Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Man with a Beard
graphite, ink, charcoal, and pastel
15.2 x 22.9 cm (6" x 9")

The pose looks a little tortured. It lasted forty minutes. However, the model, a young actor, was fine.

Monday, February 26, 2007


graphite, ink, and watercolour
30.5 x 22.9 cm (12" x 9")

After I finished the drawing for this portrait, without thinking I began applying colour. Originally, I intended on doing a monochromatic gouache, but because of my impatience, or lack of forethought, I found myself with a watercolour before I realized it. (Of course, it could have been transformed into a gouache at any point. For myself, though, I find that gouaches proceed much better if done on a toned paper, and I hadn't toned this paper.)

As an experiment I decided to limit myself to three colours plus black. I'm not crazy about the result. It seems a little too washed out.

The hand appears to have no thumb. I actually drew one, and painted it, but somehow, as the painting proceeded, it got washed away.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Red River, St. Norbert
16.5 x 19.8 cm (6.5" x 7.75")

A typical winter scene. This is the Red River just north of Winnipeg, in St. Norbert. In summer, this location is a favourite of fisherman.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bushes, Crescent Drive
16.5 x 19.8 cm (6.5" x 7.75")

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ink and charcoal
15.2 x 22.9 cm (6" x 9")

I don't do much of this sort of thing. I get easily bored with anything requiring a lot of detail.

To interest myself in doing a cityscape, something which usually involves a lot of detail, I decided to do one within ten minutes. In other words, so fast that I wouldn't have time to become bored.

The plan worked, although in the end it took twenty minutes, not ten.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

River Bend
16.5 x 19.8 cm (6.5" x 7.75")

Even though I painted this scene, I have difficulty telling just what's what.

Monday, February 19, 2007

For any Anselm Kiefer enthusiasts, Kiefer has a new show in London. The BBC's culture magazine, Collective, has a video interview with Kiefer, plus a look at the show.
graphite, ink, watercolour, gouache, and conté
22.9 x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")

The title, of course, refers to the dominant colour, grey.

This painting developed somewhat accidentally. It was originally intended to be a gouache. However, once I had begun I discovered that I didn't have any gouache. The figure ended up being painted with a mixture of watercolour and white conté, blended both with a brush and a finger. The highlights were added with conté, and some definition was provided by an ink outline. The background was later added with gouache over black conté.

As the saying goes, 'whatever works', and despite the crudeness of some of the effects, I rather like the overall result.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Early Evening, Rowing Club
16.5 x 19.8 cm (6.5" x 7.75")

Another painting done from a photograph. Done on a dark ground (raw umber), working from dark to light.

The district where I live is behind the rowing club.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sunset, Lyndale Drive
10.2 x 15.2 cm (4" x 6")

It seems to me that once in your life you need to paint some thing like this. Once is enough.

From a photograph.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Young Man, Seated

charcoal and conté
22.9 x 15.2 cm (9" x 6")

A casual drawing without much concern for detail.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Spruce Trees
10.5 x 15.2 cm (4" x 6")

The wilderness in the city. This location is a block from where I live, in the heart of the city.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Esplanade Riel

15.2 x 10.2 cm (6" x 4")

The Esplanade Riel is a foot bridge across the Red River, linking Winnipeg and St. Boniface. It has the flashy look of many contemporary bridges.

There always seems to be a gap between avant-garde design and popular taste. In Winnipeg, this gap has been bridged, so to speak, by putting a burger joint in the middle of our fancy new bridge. Nothing like a burger and fries to help you keep your feet on the bridge, and prevent you from being swept away by avant-garde design.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Evening, Red River
10.2 x 15.2 cm (4" x 6")

A quiet winter night on the Red.

On the right hand side there is a path running alongside the river, which is a favourite route of cyclists, summer and winter.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Stuck in the past? Then La Tribune de l'Art is for you. It's an excellent resource for, as it says:" l'actualité de l'histoire de l'art occidental du Moyen-Age au 19e siècle".

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A great general resource for everything in arts, literature, culture, and politics is Arts & Letters Daily.
Drifting Snow, Floodway
16.5 x 19.8 cm (6.5" x 7.8")

This is a view of the approach to the Courchaine Bridge across the Red River, south of Winnipeg. The bridge is actually part of a damn used to control the flow of the river. In the spring the river is partially diverted through the Red River Diversion (or Floodway), around Winnipeg, to prevent spring flooding.

The process is the same as in the other paintings I've recently been doing from photographs: a dark acrylic ground on both sides of the paper, dark to light in oil, followed by any touch ups. This painting took about 90 minutes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ink and pastel
(8.5" x 11")

It's clear and cold on the prairies, but that doesn't seem to be bothering John.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

David Packwood gives his views on art and art history in a relatively new blog from England, Art History Today. It promises to be an excellent blog.
Twilight, Churchill Drive
10.2 x 15.2 cm (4" x 6")

Winter just won't go away.

This painting was done quickly, and it shows. The photograph for the painting is below.
Twilight, Churchill Drive

Monday, February 05, 2007

Leaning Tree, Seine River
10.2 x 15.2 cm (4" x 6")

Manitoba's Seine River is quite modest in comparison to its' French namesake. The Seine, which snakes through Winnipeg and St. Boniface, is popular as a walking and skiing trail in the winter.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rice Bowl

11.4 x 8.9 cm (4.5" x 3.5")

This quick drawing was done while waiting for the bill in a restaurant. Despite the slightness of the drawing, I prefer it to any of the recent paintings I've been doing from photographs. It seems to me to have more life.

Friday, February 02, 2007

For some stunning photography from Turkey take a look at the work of nuri bilge ceylan.
Late Afternoon, Red River
10.2 x 15.2 cm (4"x 6")

The photograph from which this painting was done is posted below.
Late Afternoon, Red River

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Qu'est-ce que l'art (aujourd'hui)? Lucilee tries to answer the question. The blog is in French and deals mainly with news from Paris, London, and New York.
A reminder that 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the meeting in Paris of Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein, a significant event in 20th century literary history, and the beginning of a great love affair.

A series of events are being organized around the world to celebrate this event.

gertrudeandalice.com has all the details.

Pink Woman

graphite and oil pastel
29.2 x 21.6 cm (11.5" x 8.5")

The model is a dancer, and, as most dancer are, an exceptional art model. She's also an exceptional dancer.