And his eyes, how they twinkled

This painting was made a few years ago, of an ‘actual’ Santa… in the olden days when Hycroft (and everywhere) used to have Christmas events. I liked the way his hat and hair were on crooked. A bit late for Christmas but here it is anyway. Acrylic on masonite, 16″ x 12″


A delectable treat, an apple crostada from the Blue Hat Bakery/Café at the entrance to Granville Island. Sketch made with fountain pen, watercolour, and a sprinkle of gouache.

Big leaf

He was waiting and waiting and waiting for his dad to arrive, so he could show him ‘the biggest leaf in the world’.

It was from a Bigleaf Maple, which is native to the southern coast of BC. Leaves have been measured up to 60 cm wide and 72 cm long!

One place, five views

This was a recent five-day project with a sketch club. The place I chose is a ten-minute walk away: the short boardwalk beside the seawall, near Granville Island, on the south side of False Creek. My method is the same as the one in my previous post: in my small sketchbooks, I prepared the pages in advance with random paint, then made the quick ink sketches on top. Admittedly it’s a bit weird but I enjoy this technique!

A different approach

Sometimes I like to prepare sketchbook pages by painting random colour washes and splotches, letting them dry, then (often much later) drawing something completely unrelated on top. I know this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I like the unpredictability and spontaneity it can give to sketches. It’s the opposite of traditional watercolour technique. Here are some examples. They really are ‘sketches’… not meant to be finished paintings or fine art!

I don’t draw trucks

… but Vehicles was a recent theme in the sketch club I joined last month, so I did. This is a vintage truck parked in my neighbourhood that I’ve always admired. The lower version is a very quick sketch.

This van is also usually parked in Fairview. I’ve always noticed it too because it’s so unusual. It looks handbuilt… there are lots of rivets.

Birthday silliness

The 1st photo shows the last of the three cards I made earlier this year for young family members, who are all brothers. The cards were made at the same time in one long piece then cut apart — see 2nd photo. They were delivered one by one, starting with the cheetah’s head in January, and ending with the cheetah’s tail for a late May birthday! Each card is 8″ square. (On the middle card, the words happy birthday were added to the banner.)

At least two more lifetimes

… would be welcome for exploring my other two big art interests, sculpture and printmaking. I rarely do either though I love them both. Printmaking is a bit more practical to do at home than sculpture, at least the simple way I do it.