Woman with Bird

Woman with Bird, 33cm xc 40.5cm, 13" x 16", acrylic, graphite, acrylic inks on archival paper, 2011. It may be finished; it may not. It was a sketch for another piece but may hold its own. I photographed this in full sunlight and then adjusted the colours. The paints are iridescent, so they catch the light more than this photo shows.

She insisted, when we began, that it not look like her - and it doesn't, although it does a little. I only spent half an hour drawing her, and should have spent longer. I feel perhaps the word is blocked, not sure, that drawing is more effort, which might sound odd to those who knows my work, but things aren't breaking through in the way they used to.

So I persist, and wonder when the energies will, once again, shift; they always do.

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Altered Lifedrawing2

Altered Lifedrawing3, 28cm x 35.5cm, 11"x14", India ink, conté crayon, 100lb archival paper.

Words written in the drawing:

age comes whizzing in on us

caterpillar woman

If this image becomes an opportunity to dialogue with yourself about various issues, perhaps age-related, perhaps grandmother or elderly mother, or who knows, the crone, or perhaps death itself, reaching the edge of the lifespan and finding your body becoming larval and the wings that will take you out, enable you to flee a collapsing body, then ... yes...

(With thanks to Bent Lorentzen for eliciting this response from me to some of his comments on the drawing.)

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Comments (4)

Life Drawing at TSA

Finally, went to a life drawing session at TSA (Toronto School of Art) last night, and only because my niece (who's 20) said she'd go with me. She found the short poses difficult and erased all her drawings but three! Oy! She is very talented and wants to do an art degree.

The model was older, I estimate about 70. I don't aim for a likeness, rather looking intently at the form and letting my hand draw. Anyway, thought I'd share. First session since 2006!

The room was packed, nearly every table taken. While I hadn't planned to create backgrounds for my sketches, I found myself hurriedly sweeping coloured conte crayon over the next page in between poses. Then quickly rubbing with a paper towel to blend and wipe the excess pigmented dust onto the floor behind me with paper towels!

The conte crayons are similar to chalk pastels, brightly coloured, though a little less dusty.

These are the sketches as is, untouched, simply photographed in late afternoon sunlight, and slightly colour-corrected to more closely match the originals . There are more, some I don't like, some awaiting colour.

All Life Drawings, 28cm x 35.5cm, 11"x14", India ink, conte crayon, 100lb archival paper.

 Four one-minute poses- I've always liked drawing them as a crowd.

This was the final 15 min pose- I liked this drawing as is, so did another drawing of the same pose in the next slide.

Or view as a slideshow...

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Comments (2)


It's been a busy week and I haven't much accomplished, but I did finally populate a Lifedrawings page at my website. Or, rather, found the images between two computers, and, determined to move out of Flickr, uploaded them to their own album at Picasa. The drawings are mostly from 2005-2006.

Or click on a direct link:


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Two new pages at my Art & Writings website

Been working on my Art & Writings website, put up two pages: "Women in Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter, 2008-2009," and, finally, a "Lifedrawings" page, and redid the Navigation Buttons. You can see the Navigation Buttons below every post, and they are active links to those pages at my website - and you can see which page with a mouse-rollover. I've changed a few of the images, with intention to change the last three whenever. I only put up this website last June but already it is filling up. I've been working on it for 12 hours straight today, finding images, re-sizing them, dealing with html, positioning, layout, etc. etc, and was up till 3am last night a-werking on-the-website.

☆sort of tired☆ of .( ․or perhaps high from°☆.․ ․:)♥staring at a pixelated screen♥:))))♪♫¸¸

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Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes

Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes, pencil, India ink, fixative, acrylic matte medium, watercolour pencils, oil paint on archival paper, 12¾"x10", 2006. Digital version, 2009.

This morning I vacuumed the apartment (uh huh), and then did yoga (yah) with the intent to "do" the tasks I'd set for the day (a major clean-out of a closet, working on 2 paintings). The 'yoga with intent' didn't seem to be working since after the yoga I ended up dancing like a crazy cotton-tail all about my small space grateful that I was alone. What do you expect if you're listening to Buddha Bar? That went on for some time. Song after song found me kicking and jumping and shaking my hips, I couldn't stop. After I settled down after lunch, oh strange occurrence considering there hasn't been a night in many months that I haven't thought about starting the final painting in the Women in the Seasons series and day after day I've resisted, you know, I put a large piece of Plexiglas on the twin pull-out leaves of my desk, a few clamp lamps underneath, and transferred figures to delicious 300lb Arches watercolour paper! Pleased to report that guilt for a year (over not starting this final painting of a series) = gone.

While I was looking for the set of figure drawings I've been using for the Women in Seasons series, I found this little painting. Yeah, she's the same life drawing model who graces the Women in Seasons series, only I've not painted this pose in those paintings. I find the final digital composition of my afternoon's work on how best to present the image with its layering (only about half a dozen layers in the image), multiples, repetitions, colouring intriguing. It's fun to play digitally, though I like to base my digital work on images of an actual drawing or painting, which in turn is composed from sketches from lifedrawing sessions... (didn't Wallace Stevens say something about always basing your work on the 'real'? I like that.)

I scanned the painting in two sections and stitched it together in Photoshop Elements 6, which is what I use on my iMac. The central image that I have titled is the high resolution scan. Then I took a photograph of the painting on the smoky-coloured Plexiglass with the light shining through it. Through the afternoon the images got attached to each other, and then a third, and digitally painting a framing, and, here it is, sharing...

(click on Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes for a larger version)

Later: after 2am now... since this was a simple project with few layers , I created a short slideshow out of saved versions. Click through to Picasa if you'd like to see it larger, with captions:

Direct link:
Figure in Blue-Feathered Strokes

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Comments (1)

Women In Summer

If anyone knows the code to reverse the order of a Flikr slideshow I'd appreciate it. It's currently running backwards, from finished painting through all the stages to the drawing, which is a bit awkward. Women In Summer, I'm happy to say, is finished.

(Clicking any of the images will stop the slideshow and provide more of the info I included for the picture.)

Also, I've grouped this series on one page by the tag, WomenInSummer, at Flickr, here.

Paiting Still in Process, nearing end though...


awake in night, sleep soon, hope, embroiled by my painting, get overalls on, go at it again

complexity of colours & figures driving me nuts. ready to throw it out. obsession. unscrew tubes of oil paint, try this, that. mess of reality.

where painting has progressed to, or regressed to.

(click here for larger size, you might need to press F11 if you'd like to see its whole cacophony)

Painting In Process July 08


Clipped 2 clamp lamps each with 100Watt daylight spectrum bulbs on either side and snapped it. Blue is a bit bright, slightly darker in the original. The lower right quadrant a little darker than in the painting, but running the Dodge tool in Photoshop over it even at 25% didn't bring it to its shade of colour. Every monitor's different anyhow. My old iMac & new Dell laptop each present colours differently. Overall, and I worked on this awhile, between the 2 computers, the coloration's not bad.

Anyway, how's that drawing I posted going? Eh. Tinkering, dabbing, letting it grow in its own fashion. Slow, but I'm enjoying slow. My paintings used to be done in 20 minutes and that felt fine then only now I want to linger longer, enjoy the process continuously. A dab, a little bit of paint, wait a day, see what's next. This piece, however, who knows, it seems quite complex to me as I work on it, and I don't know in which direction it'll develop.

I just spread the blue of her back into the other blue to syncopate the rhythm across the page better because alone it overwhelmed, was too strong. I started using watercolour pencils because they're more forgiving, and I can test the colours first.

Do I like it? I'm not sure. It's growing on me. It seems diagrammatic. A blueprint. Though of what, I cannot quite say. Groupings, images of women.

72.5cm x 52cm/28.5" x 20.5", oil and watercolour on paper (click image for larger size) or go directly here (you might need to press F11 to see it all).

Prep drawing for painting

Prep drawing for a painting
India ink on paper with acrylic matte medium brushed over the drawing, 73cm x 52cm, 28.75" x 20.5"

Prep drawing for a new painting. Combining figures from lifedrawing sessions and a very famous Venus, to become part my current work-in-progress: the Botticelli Venus Suite of Poems (I've included some tiny bits of text from my poems which may be lost in the paint, who knows).

Click on image for larger size, & the tiny quotes from which poems.
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