I Fall with the Dragon

I fall with the dragon.Into dark waters.

I fall with the dragon and remembering the sounds and smells of descent and the pulse of fear, awaken into a world without

dragons and dark waters, blurred feelings, opening sentences, sadness that stretches each way and joy that is sharp like the point of a spear

sky line, land lines

The hanging flower pots are weighted down with cones of hard  wet snow.

On the open porch the dog sits in curled posture , sun licking his knotted locks of creamy hair, his white coat looking coffee stained next to the bright white snow.

I am twirling paintbrushes over summer shrubs in a blue green painting of the back field

now suspended in winters white emptiness, small paths of small animals engraving stories of adventure and unseen appearances, disappeared.

birds fly, rug hook.jpg

Models, holding postures

I love to draw from the model, draped or undraped, but I often notice a self awareness in the model, can make the make the drawing process so tense and stiff. There really is a communication going on at all times between people, I see you, I see you looking at me, here I am, here I am as I want you to see me, here I am as I wish I could be, or here I am-hello. It is not that the sitter has to be relaxed, it is so awkward to sit for so long, it is that they have to trust themselves in a way and us as well.

The perfect example is a girl who sat as a model for our drawing group close to twenty years ago. I never did any good drawings of her and found her postures over poised and unsatisfying. She recently began modeling again, 20 years later, and is an amazing model, interesting poses, animated eyes, hands, and face. She knows who she is and is enjoying as much as she can the experience.

If cats didn't move so much they would be great models, knowing exactly the scheme of things in any situation. They hold the moment so well.

Oh I am really digging deep for some ideas and some commitment to the working process on my part. Definitely have the January chill. Perhaps I should get up early and see the day really beginning, this usually jolts me into  hands over head activity. The raw light of day, the blank page, the sunrise. Besides some model drawing, and cleaning some brushes........... Ah well, I saw a fox today running alongside the road in the evening light as I was driving home. His small black paws would be salty from the roadside, so many truckfulls have been laid on since the freezing rains of this week.

Inspire me January

Please help me find a way to be inspired this January.  I am spending too many days filling the woodbox, sharpening pencils, and looking at how the clouds have changed since the last time I looked. Sometimes being "creative" seems like too much work, and perhaps too much introspection, silence, and self awareness. I don't know if I am avoiding something or just absorbing enough moments to finally explode in the colours of art. Hoping it is that. I do love the winter palette. The clean white of snow that picks up the colours of sky, field, forest, and sun.  Even when painting a simple landscape, a reaction and expression to these things I always find there is some kind of self examination in the process.  I am just cocooning for the moment.

back field.jpg


I am working on a large children's mural, dragon's, unicorn's and castles.  Felt a little old to be standing on a ladder drawing. The great thing about being older is not caring too much about such choices but I am a bit worried about tripping over.  I love working on large surfaces, you can make wonderful sweeping lines and not really be able to see what you've done till you stand back and away.  It is a kind of freedom from the self editing that is bound to happen anyway. Sometimes you make  such a beautiful but meaningless  line you just want to keep it anyway. I suppose if I had more sophistication I would know when to make such lines just be for themselves.....It is hard to be so brave. I will post my prelim sketch here soon.   Scottish referendum tonight. Wonder how brave they will be?

started painting

started painting

Another snow day

Big spring storm today. They closed the trans Canada near Truro. Lots of wind and wet snow.  The poor crows were huddled in the fir trees in front of the house waiting for the dog to leave the porch so they could swoop in for the tidbits of meat and bone he leaves. Spoiled dog.


I worked on a new poster for this years Classical youth concert. I like to do posters in watercolour.  The transparency seems to work with the poster medium, perhaps it feels more spontaneous and timely, of the moment, compared to the resolution of an oil or acrylic painting.I will post it here when I am done.

Who wants to know

First blog ever.  Another freezing cold march morning in the winter that never ends.  Got the wood stove going and went through a few drawing portfolios of live figure drawing sessions, looking for some example to put on the website.  The pencil drawings have a lot more resolution than the pastels which I have just started using but I like all the distortions and the stylistic feeling of the pastels.  They also seem more connected to an art history past.  I will pick some of each.  I love going through them and remembering each of the models, usually hard up students looking for a bit of cash.  Each with their own special vibe and presence.  Wish we could get more males, guys to pose.  Love the angles and the attitude.

I will be leaving for the art department soon to set up a still life for my students who have missed classes during the week.  Perhaps a bowl full of green apples to remind us of the green to come.