Monday, July 31, 2006

Playing Field at Dusk

4.5" x 3.5" (11.4 x 8.9 cm)

Last week I cycled past a field at dusk. This small painting is what I remember of that familiar prairie scene.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Reservoir, New Mexico
4.64" x 7" (11.8 x 17.8 cm)

This rather romantic painting was inspired by a night spent camping by a reservoir in New Mexico. It was a dramatic night of wild thunder storms.

The painting, however, owes more to art, particularly expressionist or abstract art, than to the actual scene.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

ink and oil pastel
12" x 13.4" (30.5 x 34.0 cm)

The body is a little odd in this drawing: the model was sitting on an angle, so that her hip was pushed toward her rib cage, and she had sunk into the cushions, obscuring part of her extended leg.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

ink and oil pastel
9.5" x 12" (24.1 x 30.5 cm)

A heater is a necessary piece of studio equipment when working with a model, particularly when working in a basement studio in the winter in Winnipeg. The parabolic heater in this drawing is old, but excellent.

The pastel in the drawing has been blended in some areas using paint thinner.

The model for this drawing was a young contemporary dancer.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Throughout the summer I may repost the occasional drawing, particularly if it relates to the work of another artist. Today, Frankenthaler and Hairspray, originally posted on March 13, 2006.
Frankenthaler and Hairspray
9" x 12" (23 cm x 30.5 cm)

This painting was originally posted on March 13, 2006.

Helen Frankenthaler is a well-known contemporary American abstract artist. She began her career in the early 1950's, following the example set by Jackson Pollock.

One of her paintings is posted below.
Viewpoint II
acrylic on canvas
81.25" x 94.5" (207.38 x 240.03)

1979. Helen Frankenthaler (1928 - ).
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.

This may or may not be typical of Helen Frankenthaler. She has produced quite a variety of paintings, although all, except for some early work, abstract.

This might be a difficult piece to look at every day; but then, perhaps this is what Helen Frankenthaler intended.

Friday, July 21, 2006

graphite, ink, and charcoal
12.33" x 7.6" (31.33 x 19.33 cm)

T. is an accomplished musician, has toured extensively, and has several CDs to her credit.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lamp and Tall Girl

graphite, ink, and gouache
10.5" x 8.86" (26.7 x 22.5 cm)

This girl seems to have rather long legs.

Those two strange white things by the model's head are straps used to support the model's arms in certain poses. They are hanging from some piping which is not visible in the drawing.

Francis Bacon, the British artist, loved incongruous visual devices similar to the two straps in this drawing. He would often include a light bulb, a daub of paint, or some other odd element in his paintings. These help to emphasize the incongruity of things within the painting, and from there, for Francis Bacon, the incongruity of life itself.

Below are two examples of Bacon's work, taken from an excellent site on Bacon, the Francis Bacon Image Gallery.

Sleeping Figure
oil on canvas

1974. Francis Bacon (1909-1992).

oil on canvas

March, 1985. Francis Bacon (1909-1992).

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Portrait of a Thin Woman

ink and oil
11" x 13" (28 x 33 cm)

A quick, crude study. The drawing was done in ink on unstretched, white watercolour paper; then colour was added quickly to the drawing. Almost a paint by numbers approach to painting.

The model is in the music business, although not as a musician.

Friday, July 14, 2006


ink and oil
11"x 15" (28 x 38.1 cm)

The model is a musician, a singer, who has just moved from Winnipeg to a small town in southern Manitoba.

The view point is quite low in this painting, just above the model's feet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blue Sky
ink and pastel
6" x 9" (22.7 cm x 15.1 cm)

The Japanese masters of ukiyo-e (coloured prints) used to produce landscape prints in series, such as Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mt.Fuji or Hiroshige's Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido. This drawing could perhaps be another in a series based on my neighbour's house, One Hundred and One Views of Brad's House.
colour woodcut
7.87" x 11.02" (20 x 28 cm)

No.27 from The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, Kyoka edition, late 1830s. Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858).

The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige is an excellent site on Hiroshige and his prints.
In the Totomi Mountains
colour woodcut
10" x 15" (25.4 x 38.1 cm)

No.19 from Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, c. 1826-33. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

B. D.
ink and gouache
11" x 15" (27.9 x 38.1 cm)

One of everyone's favorite models, the always elegant B. is now studying in Toronto.
The drawing (or the anatomy) is perhaps suspect in this painting. It does not seem to matter, though; nor does the subdued colouring. B. seems to come through regardless.

Friday, July 07, 2006

D. Feet First
graphite, ink, charcoal, and oil pastel
13.375" x 17" (34.0 x 43.2 cm)

Ball player and traveller, D. has been the subject of a number drawings, the last being Untitled by Johanna Toth on Thursday, June 29.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

St.Ives Cornwall, Composition 1934

oil on canvas on board
21.5" x 25.625" (54.6 x 65.1 cm)

1934. Ben Nicholson (1894-1982). Saint Louis Art Musuem.

For some unknown reason, last week some of William Nicholson's work was posted. This week, for the same reason, some of his son's work is posted.

One of the nice things about abstract art is that it can be seen as representing any number of different things, or none at all. St.Ives Cornwall, or an abstract design, take your pick.

Some, if not most, abstract artists would probably prefer that you see their work as having a profound meaning, rather than, say, as a nice pattern for a rug design. Be that as it may, and somewhat to my surprise, I find myself liking Ben Nicholson.
Storm over Paros
10.9" x 12.7" (27.8 x 32.3 cm)

1965. Ben Nicholson (1894-1982). Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Nicholson seems to have done similar graphic work throughout his life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

graphite and oil pastel
10.5" x 12.6" (26.7 x 32.0 cm)

This is a bit of an odd drawing. The head and body seem to be done almost in two different styles. The body is drawn in a straightforward, if slightly decorative way, while the head is a slight caricature in a style that suggests a poor Schiele copyist.

In any case, François assures us that he is much better looking than this drawing would indicate.

Below are two Egon Schiele drawings for comparison.
Self-portrait with Female Nude
graphite on paper
11.3" x 17.2" (28.7 x 44.2 cm)

c.1917-1918. Egon Schiele (1890-1918). National Gallery of Canada.

There is one biographical note on Schiele that it is hard to forget. He died during an influenza epidemic on October 31, 1918, three days after the death of his pregnant wife, Edith.
Reclining Woman with Green Stockings
gouache and black crayon on paper
11.625 " x 18.125" (29.4 x 46 cm)

1917. Egon Schiele (1890-1918).

Schiele's art has a continuing influence. You need look no further than contemporary American artist, Kent Williams, to see that Schiele has not entirely left us.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Woman with Umbrella
ink, graphite, and watercolour
10" x 13.9" (25.4 x 35.2 cm)

June, 2006. Johanna Toth.

This is another of Johanna Toth's wonderful nudes. I was working beside Johanna when she did this rather elegant drawing.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

graphite,ink, and charcoal
13.5" x 17" (34.3 cm x 43 cm)

What is she thinking?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Marino Marini Sculpture
ink and graphite
4.75" x 7" (12.5 cm x 18 cm )

This drawing was originally posted on Monday, February 13, 2006.

The drawing was done on a cool January day in the Walker Art Center's sculpture garden in Minneapolis. It is a simple drawing which I quite like. It reminds me of Marini, the Walker, and winter.

Below are three photographs: one the sculpture itself, one of the sculpture on site in the garden, and another of a similar Marini sculpture

70.625" x 45.5" x 32" (179.4 x 115.6 x 81.3 cm)

1949. Marino Marini (1901-1980). Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Marini produced a lot of ecstatic equestrian figures such as this, where the horse and rider are witness to a miracle. Something about the work, however, suggests that Marini did not entirely trust miracles.


1949. Marino Marini (1901-1980).

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Only the corner of the bench, where I was sitting when I did the drawing of the sculpture, is visible in this photograph of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in winter.

There's another of Marini's equestrian sculpture below.

59.125" x 39" x 28" (150.2 x 99.1 x 71.1 cm)

1952. Marino Marini. Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas.

This is one of Marini's typical miracles.