Tuesday, June 16, 2015
These three sketches are my recollection of three of the men that lived with my grandfather in Medicine Hat, Alberta. They were all tenants of the boarding house that housed the bachelor generation of Chinese immigrant workers. Most of these men, including my grandfather came to Canada/ America without much hope of ever heading back to their homeland. They came here to eke out a better living and send money home to their families. Many of these men were married, had families but had no chance of ever seeing them again due to the restrictive immigrant laws of their time. They didn't have phones, Skype, internet nor did they have any of the communication immediacy we're used to having now. An airmailed letter back then nearly took two weeks to arrive at their destination.
The top gentleman I vaguely remember being very short, had gold teeth, a straw hat and constantly wore a vest to keep him warm. I played dominoes with him and would supposedly be better than him at certain card games. He outside, of my godfather was probably the friendliest of the older gentlemen that would play with me.
The second larger gentleman was the shorter gentleman's room mate. I always remembered that he wore light blue overalls. The two had been farmers and had plow horses that understood Chinese commands in the field.
The third gentleman I remember having a room in the basement. He always scowled quite a bit, read the newspapers often when I would come over and play. Supposedly he was a school teacher of some sort back in China before coming to North America.
Being a young lad, I was nearly everyone's adopted grandchild. Even when my grandfather was in the hospital the last years of his life- I was never without a guiding hand and social influence of these men. They're long gone now, buried in a foreign country away from their families in China- but I'll never forget their influence on me.
Monday, June 1, 2015
This sketch probably stems from my youthful days of watching all of those Jacques Cousteau Undersea Specials. I've always been fascinated by undersea exploration especially the sea bottom. Considering we know more about the surface of the moon than we do our own sea floor, it's a pretty remarkable place.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
A few months back we went in the dead of Winter and saw an amazing performer by the name of Puddles Pity Party. He's been billed as the "sad Clown with the Golden voice". If you've never heard him sing, youtube him up and be amazed. If you get the chance to see him perform live and be prepared to be astounded.
I'm not sure why I drew him as a "happy clown" but the pen just took me that way.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Several of my current students will be heading off to Haiti to help with an orphanage make art during their Spring Break. They recently asked me to come up with a piece of art work to donate to their fundraiser. I was stumped until I came across this image in one of my recent sketchbooks. I'm not sure if it'll sell or if it'll even be well received- but I'm hoping it's just quirky enough to at least raise a few eye brows and make a few people laugh.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
On a recent trip to China, I realized that some of the most sincere and earnest food is made out in the open air. This was just one of the meals we had for a wedding feast. The family hired these people to cook some of the best food I've ever had. The hired help brought woks, propane, the food, and pretty much everything to serve up several hundred people. The taste, sights and smells were incredible.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
When I was a wee little lad I had a huge poster of a galloping horse in my room; it was for some Scholastic Book. I learned to draw equine anatomy off of it. I've always loved horses but over the years I strayed away from drawing them (commercials, music videos, and advertising can do that to a guy). Every now and then I still give a go at drawing a horse or two for fun, but I know my horse anatomy's a bit way off now. It seriously makes me want to go out to a farm and sketch from live animals again.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
Not that I really ever take a break from working, but I do take a break from teaching. It's the summer for me now. I always joke that this is the only time of the year where I make enough money to go back and teach. To a certain degree that's true as I can focus solely on my business and not have to worry about some student's career choice, their layout, their composition or some other dilemma that they're going through while attending art school.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I've just recently noticed myself drawing images of fishing for no apparent reason. Sometimes it's just a person with a fishing line leading a pack animal, sometimes it's a person in a stream, or some odd juxtaposition such as this where the poor fisherman isn't aware he's the meal soon.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Just for kicks (and the fact I hardly ever do it on real jobs), I decided to have some fun with a drawing i did in my latest sketchbook. I started off with a line work sketch of the pig with a Sharpie, went back into it with a Micron pen for minutia, started some of the shading with a very limited palette set of colored pencils, and then added some subtle digital colors. It's an experiment at best but it's something I don't get a lot of opportunity to do with my hectic schedule. Between teaching, clients, and just trying to have a normal life, I have to sneak this guilty pleasure in at 4:00AM!
Friday, March 21, 2014
The majority of the sketches you see in this blog are from my sketchbooks. This is what four years of sketchbooks look like. It's 25 lbs. (or just a touch over 11 kilograms for those of you on the metric scale). They're all 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" Handbook Journal Company Travelogue Series sketchbooks. In this box, there is 55 individual sketchbooks. Each sketchbook contains about 65 individual images for a grand total of 3575 drawings.
I do this as an exercise for myself; I use it to stay limber mentally and physically. I also do this on top of my real job and teaching. It gives me a chance to explore new line weights, styles, and subjects that my regular paying clientele might not ask me to do. I also do this to hopefully inspire my students, to let them know it's possible to do this. Finding the time can be tricky but it's so worth it.
Not every drawing is a gem. Some are just random scribbles. Some are done in marker, some are in pencil, some are a combination of media- but all of them I'm putting down a mark. I'm not afraid to take a chance. And if the idea is valid (no matter how rough it is), I can always come back to it and make it better. It's about taking a chance. It's my expressive nature coming to the forefront here.
And ultimately it's also a lot of fun to do.