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Showing posts from April, 2011

Elaine on Stage

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36" x 26", oil on canvas, 2002, private collection

With the opening of my Field to Canvas show of local farmers portraits just over a month away, and since I'll be previewing that show during all of May with details and in-production images, I thought I'd wrap up April with the last full-image painting you'll see here until June.

This portrait is of Elaine Secord, lead singer of Squirm, a five-piece Toronto band that played the clubs in the '90s and recorded one CD (for which I created the artwork) before disbanding by the year 2000 or thereabouts. I used to see them perform a lot; we were friends, but I also thought they were quite good and enjoyed each show (no matter how smoky the venue).

I planned to paint more rock 'n' roll pictures with Squirm as my subjects, but I never got around to that. However, I took dozens of photos for the CD and decided to use many of the shots of Elaine in a whole bunch of paintings (like this one) and possibly more …

World Cat & World Chair

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each: 40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2005, NFS (recycled)

Happy Earth Day!

I did these two paintings live in front of an audience while my friends (in their band at the time, Uncle Seth) played raucous rock music. It was part of a regular event in Kensington Market in Toronto called Pedestrian Sundays, where various streets in the neighbourhood are closed to cars so people can walk, bike, dance, skip, and/or frolic about freely (click that link for much more info).

So my friends set up their gear on the sidewalk underneath Krista's then-apartment above the then-egg-shop on Augusta Ave. and I set up my gear just off to the side. I roughed-in the pencils for these paintings beforehand so I would have some kind of guide and then went at it with the paints while the band played and people watched. It was a lot of fun.


My inspiration for these "live paintings" was the master of live painting, Denny Dent, and I hope to one day try his fantastic approach. As it was, my own …

52

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22" x 15", watercolour, 1998
This was painting number 52 during the year that I forced myself to paint one picture per week (previously mentioned here). With it, I had reached a milestone in my practicepracticepractice project --which I ominously named "Operation: Waterstorm," to help instill in me a sort of military-like discipline to achieve my goal. I reached #52 early (some time in the fall, I think) and had time (and energy) for eleven more for a total of 63 paintings in 1998 (all watercolour; I had yet to explore oils).
[type in 1998 in the search box waay in the top left and peruse many of my paintings from that year]

I noticed over the course of the year that my skills were gradually improving. Not every painting was a gem, and there were some even in the later weeks that were not so hot (or had areas of not-so-hotness), but, overall, practicing watercolours day after day for a year taught me a lot about the medium and a lot about myself.
The main thing it…