Inktober Part 3

On with the sketches from part 3 of my Inktober Challenge!

inktober tree
inktober tree

Those of you who are just  joining in here is a link to a video created by Jake Parker, the artist who began Inktober in 2009.

Inktober relax
Inktober relax

I have been keeping with the theme of small Post-It note sized drawings this week so that I can relax sand not stress over the challenge.

Inktober wet
Inktober wet

In retrospect this wet & dismal time of year is perfect to spend time indoors on a creative pursuit such as this.

Inktober battle
Inktober battle
Inktober escape
Inktober escape

I still manage to find time during a weekday escape to do a couple of this week’s sketches.

Inktober flight
Inktober flight

My first inclination for flight was a plane but I stretched myself too think a little outside the box.

Inktober squeeze
Inktober squeeze

I’ll just squeeze in one more sketch before the credits roll ūüôā

Sunday Sketches @bluechairdiary

As usual I am participating in the Sunday sketches blog roll with many other artists from around the world.
Paint Party Friday

And the Paint Party Friday blog check in as well.

Little Critter Dog Portrait

Drawing animals isn’t hard, right?

Like a dog portrait. Unless you’ve been commissioned by a sentimental owner or a zoologist that can spot the variances in its anatomy! ¬†😡
A year ago my boss at my regular day job asked me to do a painting of his dog who had passed away some time earlier. I agreed because I’m up for a challenge generally. He supplied me with a dozen snap shot photos from the 1970’s, which is to say that they aren’t of the best condition or composition.

I’m now beginning my third attempt 😬

Work in progress, sketch on wood panel
Work in progress, sketch on wood panel
Snap shot from the 1970's as a reference for the dog portrait
Snap shot from the 1970’s as a reference for the dog portrait

I rather liked my second attempt in watercolours but he thought the dog looked silly. I thought it showed his personality! Like many of the dogs in this how-to guide

Dog portrait, watercolour on paper
Dog portrait, watercolour on paper

My first attempt in acrylics from last summer s going okay until a bit a roadblock on the background. I stared at it for weeks before turning it towards the wall. I just couldn’t make the gravel of the background interesting.

Dog portrait in acrylic on canvas
Dog portrait in acrylic on canvas

If he doesn’t like number #3 I might throw in the towel 😢


This post is being linked with Sunday Sketches weekly art sharing co-op

Blue Chair Diary blog
Blue Chair Diary blog

& Creative Tuesdays a biweekly themed art challenge

Creative Tuesdays At Co-Op
Creative Tuesdays Art Co-Op

Also, Paint Party Friday

Paint Party Friday
Paint Party Friday




A purple and yellow challenge

Purple and yellow are such good friends

I am participating in a few blog parties and online challenges this summer. 


“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
‚ÄĒ Alice Walker (The Color Purple)


The colour challenge from Summer of Color 5 this week is purple, purple and yellow. Hop on over to Kristin’s site to see more.

The subject matter suggested by Creative Tuesdays is “Little Twitters” (birds). I’ve always loved birds, crows particularly, so it was easy!


Yellow and purple finch
Yellow and purple finch

Oddly enough, Purple Finches aren’t purple! I suppose like blue flowers are really purple? I’m not sure how this is interpreted. So I used a more literalapproach with some artistic license ūüėČ

I had a look through some of my past work to see if I had anything that fit the colour challenge but found only this abstracted photo of pigment. (I can’t help myself sometimes, whipping my phone out at work, trying to catch the rapidly changing swirls!)

Yellow and purple pigment
Mysterious & unrepeatable swirling patterns yellow and purple pigment

I am also linking to Sunday Sketches and Paint Party Friday.

50 Shades of Green Art Show

Bull kelp painting, art show
The Whisper, 16″ x 20″, oil on canvas painting. Bull kelp is very plentiful on the West Coast.

I’m organizing a group art show called “50 Shades of Green” starting March 18/15 at The Dock Victoria, 300-3 Fan Tan Alley, Victoria BC V8W 1W3

The¬†theme for the art show isn’t about the colour, it’s about nature and the environment.

There will be works from a dozen local artists on display until April 15th. Some of those are:

Robin Drader

Melodie Hutmacher

John Comuzzi

Aura Arindam  

John Janzen

Alan Klughammer

Katarina Hardisty

Heather Barr

Elaine Lauzon

Elizabeth Dailey 

Terri Heal 


Hopefully you can join us for the opening reception March 18 6-8pm for a meet-n-greet with refreshments.

See you there!


Fast, Slow and a Series

An assortment of crows. All are acrylics except centre right which is watercolor on birch panel.


What can be learned by doing things really fast?  Or really slow? Or in a series?


Many artists painted have the same subject over and over, from different angles (Monet’s Waterlilies) and others have painted the subject repeatedly looking the same (Warhol’s¬†Marilyn¬†silkscreens) in an effort to show that even with endless amounts of reproduction where on the surface they appear the same, the small smears and clogs give an individuality to each piece. Even in my attempts to manually reproduce the same familiar image from memory, each time there would be variations to the theme. Some I liked and of course others not so much.

What I found is that each time I repeat a subject (such as a  bird) I become more aware of :

*the textures & highlights

*the shape & proportion

*the body language & movement

*seemingly subtle things such as the highlights of an eye can draw your attention

*the addition of a tiny prop like a cigarette can change the attitude



I hadn’t tried to give myself a time limit until I applied to compete in Art Battle,¬†along with a few friends (Buddy System!).

My first reaction to the challenge was trepidation but the more I thought about it the old saying of “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” was lingering¬†in the back of my mind. ¬†That’s when I made the dive and sent in an application, only then to panic with my acceptance!

I needed a plan of action so our group, which we soon dubbed “the A-Team” (an attempt to take on the strength & ingenuity of these iconic characters) put into motion several practice sessions, complete with timers, distractions and loud music (we had to learn to block these things out). ¬†We tried new images and old familiar ones to the point where it began to feel that our hands began to form a memory of their own for the twists and turns required, endeavoring to become more efficient in the movements each time. The results did surprise me at times and really made me consider whether some of the long drawn out hours necessarily paid off?

The day of the competition was loaded with adrenalin, unfamiliar materials and faces but I’m certainly glad I did it. Will I compete again? Only the future will tell but in the meantime I have a collection of birds in various sizes and shapes to contemplate and learn from ūüôā


20120216-psum7fjy5aq22u61igimnueuyx BlogButton4120

Summer Flies By (with sketch experiments)


The Red Head was illustrated with the Magic pencil in Fire (yellow, orange & magenta) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth
The Red Head was illustrated with the Magic pencil in Fire (yellow, orange & magenta) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth

It has been both a busy and lazy summer so far. Here’s a sampling of some of the sketch experiments I’ve been doing:

Shortly after my last post regarding the sale of my painting at the Red Art Gallery in Mystery Art Show in June I took my proceeds down to Artworld, a locally owned & operated store to reinvest in a few basic supplies but also to indulge in some new toys such as several kinds of non-traditional paper, watercolour paper & some Magic Color pencils by Koh-i-noor!

I have been making great efforts to use a sketchbook to do a sketch experiment ¬†in daily as it doesn’t have the same sort of pressure associated with it as a pricey canvas or large sheet of paper. In my book that I have with me constantly I have been having great fun with the Magic pencils. Here’s a few examples:

Tropical eyes
Eyes done in Tropical (yellow, aqua blue & purple) Magic Color pencil by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth.


Cupped palms drawn with Magic pencil America Red by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth.
Cupped palms drawn with Magic pencil America Red (red, white & blue) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth.

Part of what I have been enjoying the most about these pencils is the randomness of the colour placement which can allow me to think outside the box when it comes to color associations and their traditional uses.  While you are in control of establishing a general color gamut you just never know which is going to land on the line or how is will morph see during a long stroke where the angle of the pencil changes and the top wears down.

There are always a myriad of colour choices that will work in any situation, as long as the tonal value is appropriate. (Gaye Adams)



New photos of various creations added

I have added a number of photos of new creations including: Paintings, Sketches, & Abstract Paint images. I’ll have them sorted into galleries shortly ūüôā

You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing. (Emily Carr)