Saturday, 31 October 2009

To Very Yucky (You know who you are!)

Hello Very Yucky!  Is that you there?

I think I see you popping up in my "Feedjit traffic" bar?

I want pictures of your new home please! 

Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Only 2 More Sleeps

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The wall in my workspace is starting to get crowded.  This is this weeks batch from my "Expressive Figure Drawing" class.  We had to use a variety of mediums that we normally wouldn't work with.  I almost exclusively use charcoal for these classes, so it's always a good exercise in loosening up ones work.

The purpose of this class wasn't in making sure that proportions were correct, but in capuring the expressiveness of the pose.  This is done with quick lines and pure instinct.  I was quite enjoying working with watercolour for two of them since I don't use it any other time and you can just slop it on when using it for this type of work.

The final photo is of my latest colour pencil painting that I'm currently working on.

Oh, and you may have noticed in the wall shot a little half apple picture (in dark blue) beside the reverse charcoal drawing.  Guess what that is!!!!  The promised coloured pencil demonstration gradually getting burried.  I know, I know....I'll pull it out and move it back to the top of my pile.

BTW...."Fallen I" and "Granny Red" are now for sale and hanging at "La Vieille Alliance" in Aylmer, Quebec.  If you go by make sure to buy some bread.  It's the best in the region!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

From "I Like Pie Better"

A very old friend that works for a certain software company that allows one to manipulate photos played around with my recent painting and sent me this.  At first I thought it would perhaps pop out my secret message, but alas, it remains well hidden.

When I look at a large version of this I find it interesting that it shows the little lines I put in the hand to make it look more realistic, stand out.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE AND SEE LINES....If you care.)  Cool!  It's kinda neat to look at it a different way to see the layering of colour.

BTW, I'll call this friend "I Like Pie Better"....GET BACK TO WORK DUDE!  Lunch hour my a**.

Friday, 23 October 2009


Now for the not looking at it for a couple of days then coming back to do the touch up phase.  It's still untitled.  I'm afraid I have a headache and am not feeling very witty with the title for this one.  Any suggestions?

Oh! BTW....there's a secret message written into the painting somewhere.  I can barely make out where it is and I'm the one who put it there.  Doubt you'll find it and I'll never tell!

Parliament Hill - Again

You can click to enlarge any of the above photos.

One of the arches pictured (third picture from the top) has various animals carved on the stone.  This is the memorial room which includes the names of those who served and died in the various wars and conflicts.  This includes the animals which served as well.

Now the purpose of the gargoyles???  I believe they are there for the protection of the building.  Although they are too difficult to photograph, they litter the top outter side of the building.

You also find carvings of the faces of various men who built the buildings and a multitude of creatures both real and imagined inside.  I'm not sure what got to that squirrel, but whomever carved him mustn't have been fond of the creatures.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Parliament Hill

"Hot Chocolate" and I went downtown today to shoot our photos.  Digital cameras don't have a very long life span in rainy weather, so once the mist turned into something more substantial we worked our way to Parliament Hill.

The Unicorn is right at the main entrance with a lion guarding the other side.  Gargoyles gallore throughout the structure as well as a multitude of animals and faces carved in the stone.  The domed building is the Parliamentary library which was the only structure that survived the big fire.  We went up to the top of the Peace Tower, just below the big clock for a stunning view of the city.  Even the bathrooms are marble and stone.  Just the kind of ritzy place you don't mind "visiting", unlike most public washrooms.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Toad


It started off as a bad art day.  I wore the wrong jeans that were new and smelled strongly of dye.  This effected my concentration level in my art class.  Not nearly as much as the very young fidgity model that looked a little too much like one of my daughters.  That was the first class in which I truely felt uncomfortable.  Although I know she had to be of a legal age to work as a nude model, I just couldn't get the urge to go and cover her up to go away.  I wanted to ask her,
"Does your Mother know what you do?!"  All the while telling everyone who inquires about this class I take  that the body is beautiful and there's nothing wrong with tastefully drawn nudes."  They just shouldn't look like any of MY family!

I was (and still am)  annoyed with Kurt for winding down his blog "Other People Exist."  Doesn't he know how hard it is to find a good read out there!  Especially one with a twisted, dry, quirky sense of humour such as his.  Please feel free to tell him how I feel on my behalf.  In fact I encourage it!  Let him know as a loyal reader of four years how much I think this whole business sucks!  He's not the first quitter.  They seem to be dropping of late.  I was almost amoungst them!  I miss the ones that have gone and hate the thought of looking for new ones as my pool of blogs that I read diminishes.  4 YEARS!

I went to my happy place in Aylmer expecting to continue my cranky day, but it was not to be.  The owner of Vieille Alliance in Aylmer always is a ray of sunshine on a cranky day.  Today when I was switching the art a customer came in and inquired about  "Cou Cou" (it's French name) or "Toadally Caught" (it's English name.)  It has been sold.  Once the formal sale has taken place I'll update my art website.

Well, that's the good and the bad.  And don't forget to go and give Kurt a piece of my mind.  I'd appreciate it!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Perpetual Chocoholic

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Unnamed-Still in Progress

About 3/4 complete.  Lots of tidying up to do on this one, not to mention the tricky catepillar bits.  Then back to the leaves.  Oh yes!  And an apple I promised!!!

Friday, 16 October 2009


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exatly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happend.
--Douglas Adams--

I believe I may be spending too much time exercising the right side of my brain, drawing, painting, working (artistically speaking.)  I am under this assumption because yesterday on my way to buy myself some shirts and chocolate chips at the grocery store, I saw a lady walking a rather large penguin down the street on a leash and didn't think this too odd. 
My first thought should have been:
"Take another look because it's not possible since we have not even one penguin carrying zoo in this city, or really any zoo for that matter!",
It was instead:
"Oh!  Isn't that cute!  What a lovely picture that would make."

The last time I knew I was spending too much time on art and not enough on math and other left brained activities I was also at the grocery store and having forgotten my list, was trying to remember why exactly I was there once I had arrived.

I started picking up items I believed could have been on my list and placing them in my cart.  As I walked down the dairy isle I had this unusual and strong urge to smell and lick the sour cream containers. 
"Bizzare!" I thought and continued onto the next isle.
It was then that it hit me!  I was here for sour cream and sour cream only.
My right brain told me in the only way it knew how.  Images and feelings.

It used to be when I started with this art stuff my left brain was much too dominant to allow my right to easily take over tasks.  When I'd sit down to paint I'd quickly grow restless and find myself thinking of all of the other chores I should be completing.  (All left brained activities by the way.)

Well, I now more easily slip into a creative mode.  My left brain realizing the futility of attempting to snap me out of right sided dominante activities.  I can easily get lost in Kairos time vs Chronos.

Well, it turns out that the rather large penguin was actually a medium sized dog with penguin coloured markings.  Once I had discovered this though, it was too late.  I need to spend my day doing some good old fashioned left brained activities to gain some balance in my thinking.  I wouldn't worry about it only my communication, driving, accounting skills all suffer when I am out of balance.  It's probably a good thing I'm house bound today!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Sky is Falling!

I'm still working on posting the promised coloured pencil apple.  I've been trying to cram a lot of stuff into what time we have left.  The government keeps reminding us that we're all going to die of H1N1 if we don't get our shots and then don't actually offer them up.  They want us in enough of a panic to run to the drugstore to purchase masks and handsanitizer.  I suppose that's what's going to be credited with bring us back from the recession.  Hand sanitizer sales.

This is one of the current paintings I'm working on.  Tedious!

As you can see I don't do it in any sort of order.  I let my pencils take me where they will.  I like to work on a bit of everything at once to get an over all feel for the piece.  The only exception is the rather large creature making his way across the top of her hand.  I don't want to have the darker colours blend into the ones that will go onto him so I'm leaving him until last.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Interested in attending a charity art event?  Check out the following link.

All art is raffled of to a set number of ticket holders so that every one who attends goes home with a piece of art of their own choosing. 

If you are in the city in which I live, it's for a great cause so check out the link to see how you can attend or contribute to this event.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Expressive Drawing

I took a class on the weekend (not at the art school) and it threw me a bit.  I was feeling quite discouraged by an exercise that we started off the day with.  At the art school I had felt like I was successfully catching on to a different way of drawing that I had been working on this past year at the school.  The weekend class forced me to return back to the method I had used previously, but found wasn't helping me advance my skills.  It made returning to the new way very difficult.

The above drawings are this weeks drawings that were definately more of a struggle than last week and not as successful in my opinion.  The drawings posted are worked quickly to capture movement and expressive posture.   I am so pleased with the instructor that we had replacing our regular one this past month that I would gladly take up one of his classes in the future.  I found I have learned much from him that has sped up the drawing process for me.

I now look forward to my regular instructor Pamela, whom I am also very pleased with returning to the class.  Hopefully the next class will go even smoother!

P.S.  In one of the photos you can see something new I'm working on.  The zebras are something we picked up at a charity art auction this past weekend.  I need more walls to hang all the art I have on.  Any volunteers;-)  (You can't have the zebra's though....they're mine!)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Uh Oh! More baby goldfish!

Uh Oh! More baby goldfish! This looks like it might be the mother of all batches. We'll see. Here's the last batch. They are now getting darker and the odd one is starting to show some orange. I assume the darker ones will resemble their mother and start off a chocolate colour.
The newest batch of eggs has been safely removed to a 10 gallon tank with a bubbler to await hatching. Two or three days after they hatch we'll start them on frozen baby brine shrimp.
I'm going to attempt to start the filter in the 20 gallon tank with the month old fish. Hopefully the water top up with city water I'll be required to do won't kill them!

Here's Mom (Cocoa) and Dad (Iris.) Cocoa used to be a solid chocolate brown colour but is now at three years old, mostly orange. Iris has turned yellow in the head but his body is pretty much the same. He's such a stud;-)