Monday, May 29, 2006


graphite, ink, and gouache
11.65" x 8.3" (29.6 cm x 21.1 cm)

The right hand in the drawing looks a little odd. The hand was resting on a raised leg, with the fingers squished together. (The model was actually hiding some gum that he had been chewing.) Part of the awkwardness of the hand is the foreshortening, and part probably the way in which the leg and knee are modelled. In any case it will remain as is.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Below is a portrait by American artist Alice Neel, who, despite a diffficult life, produced many remarkable portraits.

Sherry Speeth

oil on canvas
42.1" x 28.1" (106.9 cm x 71.5 cm)

1964. Alice Neel (1900-1984). Tate Gallery, London.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Snow Dump Road
graphite and pastel
4.75" x 7" (12.1 cm x 17.8 cm)

This road leads to an area where the City of Winnipeg dumps snow removed from streets during the winter.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

River Station
ink and pastel
4.625" x 3.5" (11.7 cm x 8.9 cm)

This small drawing was drawn last fall in Cahors, France, from the medieval Pont Valentré. The buildings in drawing are a small hydroelectric station in Cahors on the Lot river. You can see indications of the dam under the water.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

In the post below is portrait by British artist Frank Auerbach, whose work has a straight forward quality that you can not help but admire.

Head of E.O.W. IV
oil on plywood
23.5" x 22.4" (59.8 cm x 56,8 cm)

1961. Frank Auerbach (1931-). National Galleries of Scotland.
Auerbach made numerous portraits of E.O.W. (his companion Stella West) from the 1950s to the 1970s. He painted her regularly in her home, three evenings a week and always by electric light. The lighting is part of the reason he has used these colours. Also, the monochrome paints were cheaper. The very thick paint is typical of Auerbach's work. The final image is not an accumulation of paint applied over a period of months; instead Auerbach regularly scrapes off all the paint and starts afresh almost daily.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Backyard 2
inkjet print
6" x 6" (15.2 cm x 15.2 xm)

This print is based on Backyard, posted April 14th. Like the original, because of its simplification and distortion it is reminiscent of some art of the 1930's. The American artist Grant Wood comes to mind.

Posted below is Grant Wood's lithograph, March 1941.

March, 1941

9" x 11.875" (22.8 cm x 30.2 cm)

Grant Wood (1891-1942). Cedar Rapids Musuem of Art, Iowa.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Night Bridge

6" x 6" (15.2 cm x 15.2 cm)

An imaginery night scene. For some reason, or no good reason, this bridge only has one lamp post.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

5" x 3.5" (12.7 cm x 8.9 cm)

The birdhouse of the title is in the bottom left corner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Woman with Guitar

graphite, ink, and pastel
11" x 8.125" (27.9 cm x 20.8 cm)

The instructions from the model were not to make her look a day over twenty-five. Thirty-five?

Immediately below is one of my favorite portraits, a self-portrait by Canadian artist Christiane Pflug, done in 1957.It is not technically accomplished , but the honesty and directness of the drawing are very appealing. There is almost a complete lack of artifice, something which, for an artist, is very difficult to achieve.

Self-Portrait (1957)
10.1" x 6.5" (25.6 cm x 16.6 cm)

Christiane Pflug (1936 - 1972)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kenyan Robe
ink, pastel, and charcoal
7" x 9" (17.8 cm x 22.9 cm)

The model used her robe as a backdrop for this pose. The robe is from Kenya, hence the title of the drawing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Woman with Glasses
ink and charcoal
16.875" x 12.5"

I had David Hockney's photo collages in mind before starting these drawings. However, once I began drawing, I realised that I did not have the necessary time to do the number of drawings required to get an effect similar to Hockney's; nor did I necessarily have the inclination, so I settled for what you see.

I am rather indifferent myself to collages, and to this one in particular. Collages usually give you more information than a single drawing or painting, and initially you are stuck by their novelty and inventiveness, but their overall effect is often more diffuse, if not weaker or more confused than a drawing of painting.

One of David Hockney's photo collages is posted below.

Nude, 16 June 1984
photo collage

David Hockney (1937 - )

Hockney has done numerous drawing and painting collages as well as photo collages.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Head Back
graphite and gouache
15" x 10" (38.1 cm x 25.4 cm)

This drawing was done in a rush, and it shows. I do not know quite how I feel about it.

Below, in the previous post, is an example of what can be done with the male nude and watercolour. It is a painting by John Singer Sargent, a man who could paint.
Figure And Pool
13.75" x 21" (34.9 cm x 53.3 cm)

John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). Painted 1917. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Although I do not remember thinking about this painting when I did Looking in Water, posted March 21st, the relation is obvious. I had been thinking more Picasso or Matisse. Picasso, Matisse, and Sargent is an interesting combination. If only my painting had lived up to its influences.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Standing Figure
ink and charcoal
13.5" x 11" (34.3 cm x 27.9 cm)

Is this figure male or female? It is hard to tell. It is the same model who appears in a couple of other posts: Body with Tattoos on May 9th, and Dragon on March 11th.

The shadow is quite odd. It fell on a curtained wall which is not indicated in the drawing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gambetta Monument, Cahors
ink and pastel
4.625" x 3.5" (11.8 cm x 8.9 cm)

This drawing was in an old sketch book which I was about to throw out yesterday. It was done last autumn, on dull day in Cahors, France.

Léon Gambetta, with his arm outstretched, cuts a dashing figure atop his monument. (Although it is not in the drawing, his other arm rests on a cannon. I guess you didn't mess with Léon.)

If you are in Cahors, I would recommend visiting the Musée de la Résistance, a small but interesting musuem.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

11.4" x 7.7" (28.9 cm x 19.5 cm)

This is a young contemporary dancer, who, while sitting for this portrait, was going over in her mind a dance piece that she will be performing next week.

The model, as well as other dance students of the School of the Contemporary Dancers, will be performing in

Dance Reflections
May 18 -21, 2006 : 8 pm
Gas Station Theatre
445 River Ave., Winnipeg

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Body with Tattoos

ink and charcoal
9.9" x 7.3" (25.1 cm x 18.6 cm)

For another look at the tattoos check Dragon, the post of Saturday, March 11.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Night River
oil pastel and oil
4.5" x 7" (11.4 cm x 17.8 cm)

This is the Red River, which runs through Winnipeg, at night, done from memory. It seems though, more like the Red as seen by Whistler than by me. How does that happen? And the painting seems to bear a greater resemblance to the paintings of Whistler and Marquet than to the scene itself. How does that happen?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

11.7" x 8.5" (29.7 cm x 21.6 cm)

This drawing was done on a board prepared with a white acrylic ground. Graphite usually has a darker, blacker look on such grounds.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Night Beach 3

charcoal and pastel
7.35" x 10.8" (19.7 cm x 27.5 cm)

The last of the small night beach drawings.

Below is another night scene I like. This one is by J.W. Morrice, a turn of the century Canadian artist.
Effet de nuit sur la Seine, Paris
oil on canvas
15.2" x 24.2" (38.6 cm x 61.5 cm)

James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924). Painted 1897 - 1898. Musée des beaux-ars de Montréal.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Night Beach 2

7.7" x 7.8" (19.7 cm x 19.8 cm)
charcoal and pastel

This is another night view of the beach at Cape Lookout, Oregon. Again, done from memory.

These night drawings are indebted to Turner and Whistler, but also to various photographers who have photographed these hazy or foggy scenes.

I wish that I had taken some photographs when I was on the beach. It would have been interesting to compare photographs and drawings of same scene. I have the feeling that I would have preferred the photographs.

Posted below is one of Whistler's Noctures. It is remarkable how close this work is to being completely abstract, even though it was done in the 1870's. For instance,there is not that much separating it from a Mark Rothko abstract of the 1950's or 60's.
Nocture: Westminster Place
oil on canvas
18.5" x 24.5" (47 cm x 62.3 cm)

James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903). Painted in the 1870's. John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia.

Untitled 1968

Mark Rothko (1903 - 1970)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Night Beach

charcoal and pastel
7.8" x 7.8" (19.9 cm x 19.9 cm)

This is one of several drawings done from memory of an Oregon beach at night. The beach was probably at Cape Lookout State Park. It was a foggy night. Everything was indistinct. The view is from the beach, looking inland towards a sand ridge and tall, spare pines.

The drawing, like many other night scenes, suffers from romanticism. The shapes may have been blurred, but the night was, no doubt much brighter.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Overcast Night

charcoal and conté
6.9" x 4.4" (17.6 cm x 11.2 cm)

I am not sure of this drawing. It looks a little facile, like a magazine illustration from the 1930's, 40's, or 50's.
There have been many great night scenes depicted in art: Whistler, Hopper, Georges de la Tour, Georges Rouault, and many others. One of my favorites is The Pont Neuf At Night by Albert Marquet. It is posted below. (The reproduction is not the best.)
The Pont Neuf At Night
oil on canvas
32" x 39.125" (81 cm x 100cm)

Albert Marquet. Painted 1938. Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris.