Posted tagged ‘artwork’

Christmas-Themed Doodles

December 22, 2012

I did this one months ago, with no thought of Christmas.

But I like the red and green colors.

So it goes with the season.

2012-12-20 Red Green Doodle)a

I can see where my mood changed as I drew this.   I had started in the upper-right, with mostly rectangular shapes.

2012-12-20 Doodle (Fall 2012) IMG_0372

Then, as I went lower, I started drawing repetitive patterns.

I can’t tell you what all the shapes mean.

But I do know towards the bottom, I was going for a Lucky Charms and a Pac-Man theme.   Plus some Christmas trees.


I like this one.   It totally surprised me.

2012-12-18 Train Doodle

It started out as a total random blob of shapes.  But then I discovered it kind of looked like a train locomotive.

So I finished drawing it that way.


This is why I hate watercolors.

October 29, 2012

Just finished off a painting tonight of Neys Provincial Park (on the North Shore of Lake Superior).   I spent a lot of careful time on this.

I was feeling reasonably happy with this my work, until it was time to go home, and I noticed a bright blue smudge on the left.

God Dammit.

Some blue pigment from one of my tubes tube had inadvertently gotten onto the paper.

I tried lifting it, but it was too late.    The damage was done.

Well, at least the stain wasn’t smack in the middle of the painting, or two entire evenings would have been completely written off.

But if I crop off 1/2 an inch,  the painting is still salvageable.  I got off lucky this time.

But still…it’s not quite the same.   I”m bothered by this.

This is why I HATE watercolors sometimes.

It’s so damned unforgiving.


Monday Night Art Class: Attridge Snow Ghosts

April 23, 2012

Okay….I’m good for ONE MORE winter painting.

That will probably be it for the season.

I promise.

Monday Night Art Class: Vertigo

April 16, 2012

The snow is gone, the spring peepers are chirping but I’m still not quite ready to let the ski season go.

Hard to believe, that less than a month ago, I was doing THIS:

I know I have a couple of ski paintings left in me this year, so that’s what painted tonight.

This is called “Vertigo” and it’s one of my favorite ski runs at Revelstoke.

It’s just steep enough, and just bumpy enough to be interesting.   But the snow is soft and friendly, and it’s just FUN to go down.

On this trip, Friar’s Mom joined me for a day, and we went up and down Vertigo like yoyo’s.

There was one run where everything clicked into place.   I was turning, carving up the snow.   It felt like floating on a cloud

It felt good, I could do no wrong.

Typically, as a skier, you get maybe a handful of runs like this in a season, where everything is just PERFECT.    Where you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.

And this was one of them.

And when it happens, you’re almost crying tears of joy as you go down.


As a bonus, on the bottom, a ski instructor has seen us coming down.

He was teaching a student, and he complimented me and Friar’s Mom on our technique.   He said we provided a “good demo” for his pupil.

Wow.  To be complimented like this, from an instructor, on top of that.

It doesn’t get any better than that.


I think I might keep this painting…hold onto it for a while.

The memories are just too good.


Monday Night Art Class: The North Bowl of Revelstoke

March 26, 2012

Having just come back from vacation, I’m still in ski mode, and decided to paint one of my favorite photos from my trip:

Here’s what I ended up with tonight:

The first thing I did was the sky.   A wet wash of cadmium yellow, violet (phtalo purple) and cerulean blue.

Then I did the mountains, starting with the dark shadows of snow.   Again, with violet, cerulean blue, and maybe a touch of ultramarine and/or Paynes grey.

Then I started the rocks, starting with the larger ones as frames of reference, and painting the smaller ones around them.   They’re almost all the same dark shade.   I get my “black” from a mix of Van Dyke brown and Payne’s Grey.   I deliberately mixed up the rocks so they have random dark brown/black shades.

Whenever I got bored with the rocks, I worked on the foreground, adding layers of purple/blue and gradually making it darker.

Then I would add the final dark snow shadows on the mountain, and then lift some of the foreground out to lighten the color and add some texture to it.

I did a lot of lifting and re-painting the foreground.  If you want to do this, it’s important to have a rugged strong sheet of watercolor paper that can take kind of treatment.

I recommend the 300-lb Arches.   It’s “bullet-proof”, you can use it and abuse it, and it doesn’t buckle or degrade.   Not like the cheap watercolor paper I see a lot of beginners use.

Of course, it’s 12 bucks a sheet and when I tell this to people they say  “Oooh, that’s expensive!“.

(Oh, for crying out loud.)    You can cut a sheet into four, and make four paintings like the one I did here.

That’s 3 bucks for an evenings’ worth of entertainment.  I think most people can afford that.

Boggles my mind, why people will invest so much time into a hobby like watercolors, but they’ll scrimp and save a few bucks on sub-par art supplies that will only frustrate them.    But I digress here.

As a final touch to my painting,  I added a hint of cadmium yellow/yellow ochre to the white highlights to warm up the paining.    Using artist licence, I added a skier (a small blob) to the foreground in the middle/right, to give a sense of depth.

The one thing I’m not crazy about is the bottom right hand corner.   In the photo, this section is featureless.   I tried to make it interesting by lifting some of the paint and adding some shadows.  But I’m not sure if I like what I’ve done here.

If you notice, the painting is a lot more “warmer” (i.e. purple/yellow) than the original.    Part of the reason for this, is that I did the painting based on a print-out from a laser printer on plain Xerox paper.   The true winter white/bluish colors weren’t accurately reproduced, and this is all I had to go by.

Next time, I’ll print this out on photo paper instead.

Overall, I give myself a B-Plus on this one.

I’m not displeased, but I know I can do better.

Call this one a “study”.

I want to re-do it in the near future.


Friar’s Art Stories

December 14, 2010

I’ve lost count of all the paintings I’ve done, but each one has a story behind it,

And if I jog my memory, I can remember most of them.

Here are a few.



This was a study I did in art class.  My teacher wanted me to learn to paint texture, hence the elephant’s wrinkly skin.

I spent so much time on this damned pachyderm,  I started to become on a first-name basis with him.

So for my own amusement (and to annoy the serious old biddies in the class) I proudly announced that I would call this painting  “BUCKWHEAT”.

One of these ladies asked me:  “WHAT…in GOD’s name is a “Buckwheat?”


Needless to say, she didn’t appreciate my answer.

(Did  I mention I liked to annoy the serious old biddies in my class?)


My Favorite Rocks

I did this the day I got a shitty pay raise at my old job.

I was so depressed and so demoralized, I wanted to cry.

Instead, I sat down for four straight hours and painted this.   It turned out to be the best thing I had ever done at the time.

I guess they’re right, when they say artists must suffer.


Acadia Rocks

I was going aways for the weekend and it was a 3 hour drive to my friend’s house.

Just before I left, I decided to paint a quickie.

I pulled this one off in an hour.

Sometimes, it works that way.

The stars line up, everything falls into place, and you end up with a keeper.

And you’ll never be able to duplicate it quite the same way again, no matter how hard you try.

This was one of those special paintings.


House from Hell

Dammit, I worked SO hard on this.

It was an old brick house on the West Island of Montreal, and I was trying to paint it in art class.

This other student sitting next to me (a stupid witch I couldn’t stand) kept telling me I was doing it wrong.

Of course, she couldn’t draw or paint jack-shit herself.   But she was more than eager to point out all MY errors.

And she would NOT shut the #@$% up about it.


I kept trying to ignore her, but the painting wasn’t going well.  I just couldn’t’ get the perspective quite right.

Half way through the class, my teacher shook her head, and told me the painting was beyond fixing, and I had to reluctantly agree.

Of course, the Witch chimed in:  “See?  I TOLD HIM!   I TOLD HIM he was doing it wrong, I TOLD HIM!”

I got so fed up,  I set fire to my house.

I figured if I ruined the painting, then at least I might as well get some amusement out of it.

Heh heh.

It worked.

10 years later, the burning house still makes me laugh.


Depot Lake Road

Getting back to the Painting Witch.

By this time, I was quite pissed off at her, and was on the verge of tearing her a new one.

Instead, I took out a photo, and used my anger to start a new painting, right in front of her.

I splashed my paint willy-nilly, and finished this  9″ x 12″ before the class was over.

Just to prove that I could.


…I can still see her mouth dropping open in amazement.

(And THAT…was far more satisfying than any screaming or yelling I could have done to her!)



Random Thoughts on a Monday.

November 8, 2010

Moutains.   A rocket.   A crescent moon.  A deciduous tree (maybe an elm).  A comet.   Stars.   An elephant    A castle.  A telephone pole.  A duck.  The letter F.   A winding road in the desert.   A palm tree.  A weather vane.  A jet in a fenced-in back yard.   A pine tree.   A Volkswagen Beetle.   Lightning.  A roller coater.  A dog rolling on the ground.   Sunflowers.   A house.  Another house.   A front door with a dog lying beside it.   A barn.   The letter J.     A donut.   A bird.  Half an orange.   A strait section of highway.  Grapes.    A Christmas wreath.  An atom.   A water slide.   Six suns.   Saguaro cacti.    The Number 8.   Maple leaves.    Three H’s.   Three chain links.   A bird bath in the front yard.   A rainbow.   A traffic light.   Black spruce trees.   A space shuttle.   The Number 3.