19 July 2019

sketchbook : integuments

exploring the possibilities of oil stick blender
with various drawing media


oil paint marker and China marker (similar to litho crayon)


graphite pencil


the book begins to develop character

10 July 2019

"Mobile" sketches

Yesterday was all-day, all-in studio.

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

I was planning to stretch a canvas
and try drawing with oil sticks on it

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

but I felt too lazy to do all that prep work
and I've been feeling ambiguous about canvas lately anyway

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

So I cleaned up the studio a bit, and found a pad of bond paper
very lightweight, translucent, and acid-free

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

and drew on that instead with the oil sticks
plus a bit of oil medium with brushes & a rag to smudge

oil stick on paper, Mobile sketches

and: kapow!

I have used these very materials in my portrait books with excellent results (of the materials if not the image at times, haha). However, this bond paper is somewhat different from the various sketchbooks' papers, so just to be on the safe side I will wait a few weeks to see if the oil medium bleeds and/or stains, before going forward with this particular process.  Testing, always testing.

Regardless of the long-term outcome of this particular little body of work, I must say it was a fantastic studio day, very energized and leaving me feeling full of possibility.  Really, I just love drawing, in whatever form.

Now today is errands: tending to the ever-burgeoning garden, mowing the lawn, dealing with a bit of laundry, hitting up the library for more books and picking up groceries on the way home.  Maybe I'll even make dinner!

Ambitious, huh?


07 July 2019


Hello again!

First off, I'd like to share a few exhibitions and other events which I'm feeling excited about, in my most recent newsletter.  

And now on to some of my studio explorations.

At the encouragement of a friend, a couple of months ago I was playing around with watercolours, perhaps my least favourite painting medium.  *laughs*

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
First attempt: rather heavy-handed, 
although the silver bits are alluring.

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
Second attempt: getting better perhaps.  With gold bits!
Perhaps in a previous life I was a magpie...

abstract paintings watercolour 7x10"
Third attempt: actually managing a bit of transparency.
No metallic bits, though  :=(

I used w/c tube paints, and also w/c crayons and Inktense pencils.  Although I enjoyed exploring the materials, I've not picked up the watercolours since these attempts.  Perhaps in future I'll give them another go.

Last month I went on a field trip to the Weaselhead Flats with 42 third-grade students, 3 teachers and 5 adult chaperones.  It was a wonderful field trip, and I completely forgot to take any photos of the charcoal drawings we did after our nature hike!  The kids - and adults too - seemed to really enjoy the various charcoal techniques I showed them.

"Who knew you could do all that with the lowly black stick?"
*laughs*  oh the delightful eye-openings.
My own sketches were made from this tree,
on the hillside above the river near our house.

Wildwood School Grade 3 with Karen Beck, at weaselhead flats in calgary
The kids and having fun with shadows at Weaselhead Flats.

Back in the studio, I'd been itching for a bit of oil painting, so I pulled out some small paintings made long ago on MDF panels cut to various sizes, no two alike.

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
First colour layers over the old paintings.

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
Laid them in a drawer to dry out of the way

Very small oil paintings, first colour layers on top of old paintings.
Subsequent colour layers.
Maybe finished, maybe not.

Fragile Planets - extra pieces of plates and prints, trying out some framing ideas

Remember the Fragile Planets work I made a couple of years ago?  There were some extra plates & prints, and I've been thinking whether they might be worth framing.  Here, playing around with random materials... not sure I like this aesthetic though.  Candace Larsen at CKG may have some better ideas.

So, there you have some of the "other work" I get into, besides the stuff that makes it to the galleries & exhibitions.  What fun, eh?  

I love being an artist, and am so grateful that I'm able to spend my time this way.

Thanks as always for reading my blog posts!