Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reading a book after dinner

The model is looking at my previous picture, but I'm sure she would like to get back to her book.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Casa Colonica in Settignano

An enormous example of a casa colonica in Settignano, Tuscany. The traditional farmhouses of Tuscany, each one unique, are well suited to their environment. I made this picture in May, probably the greenest month of the year in the region. By August things are much hotter and browner, and the thick stone walls keep out the heat.

The size, on the other hand, comes down to two factors. First, that agrarian and domestic spaces were typically conflated in these old farms: the livestock might share the house with the peasants - although not, of course, the same room. Second, many generations of a family often lived together. It doesn't take too many children and grandchildren to fill even a house as big as this one.

Similar structures can be found in much of the Mediterranean basin; their antecedent go back to medieval times.

The picture was made with watercolour and pencil.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013


Musicians of the Toronto based group Scaramouche, playing at Victoria College.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Closing the shutters

This drawing is a good example of the principle that the design of a picture can be far removed from its medium, e.g. oil paint, charcoal, etc. Which may seem like an obvious point, but in fact we tend to associate certain approaches composition very strongly with their original format. The waist to head portrait, exemplified by the Mona Lisa, is very much an artefact of European oil painting, and when we see it in other media, like photography, we are often reminded of its origins. Frequently, the photographer deliberately reminds us.

In this case, we have a picture whose composition is a product of Tarragon's recent engagement with Japanese art of the 19th century. And yet, it was made on an Ipad, and is as distant from the complex handwork of a woodblock print as can be imagined.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Sometimes the most important thing about a drawing is knowing when to stop:

This picture appeared in a show of life drawings by the Toronto based sketching group the Collective at the Ben Navaee gallery in July of 2013.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Protege moi... what it said on her ribcage. There were other tattoos, but I just don't draw that fast.

It was done from life with a brush ben and crayons.