Monday, September 30, 2013


Started this one back in April (actually even before that, because the very first iteration of this sketch was done for the first issue of Spellbound).  Finished up for this month's Finishing Frenzy!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Journal Sketches - Airport

A man at one of the airports we went through on the way home.  I was experimenting with something here and I'm not sure it worked.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Journal Sketches - Cafe Plume

It was a chilly morning in Montreal and we rode our rented bikes to Cafe Plume for coffee.  It was busy and we didn't stay there long, just long enough to inhale a couple of lattes and for me to sketch this guy.  I liked how he was framed by the window and the plant.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Journal Sketches - Miso Ya

The weather turned cool suddenly.  I wanted to go downtown and sketch some of the architecture but we had to find a place where Neil could sit and work while I sketched, where I wouldn't freeze, and where interesting architecture could be seen.  We ended up in a lounge on the second floor of one of the Concordia University buildings.  Good old school campuses, they never let you down.

My brother went to Concordia and it was interesting seeing his school.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Journal Sketch - Parc La Fontaine

Back in Montreal, this time to see my brother get married.  We rented bikes again and revisited all our favourite places from the last trip.  Here we spent an afternoon at Parc La Fontaine before heading out to a BBQ with our new sister-in-law's family.

I forgot half my usual entertainment for the trip so I spent every morning reading Stapleton Kearns's blog at breakfast.  Here there was nothing to work with but trees, so I played around with the design a bit.  I quite like the shapes of all the trunks, except that big black one on the right.  I should have removed that big left branch.

While we were sitting by the pond looking at the trees, an older couple sat at a bench near us and started feeding ducks.  Very soon we were on the periphery of a large flock of quacking ducks (all mallards, damn their beady eyes) and some seagulls.  It was entertaining.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Curve of the Creek


So far I think this may be my favourite painting of 2013.  You can read the story behind it here

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Youkai Tree

For Spellbound, Fall 2013 - Creatures of the Deep Dark Woods.  If you're interested in children's fantasy you can buy it HERE.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Colour Study

Quick colour study from random photo on Flickr.

Monday, September 09, 2013


It feels like I did nothing in August/September except paint and make these little sketches.  Maybe October is going to be more productive.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Amongst the Reeds

This was started the same day that I did the old train a few posts back.  I had such a lousy sketching session that I stopped at this little pond near a church to do some painting.  Unfortunately my arrival startled the ducks but I saw a large muskrat, some grebes and some darting swallows overhead.

After I'd been there for half an hour, a couple of coots came out. And the hilarious thing is that they started grunting, which is a bizarre sound halfway between a quack and a fart. I couldn't keep my face straight because these black duck-like objects were floating just off the left side of the painting going "fffrrrrttack". If my camera had been working I would have put them into the picture but as it was still wet I had to leave it at inanimate objects.

This is a very small painting, so most of it was finished on location.  I did a bit of refining in the studio but otherwise it stands.  It's very... blue.  I don't usually use phthalo, it's a bit overwhelming, even in small doses.

Acrylic on hardboard, 8x6".

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Colour Study

From a random photo on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bridal Falls

I thought I'd experiment with the palette knife again.  Difficult but fascinating!

From a photo I took at Bridal Falls in British Columbia.  I've never met a waterfall I wasn't willing to stop for.

Acrylic, 8x9".