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Showing posts from October, 2013

Silver Jubilee Part Two: Portraits

In Part One of my look back at my 25 years of painting, I talked a bit about Jon J Muth, Kent Williams, and Bill Sienkiewicz, the three key artists who inspired me so strongly that I absolutely needed to paint in watercolours as a direct result of seeing some of their work in the medium. Because I saw their work exclusively in comics, there was naturally a lot of figurative and portrait-like content for me to consume, and I loved the way they all handled skin tones/textures a little differently from each other. In my last two years of high school, however, I was lucky enough to have a good teacher for once, Anthony J. Batten , who worked primarily in watercolours, and became another major inspiration for me. Admittedly, my approach to learning how to paint people wasn't very effective since all I did was look at my photo reference (from magazines, what else? I hadn't started shooting my own reference yet) and try to paint what I saw. The results were okay, but I would

Silver Jubilee Part One: Beginnings

Every year as November approaches and onward into late December, I usually put on Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), Lifes Rich Pageant (1986), and Document (1987), three albums by R.E.M. , one of my favourite bands. They’re playing right now as I write this, and this limited playlist will be playing –off and on, because I need to listen to other music as well– until about mid-December. Along with those R.E.M. albums, I also have Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians  somewhere in the rotation. This was the music I listened to, over and over and over, while I first experimented with watercolours at home, which, of course, was an extension of my first real attempts at the medium in my high school art class. I vividly remember sitting in that class in the fall of 1988, looking at an assortment of random objects arranged in the centre of the room, our desks encircling it, and our assignment: draw it, paint it, whatever. I think I did some drawin

County 101: UPDATE

I've set up a County 101 channel for the live stream of my painting marathon which will begin at 4pm (perhaps a little bit before) on November 18 and end at 9pm (perhaps a little bit after) on November 22 . You won't find anything going on until then, but feel free to bookmark the page. All 101 ink paintings will then be on exhibit at Williams Family Diner in Picton. Their food is delicious, the space is nice, the staff friendly, and the location central. The opening reception will be on December 1 from 4–8pm . Each painting will be available for sale at $101 , half of the proceeds going to Puppets Without Borders . Click the logo above to read more about the project.

Alice Munro

17" x 14", ink on Bristol board, 2013 I was asked yesterday by local book shop Books & Company to paint a portrait of Alice Munro to be part of their new window display in honour of her winning the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her body of work. It was a fast turnaround, but here she is, ready for display today.

Blue Jays

Oiseau 11 , 16" x 20", oil on canvas, 2008 Oiseau 13 , 16" x 20", oil on canvas, 2008 Lately there has been a blue jay (perhaps more than one) hanging around our front yard, eating the seeds from the sunflowers we planted here at Small Pond early this summer (the flower bed frame was built and installed by Krista and Georga Ryan , our first Australian resident). I really don't mind their squawking call if it means I get to ctach a fleeting glimpse of their beautiful plumage every now and then. Below are a couple of photos I took at night during a full moon (which looks like the sun in the bottom pic), experimenting with long exposures using my new DSLR (having –only semi-reluctantly– forsaken my Minolta film SLR ). My initial shots looked like they were taken in mid-afternoon with green grass and shadows and everything, so I decided to add flashlights and get some shots that wouldn't be possible in the daylight. Getting the Big Dipper in the up