Category Archives: Drawing

Modest proposals

Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal Mixed Media 12" x 12"

Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal
Mixed Media 12″ x 12″

Dark HarbourSeawall Enhancement Proposal Mixed Media 12" x 12"

Dark Harbour Seawall Enhancement Proposal
Mixed Media 12″ x 12″

My two mixed media drawings, Dark Harbour Seawall Enhancement Proposal, and Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal are part of this year’s Annual Square Foot Show in New Brunwsick’s Grand Manan Art Gallery. I’ve been playing with ideas about what else could be built with the materials used to build piers and fishing weirs on the island, inspired by the driftwood sculpture constructions by Lars Vilks that are found on the shores of the proud, free micronation of Ladonia. I’m a citizen of Ladonia of course, and would certainly apply for citizenship of Grand Manan, were it possible to do so. In the meantime, I can only offer my collection of modest proposals. The Square Foot Show continues until July 14, 2016.

Proposal for Thoroughfare Crossing and Fishfluke Light Reconstruction

Supposing the wreckage of the Fishfluke Light, that used to mark the entrance to Grand Harbour in Grand Manan NB, were to be gathered up and reconstructed? And, what if the abandoned and disintegrating wooden lobster pounds was recycled to build a swing bridge crossing to Ross Island at the end of Thoroughfare Road? To move, the bridge would need some sort of mechanism besides the tide of course.

Proposal for Thoroughfare Crossing and Fishfluke Light Reconstruction, 18" x 24" Mixed Media on Panel, by Aleda O'Connor

Proposal for Thoroughfare Crossing and Fishfluke Light Reconstruction, Mixed Media 18″ x 24″

There may be others, but the only wooden winch that I’ve ever seen  is kept  in a smoke shed at Seal Cove, where the late Michael Zimmer preserved many historic artifacts of the Atlantic smoked-herring fishery in his Sardine Museum and Herring Hall of Fame. My drawing of it, Winch Herring Shed, is in the permanent collection at the Grand Manan Art Gallery and Proposal for Thoroughfare Crossing and Fishfluke Light Reconstruction is in the Island Art Show there from August 8 to 27 2015.

Winch, Herring Shed,  Pen and Ink on Toned Paper, 10" x 12" by Aleda O'Connor

Winch, Herring Shed, Pen and Ink on Toned Paper, 10″ x 12″

 

Grand Manan’s Dark Harbour and the Nimis of Ladonia

Dark Harbour Span Concept Looking South, Mixed Media  12" x 12" by Aleda O'Connor

Dark Harbour Span Concept Looking South, Mixed Media 12″ x 12″ SOLD

Dark Harbour Span Concept looking North, Mixed Media 12"x12", by Aleda O'Connor

Dark Harbour Span Concept looking North, Mixed Media 12″x12″ SOLD

 

My two small mixed media drawings “Dark Harbour Span Concept Looking North”, and “Dark Harbour Span Concept Looking South” are part of this year’s Square Foot Show at the Grand Manan Art Gallery in New Brunswick. My drawings were inspired by the amazing and mysterious tower at the mouth of the outlet to Grand Manan‘s Dark Harbour, the abundant driftwood on its shores and the wonderful driftwood sculptures (Nimis) built by Lars Vilks in the nature reserve Kullaberg, in the northwest corner of county Skåne, in Sweden, in the (similar-to-Grand Manan) micronation of Ladonia. The show continues until July 16, 2015. @Queen_Ladonia, @LadoniaHerald @Ladonia_Info @SeeNewBrunswick

Inc. Squared 2014

My 12”x12” mixed media drawing on a wood panel was part of Hamilton Artist’s Inc. annual fundraising show, Squared

Please Do Not Drive...12"x12" Mixed Media

Please Do Not Drive…12″x12″ Mixed Media

Summer on the road

Stone Table and Benches, Gould Farm Carbon Pencil on Paper 18" x 24"

Stone Table and Benches, Gould Farm Carbon Pencil on Paper 18″ x 24″

We travelled a lot this spring and summer, in North America and later in Britain. Here are some of the highlights of our trip as recorded in my sketchbooks. In June, I visited Gould Farm, in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts where my friend Rose is a volunteer. She wrote and edited a wonderful cookbook to celebrate the farm’s 100th anniversary as a healing and rehabilitation centre – and to raise money for this marvelous organization.

Barry planned three workshops for the summer: Toronto was first, in July.

12" x 16" Watercolour

Doctor’s House Pioneer Village 12″ x 16″ Watercolour

8.5 " x 11" Pen and Ink

Gate, University College U of T 8.5 ” x 11″ Pen and Ink

Next, we travelled to Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy.

Light keepers House Swallowtail Light, Grand Manan 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Light keepers House Swallowtail Light, Grand Manan 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Seal Cove Sheds and Spools 18" x 24 "Charcoal with Watercolour

Seal Cove Sheds and Spools 18″ x 24 “Charcoal with Watercolour

Early in August, we moved on to the Cotswold District in England.

Broadway Village, Cotswolds England  9" x 12" Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Broadway Village, Cotswolds England 9″ x 12″ Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Stanway House, Cotswold District England 9" x 12" Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Stanway House, Cotswolds England 9″ x 12″ Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

When the workshops were over, we visited Cornwall for 10 days.

Porthgwarra Village View 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Porthgwarra Village View 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Low Tide, Mevagissey Cornwall 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Low Tide, Mevagissey Cornwall 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Drawn Together

I was included in a profile of two University of Guelph graduates in the May 2013 issue of the University Alumni magazine, Portico. Author Andrew Vowles connected us after meeting each of us in open life drawing sessions here in Hamilton. Ward Shipman, the photographer for the Portico piece, is another regular in the same life drawing circles. I really look forward to any opportunity to spend time drawing from life. The experience keeps my hand and eyes tuned, but I love the state of mind that can be achieved by focusing entirely on the process of observing something carefully through drawing: a meditation when it’s going well. 

I’ve been participating in two life drawing circles in Hamilton since we arrived in 2012. On Sundays you can draw from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the top floor of the Vasco Da Gama building on Hamilton’s James Street North, between Cannon and Mulberry streets. Look for the sandwich board on the street outside. It costs $10 and is run by artist John Martin. Anne Becker, the owner of 337 Sketch Gallery (located at 337 Ottawa Street near Barton Street in Hamilton,) opens up her own studio above the gallery for life drawing from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays. The fee is $12.50. Make sure to be a little early. The street door gets locked promptly. 

More from Ireland

I’m still under the spell of the January light and landscape in Ireland’s Cork and Waterford Counties. Here are a few more of my drawings, some in pen and ink, and several in pen, ink and white charcoal on toned paper. 

Ireland in January

Goat Island Ardmore, by Aleda O'Connor 8 1/2" x 11" Pen and Ink

Goat Island Ardmore, by Aleda O’Connor 8 1/2″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

It would be hard not to be inspired by the light and landscape in the south of Ireland at any time of the year. 

Gate, Lismore Castle, by Aleda O'Connor 3" x 4" Pen and Ink

Gate, Lismore Castle, by Aleda O’Connor 3″ x 4″ Pen and Ink

My Irish friends and family thought I was a bit odd choosing to visit in January and urged me to come when the weather was “better,” but I haven’t regretted my timing for a moment.

Middle Glanmire Road, Cork by Aleda O'Connor 8 1/2 " x 11" Pen and Ink

Middle Glanmire Road, Cork by Aleda O’Connor 8 1/2 ” x 11″ Pen and Ink

While I was admiring the palm trees, primroses, daffodils and gorse in bloom, my family was confronting blizzards at home in Ontario.

Blackwater River Near Villierstown County Waterford, by Aleda O'Connor 8 1/2" x 11"

Blackwater River Near Villierstown County Waterford, by Aleda O’Connor 8 1/2″ x 11″

Above the Pier, Ardmore,  by Aleda O'Connor3" x 4"  Pen and Ink

Above the Pier, Ardmore, by Aleda O’Connor
3″ x 4″ Pen and Ink

This trip was a bit of a sentimental journey to say hello to family, friends and visit a landscape I hadn’t seen for a while, so I especially appreciated finding some of my old haunts in Waterford and Cork Counties empty of tourists.

Without leaves on the trees and hedges, it was much easier to see the landscape.
My sketchbook was a great companion, especially for someone travelling alone. 

It’s been a good move…

Some of you know that Barry Coombs and I moved to Hamilton45 minutes west of Toronto – in May. Six months later I can report that we are thrilled by our decision, by our new home that has enough space for both of us to have studios, a guest room, plenty of storage space and a big garden in a lovely neighbourhood, close to the lake and farmers market. What more could anyone want? Barry had many connections here, having taught at the Dundas Valley School of Art (DVSA) for some 20 years, and I have been most warmly welcomed by absolutely everyone I have met, from Barry’s former DVSA colleagues and students, to our new neighbours and the folks at the Burlington Art Centre (BAC) where I recently gave a presentation about my oil pastels to the Burlington Fine Art Association. We have become regulars at the James Street North Art Crawl, and last month I attended some of the screenings of the Art Gallery of  Hamilton’s World Film Festival.  (Heck – all three venues were less than 10 minutes away.)

Bicycle, 3″ x 4″
Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

To top off this perfect beginning, my little drawing Bicycle was chosen for the Viewers Choice Award at the opening of the Second Annual Miniature Show at Hamilton’s 337 Sketch Gallery. I’m very proud to be part of this show that contains some exquisite works of art – none of which are larger than 3” x 4” or cost more than $200. (I have my eye on a few beauties.) The show runs until October 29 at 337 Ottawa Street, Hamilton.

Figure Drawing

Graphite on paper 18" x 24"

Works by participants in the weekly Sketch Group are on display in the Heliconian Club at 35 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto’s Yorkville, until March 7. “Majesty,” my drawing of actress Sandi Ross, is part of the exhibit.

The Heliconian Club generously opens its hall for life-drawing sessions on Mondays for members but also welcomes non-members. The morning session features short poses from 10 a.m. until noon. From 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., the model holds a sustained pose. If you’re interested in drawing with the group, just show up with your chosen drawing materials at 9:45. Some drawing boards and a few easels are provided, but bring your own to be sure you are comfortable.  Fees are $7 for the morning and another $7 for the afternoon.

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