Archive for March, 2009

A Satisfying, Productive Weekend

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Well, I scraped off my palette, rolled up my paint-spattered sleeves and got to work, dag-nabbit, and it was great. Being ever so slightly directionless in painting can be quite satisfying, as there’s so much room for the element of surprise. I dragged a few stagnant attempts out of the closet (literally) and injected some new life into them. They’re drying now, so I’ll see how they look in the morning.

I’m very tired from messing about in the garden too. I have no idea what I’m doing in that arena, so I guess I’ll wait and see what comes up from the soil in the next few months. How exciting!

June Show

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Today I have to get going on new paintings for a show I’m having in June. I can’t believe I leave things like this until I’m going a little nuts. Maybe I crave the drama. There’s a thought. I do have some time today to start tickling the canvas a little and see what comes up. Ah, the non-linear creative process…


I guess I should start by scraping my palette. I seem to let it dry so it becomes a much more arduous process than it has to be. It would probably help if I stopped typing and started scraping. Toodles.

Singing Birds

Saturday, March 14th, 2009



Next to my desk where I work on “dry” (ie paint-free) projects hangs a lovely calendar by Anahata Joy Katkin that my sis gave me for Christmas. This month has a little drawing and the caption “If you keep a green bough in your heart, then the singing bird will come” ~ Chinese Proverb.  I rather love this. I think it’s true, too. I think we can sometimes let our boughs get somewhat brittle and inhospitable for those twittering birdies that brighten our day.

It was raining today, so the birdies weren’t twittering, but we’ve got daffodils poking up under the giant cedars in our backyard. I’m happy about that. And the peas that C and his mum planted next to the compost are very excited it’s spring.

I’m almost finished a portrait commission of a 14 year old girl. I’m excited to show it to them. Once they’ve seen it I’ll be able to post it here. Until then, Birds will have to suffice.

Stealing Beauty

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Ah, I love this movie. Liv Tyler, Sinéad Cusack, Joseph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons set against a house in Tuscany…gorgeous.

Stealing Beauty Flowers

beautŽ volŽe



I guess I have a thing for ‘coming of age’ films, girls transitioning into women. It’s  such a fascinating social change. Debutantes, Tweeners, Lolitas, they’re all favourite subjects of film-makers and novelists. I guess ‘stealing beauty’ is what they do by capturing these girls at that moment of change and freezing that moment for us to look upon. I feel a bit like I steal beauty when I paint my girls. But none of them really exist the way I’ve created them, so no harm done.

Speaking of films, I recently made a painting and a series of sketchbook drawings for a made-for-TV movie being shot here in town. I can’t divulge the title or post any images of what I made, as the images now belong to the film. This is new for me. How strange to spend hours working on a piece to have it belong wholly to someone else. It’s different when someone buys a painting from me to hang in their home. They don’t own the image, only the painting. It was fun to be part of a medium I love so much. I’m often inspired by images from films, so it felt like full circle to make a painting for a film. I also got to be the ‘hand double’, as in the person actually doing the painting/drawing in the close-up shots. Very nerve-wracking. To do a whole drawing from blank page to completion with a giant camera over my shoulder and 8 pairs of eyes watching me was a new experience. When it gets closer to the air date, I’ll post the title and channel here.

Zak Smith

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Zak Smith is one of my favourite living artists. He’s young and successful (jerk) and works out of a studio in Brooklyn. I saw his Pictures of Girls show in Chelsea, NYC, in 2005 and fell in love with his gorgeous drawings/paintings. I also admire the lack of pretension of his commentary: “I just wanted to paint pictures of hot girls”.
Okay, then. I get that.




Zak himself.

Zak himself.

Close up and personal

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Blondie's Eye

Though the ‘interweb’ is a great tool for artists, it fails to deliver a sense of scale that is part of viewing art in the flesh. Here’s a close up of Blondie‘s eye, which is about 8 inches high.