Saturday, March 24, 2012

Positioning Margaret on the Big Ass Blank Canvas

Took a break from a freelance graphic design job and decided to actually move the Big Ass Blank Canvas from floor to easel. Wow some real progress!

Compositionally, Margaret needs to be smaller in order to get her arms in holding a chicken. Also she is going to be wearing traditional apron and skirts.

So a little more playing about and one more monkey to get off my back and I'll be ready to start in earnest. Happy the submission deadline is still a ways away.

Have any bananas?

The Garden Party

I went to a garden party 
and all my friends were there...

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fish in a Pond

Would you rather be a big fish in a little pond,
or a little fish in a big pond?

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Couch

Ten ways to avoid the Psychiatrist couch.

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Your Brain on Creativity

How do you maximize imagination, 
productivity and innovation in your life?

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Your Heart on Love

Your heart "on love" gets more exercise 
then if you ran a 10k race once a week.
Nope, just made it up.

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Weed

"A weed is but an unloved flower." 

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lemons & Aloe

Cleanse and alkalize naturally with lemons and aloe.

Colourized using CS5.5 Illustrator software.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The following few entries were drawn by hand, 
scanned, and colourized with CS5.5 Illustrator software. 
This illustration was inspired by my sister Zoe.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Hidden Danger of Glasses

"Research has proven that wearing glasses and contacts 
will destroy your vision over time..."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blue By You

work until the sun don't shine,
looking forward to happier times.

Friday, March 9, 2012

She Has a Bird She Likes to Hold

Been playing with some details for the big-ass, 40'' x 40'' blank canvas... working title "Margaret the Homesteader." Amazing what you can accomplish in a boring meeting.

Quite sure I have the the composition worked out, although may try a sketch with Margaret to the left instead of centre. As well, more of her torso and skirt will have to be created in order for her to work within the square format. Margaret is going to be holding a bird, so will do a bit of research and sketch out a bird, a chicken or quite possibly a cockerel.

I've also decided on the main colours and am off to pick up my paints tomorrow. I've settled on burnt umber, ochre, raw sienna, and pale teal green, although these could change when I get to the store and see all of those glorious tubes. I am on vacation for a couple of days next week, and am looking forward to working on some colour comps. 

Stay tuned for more big-ass, 40'' x 40'' blank canvas updates.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


What I saw when I opened my eyes this morning.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Frightening Big-Ass Blank Canvas

I must admit, the big-ass, 40'' x 40'' blank canvas sitting in my studio is starting to frighten me!

So, I decided to take a look at a painting I did in 2010 for submission to Nancy John's Gallery show. It was the largest canvas I'd ever painted - weighing in at 24'' x 24''.

If I can review my process from that time, I know it will help me get started on the new painting. 

The 2010 painting started with a sketch. It came from a series I had drawn at a very difficult time. Many of the drawings in this series show a blocked or permanently shut mouth. It was a time when I felt I couldn't speak. That if I could speak, my words wouldn't have value or meaning. When I look at the images now, it's as if they were drawn by someone else. They are deep with sorrow and despair.   

Sometimes I struggle with colour, but it was clear to me that blood reds, black, and cold, silvery-grey were the colours that made sense. They helped me describe the juxtaposition of anger and numbness I was experiencing. In this colour study, I played with ink, acrylic paint, and oil pastels on paper. 

Strangely, when I started working on the painting in my studio it started to tell me an entirely new story - all on its own. 

Living in a Canadian blue-collar, union town as I do, almost everyone is connected to the automotive industry. From the employee at the feeder plant that supplies parts to the assembly line to the coffee shop waitress that serves up the workers' lunch. It's said that for every car factory job lost it directly effects five people in our area. 

The "Big Three" live in our town, Chrysler, General Motors and Ford. And 2010 was the year of the automotive bailouts. Local bars, cafes and workplaces were a buzz with talk. The newspapers were full of what should, could, or would happen if the government stepped into the corporate boardroom. Everyone was afraid of what it would mean to our local economy if the automotive industry went bust... again. 

Not one to read the newspaper, I found myself picking up the Windsor Star to keep up with what was going on. I started clipping articles on plummeting car sales, clips from the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, interviews from the workers, and collaging words together to form my own opinion on the matter.

Soon I was layering these items onto the canvas with paint, and pastels and black electrical tape. Pasting clippings and words down like " save our minivan plant, support unions Local 444, car sales hit all time low, Tommy LaSorda has forgotten where he came from." I was carving into the layers with sharp screws and getting a fabulous, rough and tattered texture.

I kept thinking - it was the worker that was getting the raw deal. He was the little guy or gal without a real voice. They were totally getting screwed and the trickle down effect was hurting others in our community. I saw the worker as a type of mechanically assembled being with a reamer for a neck that plunged into his heart. At that moment the painting took on the title "Screwed - Plight of the Autoworker." 

Well I'm happy to report that my submitted painting was accepted to the 24'' x 24'' group show in 2010. It has been in several other group shows since that time. It proudly hangs in our home and lately, it has been calling out to me. I have a strong feeling that very soon some additional components are going to appear on "Screwed - Plight of the Autoworker".  

Below is the drawing I am starting with on my big-ass, 40'' x 40'' painting. Its working title is "Margaret the Homesteader." Who knows what twists and turns this piece will take. Stay tuned for progress reports as I gulp down my fear and face the frightening, big-ass, blank canvas.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Every Day Should Be Pink Shirt Day

Mr. Numéros the Math teacher gets involved 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ian, Inez and Ivan

The In Vitro triplets are well-known in their village.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Painting

Bernadette could not stop staring 
at the beautiful painting.

What painting is it?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tessa Preferred The Flatlands

"Humans measure distance mainly on a plane that’s roughly level with their eyes. Like a broken odometer, our place and grid cells simply don’t “clock” vertical movement. As far as those cells are concerned, we might as well be living in Flatland."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Margaret's New Home

This is a drawing of Margaret. I think she's an Essex County homesteader; about 1860. I'm feeling a connection to this drawing and am considering it for my 40'' x 40'' big ass painting submission to Nancy John's Gallery show''. I'm feeling like a few things need to appear in the background... possibly a wee, log house with smoke coming out of the chimney, and a field of glorious corn (love our corn fields). I also picture Margaret holding a chicken. Could be interesting. What do you think?