Wednesday, January 14, 2015

From Freeze to Breeze and back to 1996

I haven't been drawing for myself for a few days (no excuses) but feel bad I didn't post. I will return tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime because of the freezing weather we're feeling this week (-31C in the wind) I dug out some sketches I did while on a trip to the islands of Antigua &  Monserrat in '96. 

Enjoy the warmth!



Friday, January 9, 2015

Day 3 No's 2 & 3 Pizza Guy and Speed River - Both Freezing



It's -11C outside, -21C if you factor in the brisk wind, so that would make  it a perfect day to go out and sketch - if you live in Inuvik.  But considering I once use to do exactly that when I worked in Povunituk, today wasn't so bad after all....until I got out there. 

For sketch 3 I decided to clip the sketch book to a piece of foam core, grab my pencil and go sketch the Speed River that flows through Guelph.  I've posed what I got done before my fingers went numb.  Strangely it wasn't my drawing hand but the hand holding the board. Freezing fingers or not, it was a great experience and makes me appreciate all the artist who brave the cold to capture that singular winter beauty.


On the way to the river I sketched this Pizza delivery man having a quick cold smoke before he headed off on a delivery.  It was only a moment but made me wonder why a smoke could be so important to freeze your butt off.  And then I went drawing.  Addictions are addictions. Nothing more can be said.

Day 3 #1 Bird Feeders Outside My Door


First sketch today are the bird feeders outside my door.  Perhaps should be really titled Ginko in snow since I'm fascinated by the patters of the tree.  But then there's the patterns in the snow. So it's just a lot of what I find outside my door today. nothing more.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 2 drawing#3 My (overlooked) Feet

Something often overlooked mainly because I look over them are my feet. When looking for the last thing to draw tonight I was a bit perplexed as to what to draw. So I sat down with Umberto Ecco's book on Beauty looking for a work of art to study.  I was taken by the fine modeling of flesh that David and Ingres managed in their works, only to look over the book and see my feet. So, why not.

Tonight it's not the prettiest feet or the finest modeling, but they are mine and as I said, too often overlooked.

Day 2 #2 Bronze Rabbit Sketches

We have a small bronze rabbit that I bought in Halifax years ago. He sits by a door mostly unnoticed. I decided to sketch him today and found he has rather an evil stare that I'd never noticed.  Not sure if I feel comfortable with him anymore. One never knows what happens in the dark.

However since he reminds me so much of the beautiful statue that sits in a park in St. John's NFL  dedicated to the young girl who lost her life in a boat tragedy, he gets to stick around.

apologies for the terrible colour.

Day 2 of Drawing Challenge Sketch #1 Cat Asleep

 This will probably be my quickest entry.  I barely got started and the phone rang. Stupidly I went to answer and when I got back moments later the cat had shifted.  So this one will stay as the quick doodle of sleeping cat (in my chair of course).


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Challenge Day 1 #3 of 3 Pippa Asleep


Last drawing of the day. Almost didn't but found our dog happily snoozing on my side of the bed.  'Had to be the final sketch of the day.  Ah, a dog's life!  Make good subjects too. 

The picture, I should add, is somewhat unfinished. Just as I stopped the cat hopped up on the bed and curled up nose to nose with the dog. I guess I could have added him too, but that can wait for another day. I'm sure it will be repeated.

Day 1 sketch #2 Variation on a sheep's skull - Alien Bug


I purposely drew this skull vertically.  When I moved it around in my hands I was struck how much it looked like an alien bug.  Perhaps for my last drawing of the day I'll explore this. 


Two done, (at least) one to go.

Drawing Challenge #1 of 3 / 5 days

Clive Powsey invited me into the 3 drawings per day over 5 days challenge.

This is my first.  Early morning wobbly finger sketch of my back entrance from the top of the stairs.  It also responds to my desire to draw the view through the windows of my house.  Not great but a start.

Die Gedanken Sind Frei

'Die Gedanken Sind Frei'




It's the 7th day of January 2015 and news out of Paris is that the offices of a satirical magazine were attacked by gunmen with the result of 12 dead and many injured.  Many of the dead were artists, or cartoonists as some would know them (unfortunately this always carries a connotation of being a lesser artist).  Whether or not I would agree with their work, they had the right to say it, to express their thoughts.  Sadly there are many who would not agree and use violence to make their point.

This image was done many years ago when I was doing lithographs.  Drawn onto stone and pulled in a small edition it was a self portrait of sorts entitled the thoughts are free: 'Die Gedanken Sind Frei."  A protest song with roots in the middle ages that I learned as a child from my mother.

Sadly I question how long, given the advances in technology and the radicalization of the world, that that will remain true.

One can only hope.

more on the song: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Gedanken_sind_frei

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cat in (my) chair. New Year's Day 2015

I've long given over the fight for my studio chair. So much so that he now enjoys a nice comfortable blanket.  That's not to stop him from sitting on drawings or paintings.  Many have been discarded with his signature muddy footprint.  But such is the cost of the comfort of a cat.

New Year's Day Celery

My previous post on the Amaryllis mentioned that I was disastisfied with the the stems - that to me looked like celery stalks.  That led me to study celery stalks.  There is, I found, a beautiful gestural poetry to the poor lowly celery.  The stalks aren't much to speak for, but the foliage is worthy of note.

Regardless, it was fun way to spend a few minutes with the pencil.
 

2015 Window Nr. 1

It's not exactly looking out a window, but this little fellow is a regular every Christmas on the window sill in a small window just off the kitchen.  So he got the first attention of the year.  Always makes me happy to see him (her?).  Kitsch but cute.   Happy New Creative Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last day sketches 2014

I thought I would spend part of the day sketching the tree and some of the decorations around the house. I was interrupted doing the tree which I will return to.  The ribbon and cedar rope over the door was fun. It reminded me of the filigree on the decorations in palaces and castles, albeit just a bit on the simpler end of things.  It's nice just to explore your own world and make notes before they are forgotten. 



Next project will be out each window.

Last day of 2014 Amarylis study


Thought I would sketch some things around the house on this last day of 2014.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The role of gesture

One of the hardest things in teaching life drawing is convincing students of the value of gesture.  Gesture drawing has a lot of confusing meanings and uses, everything from just loosening up to much more.  The more can be defined as establishing the movement or pose of a subject or object as well as the proportions or character of the subject.  Think of it as quickly establishing the verb and subject - the 'what' and the 'who' in the very first moments of a drawing.

What is posted here is an exercise I did with both my Humber and Seneca College students in which we started with a 20 minute study of a skeleton. It was followed by 10, 5, 2 and 1 minute studies of the same skeleton. In each the focus would be to reduce the drawing to the essentials for the allowable time.

In the end the purpose was to show them that regardless of the length of time allowed, the drawings began the same way, but just allowing for more work to be done.

I suggest the same exercise for anyone wishing to understand what is truly essential for the start of any drawing, regardless of subject or time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dream of being a cartoonist

Eons ago I thought of becoming a cartoonist. I even had a strip in a few small newspapers for a while.  But plans change and other stuff took over.  I guess the kids' books have been the later expression of that dream.   Never the less here is a sketch I found from that time.  I did have a beard and I often was stuck for ideas not realizing that they were never very far. Some things never change. Except the beard.  It's gone.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2014

I went today to the Royal with my students for a day of sketching. Didn't get much done other than assisting students, but then, that's what I was there for.  However near the end of the day there was some time to myself. Posted below are a few done for myself.  Wish I had time to return.






Thursday, September 18, 2014

A note to myself on what to remember

I recently found a  note that I wrote to myself following a book I illustrated in 1998.  It was pertinent then and still is now.

I need to glue this to the wall in front of my work area.  Especially find exclusive time.




August 1998

Plan!!!

Find exclusive time

Organize
§  sketches
§  photos
§  pages
§  space
o   Establish characters
§  Location
§  Colour sketches

COMMUNICATE -  don’t hide – admit what you don’t know

Re-Learn your colours – what comes off easily /who can cover who
o   Skin tones
o   Colour in shadow and light (what colour is a shadow)
o   Colours under different moods and illumination
o   Colour harmonies
PREP
o   Paint anything and everything
o   Ask what is the nature of this thing
o   Paint  - mood
§  -texture
§  Personality

KEEP NOTES
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Flora Asleep



My granddaughters  were up this weekend.  Flora at 3 months is just a feeder, sleeper and giggler.  A joy to draw.  Should have done many more. More to come.