failing, because it’s so inevitable.” – Andrea Zittel

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

It may be mid-April, but here are my February daily drawings. March was a very busy month and although I managed to draw or paint every day, I am only starting to get caught up now and I have a ways to go yet.
In February my theme was produce. I played around with quite a few different mediums and there are a few that I quite like and a lot that I have to chalk up to having tried – even if the results are mediocre. Everything counts and I just keep going.

 

 

“All artists are two-headed calves.” – Truman Capote

February 3, 2020

These are the products of my 2020 Daily Art Project in January. In 2020 I am trying to replace one of my drawings with a small painting each week and so far this is going well. If I can manage more than one painting in a week that will be great, but once a week is my starting point.
My theme for the month was basic forms and I chose as my subject matter a set of 6 geometric forms. In most of my drawings and my paintings I was trying to pay attention to the variations of tones within the planes of the shapes – the side of the square that is totally in the shade is not just a flat tone but changes from side to side, etc. I was also trying to avoid lines where I could and instead emphasize the change of tone on either side of the line and trying to keep those lines soft. 
 
For the paintings, I’ve been using Gamblin FastMatte oil paints. Although this line of paint was designed for underpainting, I was attracted to their matte quality and in practice, I like that aspect of them, but I’m not really fond of the texture of the paint itself. Some of the colours are quite stiff out of the tube and I am mixing them with Gamblin Galkyd Gel and Gamsol which helps, but they really do dry quite quickly and often by the time I’m finishing they are no longer that easy to blend into. I intend to continue with them until I either change my mind or run out of the colours I have. We’ll see which comes first. 
I returned to graphite for the last four drawings in January mainly as I found myself short of time and graphite is an old friend that feels comfortable and quick – and I have a variety of options in the graphite family. In order to keep my drawing loose, I like to use a dull pencil – as I did for the drawings on the 28th and 29th. Then for a contrasting experience on the 30th and 31st, I switched to a series of mechanical pencils with different grades of graphite. I find the precision of the fine-points influences me to approach the drawing differently and I quite like the result I achieved. It has made me think it might be fun to spend an entire month on graphite in varying forms to explore the options and results. But not in February…..

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity…..”

February 17, 2019

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury

This is my third year drawing every day. Having finished my first month, I took a bit of time last weekend to compare my drawings from January 2017 and January 2018 beside my January 2019 work. I had hoped to see huge advances in terms of the quality of my drawings – and I do see improvement, but not what I had hoped for. I found a lot of my drawings this past month a bit frustrating. Considering the shapes of the subject matter I was drawing (produce) consists of organic, often roundish shapes, I had thought I could do better to convey volume. It is what it is though. And I did experiment some with mediums which explains the less than stellar results of the drawings for Jan 14 and Jan 24. And there are some that I really like – Jan 9 and Jan 16. I am still going on this project and with a new theme for February I am looking forward to seeing the results.

“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money” – Oscar Wilde

October 17, 2016

Reclaimed Pears, Oct 15, 2016, Oil on Canvas Board, 11" X 14"

Reclaimed Pears, Oct 15, 2016, Oil on Canvas Board, 11″ X 14″

 

Sketchbook Orange, Oct 11, 2016, Graphite & India Ink on Paper, 10.5" X 13.5"

Sketchbook Orange, Oct 11, 2016, Graphite & India Ink on Paper, 10.5″ X 13.5″

Sketchbook Pear, Oct 14, 2016, Charcoal & India Ink on Paper, 10.5" X 13.5"

Sketchbook Pear, Oct 14, 2016, Charcoal & India Ink on Paper, 10.5″ X 13.5″

This week I spent a little time drawing fruit and then painted more fruit on the weekend. I reclaimed a canvas board that I’d previously been playing around with and decided to incorporate what was already there into the new image. I like this idea and may have to try it again soon. It somehow makes it all seem less precious – probably because it’s not a blank canvas that I’m beginning with. And maybe the fact that I’m recycling something that wasn’t really anything to begin with. (if that makes sense) I took a few pictures along the way. Lots of glare on the finished piece – hopefully I can get a better shot of it down the road.

Reclaimed Pears Underway 1

Reclaimed Pears Underway 1

 

Reclaimed Pears Underway 2

Reclaimed Pears Underway 2

“If nothing else is left, one must scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.” – Nadezhda Mandelstam

March 15, 2015

Storm

Storm, Mar 14, 2015, Oil on Canvas board, 6″ X 6″

So I’ve started working on a commission based on A Crane Called Frank. And I thought I would play with some of the oil mediums to see if they might be something I want to use in this new painting (which I’m calling Francine at the moment). I tried out Galkyd, Neo Megilp and Galkyd Gel. And in the process this small storm ensued.

And here is the beginning of Francine. I’m just building the background now. Chances are very little of this will be visible in the final painting, but we’ll see. I just need to put on a few coats of clear gesso to seal it really well and I will be ready to go.

Francine WIP

Francine WIP, Mar 14, 2015, Mixed Media, 36″ X 24″

Lastly, here are a couple of drawings from this week. One from a figure drawing class that I’m doing – no, she did not have an inordinately large head, I just messed up the scale – and a small drawing I did during the week while thinking about folded paper in preparation to begin Francine.

Model

Model, Mar 12, 2015, Charcoal on Paper, 18″ X 24″

Kids Game

Kid’s Game, Mar 10, 2015, Pen on Paper, 8″ X 10″

 

 

 

“Art is art-as-art. Everything else is everything else.” – Ad Reinhardt

February 16, 2015

Quote courtesy of Robert Genn’s website Art Quotes. Painting courtesy of my long weekend, drawings courtesy of my determination to draw every day – even if it’s nothing to be proud of…

2015 02 15 Buttons Three

Corkscrew

Corkscrew, Feb 12, 2015, Pen on Paper, 10″ X 8″

Pallette Knives

Pallette Knives, Feb 9, 2015, Charcoal on Newsprint, 20″ X 24″

College Artwork

February 25, 2014

Having had no opportunity to paint this past week I have no new artwork for my blog. Instead I am posting artwork that I created in college while I was studying graphic design. After storing these pieces for years, moving from one place to another, about ten years ago I decided to photograph the ones I liked and to toss the originals. Sadly, what I thought were good photos at the time were very mediocre. And some of the dates are best guesses – as are most of the dimensions. Most of these were done as specific assignments – some quite obviously. Other’s not so much. Clearly I preferred some mediums far more than others. And maybe one day I’ll gain some rudimentary skill with watercolour – or not. And that’s ok. It is what it is.

Benetton Wasteland

Benetton Wasteland, Apr 1990, Watercolour & Gouache on Illustration Board, 24″ X 19″

Too Late Already

Too Late Already, Mar 1990, Silkscreen on Mayfair, 20″ X 24″

 

Single Family

Single Family, Feb 1990, Tech Pen on Illustration Board, 26″ X 12″

Not the Red Planet

Not the Red Planet, Nov 1989, Watercolour & Gouache on Mayfair, 14″ X 14″

Timeless

Timeless, Oct 1989, Tech Pen on Illustration Board, 24″ X 20″

The Ultimate Driving Experience

The Ultimate Driving Experience, Oct 1989, Coloured Pencil, Marker & Inkjet on Paper, 8.5″ X 11″

Eleventh Hour

Eleventh Hour, Mar 1989, Gouache on Mayfair, 15″ X 18″

Fashion Bits

Fashion Bits, Feb 1989, Gouache on Mayfair, 8″ X 16″

Pentax K-1000

Pentax K-1000, Jan 1989, Tech Pen & Ink on Illustration Board, 18″ X 13.5″

 

Life Drawing Sketch

Life Drawing Sketch, Dec 1988, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 20″ X 24″

 

Life Drawing Sketch

Life Drawing Sketch, Nov 1988, Vine Charcoal on Cartridge Paper, 20″ X 24″

 

Life Drawing Sketch

Life Drawing Sketch, Oct 1988, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 24″ X 20″

Life Drawing Sketch

Life Drawing Sketch, Sep 1988, Vine Charcoal on Newsprint, 24″ X 20″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less talk, more art.

February 16, 2014

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”

– Stella Adler

One Half Valentine's Day

One Half Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, 2014, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

Empty Pots

Empty Pots, Nov 1988, Charcoal on Paper, 20″ X 24″

Great Tights

Great Tights, Jun 1988, Graphite on Paper Grid Drawing, 30″ X 38″

Everything in Front of You

Everything in Front of You, Feb 9, 1988, Ink on Paper, 20″ X 24″

Green Bananas

Green Bananas, 1985, Charcoal and Conte on Construction Paper, 11″ X 8.5″