Saturday, March 28, 2015

strange encounter

Drawn from life at a Keyhole Session in Toronto, using a copic brush pen, a china marker, and several other pens. This drawing took about 45 minutes, which obviously wasn't enough.

There is nothing quite so difficult to draw as the intersection of multiple human bodies.





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Plan B



"I've always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself." So said Fernando Pessoa, one of the 20th century's most awkward writers. Also one of the most easily quoted.

He used a thousand different voices to say one thing, and that thing is about human loneliness. Many would prefer to be a prostitute than to be alone.


He said it in The Book of Disquiet, chapter 128. He goes on "I've always rejected being understood. To be understood is to prostitute oneself. I prefer to be taken seriously for what I'm not, remaining humanly unknown, with naturalness and all due respect. Nothing would bother me more than if they found me strange at the office. I like to revel in the irony that they don't find me at all strange. I like the hair shirt of being regarded by them as their equal."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Chandos off Trafalgar Square



Tarragon wrote me to say:

“I took a short holiday and went to the National Gallery to see Inventing Impressionism. It was a good show, except one has to like Renoir's portraits to think so. I really like Renoir. He's an acquired taste I reckon, but presents such a lovely parallel universe I find hard to resist. So I don't try.

Except I wasn't planing to see the show at all, it was news to me. I simply stopped in on my way to the the Sargent show at the Portrait Gallery. It was not the greatest Sargent show that you could imagine. But some truly lovely pieces. It is a bit heart wrenching how good he is. So it was a pleasure. 


In between I had lunch at Chandos, off Trafalgar Square, from whence I drew the attached. Such a lovely pub in the middle of the afternoon.”

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.



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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."

~Thoreau

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.


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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.

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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.