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Showing posts from August, 2012

This is not a false alarm, this is not a test.

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998 I wait a lot –usually by myself and usually because I'm early, but sometimes because I'm kept waiting for various reasons. Sometimes I'll be prepared to wait and I'll bring music to listen to or a book to read, but there are still many times when I don't have anything to occupy myself with and I just have to sit (or stand) there...waiting. I suppose the title (taken from a line in the Rush song "Red Tide") endows the situation with a certain tension, but depicting the tedium of  waiting is really what I was really going for. I should have just called it "Waiting". She's extremely orange because I had yet to get a blue filter for my camera , and long-ish exposures using incandescent lighting gives photos a yellow hue unless corrected –and I was still not yet skilled enough to colour-correct in the painting stage (I learned, though, after too many yellow people!). So I apologize for the hideous

From the Ocean, From the Stars

approx. 12" x 16", watercolour, 1989, private collection Every now and then I come across an old photo of some of my early work. Usually the paintings are so rudimentary that I can't bring myself to share them here, but a few are very important nonetheless ( Cultural Mess , Fruitful Mess , etc.) and sharing them seems appropriate. This one would have been done in the spring/early summer of 1989 and isn't too bad (I used a grid!). The reference image of the woman, of course, comes from a magazine ( Playboy , IIRC). This was my first attempt at rendering glass in this medium, and it turned out pretty well, but that hair! Jeez, I did a better job on the hair in my portrait of Michelle Pfeiffer , which predates this painting by a few months. Then again, I was only about 17 1/2 years old... The title comes from an Arthur C. Clarke collection of novels and short stories with the same name.


15" x 22", watercolour, 1998 The paper used for this painting was most likely cut from the same sheet (22" x 30", cut in half) as Finest Worksong –but that's just speculation based on their having the same model and the paper being hot pressed, and slightly tricky to work with. Furthermore, the pose from Worksong was based on a prep sketch for my photo shoot with Elaine for Squirm's " Cold " CD, and the pose above is based on a photo of Elaine I took during that shoot. I really like how the face turned out, but the blurry, shallow-depth-of-field look I tried on her hand wasn't quite so successful...but I blame the paper and not knowing how to work with it at that point in my painting career.


15 1/2" x 14 1/2", watercolour, 1998 The model here is Ashley Judd from some magazine back in the 90s. Actually, I'm quite surprised that I didn't have one of my many models recreate this scene instead of taking this directly from that mag (and original photographer). I think I was still trying to prove to art directors that I can do likenesses in watercolours and celebrities are the best way to demonstrate this. I still wonder what the images on those Polaroids are, making her respond like that.

Flying Above the Ex

22 1/4" x 7 1/4", watercolour, 2001 I'd intended to follow up my previous post of Sue flying  with this painting here, and today just happens to be the first day of this year's Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The background is an aerial shot of the Ex from a very old photo book on Toronto.

A Big, Huge Mouthful

22" x 15", watercolour, 1998 The weather this fine day reminds me very much of the wonderful Saturday mornings of my childhood in the 70s, so I put on some Spider-Man DVDs (the 60s cartoon) but, alas, the only thing missing to complete the nostalgic sensation is some sugary breakfast cereal (Count Chocula, Cocoa Puffs, or Sugar Crisp)...and a big, huge mouthful of it. This is the same model found in many of my other paintings ( mad. , CS Foxtrot , etc.), but I felt like experimenting and made her a blonde here.


22" x 15", watercolour, 1998 I'm quite happy with how the satiny texture of her gown turned out here. A couple of years after painting it, though, I realized it would have been much more interesting (especially since all those skulls are just sitting there in the background) to have her holding a torch of some kind in her raised hand as though in a cover for a mystery novel or something. Next time...