Monday, December 12, 2011

Illustration Friday - Separated

The theme made me think of the 6 Degrees of Separation theory. According to Wikipedia - "Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

 The game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" was invented as a play on the concept: the goal is to link any actor to Kevin Bacon through no more than six connections, where two actors are connected if they have appeared in a movie or commercial together."


So here's an attempt at a portrait of Bacon, I find it really cool that he used the game to set up a website to raise funds for charity

Also apparently according to a Facebook analysis we're down to an average of 4.74 degrees thanks to the Internet

Monday, December 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - Brigade

The first thing I thought of when reading the topic was "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson about a disastrous battle in the Crimean war

Monday, September 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - Mysterious

This was done for Julia Kay's Portrait Party on FLICKR. If you like drawing portraits you may want to check it out : http://www.flickr.com/groups/portraitparty/

Monday, August 29, 2011

Illustration Friday - Disguise

It was rumoured that Andy Warhol hired an actor to pretend to be him and represent him at social functions.  I'm not satisfied with the likeness of this attempt at a portrait of Andy so let's say it's a portrait of an actor disguised as Andy Warhol

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Illustration Friday - Influence

The great Louis Armstrong. The following is from his Wikipedia entry:
"Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general."
This is a detail from a work in progress, I'll put up the finished picture if I don't completely ruin it somewhere along the way
Here's a link to his amazing version of St James Infirmary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXMx8OW32Bs

and here's the final version:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swell


I immediately thought of a song by Iggy Pop and Deborah Harry from a 1990 AIDS benefit album called Red Hot and Blue, all of the songs were written by Cole Porter. Turns out the song is actually called Did You Evah from High Society but I always thought it was What A Swell Party This Is. Cole Poerter definitely was "swellegant"

The lyrics (radically altered by Iggy and Blondie)


Have you heard, amoung this clan
I am called 'The forgotten man'?
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

Have you heard the story of
A boy, a girl , urequitted love?
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

What frills, what frocks!
What furs, what rocks!
What gaiety!
It's all to exquis!
That French champagne!
So good for the brain!
That bands, it's the end!
Kindly don't fall down my friend.

Have you heard? Professor Munch
Ate his wife and divorced his lunch.
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

Have you heard? The countess Krupp
Crossed the bridge when the bridge was up.
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

Have you heard that Mimsie Starr
Just got pinched in the Astor bar?
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

Have you heard that Uncle Newt
Forgot to open his parachute?
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

It's great, it's grand!
It's wonderland!
What soup, what fish!
That beef, what a dish!
That grouse, so rare!
That aged camembert!
That bab au rhum!
Will you please move over chum?

Have you heard that dear old Blanch
Got run down by an avalanche?
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!

Have you heard? It's in the stars,
Next July we collide with Mars!
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party this is!
What a swellagent, elagent party this is!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Illustration Friday - Imperfect (and Obsession)

I had wanted to finish this painting for the Obsession topic since golf is certainly an obsession of mine, however, as someone said "Golf is not a game of perfect" and my game is as imperfect as it gets. This is a view of the fourth hole at Victoria Park East Golf course in Guelph, Ontario where I've been a member since 2008. I have left a large number of balls in this pond over the years

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Illustration Friday - Stay

It's been almost 3 years since I did my other portrait of Barack Obama. No one could have lived up to the euphoric hopes at the end of that election campaign but considering that he was faced immediately with an economic crisis I think he has done quite well. He's shown an ability to compromise and get things done even if he couldn't implement all of his platform The question is will America "stay the course" and give him a chance to continue and achieve his goals. Quite frankly up till now the potential Republican candidates make me cringe

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Illustration Friday - Remedy

Sometimes the only remedy for the blues is a good long cry
apologies to Roy Lichtenstein

Monday, June 27, 2011

Illustration Friday - Midsummer Night

A very young Mickey Rooney as Puck in the 1935 movie of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Illustration Friday - Launch

A few years ago I attended a book launch and reading for Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. One of America's great living writers

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swept

As a Canadian it's impossible to not be swept up in the excitement of the Stanley Cup finals. Here's hoping Vancouver wins Game 7. Thursday update - well, sadly they didn't. Congratulations to the Boston Bruins

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Illustration Friday - Shadows

A quick sketch from the video of Tom Waits performing Bronx Lullabye in the movie "Poetry In Motion"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Illustration Friday - Asleep

Detail from a recent life drawing session

Monday, May 23, 2011

Illustration Friday - Soaked

When Tom Waits moved to Island Records and released Swordfishtrombones he explored a whole new range of sonic territory including the Howlin Wolf influenced blues shouter Gin Soaked Boy. Swordfishtrombones was one of the greatest albums of the 80's in my opinion

Tom Waits - Gin Soaked Boy Lyrics

I got a belly full of you
and that Leavenworth stuff
now I'm gonna get out
And I'm gonna get tough
you been lying to me
How could you crawl so low
with some gin-soaked boy
that you don't know

I come home last night
full a fifth of Old Crow
you said you goin' to your ma's
but where the hell did you go
you went and slipped out nights
you didn't think that I'd know
with some
gin-soaked boy that you don't know

Well I would bet you as far
as Oklahoma by now
the dogs are barking out back
and you're knittin' your brow
well I'm on your tail I sussed your M.O.
from some gin-soaked boy
boy that you don't know

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Illustration Friday - Safari

There's been a large controversy about animals in zoos recently in Toronto, specifically elephants. Much as I can understand the concerns, since I will likely never be able to go on an African safari I do appreciate the opportunity to see these animals at close range

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Illustration Friday Beginner

Every surgeon was once a beginner. A friend whose son had finished his studies and was now a practising surgeon said it must be very hard to make that first incision into a living person

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Illustration Friday - Lesson


Apart from arts and crafts at school my first drawing lessons were provided by Jon Gnagy's Learn To Draw TV shows which ran in the 50's and 60's. I would sit or lay on the floor with paper and an HB pencil and follow along as he demonstrated various techniques. It was years before I learned that there were varying grades of pencil to draw with. In rertrospect I learned a great deal about form, shading and generally developed a love of drawing from his program. So here's his portrait - done in HB pencil of course.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Illustration Friday - Bicycle

judging by the wheels someone must have driven this bike into a ditch and banged into a tree. I found it very hard to draw a bicycle, I also find it very hard to ride a bicycle, probably because I never learned until I was in my thirties

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Illustration Friday - Journey

We had a wonderful vacation in Newfoundland last summer. Being an island it's a little difficult to get to but it's well worth the journey
I painted this using tube watercolours but I added white gouache to most so it's more of a gouache

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Illustration Friday - Bottled

It's always risky to release a genie, better to keep them bottled

Friday, April 1, 2011

Illustration Friday - Duet

Dino and Frank. Sinatra had been a star since the 40's and Dean Martin since the 50's, then in the 60's they appeared together as the best known members of the Rat Pack along with Sammy Davis Jr and Joey Bishop, the ultimate Las Vegas lounge act, back when smoking and boozing and chasing "broads" who were not your wife was cool and stylish

Monday, March 28, 2011

Illustration Friday - Toy

Cabbage Patch Kids were a hugely successful line of toys when my daughter was 5 years old, parents desperately tried to find them for Christmas that year. I thought they were kind of ugly myself.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Cultivate

We recently spent a month in beautiful Costa Rica where, due to their climate, they can cultivate a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

Monday, March 14, 2011

Illustration Friday - Stir

Stir It Up - one of my Favourite Bob Marley songs. It's been nearly 30 years since he died but his music lives on and does not sound dated in the least. I'm also a big fan of 2 of his sons, Damian and Stephen. Check out Damian's Road To Zion or Stephen's Inna Di Red next time you want to go to an Irie place

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Illustration Friday - Warning

Lighthouses have been used for a long time to warn sailors of dangers, this one is on Quirpon Island in Newfoundland

Monday, February 28, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swarm

A couple of times in my life I inadvertently disturbed a hornet's nest, the results weren't as dramatic as this but they were unpleasant

Monday, February 21, 2011

Illustration Friday - Layer

Couldn't have eggs for breakfast without layers like this

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Illustration Friday - Sweater

The Sweater Girl was a popular pinup style from the 40's through the 50's inspired by movie stars like Jane Russell and Lana Turner - and why has the conical bra look never nade a comeback?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - Reverse

A reverse dive in the pike position

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Illustration Friday - Surrender

When I saw the subject I immediately thought of Winston Churchill's famous speech: "We shall never surrender."