About

ABOUT

I’ve loved drawing since I was a little kid. I’d spend hours drawing pretty much anything and everything.  I also loved art class, regardless of what it was we were creating.  In retrospect, I realized it’s making that I enjoy.  The artifacts themselves don’t really interest me much – they never have – but I think the process from ideation to creation is something beautiful.

In high school, a teacher encouraged me to try painting.  I found I loved that too, enough to study art at York University and graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Art.  I put a lot of pressure on myself then and afterwards.  It seems like I couldn’t sit down to draw or paint without expecting I would create a masterpiece every time.  Unreasonable expectations like this turned something I truly loved into a source of tremendous stress, and it kept on building over time.  Curiously, as I actually did less and less art, the stakes got progressively higher.

I wandered away from art for close to 20 years..  Life got busy, a career and family life took over, and I lost sight of the joy I found in making.

Consciously, anyway.

Subconsciously, I slowly drove myself back to art.  There wasn’t a job I took that I didn’t modify in some way to allow me some opportunity for expression.  A job at a fundraising agency gradually morphed to include print and digital design.  I started making handmade cards for special occasions.  Then web development and absurd spending sprees at art supply shops despite not knowing what I was going to do with the materials.   I picked up bread baking as a hobby.   The closer I looked at my life, the more obvious it was that the common thread is my joy in making things.

In late 2016, a friend who knew I used to paint asked me to collaborate on altering an existing painting  That’s when I really started painting again, but that was the only painting I worked on for over a year.  I struggled and fought with myself, alternating between procrastination, putting awful pressure on myself to create a masterpiece, and finally a few bouts of furious activity.  When I finally handed it over to him in early 2018, I started to wonder what came next.

After a few false starts, it became obvious that I had no idea what I was doing.  I had learned a lot about art at university, but I hadn’t really been trained to paint.  I still confronted that pressure whenever I contemplated starting though.  The answer, it turns out was to Just Play.

Home

WELCOME

An art history professor and mentor once told me, “Art is a terrible investment.  The odds against you making any money speculating are astronomical.  If you’re going to buy art, find things you think are beautiful, and surround yourself with them.”

Another teacher told me that a work of art is never complete until it’s shared with others.

A couple of quick notes about the artwork you’ll find on the site:

  1. All artwork is original, handmade, and one of a kind.
  2. Most of it is small in scale, generally they’re “sketches”.  Whether painted or drawn, they’re the result of my daily practice.  Though some of them do go on to become larger paintings, I don’t spend time naming them individually.  What I can do is speak about them in aggregate, as part of a series.
  3. You’ll notice that many of them have the same name, like, “Just Play“, “Progression Studies“, or, “Echoes“.  They’re all pictures where I’ve followed a common instinct, or process.

I hope you find something here you like.

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Strange Semaphore

Let’s get the title of this series out of the way.  Jill thought they looked like the flags they use on boats, so that’s what they’re called.  They’re not a secret system of signs and signals.  They’re not any kind of semaphore at all, really.

What they really are is an abuse of art paper.  I got really interested in how folding, tearing, abrading, and otherwise abusing paper affected the absorptions rate of water and pigment.  I also hate blank paper.  It seems unnatural, and it’s terrifying to me.  Confronted with a blank sheet, I develop options paralysis and have no clue how to start.  ‘Preparing” the paper is a way for me to get past that barrier.

This was also my first use of a square format.  For whatever reason I’ve always avoided squares, and this was an easy way for me to just get over that.  In folding the paper, I explored some of the geometry of squares too, sometimes using hard symmetry, sometimes the rule of thirds. Diagonals and harlequins came next.

Besides the bright colours and high contrast of these pictures, one of the things I like about them is the flexibility in displaying them:  when framed, each them have 8 different ways to hang them.  Which brings up an interesting point: I get asked sometimes why I don’t sign my paintings.  At least part of the reason is so that anyone purchasing them is free to hang them any way they like.

Anyway, take a look at the “Strange Semphore” pictures and let me know what you think.

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I’m In!

I just found out that I’ve been selected to participate in the 2018 TD Art Gallery Paint-In!  Victoria people will probably know it better as the Moss Street Paint-In.

I’m excited as heck.  Jill and Miriam have offered to help out that day, and we’ll be doing something interactive for the kids (and kids at heart),  playing with paint and paper and learning about subtractive colour theory in the process.

I’m also a little terrified.  This will be the first public exhibition of my art in 24 years.  It’ll be interesting to see what people make of it.

So, if you’re in town on July 21, 2018, swing by Moss street and come visit!

Bring iced lattes if you do 😉