Saturday, May 12, 2007

Strange packages

Today I picked up a unusual package from the post office. I had ordered something from the USA but it seems it was shipped from Pakistan. That's fine, but the wrapping it came in had me and the post office clerk examining it closely.

The box was shipped in a muslin cotton sleeve and stitched closed. The time and effort that it would take to prepare and ship each package amazes me, considering the speed of today's society. The postage strip was stuck to the muslin and overall, the package was quite exotic by current standards.

Is this common in Pakistan as an 'envelope' or something unusual?

Friday, May 11, 2007


I have created some jewellery, some of which I have donated to charities and which has been well received, so I kept going. I am still working on beach stone jewellery and should have some of that to show early next week I hope. Meanwhile I'm putting a test piece out into the market place locally soon to see what people think.

It is a necklace and matching earrings. The stones are aquamarine and forest landscape jasper, interspersed with turquoise and sea green glass beads with silver bead spacers. The fastening is a heart shaped toggle. The earrings are for pierced ears and have the same aquamarine jasper and sea green beads that the necklace contains. This set is available to purchase for $55 (Canadian).

This is a unique piece of jewellery and will not be replicated. If anyone wishes to purchase it prior to it being let loose to the St. John's public, please email me for payment and shipping details.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The Realist Artists Association of Newfoundland and Labrador have chosen my art piece 'The Artist's Cat' as Best of Show in the recent Spring Show that I exhibited a few weeks ago with the Artists Association of NL.

I was thrilled to receive the news and happy as that drawing sold as well. I was to be presented with the award last night at the Association's Annual General Meeting, but unfortunately was unable to attend. I will receive the award later this week however. Its good to receive recognition for work. Artists have fragile egos and every pat on the head counts.

Now to work on more ideas for the symbolic self portrait. After this week so far, barbed wire and high fences seem good choices. The sketch above was a quick line drawing, done while travelling, of a lab looking as if his walk was stopped in mid flight. Perhaps that look would sum me up about now...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


The Creative Process in Portrait Drawing
"This class will focus on experimenting with concept, not just drawing a portrait to capture a likeness but to render an “idea”. Realism of course can be used as magically as ever but we can go beyond the boundaries that we set up for ourselves. This can be as straightforward as a certain expression on the face that’s heightened or exaggerated by the artist or it can be taken as far as expressionism or surrealism, even the dreaded “A” word can be explored (abstraction). I do want to keep it in the realm of portraiture so we have a foundation to work from but after that the depth of your imagination is your only boundary. Can an abstraction be portraiture, maybe not in the sense we are used to but there is plenty of abstraction that’s inspired by the human form and I don’t want to exclude an “ism” " Armin Mersmann
I've read over the details of Armin Mersmann's class in WetCanvas - and it is thought provoking. Its about creativity in portraiture and gives 3 options of participating. A narrative portrait, an homage portrait or a symbolic portrait.

I like the thought of a symbolic portrait even though I know it will push me into places I may not have visited for awhile. Both emotionally and technically.

It will also be large. There is a minimum size of 14 x 18, but I will go larger and likely use a full size sheet to produce my work with. I have some Somerset Velvet that may do what I want, or perhaps that full sheet of Bristol illustration board. I anticipate this to be a major work that will take several months to complete. Right now I'm toying with thumbnail sketches and ideas of how I will represent myself. How do I see myself? There are so many facets that can be explored which reflect the past and present, even looking into the future.

My sketches in my travels were minimal and fitting in when I was stuck on airplanes, drawing captives while they were unaware. I also did some line drawings of dogs while enroute also. Line drawings are my current favourite - well my all time favourite really. I love clean lines and outlines.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The French connection

I have been away on business for the last four days and had some challenges with wireless connections there, so didn't have an opportunity to post. Where I stayed was Chateau Montebello in Quebec, in the small town of Montebello, about one and a quarter hour's drive outside of Ottawa. The building and grounds were glorious and luxurious, but my schedule didn't allow much time for sketching so I did a quick amble around one lunch time and took some photos that will act as memories and references for future drawings or paintings.

This was the view from my room. Very rustic looking decor, but very luxurious. Sometimes there are perks in my job... Being in Quebec of course is being submersed in French culture and language - oh and did I mention food?? Canada is a bilingual country with French and English. However in Quebec, you won't find a single sign anywhere in English. I negotiated my way through restaurants and stores with my brain frantically searching for my high school French language courses. As some French friends have said to me, they can understand what I am saying, but my grammar sucks.

More enroute sketches tomorrow, electronics willing.