New Large Paintings 2018

August 13, 2018

So, I was at my adult music camp, part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival at U of T, last week, and I had so much fun…a whole week of singing, singing, singing, all day long, and parties galore. What a treat it was!

But now I’m back to work. It’s a slow process working up a large canvas like this one. The storm is my current concern.

July 27, 2018 

A painting for those who like to follow along: 

I've been working on this painting for 2 weeks now and the basic colour and composition is just about set. The mood of the painting will shift a bit. I haven't touched Pythia or the Furies yet, and a dark storm is going to cross the left hand side of the work - where the boats are sailing. 

So far, so good, but I must be patient as there is still the major part of the work to do. I hope to be done in about 6 weeks - with luck. 

For those who are not aware of the process normally followed in an oil painting, there are usually at least 5 layers of paint laid down. At this point I've done about one and a half in most areas.

I’ve wanted to do a painting about Katrina for several years. Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster of devastating proportion that turned into a shameful example of American disdain and denial of the poor of New Orleans. 

This is the 4th painting in the Pythia Series, and will be called “The Tempest: Pythia, Katrina and The Furies”. It is 48” X 72”, or, if you prefer, 4ft X 6ft. 

July 20 - The painting was blocked in on Friday the 13th of July. After a week of work, I am just sorting out the colour shapes. 

I’ll post an update every once and while. I’ll post more frequent updates on my website and on Saatchi. 

July 9, 2018

I'm back with Pythia in Paris. 

I've added 2 whales following Pythia as she rows her boat up the Seine, as well as a halo of bumble bees around the Virgin's head. 

All of the newly added critters are endangered or close to it. There are some details on Saatchi now. I'll add more as I finish up.

Still more changes. I've started finishing up the top part of the painting. I like the moodiness of it now.

June 13, 2018

Maybe one more day and she'll be done!

At the moment I am working on all 3 of the Pythia paintings, but this one, the 1st, has the most visible changes, though it is still not finished.

Pythia, in her role as the Delphic Oracle, would place herself astride a volcanic crevass that emmited gasses and other toxic, mind altering vapours. These emmisions would help induce her state of euphoria and prophecy. She would hear voices, see visions and come up with some really fabulous tidbits similar to the words embroidered on her bodice in this painting "Hear The Voiceless; Pray To The Winds". Good advice, especially now. That's what I have my contemporary Canadian Pythia doing in a very lush and vaporous overgrown swamp. Swamp gas anyone?

 Pythia was the designated name taken by each Oracle of Delphi upon her investiture. 

"Miss Pythia at her Annointing"
48" X 36" X 2"
oil on canvas 

This painting is only about half done, and is the second painting in the series. It is inspired by the Christmas Eve birth of a baby white rhino at the Toronto zoo, and the adventures of Clara the rhino, born in 1738 in India and painted by Pietro Longhi. Miss Pythia meets the mother rhino and her baby at a Venetian Ball.  It is 48" X 60" X 2" oil on canvas.

September 18, 2017

In The Works:

After a short hiatus painting drowning maidens, exotic flowers and deadly frogs, I'm back to my "Canada 150 Series", with this almost done painting of a herd of musk ox. Did you know that musk ox wool is the finest, warmest and most expensive wool in the world? Probably the most rare as well. 

"A Musk Ox Dilemma: What Time is it Mister Wolf?"
oil on birch cradle, 37" X 48"
Not the best photograph-sorry

September 4, 2017
Taking a short break from the animal kingdom.
My new painting, which will be done shortly, may be called Ophelia Passing The Children, or perhaps
Ophelia's Lament as it has a certain operatic feel to it, in my opinion.
It is oil on canvas, 48" X 72" (4ft X 6ft).
It's very hard to photograph - either the bottom half is clear or the top half is clear.
The little dots and dashes are fireflies. 
Did you know Ontario has had particularly splendid firefly colonies this summer? 

July 16
Well, "The Bears Picnic: Be Sure of A Big Surprise" 
(oil on birch cradle, 104" X 64" X 2") Is about half way done. 
At this point you can get an idea of where it is headed. This is the second large work about the lose of the natural/traditional habitation of Canadian bears
It'll be done in a couple of weeks.

July 19
I've added a blue jay and some racoons to  the picnic because they are urbanites, 
just as the bears are becoming. 

July 2, 2017

"The Polar Bear's Farewell: If You're Skating on Thin Ice You might as Well Dance"

triptych, 10ft X 5ft,  oil on birch cradle

I imagine I will finish this in about 10 days. 

July 21 - Been busy with the Bears Picnic, but today I worked on Polar Bear. I wanted to have some stars glimmering in the distance, plus a bit of drama, so after some research I was able to add a favorite meteorological event, a bolt of lightning. Did you know that thunder and lightning 
are symptoms of global warming? Normally they would not occur in the Arctic. 

June 2, 2017

Work in progress.
The first painting from my "Canada 150 Series" is called  "Blue Flipping Whale".  
It's 47" X 37" X 2".  It's certainly not done, but it is starting to take shape.   

Work in Progress 
"Origin of the Northern Lights: White Buffalo Calf"
45" X 65" on very heavy handmade (in a field) irregularly shaped paper.

May 16, 2017
Yesterday & today I worked on the winds faces.

The 3 text sections are: Verses from Mon Pays, by Gilles Vigneault (the best & most accurate description of the Canada I know & love), references to the Aurora Borealis from Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden & Homer, and an excerpt from Dr John Rae's letter describing his search for the bodies of Franklin's crew.

January 1, 2017

"Moose #6: The Christmas Painting" is starting to take shape. It's oil on birch cradle, 2 panels, which together measure 5ft wide X 4ft. Still a while to go yet, but should be done in a month or so.

Started the White Buffalo Calf yesterday. A New Year's Eve painting-very auspicious wouldn't you say? Now the buffalo painting is going to be a lot of work...there are 2 of them... mom & baby. Madonna & child. AND they will be beautiful. It's on that giant hand made paper I bought in Paris - like my last moose. The featured map that I will be using was created in 1618 by Domingos Sanchez.

Life is good don't you think? Back to my painting. Busy....busy...busy... oh BTW... Happy New Year everyone !!!!!

"Moose #6: The Christmas Painting" (work in progress)

"I have called you by your name: You are mine" 45" X 65", mixed media, 2016

September 22, 2016
"Moose" aka "I have called you by your name: You are mine" will be going to the framer's first thing tomorrow & then to his new home. He's big, my Moose - 48" X 68" in the shadow box frame, which is an architectural delight.

August 22, 2016. Things are going swimmingly. Close to being done. Sometimes I have to work flat so I put it on the bed-I don't have 6 x 5 feet of clear unencombered floor. I had this paper - the largest handmade paper in the world, I am told - sent to me from Paris. It's over 5ft wide and 4ft high. So far it's dry pastel, acrylic wash and  charcoal. The map in the background is a loose rendition of a 1722 map of Nouvelle France. The moose is piebald, part sacred sprit moose and part run of the mill, hanging around the garden moose. A bit like most Canadians I know, don't you think? I love this moose.

Moose By Moonlight
48" X 62"
pastel, ink & acrylic wash, on vintage map of
First Nations, & Early European settlements, on Fabriano paper.

June 10, 2016 - This work is currently featured in The Guardian. There's a link on my Home Page.
Moose By Moonlight, 2016

Spirit Moose: Ghost Forest
36" X 48" X 2"
oil on birch cradle

and Dremel tool engraving

April  24
Still almost done...

Blue Moose: I Saw You Standing There
36" X 36" X 2"

White Moose: Snow Storm
36" X 36" X 2"
oil on birch cradle

Yellow Road Series VI "Listen. Snow Flakes Falling",  2015, 3ft X 3ft (N/A)

"Yellow Road: Faraway"  2014, 4ft X 5ft  (N/A)

"O the mind, mind has mountains"  2014,  4ft X 5ft
 O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap       
May who ne’er hung there. 
Gerard Manley Hopkins 1918


The top one is "Heat Waves: Sun Spirals", 12" X 48" X 2"
The bottom one is "Blue Remembered Hills:Sun Spirals", 12" X 48" X 2" 

They're both the same size.  Oh, but you can see that for yourselves....;-)) 

"Cremation of SM: Northern Lights"  2013  12" X 48" X 2"

"Blue Remembered Hills:Sun Spirals" 2013, 12" X 48" X 2"

"Heat Waves: Sun Spirals" 2013, 12" X 48" X 2"

Sun Bolts: Chalk Cliffs
12" X 48"
oil on birch cradle

Storm Over Blood River
12" X 48" X 2"
oil on birch cradle

After The Fire: Burning Bush: Smoke Serpents
16" X 64"X 2"
oil on birch cradle

Where Amber Mornings Break: Fire Fight
16" X 64"X2"
oil on birch cradle

Meteorite, February 15, 2013, Chelyabinsk, Russia   (35.5" X 76" X 2")

"The Eye of The Sahara",  37" X 47" X 2", oil on board,  2013

Spiral Jetty: On The Eigth Day", 37" X 47" X 2", oil on board,  2013

"Spiral Jetty: There are no clouds to speak of"

48” X 24”

oil on board