Sketchbook Sunday

I’ve decided to try and refrain from painting on weekends to give my body a rest. I will share with you on those few days a week my more elementary practice of sketching. You’ll see more experiments, more works in progress and more simple observance or records of the life around me…

graphite sketch of bagel and coffee at the do drop in
Blueberry Bagel at the Do Drop In, graphite in sketchbook

This first sketch is a true testament to my dedication. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to scarf the remainder of this blueberry bagel with cream cheese. But I resisted… just long enough to record it and then it was gone. Inhaled like kibble at a labrador’s schnoz.

graphite sketch of the do drop in, portales, new mexico
Do Drop In, graphite in sketchbook

This is the exterior of the cafe where said blueberry bagel was consumed with gusto. If it seems a little hastily recorded, it is because the morning was quickly heating up and I was eager to retreat to the air conditioning and rest my eyes from the bright sun of a New Mexico morning.

graphite sketch of man reading paper in do drop in
Waiting for a sandwich, graphite in sketchbook

This light sketch was done in just a few minutes when this man grabbed a paper and sat down to wait for his sandwich “to go”.

Morning nap

Here is another morning landscape study. One of these cows gave his neck a good scratch on this fence for fifteen minutes before joining the others for a snooze under the shade of the trees. I was pretty tempted to join them.

oil painting of cows sleeping near abandoned building in new mexico
Snoozing Cows, oil on canvas, 8 x 10"

Walking Nelson

I visited Nelson, British Columbia last fall and must say I could really use an annual visit to such a vibrant, unique place. The autumn was an especially nice time to visit as I got to experience the colour and the warmth of the town as it transformed into the crispy white of ski season.

Nelson they say, is a place that either sucks you in or spits you out. I was sucked in for a decent chunk of time and imagine I will always feel it tugging me back. What I miss most are the walks I took up and down the steep streets. They provided endless views of eclectic houses lined above the lake with a backdrop of bulbous clouds caught on the mountain tops.

watercolour and drawing of houses in nelson, bc
Walking Nelson's Streets, watercolour and ink on paper, 7 x 9"


Interior murals and Wall Art

It’s about time I share with you some pictures of a series of interior murals I did for a retail on-premise wine shop Splendid Grapes in Sackville, New Brunswick. They run a truly great shop, are wonderful people – and I made wonderful batches of wine with them to cater an art exhibit reception!

Murals are such a great way to bring a space to life with your personal inspiration. If you’re interested in an interior mural for your business or children’s room please contact me through my website so we can discuss the idea!  As a business owner you’d be supporting the arts and reflecting your values to customers. As a parent you’d be providing your child with an imaginative vibrant space in which to play and grow up. Our surroundings are more important than we realize and murals are an really fun, special way to brighten up your life. I can work with any theme and bring my own ideas to the table – or rather, to the wall 😉

wall mural for splendid grapes
Splendid Grapes
mural of grapes
Grapes overhead
painting of wine glass
Giant wine glass
painting of store owner
Steve, one of the store owners busy at work

Let the gazing and grazing continue…

A little cold snap has lifted and left the town and it is easy to think of strolling yellow fields again. Here are two from a series that I painted a few weeks ago just before the bitter cold surprised us all.

oil painting of new mexico field and sky
Gazing, oil on board, 10 x 10"
oil painting of cows grazing in field new mexico
Grazing, oil on board, 10 x 10"

Visiting Elida

Recently I took a trip with some friends to take in the countryside and the small town of Elida. There wasn’t much action in Elida if you didn’t count the tumbleweeds and one nosey but kind senior who crept after us in her car until we chatted. We didn’t glean all that much information from her but Wikipedia later informed me that a notable native of Elida is former Texas Tech Red Raiders baseball coach Larry Hays. Larry now teaches women’s softball at Lubbock Christian University but perhaps he thinks back to his Elida days from time to time, maybe he visits and gets his hair cut at the Elida Beauty Shop?

photo of beauty shop in elida new mexico
Beauty Shop, photograph, 4 x 6"
Photograph of Ruth McCowen Public Library, Elida, New Mexico
Ruth McCowen Public Library, photograph, 4 x 6"

Towards the Old House, the warmer colours, the dry scrub

I have always been fascinated by my surroundings and easily get lured into the landscape. This painting may be a good example of this. Lately I see myself favouring warmer colours on my palette, mimicking the gnarled lines of the vegetation with my brushstrokes and inventing characters that are as enamored with adventuring as I am.

Here it is, the second painting in my new adventure series:

oil painting of girl and old house
Towards the Old House, oil on board, 10 x 10"

Blast from the Past!

marker drawing of house across the street
university boys house, marker on paper, 6 x 8"

I was poking around the studio yesterday when I found this sketch. It wasn’t tucked neatly away in one of my 42 sketchbooks, it was just floating through letters and random scraps of stationary. It struck me as rather funny. It is the view from my bedroom window during highschool. It depicts the house across the street. The house that held the university boys – as the yellow marker title suggests.

You can imagine me as a teen, holed up in my room diligently doing homework… diligently, until of course distracted by the comings and goings of the young band of rowdy gentlemen across the street and inspired to make a sketch.

I can remember nothing about making this drawing except that it was winter and I tried to show the snow by leaving the roof and lawn blank. I am grateful to have my drawings though, because they’re always giving me glimpses of my past back, sketch by sketch.

First Impressions

These were my first impressions of Portales, New Mexico from a visit I had last May. Three studies from a hotel window the same day we had a tornado warning:

watercolour painting of houses from above, new mexico
Small Houses, mixed media on paper, 5 x 8"
watercolour painting of houses in new mexico
Small Houses 2, watercolour and ink on paper, 5 x 8"
watercolour painting of field, New Mexico
Field, watercolour and ink on paper, 5 x 8"