Sketchbook Selection – May 2018

The Pearce Park is just up the road from where I live and it affords a limited access (the area is a bit unstable because of erosion) to the bluffs along the Lake Erie shoreline. The first sketch below was done last autumn and depicts the view from the outlook path over the cliffs. I was looking at the sketch a couple of days ago and in hindsight found it a little “flat” so I added some colour. The second drawing is a rendering of crown imperials that are growing in the garden at the side of my house. Crown imperials bloom around the same time as trilliums so it’s usually a solid sign that spring (thankfully) has definitely arrived.


Bits and Bobs 6

I’m continuing to fit in little projects between larger pieces. Here’s another piece in the series I’m slowly building that’s based on doodles. It’s acrylic on 8″ x  8″ gessoed hardboard panel.
Dusting of Snow

Below is a study of autumn milkweed rendered in acrylic on rag paper. A subscriber to my other blog – – asked why I use photos with my posts instead of drawings or paintings. To be honest I never really considered it simply because my own photographs and words have always been the standard I applied when posting there. The study below is a little step into exploring possible methods of creating images to use with text on that blog.

Waiting on the Wind

Bits and Bobs 5

I’ve been busy putting together a small show that’s currently running at a local performing arts centre. Here are 3 new pieces that I included in the exhibit. They’re all acrylic on 6′ x 6′ gallery wrapped canvas.

Red Peak


Foggy Corner

It’s a little hard to get an idea of the scale of these small canvases. I refrained from cropping this photo in order to provide reference points to better illustrate the sizes.


Bits and Bobs – 4

This is another piece executed on a 6″ by 6″ birch plywood panel. I didn’t cropped the jpeg closely as I wanted to include a shadow that shows a bit of the depth created by the 1.5″ basswood frame the board is mounted on. I sealed the panel with 2 coats of matt medium to help prevent pigment bleeding as the composition is very busy and I wanted to reduce any opportunities to add more complexities to image.

Ladybug alights

Storm Above The Drive Sheds- Final Piece

Back in August of 2012 I began a series based on a photo I took of a storm coming in over the fields. I worked on the series on and off and I just realized I never posted the final piece. I have 2 pictures- one taken in my work room and one that features the triptych and large canvas being used as part of stage dressing for a community theatre production. The set was a bit of a throw together for a number of reasons and with little time to work with I used what I had at hand. The photos aren’t the best quality but you can get a bit of an idea what I was going for with the 2 pieces hung together. I would have liked to include the  drawing as part of the stage dressing but unfortunately it’s not yet framed.

On the easel


On the stage


Killarney Trees

I just returned from a trip to Killarney Provincial Park. It’s really lovely there this time of year. This was my second trip to the park and I wanted to do as much hiking as I could. I managed to complete 5 trails in 3 days. I tried to take as many pictures as I could whilst there to work from later. I haven’t started working with any from this trip but I’ve up loaded a scan of a drawing I completed from a photo I took the last time I was there. I’m currently painting a street-scape as well as a portrait but as soon as I’m finished with those I’m looking forward to sourcing the pictures from both of my trips.   This drawing was made using pigment ink liners on a heavy cold press water colour paper. The pigment ink and texture of the paper create an effect that’s reminiscent of an etched print. Killarney Trees

Untitled Series – Second Interpretation

I’ve almost finished the second stage of interpreting the storm image. The triptych is completed but I haven’t varnished it yet. I like to leave a painting, or as in this case 3 paintings, hanging for a little while to see if I think it/they need any adjustments. This is a habit that can backfire as sometimes it leads to over working a painting but I don’t want to slap on the varnish and find a week later that I have to remove it to fix some little detail that begins to nag at me.

By dissecting the original image into 3 sections I am attempting to illustrate the speed and strength of our local storms that can change a day, literally in a matter of minutes . Each picture standing alone seems to depict a different environment but when placed together the entirety is realized.  I chose to continue the image over the edges onto the sides of the canvas and they are meant to be hung so that the edges will be visible- alone but still connected to each other. I’ve started the final piece in the series which will be realized on a 5 foot by 4 foot canvas. I’ve used liquid masking ( the destroyer of good brushes so I always use ones that are already just a step away from the trash can) to mark my power lines and horizon to speed things along. The pen and ink is a close detail, the triptych a step back and now the larger canvas will hopefully pull the viewer back even further. The thought is to create the opportunity for the observer to grasp the whole idea. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the concept works on a larger scale.

* As a sort of addendum to the practice of letting pictures hang… I have a study hanging on my wall from 1999 that is signed but it isn’t varnished. I had put it up in my living room to live with it for a bit and see how I felt about it.  I never went back to it and only realized the passage of time when I mentioned it’s incomplete state to a guest and she noted that it had been dated over a decade prior (oops)… I still haven’t varnished the canvas but I’m pretty sure it’s done at this point. Perhaps it’s a case of “the tailor’s son running around with holes in his clothes”.   I’ve included pictures of that study from 1999 (bears) and another from 2007 (portrait) that just never got to the retail stage.  Perhaps as they both were derived from resource images found in magazines, they never made the transition from studies to finished pieces in my own perception, the end result speaking more to exploring different techniques than the actual subject matter.

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