Monday, October 05, 2015


I visited Kelowna B.C. this past weekend and on my first day there, it was wet, cold and grey. The perfect conditions to do what I like best to do when I have a sketchbook in hand. I hit the local coffee shop.

Some random people I drew on my way to the airport.

The Smudge, a progress shot

I have been working off and on on this piece for the last half year. Working on this piece has raised a lot of issue s for me. First do I want my paintings to be so tight? If not how do I break away from my natural tendency to paint exactly what I see from my photo references? So, the happy accident of the smudge in a sense liberated me a bit. I chose to smudge the entire painting. It might not seem through the image that I smudged it at all but it was a big, terrifying step for me to even do what I did.

I think I'm onto something new. Or maybe not. Stay tuned for the next step.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Smudge

Painting is still a painful process for me. A case in point. I've been working on a portrait this afternoon and the only redeeming part about it is this smudge. A smudge that was created, as Bob Ross, would say, by "a happy accident".

The battle continues.

Monday, September 14, 2015

QWAC 2015

Like the start of school in September, my involvement in the Queen West Art Crawl art show in Trinity Bellwoods Park, is another indication that another year is drawing to a close.

It was a grey, cold and wet weekend, marked by a few highlights. One of which was to finally meet a fellow Toronto urban sketcher and to find out yet another one was showing her wares a few booths down from me.

 My new body of work. 21 6x8 in. up close and personal portraits of friends.

 The 21 portraits hung in my tent waiting to be bought (and btw, are still available for purchase if interested. Please email me directly.)

 The sumos. Maybe I'll do a few more since I had so much fun painting them. Stay tuned.

 Bumping into a Facebook urban sketcher friend who I've never met before and excited to see yet another urban sketcher showing her stuff at the same show a few booths down from me.

My best imitation of jazz hands in my tent.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


My first urban sketch in a while. This is the scene in front of my tent at the QWAC show. (who doesn't like a drawing of porta potties!)

Trinity Bellwoods park

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


oil on masonite. 6x8in.

Or as I like to call her, "Iron Woman Tendokai".

I haven't had a chance to ask her what makes her happy, but I suspect one of things and from the glint I see in her eyes, is her beating the crap out of me when we practice together.

This also is my last 6x8 before the QWAC show. I was aiming for 30, but ended with 21 paintings. Not bad.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mitchell 3

I'm calling this done.

"What makes you happy?"
"Being around happy people."

Monday, August 03, 2015


oil, 6x8 in.
This is probably the quickest I've ever finished one of these small portraits. It's looser than the previous one and I like it like that.

"Besides your family, what are you most proud of?"
"My vineyard."

(Frank works as a fulltime bank teller but hopes to get out of it in a few years to devote all his time to his vineyard.)


 oil, 6x8in.


"What's the best part about being a cable technician?"
"The customers."

Clearly a good emloyee toeing the company line but I suspect the answer would have been the same if I asked him what's the worst part about the job... Or it could just be me.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ray Ray

oil, 6x8 in. masonite board


oil, 6x8 in. Masonite board


oil, 6x8in, masonite board

"What makes you happy?" 
"A happy wife."


oil, 6x8 in. on masonite board 

"Do you have a pet peeve?" 
"Yeah, inconsiderate people."

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I returned to this same spot this afternoon to finish off the spread. It was a beautiful day to finish it on... a tad hot though. Toronto Harbourfront, Canada.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

the 2 faces of Mitchell

6x8in. oil on masonite
I think I'll call these, done!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


  10x12" on masonite, oil.

I'm calling this done. I'll experiment with my next portrait. This one needs to be dried and framed in time for her birthday.
As a side note, what I like best about this portrait is that it is a total contrast to what my niece is usually like. She's a chatter box and has a constant smile on her face. This one moment is one of those rare times she's not that.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Figure drawing at the TSA

Another sketching session at the Toronto School of Art. I thought I'd continue doing the three hour pose as I did last week. However, tonight's model was a fidgeter and it was quite frustrating trying to get her down on paper. I actually found sketching one of my fellow sketchers to be more productive (the top page).

Fortunately, in the short pose room, there was an awesome model and she salvaged the night for me. I did this 20 min. sketch as the last one for the night. Apparently she'll be the long model pose next week.... I'm there!

sketching at Venezia Bakery

It's been a while since I've been to Venezia Bakery on Ossington. The last sketch of the Bakery can be seen here (WOW! that was 6 years ago!). It's one of the last few hold outs on this strip where posh, hipster cafes, bars and galleries have taken over. It's run by an older Portuguese couple and they have definitely made their presence known in the shop. The lady of the business is loud, shrill and friendly and talks to her Portuguese clientele without paying heed to how long the line up is… that's what her daughter is for. I loved it and actually got a pat on the back from her when I was drawing this. I'll be sure to visit again.

Monday, March 02, 2015


I saw the gentleman on the left and he had a great nose. A nose with a lot of character. I had to put that down on paper.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Figure Drawing at the TSA

I spent three wonderful hours sketching this model at the TSA open figure drawing class tonight. This is my second time drawing her and by far she is the best model I drawn at these sessions. Steady as a rock.

On a technical note, sketching a 3 hour pose in pen seemed a lot like painting with watercolours. Every move had to be planned in advance or else the drawing as a whole wouldn't look right. I think I'll live on the edge again next week.

Monday, February 16, 2015

sketchbook-- riding the rails

I was travel east on the Bloor line and there was only two stops left. Amazingly there were three people sleeping around me. I felt like a kid in a candy shop and I couldn't decide who to sketch. So I decided on the lady in front of me. I hope it happens again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Up Close and Personal #7


Breaking in a new sketchbook at a place that shall not be named.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anna Karoliina Koskinen, part 2.

Karoliina, a friend and a fellow artist have been sitting for each other in our own mini portrait painting sessions. This is the second installment of "Karoliina".

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sketchbook - subway sleeping

I love to see people sleeping on the subway. More people should do it. It makes my sketching easier. Pass the word on , please.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Bloor Gladstone Library people.

Dufferin Mall mall rats. Seen at the food court. I've noticed that when I sketch the older demographic and when they notice what I'm doing, they don't care. They just keep on doing what they were doing. Like this gentleman here. Thank you sir for not freaking out.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Figure drawing at the TSA

Its been a while since I've been to a figure drawing class. Tonight I decided to change that stat and went to the open figure drawing class at the Toronto School of Art. The session lasted 3 hours, with some breaks sprinkled amongst the 3 hours. All the poses were 10 and 15 minutes. Great length to just get down the essentials. I'll be sure  go to the next one.


The last spread of the evening. The drawing on the left is my favourite from the evening, nice and loose.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Up Close and Personal #4, 5 + 6

#4, oil on masonite, 6x8"

#5, oil on masonite, 6x8" 
Self portrait in 3 parts, part 1

#6, oil on masonite, 6x8" 
Self portrait in 3 parts, part 2

Friday, January 02, 2015

Up Close and Personal #2 + #3

"The Drool King"
8x8 oil on canvas

"Catching Flies"
8x8 oil on canvas