I was out early today and found some time for a few sketchbook scribbles before and after a haircut. The first scribble was in Old Montreal, where I found a good parking spot facing the Allan Building and the John Young monument. It’s been a long, cold winter in Montreal with not much time for sketching from my car, but it felt good today to get downtown early and set myself a limit of 30 minutes to sketch whatever I could find. Luckily it was a view of a beautiful old building lit by morning sun.
On my way home, feeling lighter after the haircut, I stopped at another favourite spot: rue Notre-Dame in old Lachine. I love that narrow section of street for the criss-crossing of wires and the rhythm of the utility poles. By the time I got home it wasn’t even 11 am but I had done…
The name of the exhibition Breathing Colour at the Design Museum in London comes from light’s ability to make colours come to life. It has been put together by a famous Dutch textile designer Hella Jongerius. Going through the exhibition is a visual learning experience about the use of colour in industrial design.
Danial showed me the work of Paula Greif today, and it really struck a chord. She makes simple and playful objects that reference everyday, functional items – most can even be used as such (although the price tag might prevent most people putting them into every day rotation!). Having worked in graphic design and the music industry she shifted focus after reading in the book Calder at Home about how Calder “extended his creativity to every corner of his existence” (quote from here); it inspired her to begin making thoughtful objects for her home. These included hand-hooked rugs and, after an evening course, ceramics.
I really like that her pieces encourage people to enjoy the everyday, and the routines and activities that make it up. They are functional but not stolidly so – there’s a lightness and playfulness about them that is very appealing. It relates in…
I steal furniture. Fortunately, it’s virtual furniture so the theft gets carted away in bytes. I find rooms such as the lovely, quirky room above. Into such rooms I put my artwork so that people can get a sense of how a painting looks on a wall.
Because I love color, I particularly enjoy finding bold and cleverly colorful rooms. Finding a room as colorful as this one is a real delight. Strangely, it’s a fairly unusual occurence. It seems like most room decoration uses whites or neutral colors. Are people afraid of using bright color? I dunno. You can see how cheerful and welcoming this cozy room looks. I don’t know the identity of the designer.
The painting looks about the actual size relative to the couch. And here’s a view of the painting seen alone. Acrylic on canvas and available.
Oh here you are, there's nothing left to say You're not supposed to be that way —- The Goo Goo Dolls
Bury it in the deepest sea. Let it settle among the ruins,
sleep in clouds of seaweed. Let it swim through portholes,
through barnacled gears & crab eaten cloth.
Let it disappear into octopus arms while you
surf the turquoise & reach for the lighthouse beam.
Again, I’ve combined two prompts. With thanks to artist John Phandal Law and Paul Brooks of The Wombwell Rainbow. Thanks, also, to poet Kelli Russell Agodon and her list of poetry prompts you can find here. I used #12: “Turn on the radio to any channel. Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear (lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.)”
Here is a “packaging” monoprint I made of the huts in Walberswick.
The print is made using a discarded carton from a box of aspirin. It looks like this:
The brown colour is shellac, a varnish which helps make the plate last a little longer. I make the picture on the shiny side of the medicine packaging, by cutting off the shiny surface to reveal the rougher cardboard underneath. The plate is very thin and fragile. This plate made 5 prints. I lost one of the chimneys during the process.
Here is an 11-second video showing the print coming off the plate:
The ink is JS Gutenberg Carbon Black etching ink from Intaglio Printmaker in Southwark. The paper is Gampi smooth from Shepherds of London, in Gillingham Street.