A collection of paintings, drawings and non sequiturs. Thanks for looking!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reading the New Yorker

Last night, or I should say very early this morning, in a bout of sleeplessness I reached for the New Yorker by my bed. The title of a particular article peaked my interest: What I Learned When I Learned How to Draw

In the first paragraph, a scene is set at a dinner party, where the author of the article, Adam Gopnik, is seated across the table from another guest, who after a brief conversation reluctantly agrees to teach Gopnik how to draw; this guest is none other than the man who taught ME how to draw at the Grand Central Academy - Jacob Collins.

There is now just one degree of separation between Adam Gopnik and me;)

Written from the perspective of an art critic (and one who commonly writes on the activities of the contemporary art scene, not on learning how to draw representationally) this article sheds a curious perspective on all things 'Traditional Realism Revival".

Jacob Collins tries to teach Gopnik how to draw, and many of the lessons Jacob teaches him are eerily familiar. I thought back to my own Drawing Intensive class (taken in the summer of '09), and realized just how often I draw (pun intended) on the lessons I took away from that experience. Some of these lessons are practical in application, but most just propel me further into the world of the impractical, impossible, 'old fashioned' and overlooked.

And I am endlessly thankful for these lessons...

And this is just a quick snapshot I took of Jacob, during my Drawing class in the summer of 2009 at the Grand Central Academy.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Banner Year!!

This year I had the great pleasure of being involved in a cool project with Edmonton's talented poet laureate, Rollie Pemberton and 3 other visual artists: Nikelas Johnson, Tim Rechner and Pearl Rachinsky.

Poetry meets imagery meets the streets of the city of Edmonton.

Please check out some of the Press coverage, and learn a little bit more about the project!

You can also visit Latitude's 53 Blog, where a quick post appears on my involvement with the project. This will give you a chance to catch up on some of the other art action taking place in Edmonton.

And if you are in Edmonton, and find yourself itching for a stroll through the city's Downtown core please look up at the light posts on Jasper Ave, 104th Street and Rice Howard Way and you will see some of my work, as well as the work of the other artists who collaborated with words and light posts!

Happy summer,


Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Workshop Review

I just got back from Toronto and NYC, where I had the pleasure of taking two painting workshops.

First was the Portrait Painting Workshop with Juan Martinez at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto. We worked on two portraits over 7 days. In the mornings Theresa sat for a couple hours, and in the afternoons Evgeny sat for 3 hours. Below, I have included a video progression of Evgeny's portrait (Day 1 - Day 5).
Painting from life was a huge treat - there is nothing like having your subject right before you, so you can obsess over creating a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface.

Evgeny, 18x24", oil on linen

Evgeny Portrait Progression (Day 1 - Day 5)

Theresa (aka Left Eye Undone), 18x24", oil on linen

After Toronto I went on to NYC, where the world of the "gray scale" was revealed to me. This was a true academic exercise in understanding how Value creates a successful realist painting. Under the patient tutelage of Tony Curanaj at the Grand Central Academy, we first worked on meticulous mixing of the Gray Scale, according to the Munsell Colour System. Premixing our grays (please see image below), we made our own tubed paints and proceeded to paint gray cubes against the gray background, surrounded by gray shadows. I must admit that I started to go a little cross-eyed... Leaving the classroom and stepping out into the colourful bustling world of Midtown Manhattan after hours of painting nothing but grays, blew my mind nearly every time.

Mixing our 'gray mixtures', which we then put into empty paint tubes, and sealed.

Tony Curanaj demo, directly on our glass palette - showing us how to use the gray scale to model a sphere.

I am confident that all the 'cross-eyed' exactness of painting Value still-lifes of gray cubes will be worth it. I cannot wait to continue the practice of not just painting what my eye sees, but to use my mind to train the eye in actually seeing the subtleties of the world around me.
With time, I hope to persevere and be able to apply the painstaking lessons of the 'gray cubes' to the beauty of human form.

Baby steps... once again.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Toronto!

I am happy to report from Toronto, where I am taking a portrait painting workshop. I hope to hone my craft, and get to know this city of trams, CN towers and old trees. Here's a snapshot of my workshop 'home' at the Academy of Realist Art on the corner of Dundas West and Pacific Avenue:

In the meantime, here are few samples of the recent portraits I've completed.

Ethan, 6x8, oil on wood

Sophie, 6x8, oil on wood

Marcus, 6x8" oil on wood

Elizabeth, 6x8, oil on wood

Juliette, 8x10" oil on wood

Jack, 8x10 oil on wood

Marcus, 8x10 oil on wood

Friday, April 1, 2011

April is Here!

Hello All!

Despite the merciless freeze of winter that has dragged on and on in Edmonton, time has been flying.

Apologies for my long absence - the sun has finally found its way back to our fair city, and I am pleased to post a little preview of an auction item that will be up for grabs tonight at Splash!, the wrap up party hosted by Latitude 53 for Western Canada Fashion Week

Contributing artists were asked to create a piece using City of Edmonton uniforms, incorporated into the work in some way. The red fabric strips you see in this portrait are actually pieces of City of Edmonton Lifeguard uniform.

"Guard", 16x20" oil & fabric on canvas

Come one come all!

It's great to be back.