Snowed in

Montreal had a record snowfall on December 27th — 45 cm of snow fell in one day! We are still digging out and it will probably take a full week for the city to plow all the streets. It isn’t helping that it is snowing again today. I was hoping to get downtown to sketch some of the cars that were abandoned on city streets and are now completely plowed in (they may not emerge until spring!) but needless to say, there is nowhere for me to park. So I backed out of my driveway, parked on my own street (where there is no snow clearing going on today) and sketched the view down my road.


Happy Holidays!


On an open fire

There is nothing like music to help me get me through the piles of grading I have to do for end of term. All day I have been listening to an internet radio station that plays jazz standards and I think  Nat King Cole has made his way into my head…

And with that in mind I think it is also the time to wish everyone who follows these posts every day or every week or only occasionally a very wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. Thank you all for the encouragement and the supportive comments you send my way. I may take a bit of a rest from posting during the next few weeks although I will be continuing to draw and paint. See you in 2013!



Work boots

I have a commission to do a painting of work boots and have been working out the composition on paper first. I used water-soluble graphite and an inktense pencil for this drawing on hot press Fabriano paper.


Little shed

I have written this in previous posts too but it still holds true: the backs of buildings are often more interesting than the facades. I sketched this in Pointe Claire, in back of the St. Joachim presbytery. When I parked my car the shed was in shadow but after a few minutes a bit of sunlight hit it and the posts of the balcony created an interesting pattern. I painted this with Cobalt Blue, Rose Madder and Cadmium Yellow Light in my watercolour Moleskine.

Little Shed

Colour sketch for City Waking

I looked through a stained glass window of trees at a city waking up. Hopefully I will turn this into a full-size painting very soon.

Sketch Sunrise


I had no paper to draw today but I did have a Pilot pen. Fortunately someone took pity on me and donated a little scrap so I could draw this view of downtown Montreal. If you look closely you can see the punch holes in the paper.


Value sketch for Ville St. Pierre

I can often see Ville St. Pierre as I drive by on the elevated highway (in the distance) but today I took a different way home and I was on the road below with a view of the trucks going by above. This is going to eventually become a bigger painting but the next step will be a colour sketch about the same size as this.


Snow changes everything

It is now becoming embarrassing because I keep sketching these pots and one would think I would tire of them but no, they are endlessly interesting for me to paint in the changing light of any season. I could say that this will be the last time I paint them this winter but I know that with more snow covering them I will probably paint them again.


Wicker in shade

I started this a few weeks ago by doing a value sketch but never had time to complete the colour version. Today is not really a good day to be sketching outside (snow, then freezing rain and now rain!) so I painted this on my favorite Fabriano soft press paper with a palette of Winsor Violet, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and New Gamboge.

Wicker in Shade