Monday, June 20, 2016

Daily Painting

I've been very inspired by this book 'Daily Painting' ( to wake up and do some painting studies. I would like to do more of them. Great way to observe light and color without having to commit to a large piece. This was painted from a small Bart Simpson toy maquette I had. Painted from life with acrylic. Light source is sunlight.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Titling Your Artwork Is Important

Some valid points from Aunia Kahn, Gallery director of Alexi Era Gallery, on why it does not benefit your work by calling it 'untitled'. To add: get feedback if you can't come up with anything on your own. Ask your friends, family and fans for title suggestions. In my opinion, the work is not finished unless you've come up with a title. 'Untitled' is lazy and unimaginative.

Listen to what she has to say on the subject here. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

First of the secretive paintings

Finished up the first (of four) of the secretive ‪‎paintings‬ yesterday for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition coming up July 8-10. Here is the palette‬. I thought it would be a fun change to just 'free mix' all the colors, as opposed to making color strings like I normally do for my larger pieces.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"secretive" paintings

I have 4 "secretive" paintings in the works for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition coming up July 8-10. Here they are gessoed and primed. More details soon...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

using a sandpaper pencil sharpener


I've had a sand paper pencil sharpener taped to the top right corner of my drawing table for many years now. They can greatly extend the life out of your pencils and nearly all art stores carry them. When a layer gets full, you can just remove it and there is a clean layer underneath. They do produce lots of dust though. I figured out over time, if you put a bag over the sharpener, it will keep your area clean.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit: ONE MONTH AWAY!

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is now ONE MONTH AWAY! (Ah, the pressure is on!) Hope you can make it! You can find me at Booth #119 (high lighted green on the map below.)

*Photo above from 2014 by my friend and artist, Denise Busiman Pilger. She will also be exhibiting in TOAE this year. You can check out her work here.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Nightmare Sauce

My latest painting 'Nightmare Sauce'. It will be available at the upcoming Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition next month July 8-10! You coming? 'Nightmare Sauce'
acrylic on wood panel

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Drawing for new painting for TOAE

Here is the rough drawing‬ to a new ‪#‎painting‬ I'm working on for the upcoming Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition coming up July 8-10. I haven't decided on a title for the painting yet, I'm open to suggestions if you have any. (The painting is about seeing shapes in spilled ink.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

FREE E-book!
I have a special offer for you today:

I'm giving away a FREE copy of my E-book 'THOUGHTS & PROGRESS: THAT LAUGH!'

The THOUGHTS & PROGRESS books are a series of booklets that was instigated in 2013 after I sold a painting to a collector who admired the drawings from the whole process and urged me to share it with people. This is the FIRST TIME one of these booklets is available in an E-book format - and it's at no cost to you!

Inside of the E-book, you'll learn of the entire process I underwent to create the 2015 painting, 'THAT LAUGH!'. Consider it akin to the audio commentary on your favorite DVD's or the "making of" featurette. It is a conversation with the artist (myself) about where the idea came from, drawings and notes from the process - all of it shared with no steps withheld!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The block-in: Deathblow

Here is the block-in to a new painting called 'Deathblow'.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New website!

I did a BIG - and very necessary - revamp of my website recently. I would love to know what you think. You can check it out here:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition - Artist Directory

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition has now released the list of all the artists involved this year on their website. You can see who else is exhibiting here. (You can find me in booth #119 at the event.) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Confection - all done!

Here is the final painting called 'Confection'. It is one of the new pieces I created for the upcoming Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

Easter passed not too long ago and while some people think of colorful eggs, chocolate bunnies, or a revived holy figure, the primary connotation in my mind is always Easter Island (Rapa Nui). It is a mysterious place and among the list of places I would love to visit before I die. I think what attracts me there is Easter Island is an environmental parable on a small scale. While the island's statues are heavily admired today, it's counterbalanced by its sordid past. An obsession was built upon making large statues, called Moai (the exact number still unknown - somewhere between 900-1000 - and the exact reason still unknown) which removed natural resources from the island at a rate exceeding it's replenishment.  I also wonder what it would feel like to exist on one of the most remote places on the planet - over 2000 miles to the next nearest landmass.  The original descendants of Rap Nui continued production on the Moai uninterrupted for 1000 years prior to contact from the modern world (the island was 'discovered' by Europeans in 1722, on Easter day - hence, the name).

The word confection means:

-a sweet preparation of fruit or the like, as a preserve or candy. 
-the process of compounding, preparing, or making something.
-something, as a garment or decorative object, that is very delicate, elaborate, or luxurious and usually nonutilitarian

When I was a child, I saw the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Or, saw some of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. To this day, I've never seen the full movie. The movie is decidedly dark. What I did see when I was a child terrified me - children being sucked into machinery and being physically deformed. How could the production of candy be so perilous? 

In the painting Confection, an Oompa Loompa islander looks onward to what has been the fruit of his labor, creating large chocolate Easter bunny statues. Perhaps to worship some lagomorphic deity. 

                                                               (Did you spot the UFO?)

Monday, May 09, 2016

decorating the sides

I finished up my painting 'Confection' yesterday. It's one of the new pieces I created for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. (I'll post the final painting tomorrow.)
I remembered I had some designer paper I picked up when I worked at an art store several years ago. I thought it would be appropriate to apply it to the sides of the painting and decorate it like an Easter egg. Here's the result.

 I unrolled the paper and sprayed it with some green and yellow spray paint.

I cut out what I thought were the most interesting sections to use for the sides of the painting.

 I gave a coat of purple to the sides so the color of the wood wouldn't peak through.

 All done! I pasted and glazed the sides with some Mod Podge glue. It came out a little darker than I expected, but I'm still happy with it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Confection - tonal

Here is a tonal study I made for a new painting called 'Confection' I'm working on for the upcoming Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. I completed it with these great water soluble lead pencils that Derwent Pencils makes. (Honestly, I hadn't used them in years - but had a lot of fun with them again.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Let the primith begin!

I'm choosing to focus on creating some smaller more affordable new works for the upcoming Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2016. Here is a shot of the gesso express. (Gesso = the white liquid used to prime a surface for paint, for those unfamiliar.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit!

People of Toronto‬: looks like I will see you again soon!!! More specifically: July 8-10 at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition! (More details to follow in the future.)

Photo  ©

Friday, April 15, 2016

Countdown - the process

Just for fun, here is the whole process from my recent painting 'Countdown'. 

 Thumbnail studies (bottom right was the chosen one to develop)

 first rough

 rough with text and numbers added. (Getting the text how I want digitally and then tracing it later saves a lot of time.)

 final rough


 tonal study

 color studies done at a small scale digitally to save time. I like to see many varieties on one page. (Bottom right was chosen to expand upon.)

 Premixing the color palette for the painting.

 underpainting (blocking in the darks and lights)

 painting in process

 final painting!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Countdown - all done!

"Do you have anything... uh... not so scary?"

That's a question I was asked (twice actually) late February at The Artist Project, a large art fair in Toronto I exhibited in. It was asked to me on separate occasions by two Mom's looking for something gentler. For a nursery.

You never know what will generate your next idea...

It did get me thinking about what I found gentle when I was very young. I can't imagine life without Sesame Street. I know many feel the same way. I always liked The Count. It was his laugh mostly. (I'm also a fan of Oscar the Grouch.)

I have trouble waking up early... 

I'm a very deep sleeper. At one point I had 3 alarm clocks. The most effective of them all was my twin hammer bell alarm clock (those classic looking alarm clocks - there's a reason they've been around so long). Until it stopped working, it was most effective in accelerating my heart rate each morning. I was thinking about what it felt like to get so abruptly woken up each morning. What would that look like in a painting? 

Combining the two:

The new painting above is called 'Countdown'. In it, The Count, under moonlight is laughing famously as he counts down the remaining seconds of an alarm clock so loud it shatters itself under the arrival of the day's first light! The Count's cape also acts as a veil between the separation of night and day. (Inspired by Greek mythology of merging the abilities of Nyx (goddess of night) and Eos (goddess of dawn). Though he is a vampire, in the show Sesame Street, The Count circuits the day unscathed.)

But is it GENTLE and FIT for a nursery???

In my quest to bring this painting to you, I seem to have strayed from the realm of affable baby decor once again... I guess I just like painting "scary" things...