Saturday, September 05, 2009

Capelin print

I was sketching in bed last night...yes I know, but that's what I do sometimes...and these little fish appeared that I thought might translate well into a linoprint.

I haven't used lino for awhile as the pressure from the cutting tool onto the harder lino causes problems in a forefinger that I hurt years ago. I remedied this a little today by heating the piece of lino in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It smells strange, but does the trick to make the lino more pliable and easier to cut.

This is one of the first prints and let's me see what still needs to be adjusted in the drawing. I will also play with coloured printing inks and I want to see what happens with a print if I add watercolours. I still need more printing paper as well and need to do a little research on what works well. Finding a Japanese printing paper locally is pretty much a nonexistant possibility, so I'll need to add that to my list for when I next do a mail order. However, in the meantime, I will use some Stonehenge for the final print run of this.

The print is about 4.5 x 7.5 inches.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Sometimes words are superfluous and objects stand on their own. This is a pristine feather found in the garden from a Northern Flicker woodpecker.

Woodpecker photo credit Nature's Pics

Often they wake me in the morning by drumming on the side of the house. Not really popular at 5am, but still beautiful.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I've been fiddling with this sketch of some otters for the last week and it frustrates me. I don't know why I decided to go so loose with it as I like some more detail in animals. But I was pressed for time and pushed ahead anyway just to get it done where in fact,I should have abandoned it or started over.

I really need a piece to grab me to give it my full attention and do it justice. This just didn't do that for me. However, that's ok too. I never expect every piece to work out as I want it. Its all part of the process of creating.

This is on a half sheet of Stonehenge in coloured pencil.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Study of Roland

Of all the things that I draw, I enjoy people and animals the most. There is something so unique to each face, almost like sculpting on paper.

This sketch is a study for a painting that I will do, most likely still using a limited palette, as it suits itself so well to skin tones and limits my decision-making as well!

I did this quick sketch on brown paper with coloured pencils, very loose. I like studies and look at them as warm ups for the real thing. It gives me a better idea of what I'm trying to achieve in terms of the under drawing and I often use the studies as the basis for the painting and refer back to it often as a guide.

The head shape for this gentleman is different and looks a bit off in the drawing. In fact the back of the skull is rather flatter than usual and I may adjust that in the painting.

Roland is one of the choices for September's portrait challenge at WetCanvas. Its not as good as having a live model, but the next best thing when I just want a face to play with. I'm always looking for new faces, so if anyone wants to be immortalized, feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

White on black

I love the contrast of white and greys on black paper and this face appearing out of the shadows becomes sinister and appealing at the same time.

Like scratchboard, working light to dark takes a bit of thought as you're letting features form themselves. They become apparent only when you form the light around them, like negative space.

I'd forgotten I started this piece and don't recall the reference for it or when I did it. I think it was done with white charcoal or pastel perhaps. Maybe even coloured pencil. It was unearthed when I did a studio clear out last week. Its amazing what you find when you clean up!

Monday, August 31, 2009

When earth, sea and sky combine

While I had some time off last week I wandered a bit and sketched. While the weather didn't always cooperate, there was always the car to retreat to if rain and wind threatend to take me away.

This was one of those times. The day after Hurricane Bill, the sea surge was strong still sending waves up against the cliffs with deafening, hypnotic sound. The cliffs and sea were littered with seagulls who weren't venturing far in the rough waves.

For me, this is perfect weather. I love stormy seas, but also know well enough to stay clear of them too. Strong waves carry people off in an instant. The daredevils often don't live to tell the tale.

So I sat in and out of the my car, perched on top of a cliff overlooking Middle Cove and watched the sea, sky and earth merge and tried to capture the moment on paper.

This is my sketchbook with the brown paper and blue ink from a Micron .25 pen as my Rapiograph decided it wouldn't record for me that day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I found some photos I had taken of a friend's daughter and remembered her day of 'dancing' for me. She was 3 and full of energy, flinging herself around the room in the late afternoon sun, wearing her 'princess' dress.

The expression on her face was pure joy. She loves to dance and move and dress up. Her titian hair glowed with light against the shadows and her face showed her pleasure. She was alone in the world at that very moment enjoying herself to the ultimate that she could.

Oh to be able to feel that pure abandonment for the moment. We have glimpses of it as adults, but society has trained us to not give in at risk of being labelled inappropriate or mentally ill. Pity.