Saturday, December 09, 2006

One step forward

Today has been busy. I've taken my mother shopping which is a one step forward, two steps back exercise. I have come to terms with it now by confirming to myself that I will not get anything achieved during my time out with her, but simply be the chauffeur, translator, finder of benches, locater of food, drink and washrooms and listener to endless stories of how things have increased in price and that wherever we are, things would always be easier, cheaper, or different at her usual store. I bite my tongue and tend to her needs then come home and collapse. Its tiring and reminds me in many ways of going out with a small child. The same set of skills come into play.

Tonight I planned on wrapping Christmas presents but never got around to it. Outside my mother's I slipped on ice and landed hard enough to jar a few things and create some unique aches and pains that weren't there before. So the sofa coaxed me to stay put for awhile and only in the last couple of hours have I managed to make any progress on the portrait of the child that I started earlier this week. I'll keep working on it over the next couple of days and then send it on its way. Freebie portraits aren't a bad thing, as long as they don't interfere with paying ones and they pay off in terms of goodwill and exposure.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I don't know where I found this or who it belongs to, but it says so much. Which side of the paper traps us?

If someone owns this and would like it removed, please let me know and I will do so immediately.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


"We must rediscover that reality from which we became separated as the formal knowledge we substitute for it grows in thickness and imperviousness - that reality which there is a grave danger we may die without having known, and which is simply our life." Marcel Proust

I am reading Danny Gregory's book 'Creative License' and his description of seeing is so in sync with mine. To really see and not let the logical side of your brain dictate what is there. You lose yourself in the journey as your pencil or pen travels over lines in peaks and valleys. Everything around you slowly slips out of sight as your pencil takes over and your mind concentrates purely on the form of what you are drawing.

External sounds disappear, you have no realization of where you are or what is around you, just the form. You don't see the object that you are drawing. You see shapes, light and shade. You see colours that instinctively you know how to acheive them.

Then your journey slowly comes to an end. Your boat docks with a slight thud and wakes you out of your zone. You have returned. The trip is a memory and your drawing is the souvenir of the trip.

You can see.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


“I want relations which are not purely personal, based on purely personal qualities; but relations based upon some unanimous accord in truth or belief, and a harmony of purpose, rather than of personality. I am weary of personality. Let us be easy and impersonal, not forever fingering over our own souls, and the souls of our acquaintances, but trying to create a new life, a new common life, a new complete tree of life from the roots that are within us.” D.H. Lawrence

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Monday, December 04, 2006

No, I will

I'm such a wuss. A real pushover. I say no and I never mean it. I think no and and I say yes. I always do it. Then mentally kick myself because I don't have time or energy. But I always manage to do it.

Do what you ask? Take on a freebie drawing this close to Christmas.

I promised a friend that I would draw a portrait of her grandson who's about 18 months old. This is the draft sketch that I fit in at lunch time - pardon the salad dressing. Its freehand done from a cute reference that actually was good and clear for a change. That is a rare thing for commissioned work - to get a good image to work with! The boy was wearing his Halloween costume. He was a cow. Yes folks, I'm drawing a baby cow. And I'm doing it for free.

It must be Christmas.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Too much

I drew this whale about 8 or 9 years ago and rediscovered it among some papers while looking for Christmas wrapping paper. I always seem to unearth long lost things when searching for totally unrelated items.

It was originally a design for a promotional item that didn't make the grade at the time. It was too complex. This wasn't the first and likely won't be the last time that my work is rejected for being too much of something. A number of people when they commission an artist or invite submissions for a specific use don't do their homework very well and research the style and ability of the artist. Then when they receive a cartoon instead of a detailed drawing or a detailed drawing instead of a cartoon, they are disappointed, and the artist is frustrated at having wasted time and effort in vain.

Its a bit amusing in some ways to have your work rejected as being 'too good' I guess. I submitted illustrations for a book that met a similar response. They were 'like finished portraits' Well, yeah. That's what I do. Even at the line drawing level. I can't change my style anymore than I can change who I am.

So for anyone reading this and looking for a realistic, detail oriented artist, here I am!

Whales are one of my most favourite creatures and I have had the opportunity of living near the ocean where I could watch them from my kitchen window or deck, blowing and breaching. I've also gone out in boats to whale watch and to see them close up - very close up - is such an amazing experience. To gaze into the eye of a creature that huge is awe inspiring. Here is a video clip of humpback whales cavorting in the ocean.

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