31 December 2009


Went for a walk along the river tonight and met a coyote.

Full moon, deep sparkling snow, coloured lights and smell of woodsmoke.
He's moving along, silhouetted against the sky, and when I stop walking he notices me and stops, too.

Head up and alert; we stare at one another.
He ducks his head and paws at the snow.
Head up again for another look, then a hop-skip-jump and he bounds lightly away.

Coyote: the trickster.

Remember your sense of humour.
Keep your eyes and ears open.
Keep an open mind.
Be prepared for sudden twists in your path.
Thus avert danger and, if you're lucky, notice the extraordinary.

Happy New Year!

19 December 2009

brief impressions

Toronto downtown view from Yonge st.

Take in the city for 10 days and then spit it out with ink on rice paper.

09 December 2009

wooed wood would

All right!
What you see here is the result of 5 sheets of 3/4" plywood ripped into strips at the lumber store. The lighter coloured ones have the bevel on one edge, the rest are just straight cuts.

A new beginning.

What the backs of these paintings look like.

It has been snowing for several days and the sparrows are fluttering and twittering in the bushes.

Now we are out of town for a couple of weeks, and then moving house straightaway we're back, so no work here for awhile. Merry Xmas everyone!

08 December 2009

'round and 'round

Another one gets the stitch:

More wood coming in tomorrow, I plan to build quite a few stretchers again.
Got the hang of making glazes without alkyd mediums & am raring to make more paintings!!
Ok, yeah, got a bunch to finish yet too... but now is the time to start some new ones, to keep the cycle going.

30 November 2009

re-enter and re-enter

Another "works in progress" post.
Very productive studio today and I'm feeling good.

city sketch #13

city sketch #17

and these two little guys:

now look like this:

It's funny, I rarely use black paint but today it seems to work. Some of the lines will be buried with colour layers as the work progresses, but right now I'm liking this drawing structure weight of the black. It is a good framework to build on.

26 November 2009

Ecosystems #1 and #5

Fragile Planets

oil on stitched canvas
32 x 64"

One is Always Nearer by Not Keeping Still

oil on stitched canvas
25 x 57"

21 November 2009

time flies...

Another big canvas stitched & stretched. Gesso tomorrow and hopefully begin the underpainting next week.

Re-working an old canvas. 12 x 12"

Remember these?

Now they look like this.
Sometimes a complete overhaul is needed - these have been "in progress" for about a year, I think. Adding the turquoise was a good idea, I'm excited about them again!

14 November 2009


A happy and productive studio day today.

The little 8x10's are progressing. The first colour layer took about a week to dry, not as long as I thought it would take. Still painting with no mediums at all, just pure paint brushed out to create the effects. I am liking this technique quite a lot.

Now I wait another week or so, assuming these colours will dry at a similar rate to the first layer.

And a couple of the big pieces in progress... finally I can see them! It always seems to take so long from beginning to end; sometimes it feels like I am painting with blinders on my eyes for that long middle stretch.


up to here:


up to here:


11 November 2009


So I got this little woodburning kit and look!

These are birch panels, 12x12", with plain linseed oil rubbed into the wood after burn drawing. Not sure how to paint them now, but I do want to add a little colour - maybe just using earth pigments?

The burn drawing goes around the edges, too:

What fun!

10 November 2009

keeping on keeping on

some new city sketches just begun
using only linseed oil to thin the paint here - we'll see how long they take to dry.

and progressions on a few of the big canvases:

08 November 2009

looks like something...

I can see it now!
Yes, it needs more work, but suddenly now this one has a recognizeable form which can be worked with.


I have decided I want to learn more about oil paint - the inherent qualities of the various colours, their drying times, relative transparency and body.

In the following works-in-progress, I first laid down the ground colour using a bit of mineral spirit for quicker drying. Now I'm painting on top using no oil or solvent mediums at all, just purely paint.

Blues seem to move differently from yellows.

And here I started with a fairly opaque underpainting:

It is possible to create some glaze effects with transparent colours, using no oil or solvent medium whatsoever! I am quite excited with this discovery.

A wall full of experiments!

04 November 2009

01 November 2009

death and life

The current incarnation:

...too much, too solid green in the middle bits. Gotta deal with that, plus a few other tweaks...

The stiched "drawing" that had to die:

...but is still visible when viewed from an angle!

The drawing is underneath everything, but appears to float on the surface in the end. Intriguing trick, that.

29 October 2009

studio table

I'll bet if I chopped up my table the resulting "paintings" would sell for a lot more than the stuff I slave over every day, haha!

28 October 2009

my morning face

Stitched the canvas yesterday, stretched it first thing this morning. Took the photo before I was fully awake.
By now it is gesso'd and tomorrow - underpainting!

25 October 2009

The walls...

...are full of works in progress!
Like these:

Feels like I'm finally getting used to working without the *toxic* alkyd medium! The new glazes take a bit longer to dry, but starting with a more complete underpainting helps to balance the slow drying time.

And then there are some very small things, like these:

this one's about 9x12"
I'm thinking it's finished now.

Side view - there's always something around the corner!

And a few new starts. These are all 8x10:

thick paint

thin paint

more thin paint

Got some ideas, wanna try small versions first. Here we go....!