Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Well, I did promise a Holiday post... Whatever you're celebrating these days, I hope you're having a wonderful time with your family and friends. James and I are enjoying our days together, spent drawing, watching movies, cooking, exploring and planning for 2008.
Happy New Year to you all, and my best wishes for health, hope and happiness!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Archives V

Finally, the last whispers of my old Fabriano sketchbook:
some quicksketch and a few itsy bitsy watercolours of me.
(Pure vanity - which is why I stopped doing them!)

Great. Enough from the past, on to The Now!!!
And in the very near future, a Christmas post... until then Merry Blogging!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Archives IV

The penultimate installment in my series of archives was inspired by William Wyler's "Roman Holiday".

On top of being famous for propelling Audrey Hepburn into stardom, this 1953 picture featured a debonnaire Gregory Peck, a hilarious Eddie Albert and was secretly written by the most famous of the infamous
Hollywood 10, Dalton Trumbo. Impressive, sure, but wait till you see Edith Head's costumes!

Let me show you my (quick) versions of the outfits worn by Miss Hepburn.

Pencil and gouache on 3"x4" paint samples.
And speaking of Roman holidays: a photograph of The Spanish Steps I took in June 2003.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Archives III

Moving along, here is a more recent attempt to draw and learn from a few of my heroes.

In selecting these, I was mostly concerned with shape and simplicity in design. There was a lot more peripheral writing in my sketchbook, only it was the straight-out-of-bed variety, which I owe myself to spare you. I'm not even sure that the drawings are worth much (look at the originals instead!), or that my design sense has drastically improved since, but they sure were fun warm-ups!

They are based on: a Hepburn-inspired Aurora study by Marc Davis, characters by Aurelius Battaglia, paintings and sculptures from the Legion of Honor Museum, Miroslav Sasek characters from "This is London", Jean-Jacques Sempé drawings and Mary Blair's "I can fly" girl.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Archives II

The second collection of oldies is from the summer of 2005 - a few quick watercolour sketches done in Toronto. I fit two of these per page in my Fabriano book, but isn't it fun to enlarge smallish works?

Respectively: Alternative Grounds, Grange Park, Baldwin Street, High Park, our old backyard, Sorauren/Fermanagh intersection, and a photograph taken at Howard Park and Roncesvalles.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Archives I

- I have a love-hate relationship with most of my drawings.
Who doesn't.
- I have a superlative love-hate relationship with my old drawings. So what about that!

I'll tell you what: they are important. For one, they could be the closest I ever get to writing an autobiography (without even writing)! And, unlike romanticized memoirs penned in hindsight, my drawings will have the distinct advantage of remaining stone cold facts. Because they will have been drawn in the past, they will forever display my past shortcomings.
So what's not to be happy about?

What's happy is that everything becomes precious with time!

Unfortunately the drawings I'm about to archive don't go THAT far back. As if to annoy me, they sit only just far enough to inspire simultaneous embarrassment and longing. But then again if they didn't, they probably wouldn't be worth a damn.

This first collection is a record of a Toronto-Montreal train ride I took in September 2005. I began drawing accidentally and I did not rest for the entire duration of the trip (not even in the restroom). I painted it all from memory later that night.

To make this extra special, I'm throwing in a couple of photos of the Old Gare Bonaventure - today Gare Centrale de Montréal (and hoping that the blog police won't throw me out for thieving).
From Bilan du Siècle:

Here's the station in 1975. Notice that a few skyscrapers are still missing, notably today's tallest, "1000 de la Gauchetière" (at the far right in the last painting above).

And here's the original station in 1900, before a fire destroyed it in 1916.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Early Winter

Oh, you Mean men's coat on that wisp of a woman!