Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The shadow over the lane

Walking back along the sandy track from the old Tudor manor, I was struck by the deep shadows and the gables of the house at the corner. Beyond the trees, the farmer's field was full of horses, but I didn't put them in the drawing.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

vision of youth

An very old self-portrait, drawn from a mirror with a china marker on textured paper. It was a cold day, and I was bundled up. And as you can see, I took the easy way out when it came to depicting my drawing hand.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Young Beauty Combs Her Hair

I think a problem in making these colour versions is the seemingly endless number of options. Limitations of medium or time or space are useful to many artists because they help in the decision making process. It can be very tiring.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Set of Coffee Bowls

Two thrown and constructed coffee bowls. 9 or 10 cm x 12 cm in diameter.
Made with a black clay/crank mix with porcelain.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Sunday Bridge

"An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours' walking will carry me to a as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the king of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never becomes quite familiar to you."


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Girls Are Alright.

With a mind to the difficulty of clearing woodblocks, now and then I draw white on black.
This is a picture of a wedding day between two women in 1880s New York.
Quickly drawn.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The New Relative

He was being very quiet and cute and only started to cry when I was about to leave... Or did I leave around when he started to cry. I don't remember which.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Along the Arno

A view of the north bank of the Arno, the Lungardo Corsini, painted from the southern embankment. On a warm October day, I sat down and painted this.

It's a bit unusual a choice of subject for me. I like buildings, but not usually this kind of late Renaissance and Baroque architecture, where so much of the effect relies on monumentality and repetition. Who wants to draw fifty-plus windows? Apparently I did.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

jeans and a sweater

An old drawing, done on toned paper from life. It probably took about 40 minutes, although something obviously went wrong with one of the hands.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

those lines

Here's one I particularly like. It has just the right contrast between emptiness and detail to make me put it in the favourites folder.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

sight of you

A drawing of Dan, done from life in about 5 minutes. I liked the way this turned out.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A portrait of the Toronto artist and designer, nom-de-guerre Varethane, whose long-running webcomic, Chirault, will soon be getting its first book.

This was drawn from life in probably around 20 minutes, using a pigma micron. I added the colour later. The lunch box in front of her was full of art supplies, but I didn't get around to drawing those.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

the walls of Florence

On a pleasant day in October I sat down on the via del Monte del Croce in Florence and made this picture. It was, as often at that time of year, a damp day, but the oncoming winter had not yet sucked the colour from the trees.

On the top right, you can see the medieval wall of Florence running down from the Belvedere heights.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Drawn from life, during a class at the University of Toronto on early medieval Italy, with a china marker.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa Maria degli Angeli

One of a series of very small etchings, based on quick sketches I made while cycling in Europe. This image is about an inch tall.

I sketched out this view while on the  (very short) ride between Perugia and Assisi, of Saint Francis fame. The church you can see is Santa Maria degli Angeli, a huge late Renaissance pile that contains within it the tiny church which sheltered Saint Francis in the early days of the Franciscan order.

The image is an etching, which is a form of hand printmaking in which acid is used to burn a drawing into a metal plate, which is then inked and transferred to paper using a hand-cranked press. It's a tricky process, but has the virtue of producing multiple original works. This one is number five in a final set of fifty.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two Porcelain Cups

Tarragon has been channeling the teahouse aesthetic:

Black slip on the one on the left.
Both approximately 6cm high, 8cm wide and the foot 4cm across.