Category Archives: Drawing

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.

Watercolour with charcoal pencil

I joined a Sustained Saturday watercolour class taught by my partner Barry Coombs for the afternoon, after a space opened up at the last minute.  These studio days run from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. several times each term.  The still life subject was predominantly brass and we were encouraged to compose our image by employing a very tight crop. I admire people who work in watercolour, and even though I’ve been working at it for about 18 months, my results are very unpredictable. That’s partly what makes it fun – and terrifying!

My original idea was to spend the afternoon drawing in black and white with pen and ink. Working on hot press paper, I sketched the subject lightly with pencil. Then, inspired by the work being done by others around me, I changed my mind and used watercolour to block  in the key shapes, adding some secondary washes to form the shine and shadows. Next, returning to my comfort zone, I  added value, structure and depth with charcoal pencil. (So much for planning!) I was surprised by how the charcoal seemed to melt when it touched the still-wet paper as I worked. I liked the effect, and for a while worked back and forth between the dry and wet mediums.  If you want to see more about the class, see Barry’s blog post about the day. 

Watercolour and Charcoal Pencil study 12" x 16"

Opening Night at Core Realty

I’d like to thank everyone who came to the opening night of my exhibition at Core Realty and to thank Core for its generous hospitality and support. The turnout was excellent and I had a wonderful time! 

The show is open for viewing seven days a week from 11 am to 4 pm and continues until February 16.

Solo Show January 19 to February 16

I’m really pleased to be showing a collection of my Oil Pastels and Pen & Ink drawings, at Core Realty, 747 Queen Street East in Toronto, from January 19 to February 16.  Please drop by for the opening on Thursday January 19, between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.  And keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Canadian and Korean Artists’ Exhibition

I’ve been invited to show my drawing Dark Harbour Dories in an exhibition for the Korean Consulate and Dosan Gallery in Toronto.  It runs September 19 to 23.

Dark Harbour Camps: two versions

As a subject, I’ve always been drawn to the landscape and boats at gritty Dark Harbour, on the west side of Grand Manan island, where the dulse pickers keep their dories. Many also keep camps on the shore and rocky sea wall. While we were there for a two-week vacation following the workshop at the beginning of August, I worked in pen and ink as usual, and in watercolour too, after overcoming my inhibitions in Barry’s class last year.

Dark Harbour Dulse Camp

Dory and Camp

Maritime Sketches

We spent most of July and August along the St. Lawrence River and on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy. I worked in my sketchbooks with pen and ink, also on toned paper with pen, ink and white charcoal. Here are a few samples:

St. Joseph de la Rive, Charlevoix

Hillside Farm Buildings, Charlevoix

Marathon Hotel, Grand Manan.

Harbour, Seal Cove, Grand Manan

Seal Cove Low Tide

Smoke Sheds, Seal Cove

Sketches from Newfoundland

We’ll be on the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland for the month of June. Though the weather has been either rainy/blustery or sunny/buggy, the location is incredibly inspiring. We’ve been drawing and painting or exploring with our cameras every day.

Kitchen, Yellow House


Chair, Yellow House

Lobster Pots

Sketch Group Exhibition at Heliconian Club

I’ve been participating in a regular life drawing class on Mondays, at Toronto’s Heliconian Club and have found the experience very valuable. We spend the mornings doing brief gesture drawings and longer poses up to 20 minutes.during the afternoon, the model holds one pose for two hours. Every year the sketch group mounts an exhibition of participants’ work. This year’s show runs from March 1 to April 6, 2011, at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave., Toronto. There’ll be an opening reception on Saturday March 5 from 1 to 4, or call 416-922-3618 to drop by. I’m exhibiting RED JACKET, FUR COLLAR, an 18 x 24″ drawing in black and white charcoal pencil on toned paper.

Red Jacket, Fur Collar

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