Out of turn post

I’m posting early, because Sammi is working away at her sweater for her next post and I don’t want her to rush too much.  So it is me this week instead of her.

out of place post

Well here is a painting.  I painted it a couple of years ago at John Climenhage‘s studio over the shwarma place.  I was having one of those periods where I felt like I should be painting, but couldn’t think of what to paint (where right now I have lots of ideas as to what to paint, but can’t get myself to paint).  John had a book of photos taken during the Afghan war and suggested I paint something from it.  I felt a little uncomfortable painting from someone else’s photo at the time, but sometimes you (I) need to get over stuff like that when you (I) just need to practice.  There were many beautiful and haunting photos, but this boy/young man really stuck with me.   I can’t remember who the photographer is or the name of the book.

It was fairly experimental, you can see a couple of different styles of painting in it and it is definitely not a finished image (me saying this is significant, ’cause I’m normally happy with things before most would consider them finished).  I wish that I had done a little more work on it at the time, as I can never go back to a painting.  This painting might also benefit from some cropping…

I promise that next month I will post something new.

Fancy Florals

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Yet again, I have not produced anything new to post (sigh), although I have been doing some drawing (yay).  I happen to have some pictures of some an experiment I did based on an Art Nouveau poppies I found, probably somwheres on the internet.  First I basically copied the poppies, which was quite pleasant

Then I got excited and stole some images of flowers from good seed catalogues, stylized them and added some half-assed Art Nouveau-y lines.  I left the backgrounds with the wood texture, which makes all the colour stand out.

Unfortunately, it never occurs to me to sand the wood, so edges come out a little more rough than I’d really like.  Or maybe they would just come out a lot differently if I were to do another.


By the third one things were starting to get a little fairy-tale style, which appeals to me on another level.  I really should work more with these.  I know that there is another, unfinished, of geranium; maybe soon I will finish that.





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Troll Queen Theatre Mask

Troll Queen Theatre Mask

Back in my late teens-early twenties, I occasionally made papier mache masks for theatrical/costume purposes.  Though I never achieved the mastery of mask-making that my classmate Doug Witt did (see his work here – it’s terrific!)), I’m proud of the work I did.

This Troll Queen theatre mask was created for a one-act play called ‘Under the Bridge,’ for the character ( duh) of the Troll Queen. The features were sculpted from plasticine onto a plaster mould of the actor’s face.  I then applied a very light layer of vaseline to the sculpt, and covered it in papier mache.  once removed and cleaned up, this papier mache cast was attached to a basic blank of the actor’s face with more papier mache, at which stage the ‘hair’ and the elastic (to hold the mask on the actor) was attached as well.

Troll Queen Theatre MaskI then painted it to finish it.  In hindsight, this mask is probably too dark to really read on stage; if I was doing it again, I’d be much less subtle about the highlights; the paint job is more appropriate for costume parties or close-up theatre, like street theatre.  Overall, however, both myself and the players were pretty happy with my work. Troll Queen Theatre Mask

Troll Queen Theatre Mask


Entomology!Here is my collection of insects.  Years ago I took an entomology class as a part of my Biology degree at TrentU.  The main component of the class was to make a collection of 40 different insects.  I spent the summer before the class collecting (which was fun) and killing (which was horrible) all types of insects.

Our home garden was particularly rich in Hymenoptera (Bees and Wasps, etc.) and beetles, and Sammi helped my find and catch the super-creepy, agressive and impressive Dobsonfly.  Now they are mostly just a cool souvenir, but they also serve as pretty good material for drawing and painting.  I did this painting of one of my large beetles.  I painted it at John Climenhage‘s dark and cold studio above what is now Aryana on George Street, in Peterborough.

Although my brain was screaming for a smaller paintbrush, I actually think that it turned out really well.  I think that it has some of the nicest brush strokes that I have ever made.

Enotomology! - Beetle


Can-Can Dancers


I painted this based on a very far off, very zoomed-in photo of Can-Can dancers in the Operetta “La Veuve Joyeuse” which me and Candace saw at the Palais Garnier.

I was trying to loosen up with details and paint a little more freely.  Unfortunately (or not) I didn’t do anything to prepare my rough piece of wood, so it wasn’t so relaxed as I would have liked.