“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…

“There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt.” – Richard Feynman

November 1, 2016

Reclaimed Lemons, Oct 29, 2016, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 14" X 14"

Reclaimed Lemons, Oct 29, 2016, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 14″ X 14″

 

Circle Composition Four WIP, Oct 29, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6" X 6"

Circle Composition Four WIP, Oct 29, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

 

Circle Composition Seven WIP, Oct 29, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6" X 6"

Circle Composition Seven WIP, Oct 29, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

Another reclaimed canvas – this time with lemons. Again, not that pleased, but it is what it is. I played a bit more with my 6″ X 6″ canvases too. And I think those went a little better…

“The life so short, the craft so long to learn.” – Geoffrey Chaucer

September 12, 2016

I’ve added another layer to each of these pieces – all being a mix of Paynes Grey and cold wax medium. And these really are about layers. This is all about playing with the cold wax medium and transparency and I am trying not to get attached to anything along the way. The trick is going to be deciding when to stop.

When I looked at this one again, it seemed to have lost a lot of it’s brightness and I found it quite dull – so I decided to add a lighter colour and pull out the grid pattern a little more with a bit of Naples Yellow mixed with cold wax medium. And I dulled down a few areas with Paynes Grey mixed with cold wax medium. Looking at it beside last week’s version I’m not sure it’s an improvement. Too late now though. And I still don’t know which way is up (with the painting that is). I think today’s orientation emphasizes the cross that is emerging a little too much. I will try something else with it next week and see what happens.

 

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” – Oscar Wilde

September 6, 2016

Abstract oil painting

Circle Composition Five WIP, Sep 4, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

Abstract oil painting

Circle Composition Five WIP, Sep 4, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

Abstract oil painting

Circle Composition Five WIP, Sep 4, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

Abstract oil painting

Untitled WIP, Sep 4, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 6″ X 6″

This week I decided to play some more with cold wax medium and created a first layer on two 6″ canvases, and added a layer to another two 6″ canvases to repurpose them in a new direction. I don’t think any of these are finished though.

“To me, beauty appears when one feels deeply, and art is a by-product of an act of total attention.” – Dorothea Lange

Oil painting in progress of a two lemons in a vase

Two Lemons WIP, Aug 21, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 30″ X 40″

 

Oil painting in progress of abstracted books lying open

Open Books WIP, Aug 21, 2016, Oil & Wax on Birch Panel, 12″ X 16″

 

August 19

August 19

Three images this week. The glass of my lemon vase slowly develops, open books gain some definition and I manage one of my three drawings for the week. And ‘manage’ is a term I use loosely… It’s been an odd week though – hopefully this one is better.

“No artist tolerates reality.” Friedrich Nietzsche

August 15, 2016

Oil painting in progress of two lemons in a glass vase

Two Lemons WIP, Aug 13, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 30″ X 40″

 

This painting slowly inches along while my weekly drawing challenge has become a quest to find a medium that I like using with this TerraSkin sketchpad I’m using. The paper itself is made from stone and can handle pretty much any medium, but they behave differently than on conventional paper. I would be happy if I could find something I could tolerate. Perhaps this week will be better than the last.