Skip to main content


Carmen Trio

  Carmen Trio I don't even remember how or why the idea came into my head, but some time at the end of January or early February I got the notion to do some drawings in graphite and record the sound of pencil on paper so that I could make ASMR videos. Here is the Wikipedia entry on ASMR (take it with however many grains of salt you usually require for that source): Autonomous sensory meridian response  ( ASMR ), sometimes  auto sensory meridian response , is a tingling sensation that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. A pleasant form of paresthesia ,  it has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia   and may overlap with frisson . ASMR signifies the subjective experience of "low-grade euphoria" characterized by "a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin". It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional
Recent posts

The Windless Kite

The Windless Kite 30" x 30", oil on wood panel, 2020 After completing our complete bathroom renovation last spring I knew I wanted to create a custom painting for the wall above my towel bar and 30" x 30" was the ideal size for that space.   I wanted to compose something warm and colourful and, while I was still deciding what the subject would be I hung Toro over the toilet, sort of establishing a colour palette for the room. Abandoned state. I started this painting soon after completing  The Red Balloon  but it stayed in this frozen state (turtle and kite largely finished) for months. After I finished  The Seed Gatherers , I took advantage of that solid momentum to resume work on this and finished about 95% in the remaining days of 2020, so I'm counting it as belonging to that year. Turtle detail. Flowers detail. In situ. This is how it looks in it's intended place in our bathroom, directly across from Toro , together combining to give the room some needed

The Seed Gatherers

  The Seed Gatherers 28" x 18", oil on canvas, 2020 This painting was a commission by a woman who'd bought one of my bird paintings years ago and wanted a "companion piece" of sorts for her husband's birthday in early January. We discussed something bird-themed but not necessarily similar, since it wouldn't be hanging in the same room as the other. She told me he was fascinated by a blue jay that comes by their house so I mentioned that I had been photographing and recording video of the blue jays that gather to feed on the sunflower seeds in our flower bed each fall and that I had some really good footage this year. She liked that idea and I started sifting through my images, finding a moment in a video when four blue jays were on the flowers at the same time. I took a screen grab and moved a couple of birds so they would fit a composition in this vertical orientation and canvas size (made to order!). The treatment of the sunflowers was heavily inspired

The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon 28" x 18", oil on wood panel, 2020 This painting is the first of several paintings I have planned that features my friend, Kimberley , doing double duty, representing one's struggle with oneself (since we tend to be our own worst enemy). I shot a lot of reference of her in multiple poses, knowing I'd be able to composite them in Photoshop later. While I had Kimberley wear a different top for each persona in this one, I didn't want to have three legs visible with the same-coloured pants so I painted jeans on the foreground figure. I think the red and blue is a great, rich combination that really pops, leaving the rear "twin" in ghostly pale colours. My original idea for the background was a very dark, mysterious forest, but the more I looked at it while painting the figures against the roughed-in dark-ish background (over which I would have painted the suggestion of a forest), the more I liked the starkness of that, so I made it definitive

The Last Bridge

The Last Bridge 28" x 18", oil on canvas, 2020 While rummaging through some of my old photo reference, I was very drawn to this model because her hair was just perfect and looked amazing, with all the curves and swerves. I wanted to have fun just painting her hair, but she was holding a camera in the photo and was looking at it intently, suggesting deep contemplation, so I decided to replace the camera with something more mysterious... The first thumbnail I drew had her holding some kind of plant, like a thick stalk...something organic and green and undulating. I was planning on keeping her top black  for the light green plant to contrast against (plus, everyone looks good in black), but I wasn't yet thinking of a background. In the sketch above, I took her hands and repositioned them slightly and rotated their orientation to allow for a more pleasing composition with the plant. Below is a sketch where I kept their original angle and position (roughly) and had the stalk g

Margaret Meehan

Margaret Meehan 17" x 14", oil on Bristol board, 2020 Continuing my portrait series of my favourite SCTV characters, here's my rendition of the brilliant Catherine O'Hara as high/night school quiz show contestant Margaret Meehan, who has a frustrating tendency ro answer the questions (always incorrectly) before host Alex Trebel (played by the equally brilliant Eugene Levy) is finished asking them. Here's the time lapse video of me painting this precocious contestant:

Adept at Adaptation

Adept at Adaptation 28" x 18", oil on canvas, 2020 Like a number of recent paintings, this one's also based on decades-old photo reference, but one I hadn't looked at in years and never attempted to paint until now. I think it turned out better than I imagined when my friend, Janet, and I shot it back in the mid-'90s. Plus I feel the tiger companion really helps underscore the sense of strength and resilience I wanted to convey.  Early concept sketch. I had Janet in mind when I sketched this at work (at The Shopping Channel –on the back of a "flow sheet" for a dinnerware show) –that's why it's stapled in my sketchbook. I should have followed my sketch when I was posing her arms for the photo –they're more dynamic in the sketch. I guess, realistically, her hair would be much longer if she was out in the wilderness, but I liked her short haircut in the source photo so I kept it here. Who knows...Maybe the tiger's a really good stylist. Here