Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breaking Bad

... but not a stressed as moving!

We're still settling into the new place... mostly unpacked. 
Bathroom mostly renovated. 
New drawing table assembled (yay!). 
New Mac set up, then died, begrudgingly repacked and returned for repair (boo!).

I thought I'd add a few bits and bobs from the sketchbook in the coming days since I've not yet had the peace of mind to start any new art projects. Soon though.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blue meanie

This is an unfinished acrylic painting I recently unearthed during the move. I think I started it about 5 or 6 years ago but, for whatever reason, set it aside. It's based on a photo I took of an architectural detail in old Montreal. I was doing a lot of darkroom work at the time and was experimenting with tones (my favourite print of this was blue toned). Maybe if/when the unpacking is complete, I'll have a crack at finishing it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aztec Zoo

More art from the archives uncovered during the unpacking process. This linocut is from 2004. If I ever find my print stash again, I may post this in the shop.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Doodle in flight

The missus and I are moving this week so there's way too much turmoil for any creative work. Easels, paints, papers, linos... all in boxes. All art is on hold until we settle into the new nest. Can't wait... my new workshop will have a woodstove! Very pleased about that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Acrylic alien (It's no fun, being an... )

It's funny what you come across when you clean up your basement. I found a little stash of acrylics I did when I first started painting five years ago including this alien dude.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Patina square

This is the end result of the 8" x 8" set of plaster panels. It seemed to be going so well until I realized I had no bronze or copper paint. Or ink. So I ended up with a faux gold patina tile. It's especially faux since I'm pretty sure gold doesn't tarnish in that way.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Plaster series

I'm not sure what will become of this but it's a series of three 8" x 8" panels...plastered.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plastered again

More fun with plaster. 
Plaster and acrylic on canvas, 8" x 10"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This poor little thing has no name. It's an experiment in plaster and acrylic washes.
Plaster and acrylic on canvas, 8" x 10"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Oil on MDF

This painting is available for sale in the shop.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bargain books

If you're so inclined, Drawn and Quarterly is having its annual online sale. Although I'm pinching pennies these days, I couldn't resist picking up a copy of R.O. Blechman's Talking Lines. Sale's on until the 27th.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Harvey Pekar

This one marks the passing (belated) of Harvey Pekar, American comic book writer. I must admit, I didn't know much about him before the American Splendor movie came out in 2003. Since then I've picked up a few collections of his books. His first book was self-published in the 1960s and illustrated by Robert Crumb, another fav of mine. What's nice about his series is that he always had a wide variety of artists working for him... you never knew what styles you'd see from issue to issue.

This painting was a bit of a quickie... which is how I want to do them these days.

I've been really inspired by Karin Jurick's ongoing "100 Faces" series. Great stuff. I'd love to be able to paint like that one day. This one's on a small canvas but I recently gessoed 10 or so 8"x 8" hardboards. The plan is to practice portraits.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fish fossil

I've been wanting to play around with various acrylic mediums for a while so I finally purchased a few items. The above piece is a cartoonish fish fossil made with Golden Coarse Pumas Gel. It's neat stuff! I wonder though if the same effect can be achieved with a simple blend of sand with gel medium and/or paint. It would certainly be a lot cheaper.

So, at this point, the piece is only halfway there. The plan is to do the background with Golden Crackle Paste. Then coat the whole thing with matte medium, wash it with some colour and varnish. At left is a test of the Crackle Paste.

Making this doesn't really feel like painting per se... more like sculpting. But it sure is fun!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lonely cloud

A little practice painting from last night. Posted in honour of our rare blast of sunshine here on Newfoundland's Avalon today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So I went out in the garden to try and take some bird photos. The place is maggoty with them. Little junkos, I think. I'm pretty sure they were messing with me. Every time I'd aim and zoom, they'd take off. So I had to settle for a few pix of the veggie garden. They were more cooperative subjects.

At top, the potatoes giving it their all. Below that, the beans having a good stretch. At right, a birds-eye-view of a cucumber, enjoying the warmth of the greenhouse.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New banner

I've finally gotten around to ditching my ugly old banner at Doodlepalooza and replaced it with some new fanciness. See above. Much improved, I think. Based on the detective lino I did a few weeks back.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Body snatchers

I stumbled across the lair of these alien creatures yesterday. I'm fairly certain they will take over my body if I fall asleep. Either that or they're fiddleheads. If that's the case, I'll probably eat them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe linocut

This is a proof of a very little (2.5" x 2.75") lino I've been picking at this week. The colour background was actually printed about six or eight years ago on parchment paper. I did a whole pile of blended colour squares and poked them away. Found them recently so I thought I'd put them to use.

The second impression (black) is Poe. It was a tough one. With such a small image area, there was little room for detail. I wasn't happy with the outcome; I lost the resemblance somewhere along the way. I might start again with a larger plate. Or, I might make some equally small Poe-related icons and print a little series using those squares.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


After a slew of contractor nightmares these past few years, I've decided to hire this Maple tree to take down my sun deck.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New twit on the block

So I joined Twitter the other day to see what the hubbub's all about. Although I'm enjoying following a few people, I don't see the allure yet.

Started following Kevin Smith but had to immediately block him... I was overwhelmed. No wonder he's got so few movies on the go these days:  he's too busy entertaining his legion of followers.

However, I was glad to find cartoonist Tom Gauld and illustrator Mattias Adolfsson. Two of my favs.

The sketchbook doodle above illustrates my first impression. But the jury's still out. If your so inclined, I'm @doodlepalooza.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Old Burroughs linocut

This is a linocut print from 6 years ago.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Detective final

Finished a small set of prints with the Detective lino: four in total with a little watercolour zest. Available in the shop.

Gardening tomorrow... don't care if winter has another sneak-attack planned. I'll work in the greenhouse if I have to.

Image: 4" x 6"
Paper: 6" x 8"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This is my contribution for Illustration Friday this week ("Detective" theme). It's my first linocut in a few months; I was happy that I was able to turn it around in a single sitting. Pleased with it overall but, as is the way with linos, there are always a few cuts I regret. I'm too tired to do any serious printing with it right now... I just knocked off a couple of quick prints to see what I had.

No great story behind the subject I'm afraid... just some anonymous Victorian guy I found on the interweb. Although he does have a bit of a Watson thing going on.

4" x 6"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stick 'em up!

I was originally thinking this was a yawning tree but he (or she) seems to have more of a startled please-god-don't-shoot-me look about him (or her). Hence "Stick 'em up".

8" x 10", pen/ink and acrylic

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Since I'm thinking of doing more trees, I thought I'd better start giving them proper names. Tree #1, #2, etc will get old fast. This one's called "Sentinel". Pen, ink and acrylic on an 8" x 10" canvas. Available in the shop.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forties kids

A few images my father needed for a project he's mocking-up. And, yes, I'm now aware that the hula hoop was popular in the fifties, not the forties. But apparently bell-ringing was quite big.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


This is a pen and ink tree from my sketchbook coloured in Photoshop. It looks like a faux silk screen image. I might need to break down soon and buy a silk screening starter kit... I've been wanting to do it for quite some time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Get it India

A little still life present for my buddy who turned forty recently. Happy birthday, Johnny!

These turned out okay for my first attempt at painting bottles but they were a bit flat. I'm thinking about trying some more with the same subject/lighting.

As they say, "paint what you know."

(I'm not actually sure if "they" say that or not.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

IF: Expired

Illustration Friday's theme word this week is "expired". And this is where my brain went. Sad but true.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Still Life: Oranges

I picked up a couple of small canvases on sale the other day and thought I'd have a go at some smaller pieces. Managed to finish this one in two sittings; about 3 hours in total.

I'm not pleased with the reproduction on the blog here. I've been trying to shoot everything with either our little point-and-shoot (very limited manual settings) or scanning them. I'm afraid I can't get an accurate shot of this -- or any of the oils -- with either device.

I've been threatening to get a new camera for a while now... might be time. Can anyone suggest anything? I'm thinking a small mid-range (not pro) Nikon or Canon SLR under $500. Something that can supply trustworthy colour and fully manual control. Rebel? EOS? Hmm.

My no-longer-trusty Sony Cybershot is now nine years old... not a bad run for a digital camera. I miss my old K-1000 but I can't handle the darkroom chemicals anymore.

oil on canvas
10" x 8”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Johnny Cash

oil on canvas
12" x 24"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In progress

Here's a painting I've been picking at in the last few weeks. I'm hoping to finish by the weekend. I'm not pleased with the likeness (it's supposed to be Johnny Cash) but I'm happy with bits and pieces. We'll see what becomes of it. Regardless of how it turns out, I'm enjoying getting back at the oil paints.

Still off the smokes. Seven weeks and counting. Twenty-nine more to beat my previous record.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Have I mentioned I haven't had a cigarette in five weeks?

Mmm... nicotine gum. It's not bad but I can only fit nine pieces in my mouth at a time.

I'd pay good money if the makers of Nicorette and the makers of Hubba-Bubba could get together and have a baby: a sugary slab of gum the size of a matchbox with a 12-smoke dose. A single sleeve of gum would be the size of an iPad.

Not that I miss smoking or anything crazy like that.

Is there such a thing as organic tobacco? I'd hang in the field all day like a junkie cow frantically chewin' my nico-cud. Make angry moo sounds if anyone got too close my stash.

That can't be as bad for you as smoking. Can it?

Organic. Nuff said.

(Remind me to trademark "Nico-cud". And check domain usage.)

I quit every year with varying results. Though now that I think about it, the result has actually been pretty consistent: failure. I think my record is nine months. This time, I'm tracking my financial savings and poking them away in an account. It'll be interesting to see how much I can squirrel away before I eventually cave by the end of the year.

Thank god for Nicorette.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Young Doctors In Love CD

I don't normally use this space to promote my freelance work but this is a special case.

My buddy Clay, one of my oldest friends, will be releasing a CD next month with his band Young Doctors In Love. I had the pleasure to work on the design with him so I though I'd share it and give people a chance to visit their MySpace page to hear a few tracks. They've got a fantastic pop-rock sound... very catchy stuff!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In progress

How did 10 days lapse since the last post?

I started this piece the other night. It's not finished, but it's close. It's a 40" x 32" acrylic -- the biggest painting I've tackled so far.

I needed a break from oils. Oils are a whole different game. I tend to work very slowly with them. When I'm working with acrylic I feel like I can have more fun. I suppose it's the quick drying time.

Anyway, this piece is an exercise in fun... cracking open the paints, slathering them on by the knife-full, throwing them, smearing them with rags, fingers, etc. I needed to let loose and not worry about composition and subject matter so much. I think when this piece is done, I'm going to try some smaller pieces with simple subjects so I can sign off on them within a couple of hours. It's too easy to lose your groove when a piece takes weeks to finish.

Gotta get my groove back.

* * *
On a related note, I was disappointed to learn that Karin Jurick is taking an extended break from hosting the Different Strokes challenge. She's got a show in the spring and needs a few months to concentrate on her work.

Although I did discover she's got new painting videos available. Check'em out if you're so inclined.

And if you haven't already seen it, watch Newfoundland artist Helen Gregory making a piece for her latest show in this time-lapse video.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Illustration Friday

Fueled by the wild applause at the Johnston birthday party, Eugene allowed those imaginary walls to get a little too close.

Friday, January 8, 2010

NL Blogroll

I wasn't going to even mention this (my blog isn't exactly a high-traffic zone) but I'm in the running for a "People's Choice" award at the Newfoundland and Labrador Blogroll. Host Stephen Harris was kind enough to make me a blog-o-the-week earlier last year which automatically qualified me with 23 other blogs for the 1st annual competition.

Is it really a competition though? Aren't we all winners? I reinforce that point because I expect to be dead last. Hehe.

But that's okay. I've been having a great blogging experience so far. My blog's a little over a year old now and this is my 100th post. I didn't really believe I'd last that long... a lot of blogs don't. My traffic is not at all heavy but I find fascinating to see it steadily grow. And I love getting immediate feedback on my work.

I've already decided to focus more on art creation this year. My goal is to cut back on freelance design work and use that spare time for painting. I'd also like to submit more regularly to Illustration Friday and get back into painting for Different Strokes.

Anyway, the competition has definitely spiked my traffic so I thought the least I could do is say thanks to Stephen for keeping the NL Blogroll in motion this past year and hope that some of the people who check out my blog will go cast a vote. If you cast a vote via comment, it's worth two votes. Count 'em. Two. And apparently you can vote once a day (although didn't see that on Stephen's blog).

There are some great blogs in the list.

Some of my regular haunts include:
So go poke through the Tickle Trunk and discover some great bloggers!

Friday, January 1, 2010


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