Saturday, January 31, 2009

Max Ernst (Part 5/12): Part 6 will follow tomorrow. Parts 1-4 were posted on the two previous weekends.

Friday, January 30, 2009

• John Updike died Tuesday of cancer at the age of seventy-six. He was, according to Philip Roth, our time’s greatest man of letters. (The New York Times) (The Los Angeles Times) (The Boston Globe)
• Canadian police have formed a new anti-art fraud unit. (CBC News)
The Strangest Man: The Hidden life of Paul Dirac by Grahan Farmelo is reviewed in The Telegraph.
paper collage
26.9 x 40.1 cm (10.6" x 15.8")

This is the latest in a series of collages done at the Winnipeg Art Gallery under the tutelage of Winnipeg artist Doug Melnyk. I barely know where I'm going with these collages: more much ado about nothing.

The background for the collage is composed of two separate Richard Avedon photos. The photos originally appeared in Avedon's book In the American West. (And no, I didn't cut them out of the book, and yes, I am waiting to hear from his estate's lawyers.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The 50 Most Loathsome People in America. All of your favourites are on the list, including Barack Obama. (The Beast) (via C-Monster)
• Goya's Colossus probably wasn't painted by Goya. (The Telegraph)
• For David Hockney fans, he now has an official website.

Portrait of a Woman No.3

ink, charcoal, and pastel
20.3 x 17.8 (8" x 7")

This portrait was done quickly in between fifteen and twenty minutes. It's ok.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

• More art on reality tv (not to be confused with any reality on reality tv). Star Portraits on Bravo features a new Canadian senator, Pamela Wallin, having her portrait painted by three artists. (The Globe and Mail)
• The voice of Scotland. (The Independent)
• More of what women really want. (And no, you can't have my hockey card collection.) (The American)
Fuzzy Man
graphite and watercolour
25.4 x 17.8 cm (10" x 7")

This was a fifteen minute painting, and I was happy to get as far as I did.

It was meant as a study piece, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saatchi's Best of British is the latest in reality tv. We can hardly wait. (CBC News)
Mel Ramos has finally made it to the wholesome stage. I bet he's thrilled. (The New York Times)
Sitting Upright
charcoal and pastel
43.2 x 35.6 cm (17" x 14")

This drawing was done on a smooth cardboard which didn't take pastel very well. The cardboard's surface and colour, as much as anything, is responsible for the overall dullness of the drawing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Max Ernst (Part4/12)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Max Ernst (Part 3/12): Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Understand Modern Art InstantlyTM Breath Spray is available exclusively at Edward_Winkleman (and worth every penny).
• Are artists responsible for their own shoddy workmanship? (The Wall Street Journal) (via C-Monster)
• The Canadian government's Heritage minister, James Moore, has promised that there will be no cuts to arts and culture in the upcoming federal budget. The question is: Does anyone believe him? (CBC News)
• Arthur Rimbaud, the perfect house guest. (The Guardian)
• Edgar Allan Poe was such a nice man. (The Smart Set)
• The $5000 paper house. (treehugger) (via C-Monster)
paper collage
21 x 37.5 cm (8.25" x 14.75")

This is my latest collage. I'm not sure whether it works as well as last week's effort, Columbia. The theme is the same for both, though: much ado about nothing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(Andrew) Wyeth was the equivalent in art of Bush in politics - retrogressive, short-sighted, and strangely empty and banal. This is Jonathan Jones' rather unkind assessment of the late Andrew Wyeth. (The Guardian)
• Divided reactions to Andrew Wyeth's work. (The New York Times)
The 100 metre photograph. (via things magazine)

Arm Behind A Chair

ink and graphite
33 x 30.5 cm (13" x 12")

This is a simple drawing. The hand and one foot are a little awkward, otherwise it's a fairly accurate drawing.

The model was a young dancer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chagall: A Biography by Jackie Wullschlager. (The Boston Globe)
George, Being George, a biography of George Plimpton by Nelson Aldrich Jr. (The Nation)

Colour 2

digital image

This is a simple photoshop inversion of the drawing Colour, posted yesterday. I prefer the original image, although the digital image is certainly more striking.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kenneth Goldsmith, ephemera, UbuWeb, and Mercer Union (A Centre for Contemporary Art) in Toronto. (The Globe and Mail)
• The Worst of the Web, 2008. (Art Fag City) (via C-Monster)


ink, charcoal, and pastel
35.6 x 27.9 cm (14" x 11")

Even though there isn't a lot of colour in this drawing, what colour there is is fairly dominant.
Max Ernst (Part 2/12)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Max Ernst (1/12)

I'll try to post two or three videos in this series each weekend for the next month. Max Ernst was of course a Dadaist extraordinaire, and also, in keeping with my current interest in collage, a dedicated practitioner of collage.

Friday, January 16, 2009

• American artist Andrew Wyeth died this morning. He was ninety-one. His death is a great loss. (The Philadelpia Inquirer) (The New York Times) (The Washington Post) (The Los Angeles Times) (The Globe and Mail)
Wings and Heart
charcoal and pastel
30.5 x 45.7 cm (12" x 18")

If you look closely at the drawing you can see a tattoo of green wings and a red heart on the model's chest.

There's something quite masculine looking about the head, and I am not sure why. It could be the hair, or chin, or a combination of several small things.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

• Lunch with Larkin, Auden, Forster, and Empson. (The American Scholar)
• Painted Brazilian trains. (The World's Best Ever) (via C-Monster)
paper collage
21.8 x 29.7 cm (8.6" x 11.7")

I've just started a collage course at the Winnipeg Art Gallery taught by Doug Melnyk, a wonderfully talented and versatile Winnipeg artist. This collage is my first effort. I think that I might fail the course.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Travel brochures from the 20's and 30's. (via C-Monster)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

• Germaine Greer on Degas' dancers. (The Guardian)
• More on the sudden resignation of Jeff Spalding, the president and CEO of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. (The Globe and Mail) (Calgary Herald)
• Whatever happened to Felix Mendelssohn? (La Scena Musicale)
Red River, November
91.4 x 121.9 cm (3' x 4')


This isn't exactly a small drawing. It's one of a series of larger landscapes that I'm working on.
The scene is along the east bank of the Red River, looking south, in late November, before the first river ice has been completely hidden by snow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

• The head of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary has stepped down abruptly. (CBC News)
• Major museums are facing hard times. (CBC News)
• Are artists and peacocks one of a kind? (Barnes & Noble Review)
• French collaborators in the arts during the Second World War. (The Wall Street Journal)
30.5 x 41.9 cm (12" x 16.5")

This dancer was doing her impression of Rodin's Thinker - flamenco style.
The drawing was done with a ball point pen and bristle brush.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Drinking Out of Cups: Dan Deacon and Liam Lynch

This video comes by way of nothing except The World's Best Ever.

Friday, January 09, 2009

UbuWeb ( is dedicated to avant-garde and outsider art, visual and written, and features MP3s, films, books, scholarly papers, and poems. It's a great site.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Gay Recluse has the latest Hot Gay Statue, and it could be the contest winner.
The Photographic Dictionary. (via C-Monster)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

• An overview of the five leading Canadian art schools. (The Globe and Mail)
• One of the 28 original casts of Degas' Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans will be at auction on February 3rd in London. (CBC News)

Ski Mask

ink and charcoal
43.5 x 30.5 cm (17" x 12")

Why is this man wearing a ski mask? I have no good answer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

• A bailout for the arts? Where do we apply? (The Los Angeles Times) (via C-Monster)
• Graphic designer David Pelham on the designing of Penguin book covers. (Creative Review Blog) (via things magazine)
• Worth a look, Saskatchewan Ghost Towns. (via things magazine)
Girl on a Sofa
graphite, ink, and charcoal
35.6 x 43.2 cm (14" x 17")

The title says pretty much all there is to say about this drawing.

Monday, January 05, 2009

• The art market bubble. (The New Criterion)
• Picasso and Matisse works stolen in Berlin. (CBC News)
Pink Wall
ink, charcoal, and pastel
35.6 x 43.2 cm (14" x 17")

This pastel was done on a smooth white paper. Neither a smooth surface nor a white background would be recommended for pastel. It seems to work with this drawing, however.

Friday, January 02, 2009

• Neo-classical sculptor Alexander Stoddart has been appointed as an official sculptor by Queen Elizabeth II. His full title is now Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland. (The Telegraph)
• Joel L. Kraemer's Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds (Doubleday) is reviewed in Commentary.

Self-Portrait with Toque

ink and watercolour
20.3 x 15.2 cm (8" x 6")

I tore up this drawing immediately after doing it because I wasn't satisfied with the drawing. Later, my wife rescued it and pieced it back together, for better or worse. I still think that it is best forgotten.

Not to say that it's cold in Winnipeg, but what you see me wearing is what I frequently wear around the house in winter. I look like something out of Dr. Zhivago.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bonne année 2009: Têtes à claques