Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cuaderno Negro Video (Black Notebook Video)

This is a video by Gabriel Massera of paintings from the black notebook of Eduardo Alvarado. The music is from For Alina by Arvo Pärt.

Eduardo Alvarado's work can be seen on his website, Eduardo Alvardo, as well as on his blog, El pintor de hierro.

Friday, August 29, 2008

• Jonathan Jones has more on Lucian Freud's resolute failure to paint nice paintings. (The Guardian)
• Zadie Smith has an excellent review in The New York Review of Books of The BBC Talks of E.M.Forster, 1929-1960, published by the University of Missouri Press.
• In the dublin review of books Maurice Earls considers the life and times of Samuel Pepys.
• You can never have enough money. Damien Hirst has opened a new
retail outlet next to Sotheby's in London. (Bloomberg)
The Wall Street Journal has a review of White Heat by Brenda Wineapple, a book on the friendship between Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Arms Outspread
30.5 x 45.7 cm (12" x 18")

I don't know what to say about this drawing, except that the model enjoyed the pose as did the other artists that I was drawing with last evening.

The drawing was done in thirty minutes.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

• In Montreal hundreds protest the Government of Canada's cuts to arts and culture programs. (CBC News)
• The club scene meets pre-Columbian art at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (The New York Times)
• A $92-million bargain. (The Globe and Mail)
• A colossal statue of Marcus Aurelius is being unearth in Turkey. (
• If you can't paint something nice, don't paint anything at all, or so Lucian Freud discovers. (The Guardian)(via C-Monster)

Tired Model

gouache and charcoal
40.6 x 30.5 cm (16" x 12")

I was hoping to do more with this painting, but the model was tired and the painting was cut short. It will stand as it is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Praise of First Impressions [artistic and other] by Sebastian Smee. (The Boston Globe)
• Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, defended his government's arts and culture cuts Monday. (The Globe and Mail)(VoCA)
• Selling art in China. (The Telegraph)
• It looks like CultureGrrl likes Damien Hirst as much as everyone else.
Under the Volcano No. 3
10.9 x 17.5 cm (4.3" x 6.9")

This small painting was originally posted on April 25, 2007. It still appeals to me, so I thought that I would repost it. I need to look at it some more.

The title for the painting was taken from
the 1947 Malcolm Lowry novel, Under the Volcano. There is no relation between the painting and novel except the title.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

• Good guy art cop, Robert Wittman of the FBI, was recently profiled by The Wall Street Journal. (via The Art Law Blog)

Man and Portfolio

64.8 x 49.5 cm (25.5" x 19.5")

You get an impression in this drawing of the intense effort that the model was making to stay still. He was completely focused on maintaining his position, and he was staring intently at some marker in the room to help him do that.

By the way, during the breaks in the drawing session, the model was making his way through some of Nietzsche, adding to my suspicions that models are generally a more interesting bunch than the artists who draw them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Unfinished Portrait
charcoal and pastel
50.8 x 58.4 cm (20" x 23")

This portrait was begun, but never finished. Who's to say, though, that it would have gotten any better?
• Olympic art flap. (CBC News)
• In Canada, provincial cultural ministers from Québec and Ontario are questioning
the decision of the federal government to cut arts and culture programs. (CBC News)
• A paid informant led the RCMP in the recovery of two stolen pieces by Haida artist, Bill Reid. (The Globe and Mail)
Here is Keff Koons' answer to last Thursday's questions about camouflage. (via C-Monster)
• Damien Hirst is being beat up again. This time for having more than 200 art works unsold in his London gallery. (The Art Newspaper)(via C-Monster)
• John Russell, art critic for The Sunday Times of London and The New York Times, died Saturday at the age of 89. (The New York Times)

Friday, August 22, 2008

• The Government of Canada is planning to redirect the savings from recent cuts to arts. The $40- million saved will go to support the Vancouver Olympics and bilingualism. (The Globe and Mail)
• The story of the fuctional extinction of the American Chestnut is told in American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel, University of California Press, 2007. The book is reviewed by the American Scientist.
Wild Grass, Bunn's Creek
17.8 x 25.4 cm (7" x 10")

Bunn's Creek looks like a bit of a swamp in this painting. Maybe the odd thing about the creek and this scene is that it's in the heart of suburban Winnipeg.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

• Real men don't use semi-colons. Jan Freeman of The Boston Globe contemplates the semi-colon.
Camouflaged Model
charcoal and pastel
30.5 x 45.7 cm (12" x 18")

This model looks like she's been done up in full body camouflage by the military. She does seem to blend in with her surroundings.

By the way, who designs camouflage for the military? And why does the camouflage of one country seem to resemble that of another country? Everyone's camouflage looks pretty much the same. Does everyone use the same design firm? And are there fashions in camouflage? Is your military's camouflage au courant, or hopelessly dépassé?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

• The Government of Canada is committed to cutting $44.8 million in arts and culture spending by April of 2010, according to The Globe and Mail.
• For Richard Diebenkorn lovers, Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes has a nice article on the Diebenkorn In New Mexico, an exhibition currently on at The Phillips in Washington, D.C.

Coffee Mug


30.5 x 20.3 cm (12" x 8")

This painting was a ten minute demonstration piece done with ultra cheap children's paint. It's a little lacking in colour, but it was a ten minute piece after all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

• Retired Massachussetts lawyer Robert Mardirosian has been convicted by a Boston jury of possessing six Impressionist paintings stolen 30 years ago. Mardirosain faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. (The Boston Globe)
Chasers War - Art is Garbage

This video, from an Australian television series called Chasers War On Everything, tells you something about contemporary art that you may, or may not, want to know. (via Art News Blog)

Portrait of a Model

17.8 x 15.2 cm (7" x 6")

I don't remember doing this portrait. But I do recognize the model. As slight as this drawing is, it still has its' appeal.

Monday, August 18, 2008

• Douglas Wolk of The New York Times takes a look at eccentric comic book artist, Steve Ditko, the creator of Spider-Man.
• The CBC reports on the reaction to the Government of Canada's proposed spending cuts to several arts programs.
Sotheby's has a video interview with everybody's favourite whipping boy, Damien Hirst. (For the record, I rather like Hirst.)
• A renaissance portrait originally thought to be of German origin is now being attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. (CBC News)
St. Boniface River Trail

17.8 x 25.4 cm (7" x 10")

For some reason this painting does not look quite real.

It might be that the contrast is too great, or the colours are a little off. I struggled when I was painting it, and I could not get it beyond what you see.

The trail in the painting is in St. Boniface across from
downtown Winnipeg. It runs parallel to a paved foot path, both between the St. Boniface General Hospital and the Red River.

Friday, August 15, 2008

• The Waukesha County Historical Society Museum in Milwaukee opens an exhibit of 27 pencil sketches and five lithographs and serigraphs by former Beatle, John Lennon. The works have been lent to museum by an anonymous collector. Good for the Historical Society! (CBC News)

• Who is Allan Konigsberg? No hints. (The Common Review)

• After recently cutting funding to one federal arts program, PromArt, the Government of Canada has decided to cut five more arts and culture programs over the next two years. (The Globe and Mail Arts)
To The Ground
24.1 x 44.5 cm (9.5" x 17.5")

It's a little hard to tell what's going on with the model's legs and hips in this drawing.
But why worry? There will be always be another drawing.
The model is a fine arts student.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bunn's Creek

25.4 x 17.8 cm (10" x 7")

Yesterday, it was Bunn's Creek in Winnipeg as seen by N.C.Wyeth. Today, it's Bunn's Creek as seen by Canadian artist, Tom Thomson (1877 - 1917). Any resemblance between this painting and any by Tom Thomson is not purely coincidental.

For comparisons sake, here's Northern River by Tom Thomson, painted in 1915. It's not Thomson's best work.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clearing, Bunn's Creek

17.8 x 25.4 cm (7" x 10")


This reminds me of an N.C.Wyeth illustration without the figures.

Bunn's Creek runs through north-east Winnipeg, joining the Red River just inside of the city's northern limit.
• In a possible Robert B. Parker mystery novel come to life, Robert Mardirosian, a seventy-three year old lawyer, went on trial in Boston Tuesday on charges of possessing and transporting stolen goods. He is accused of trying to sell a collection of seven paintings, including a $29 million Cézanne, stolen by one of his clients. (CBC News)

• Another mystery is unfolding in New York, where the FBI is trying to find the rightful owners of 137 works of art, including at least 20 stolen paintings, from the collection of the late William Kingsland. The FBI says that it doesn't know if Kingsland had anything to do with the thefts. (The New York Times)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

• The Government of Canada has decided to cut funding to PromArt, a federal program that subsidizes international arts promotional tours. (CBC News) (Andrea Carson of VoCA and The Globe and Mail have more on this story.)

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, has purchased 37 works by 24 artists participating in The Québec Triennial. (VoCA)

• In Australia, the federal government has decided to introduce a resale royalty scheme, which would give artists a percentage of the sale price of their work whenever is resold. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Man's Back

charcoal and pastel
30.5 x 22.9 cm (12" x 9")

It's not quite clear in this drawing just what the man is pushing against. Fortunately, in drawing and painting, it's not always necessary to be clear.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Assiniboine Island
25.4 x 17.8 cm (10" x 7")

This island is in the Assiniboine River, which is one of two major rivers running through Winnipeg. The other is the Red River. The island is not far from Omand's Creek, which enters the Assiniboine just above the island (to the left in the painting). Do such islands have names? I would guess that they do. Does anyone care for them? The City of Winnipeg? I don't know.
• Thomas Mallon of The New York Times on the life and times of minor literary forger, New Yorker, Lee Israel.

• Alexander Theroux reviews From Greenich Village to Taos for The Wall Street Journal. The book by Flannery Burke concerns socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan, who, between 1917 and 1929, tried to transform Taos, New Mexico, into the mecca of the avant-garde.

• Three comic-book legends, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and Stan Lee, have teamed up to help Dina Gottliebova Babbitt try to recover her wartime art work from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland. (The New York Times)

• Edward Hopper's Cape Cod: a slideshow from The New York Times (via C-Monster)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

War For The White House

What's the key issue in the American presidential election race? Here's the answer from ONN. (via Conscientious)

Interview with Salvador Dali

I only have a vague idea of what this interview is about, which, given that it's an interview with Salvador Dali, is as it should be. The video is by Alexander Butera.

Friday, August 08, 2008

• The Ace Gallery of Los Angeles, Beverley Hills, and New York, and its' owner, the established art dealer, Doug Chrismas, are in the midst a $1 billion international fraud case. Last week federal agents seized a $1.3 million Roy Lichtenstein painting that Chrismas sold last year to Seth Landsberg, an art investor. It turns out that the painting had been smuggled into the United States by Brazilian, Edemar Cid Ferreira, the former owner of Banco Santos, who is now serving a 21-year prison sentence for fraud. The New York Post has more details.

• Artists, musicians, actors, writers, producers and journalists decry intolerance and repression in Zimbabwe. (
26.7 x 28.6 cm (10.5 " x 11.25")

This painting is a few years old. I think it was an ivy plant. It's hard to tell from the way it's painted.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

• Toronto businessman Joseph Rotman will be the next head of the Canada Council. (CBC News)

Man Holding a Pole

43.2 x 27.9 cm (17" x 11")

Despite its' imperfections, this drawing expresses the action.

Mona Tomy

I couldn't resist this, but then who can resist that smile? So enigmatic. Who can she be?

This photo has the word, Tomy, printed in one of the bottom corners. Does this mean that the image has something to do with the Japanese toy manufacturer Tomy? Only Tomy may know.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pérez Celis, born Celis Pérez, popular Argentinian painter and sculptor, died Saturday, October 3, 2008. He was sixty-nine. The Washington Post has an obituary.

The New York Times has an interesting article on the efforts to preserve the old hutong neigbourhoods on Beijing.

Kirk Johnson of The New York Times has a discouraging report on the threat energy projects pose to Native American cultural sites in the American west. (via Illicit Cultural Property)
Black and White
22.9 x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")

There's nothing special about this drawing, which probably took about five minutes. For a quick drawing I like the rendering of the head.
I don't like the way the neck seems to be misplaced. It's not immediately noticeable, and it might not be that far off the pose, since the model's torso was twisted. In any case, the misplacement doesn't seem to affect the overall impression the drawing makes.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

• Economist David Galenson is determined to tell us which are The Most Important Works of Art of the Twentieth Century (this, coincidentally, is also the name of his new book). He has invented a qualitative way of ranking art, much like the Technorati ranking system for blogs. I was surprised to discover my own work was not even ranked. This must be an oversight. (The New York Times)
45.7 x 25.4 cm (18" x 10")

This drawing doesn't look quite right to me, but I'm not sure why. When you are away from the model it's difficult to decide if a drawing is wrong. The pose was a little awkward, with the model was sitting slightly forward, rather than resting on the back of the chair. This adds to difficult of knowing whether the drawing is off. All in all, it seems best to take the drawing for what it is, and get on to the next one.

Scars refers to the six white lines on the model's torso. I asked the model how they were done. She said with a branding iron. I didn't ask her why she had had them done. The next time I see her, I will.

Monday, August 04, 2008

• Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the dissident writer and Nobel prize winner, died Sunday in Moscow. He was eighty-nine. The New York Times has an obituary.
Model and Portfolio
61.0 x 81.3 cm (24" x 32")

For the sake of time, I left some things out of this drawing. An artist was sitting across from me with all his equipment around him. The drawing would have been more interesting if he had been drawn in. Given the time restraints, though, I was happy to get as much done as I did.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The cre8ery in Winnipeg is offering a life drawing class this fall called Drawing the Nude with Life! David Lane is the instructor. David is an excellent and experienced artist with a passion for figure drawing. The class runs every Tuesday evening, 7 to 10 pm, from September 16 to October 21, 2008. If you are interested. please contact Jordan Miller of the cre8ery at or call her at 204-510-1623.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A. Sleeping
ink and charcoal
30.5 x 45.7 cm (12" x 18")

I took some liberties in this drawing with the foreground and background. The model was actually lying across two separate pedestals, neither of them very large, rather than lying on a single surface, and the wall behind her was white, not dark grey. The foreground was simplified for the sake of time; I only had thirty-five minutes to complete the drawing. The background was changed because I found the large area of white space, the back wall, distracting. It seemed to overwhelm the figure.
• Good news! Here's 10 things that you don't have to worry about anymore, courtesy of John Tierney of The New York Times.

• Daniel Mendelsohn of The New Yorker has a terrific review of The Landmark Herodotus (Pantheon), edited by Robert B. Strassler.

• The Tale of Two Snobs: Eric Ormsby, in The New York Sun, reviews The Same Man: George Orwell & Evelyn Waugh by David Lebedoff
(Random House).