Monday, November 30, 2009

• Leonardo da Vinci in Kansas, or when is a Warhol not a Warhol. (The National)

Nippon Maru


artist: Doug Melnyk

Doug is a friend and a terrific artist. He recently sent me this image, which is connected to a story of his concerning the sinking of a fictitious cruise ship, a desert island, and two survivors. It all sounds intriguing, and I can't wait to see the final result or results of his efforts.

Doug has recently started a blog: The Worst Thing. Check it out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Banana Dance: Josephine Baker dancing at the Folies Bergères sometime in the 1920's. Gotta love those bananas.

Friday, November 27, 2009

• Social thuggery and the Mommy Mafia. (The Los Angeles Times)
• A Lawren Harris sketch goes for $3.5 million. (CBC News)

Reader Between Two Sculptures

8.9 x 11.4 cm (3.5" x 4.5")

This drawing should probably have been called Bearded Reader Between Two Sculptures, One of Which is Quite Phallic in Shape.

The sculptures are in Victoria Square in Montreal, and the reader was sitting on a park bench.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

• The mystery of Armenian chess. (Prospect)
• Did too much sex kill Raphael? Let's hope so. (The Guardian)
• The current age of narcissism. (I'm working on my memoirs.) (The Washington Post)

Black, White, and Cream

30.5 x 22.9 cm (12" x 9")

It might be a little hard to tell what's going on this drawing. The model's resting against the back of a chair with her legs up in front of her.

Needless to say this is a loose interpretation of the scene. It was done in fifteen minutes, using three colours.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

• A different take on the Pope's talk to artists. (edward_winkleman)
• The dark side of Alice Munro. (The Wall Street Journal)
Mauve and Black
25.4 x 45.7 cm (10" x 18")

Someone will have to please tell me if the colour of the background for this drawing is, in fact, mauve.

The drawing/painting took twenty-five minutes. My drawing was a little sloppy. The proportions are certainly off. The model in the drawing looks to me like she would be nine foot tall if she stood up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Remember to check out Doug Melnyk's new blog, The Worst Thing. Doug just started it a few days ago, and he's off to a great start.
• Vladimir Nabokov's previously unpublished The Origin of Laura. (The Washington Post)
• Andy Warhol won't go away. (ARTnews)
Green Bottle and Grey Pot
23.9 x 30.5 cm (9.4" x 12")

Another study done in preparation for an upcoming workshop.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mr. Langshaw's Square Piano. (The Wall Street Journal)
• Building in Yemen. (The New York Times)
• The Pope pals with artists. (CBC News)

An Orange and a Beer Bottle

33 x 21.6 cm (13" x 8.5")

This painting was done in preparation for a workshop which I have coming up. Considering that it was done quickly using a large brush and cheap paint, it turned out ok.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One of my favourite artists, Doug Melnyk, has a new blog, The Worst Thing. I'm not sure yet what Doug's plans for the blog are, but his first story, illustrated with photos, is quite wonderful. By all means check it out. Let's hope that there's more to come.

For now The Worst Thing is listed in the Other Links. It's the last (and it may prove to be the best) blog listed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

• Jane Austen was a vicious gossip. So thinks Robert Fulford. (The National Post)
• Tips on how to shoot a photo journalistic portrait. (The Guardian)

and Artist
45.7 x 30.5 cm (18" x 12")

It's cold enough again in Winnipeg for electric heaters for the models. The artists get by with sweaters, but it's a different story for the models.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

• Should antiquities be repatriated? (The New York Times)
• Louis Armstrong's return of love for hate. (Commentary)
• The man who wrote Ben-Hur, Lew Wallace. (Humanities)
View From Under a Bridge on Mount Royal
11.4 x 17.8 cm (4.5" x 7")

About two weeks ago I was in Montreal and on top of Mount Royal. I walked by a bridge with this view of Montreal west beneath it. I don't know whether or not this bridge was part of the original design for Mount Royal Park by Frederick Law Omsted. In any case, I suspect that the view was quite deliberately chosen.

The painting was done yesterday over the original pencil sketch. The sketch was nothing more than a couple of lines with a some simple colour notations. Despite the summer look to the painting, it was definitely end of fall weather when I drew this. It was a two or three degrees above zero, and I drew with mitts on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

• The Egyptian sketches of Edward Lear. (The Guardian)
• Philadelphia is split on relocating the Barnes Collection. (CBC News)
• 100 best blogs for the literati. (online (via Happy Famous Artists)
Model with a Book
ink, charcoal, and pastel
22.9 x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")

An imperfect drawing done last night. However, something in it seems to work.

Monday, November 16, 2009

• Umberto Eco on lists. (Speigel)
• 'Un sujet incertain': Roland Barthes. (London Review of Books)

Nara Park Deer

8.9 x 11.4 cm (3.5" x 4.5")

A thousand odd deer roam freely around Nara Park, in Nara, Japan. The park, which isn't particularly large, is in the middle of Nara.

Deer seemed to be everywhere in the park. They were quite tolerant of people. If anything, they seemed a little bored with us. Bored with us at least until they felt the need of a deer biscuit or two, which were conveniently provided for visitors to dispense by local vendors throughout the park.

This drawing, which has gotten a little smudged in the course of travelling, was done in the midst of a couple of dozen deer enjoying an afternoon nap (post deer biscuits, of course).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Corridor: a film by Standish Lawder with music by Terry Riley (1970).

Lawder described Corrridor as his best film. It's a little short on plot. Anyone who manages to watch the entire film gets a star along with their film watching badge.

Friday, November 13, 2009

• Two monumental sculptures by Canadian artist Ivan Eyre will be on display for a year in Winnipeg before heading to a sculpture garden in Toronto. (The Winnipeg Free Press)
• Edvard Munch continues to be popular with thieves in Norway. (The Winnipeg Free Press)
• L'autre August Sander. (Amateur d'Art)
• The world's second tallest building, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers in Mecca, is nearing completion. (things magazine)
• More inspirational architecture, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. (autoblog) (via things magazine)
Cat on a Wall
11.4 x 17.8 cm (4.5" x 7")

Both this cat and I recently had five minutes to kill. A cat drawing seemed like a good idea. The cat, however, got bored with the drawing after about three minutes. I had to finish it without him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

• More on Jane Austen and her family from the Morgan Library. (The New York Times)
• The reliability of history, historians, and Thucydides in particular. (The Wall Street Journal)

17.8 x 11.4 cm (7" x 4.5")

This figure, a dog of some sort, was one of two guarding the entrance to a Buddhist temple in Japan. The drawing was done on the run, and I made no notation as to which temple it was, or even which city it was in. Now I've forgotten. Pathetic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

• The Russian war effort: 1807-1814. (Literary Review)
Pregnant Model 2
ink and watercolour
30.5 x 13.5 cm (12" x 5.3")

A quick drawing. Probably fifteen minutes. The proportions are a little suspect.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

• Is conceptual art a bad investment? (The New York Times)
• An interview with David Hockney. (The Guardian)


30.5 x 22.9 cm (12" x 9")

This somewhat overworked painting was done about ten days ago on a warm sunny day in Nagoya, Japan. The boulevard, as opposed to the street on either side of it (whose name I've already forgotten), might be called Central Park, since that was the name of a nearby subway station. In any case, it was a delightful green refuge in the midst of a busy city.

Monday, November 09, 2009

For better or worse, I'm back from our travels.

Las Meninas by Velasquez. (The Wall Street Journal)
• Benjamin Britten, boys, and Brahms. (The Guardian)
• An early painting by William Kurelek is going on tour thanks to Winnipeg art dealer, Shaun Mayberry. (CBC News)
• Robert Bateman in Russia. (CBC News)


graphite and pastel
17.8 x 11.4 cm (7" x 4.5")

The sculpture in this sketch sits in front of the Noh Theatre in Nagoya, Japan. If I remember correctly, which is unlikely, it is a sculpture of a Noh actor dressed as a samurai.