“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” – Neil Gaiman

June 5, 2017

My poor neglected blog. Fortunately, I have done a little painting in the last month – the results are below. I’ve been playing around a bit and am looking forward to more experimentation with dark outlines.


Vase Family, Apr 1, 2017, Oil Stick on Canvas Board, 9″ X 12″


Banana Shoes, May 21, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

Pears in a Storm, Jun 3, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

Single Lonely Pear, Jun 3, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 6″ X 8″

My drawing a day project is going reasonably well – another 31 days completed.

For June, I’ve decided on two rules:

  1. All of my drawings will consist of a few items selected from 21 still life props with the addition fresh produce I have on hand if I choose to add it. I’ve photographed all the props together to better illustrate how distant the resemblances in my drawings are to their real-life counterparts.
  2. Any medium goes – as much variety as possible – it’s about being experimental and knowing that some (or most?) of these drawings will be atrocious! This is my chance to play with all of those art supplies I was so enamoured with when I saw them in the store but I really have no idea how to use.

Still Life Props, Jun 2017

And a few things on my mind lately:

  1. This post “Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think”
  2. Wondering how much difference it would really make if I woke up at the same time every day. It would be a bit of an undertaking to conduct a proper experiment, but I might do it.
  3. This post. “What if you didn’t need money or attention?”
  4. Lastly: “Part of a cure”


“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

May 1, 2017
Another month of daily drawing complete and another month of very little painting. My personal favourite was my folding chair from April 2nd. Here they are all together:
Other ideas on my mind lately:
1. From Malcolm Gladwell in the podcast Conversations with Tyler: “There can be something lovely about mediocrity.” I think this appeals to me now especially as I have such varying degrees of satisfaction with my daily drawings.
3. The concept of deliberately using mental models to understand the world around us, solve problems and make decisions.

“I’m only trying to do what I can’t do.” – Lucian Freud

April 9, 2017

Three months complete in my 2017 Drawing A Day Challenge! Here is all of March in one place:

Thoughts so far:

  1. My drawings take me anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to do and although I often don’t feel I have the time, I have continued to make it happen. Generally once I start drawing I stop thinking about time – generally. There are many days I struggle to get into it. And it shows in the quality of the drawing.
  2. What bothers me most about my drawings is the lack of accuracy. For April I will focus on improving on this.  I will work with diluted India ink at first and then darken up final lines when I feel I have them where they should be.

Aside from drawing, here’s what’s caught my attention lately:

  1. From my 14-year-old daughter: “Based on what I was exposed to as a kid, I had the impression that getting caught in quicksand and catching on fire were much more common problems for adults.” While I’m glad we over-prepared her for common adult dilemmas, I’m still trying to figure out where this came from.
  2. From Tim Ferris’s interview with Mr. Money Mustache on his podcast: when considering a purchase, instead of asking yourself it it will add to your life, instead ask if it will remove a negative from your life as that is a better indicator of how pleased you will be with the purchase in the long term.
  3. From The Chainsmokers and Coldplay: Something Just Like This

“Draw lines, young man, many lines, from memory or from nature; it is in this way that you will become a good artist.” – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

February 7, 2017

Thirty one days of pencil drawings complete! I think it went well. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had thought that I’d run out of things to draw or things that I felt like drawing, but that didn’t happen. Even if sometimes my drawings were of very simple things like spheres or apples. It’s all practice.
For February, I’m trying something a little different. My medium is black fine tipped pen and grey markers. And I am drawing from photographs or other printed images. The switch to pens is to push myself to draw more confident lines. The grey markers is to help develop a better sense of value. February is looking like a busy month for me too and I am hopeful that marker will be quicker than my pencil drawings were. So far it’s been a struggle, but it’s still early.

“To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes.” – Akira Kurosawa

Nov 22, 2015

Another painting of white fabric. I know, how edgy and daring can I get? I had meant to do a close up of my subject matter from the last two images, but I couldn’t find my original photo, so I started fresh. I chose an image with more contrast this time.  And I painted on panel instead of canvas. I prefer stretched canvas, but didn’t mind the hard texture of the panel on this one. I’m not thrilled with the visibility of the brush strokes of the gesso layer – next time I will definitely sand my panel smooth before I start. Overall, I’m not unhappy with this image. I like it better today than I did last night when I called it finished.

Drapery 3

Drapery 3

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

April 26, 2015

For a change I decided to paint something from life rather than from photo reference. And this is what I ended up with. I don’t love it – I’m not sure I even like it. But it’s all part of the process.

Lone Orange

Lone Orange, Apr 25, 2015, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

And just for fun, I took a pano of my studio this afternoon:

Studio Apr 26, 2015