Saturday, November 18, 2006

More moose

I'm starting a series of wild animals that live in Newfoundland and Labrador and have started with this cow moose. I am surrounded by woods and moose so there is no shortage of subject matter, sometimes too close for comfort.

I began with a rough sketch to get the desired composition and form, then created this master line drawing which is also my value drawing. I use it to create the areas of light and shade on the image and it acts as my reference as well. I have transferred the drawing to both watercolour and stonehenge paper as I'm not sure which I want to do the final image in. Both perhaps!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodbye Kit

Kit has gone today to her new home. It was so strange when I came home not to see her in her stall munching hay. It feels odd. I don't like it. But I guess I'll get used to it.

She walked into the horsebox without a murmur and stood quietly to be tied in then had a little adventure of a side trip to Ryan's farm where a calf was having problems being born, then on to her new home in Torbay. As there have been no phone calls, I am presuming that all has gone well at the other end. I'm dying to phone and find out, but am stopping myself from doing so and acting like some overprotective parent on a child's first sleepover.

Kit, who gave pleasure, worry, concern and joy. Kit who taught me never to wear a jacket with buttons on it, to always keep horse treats in my pocket and a tissue to wipe horse goop off my jacket. Kit, who loved sweet feed more than anything in the world, who galloped to the barn and skidded to a halt at the barn door in her haste to get there. Kit. I miss you already.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I've been adding layers to this drawing for weeks now and I'm losing interest and patience with it to be honest. The horse itself is ok, but the background is 'blah'. I think its too green or has too much detail or not enough detail or something. So I've left it for a week or two and gone back to have another look.

It still doesn't look right. It may be one of those drawings that gets shoved in the 'mistake' drawer. I pull those drawings out from time to time and look at them to see if I understand where I went wrong or why I went wrong. Often I look at them and just think ' arrrrrrrggggggggg' and put them back again. But I don't destroy them. Every drawing is a learning experience.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Marks on paper

I found this sketch while looking through a few sketchbooks that have accumulated over time. I remember drawing it while at work during lunch. I had one of these promo hats on my desk and the light was just right - if ever it can be in an artificially lit office. My pen was in my bag and it just flowed.

Its funny how sometimes you can get into the drawing and it works so well, as if the pen knows where to make the mark and every mark goes down as anticipated with no silent, or not so silent, cursing as the pen drips or you make a wrong line that can't be corrected.

I've found that pen and ink is more forgiving than I originally anticipated. I had always avoided it as I felt it was too tricky to use well. With a number of ink drawings under my belt, I have a very different outlook to pen and ink and quite like it now. I'm experimenting with some holiday themed drawings for Christmas cards right now all in pen and ink. I'll probably add a touch of colour to the black and white of the cards - just enough to highlight it. But right now its the experimental drawing board.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rubber ducky

I was asked to contribute an ATC (Artist Trading Card) to a colleague in an art forum to commemorate the impending birth of her first baby - a girl. The opportunity piqued my curiosity as I hadn't done much work on that scale before. An artist trading card is 2.5 x 3.5 inches so miniaturizing a drawing to fit into that space took a little experimental drawing first.

Here is the result. It will be mailed off to her this week and become part of what I hope will be an assortment of ATCs that she receives. It should make an interesting keepsake that will prove a real talking point now and into the future. It was completed in Prismacolor pencils on Moleskine watercolour sketchbook - small, which I then cut down.

I've been on a search lately for childhood memories of toys. Finding them is a challenge as most traditional toys have been modernized and are no longer the dull, utilitarian colours or sizes that I recall from my childhood but now come in garish neon colours and plastic with flashing lights. So simply finding a rubber duck was the challenge. My other search is for a set of jacks. Simple gunmetal grey aluminum jacks with a little red ball. What can I find instead? Bright fluorescent green, pink and yellow jacks that a child would find near impossible to catch more than two in their hand, combined with a clear blue plastic ball that flashes green and red lights when it bounces. When on when, will manufacturers embrace the concept and not **** with stuff that already was perfectly good?

So if anyone reading this has a set of jacks - the REAL ones - that they'd like to part company with, please let me know. I'll pay for them. I want to use them as part of a series of drawings and paintings of traditional childhood toys.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Simple Bliss

Today I visited The Rooms to see the newly opened Mary Pratt exhibition - Simple Bliss. I love her realism and colour and incredible use of light in depicting everyday life in domestic scenes. Her paintings glow with colour and light and the detail is exquisite.

One of the exhibition pieces are eleven process prints and a tracing that illustrate the time consuming and precise print making process. The detail of the master line drawing was incredible and it was very interesting to see the process.

The Rooms themselves are spacious with no money spared in sumptuous flooring, intricate lighting and breathtaking views of the harbour and city. They house the museum, art gallery, and archives for the province. It dominates the skyline of the city now and is, in my my opinion, rather ill placed, being right in the centre of downtown St. John's, turning the previous skyline into miniatures by its towering presence. I did take some photos from the atrium and upper balconies of the view but they were on my cell phone camera and I still haven't figured out how to transfer them to my computer. Once I read the manual - and understand it, I will be able to upload them I hope.

For now, I still see Mary Pratt's images in my head and continue to examine and re-examine how she creates these wonderful images.