From painting

25¢ on a Grand Scale

A recent commission that turned out great — which makes me happy as it is huge at 60 x 40 inches. Crated and shipped off to clients on the East Coast of the USA.

It looks simple enough, but a large amount of white space is several thin layers of paint that took days to dry while I anxiously waited and hoped no specks of dust or marks would ruin the smooth surface I work to achieve. The effect is a luminosity that changes with different light throughout the day and the change of seasons.

25¢ / 60 x 40 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on the easel

10:10 on 10 x 10

Four more in my ongoing series of single-clock paintings. When I began this series at the end of last year, I was moving the hands along as I went… 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and so on. It wasn’t long before I was going around again. So I changed the naming scheme. The hands will stay at 10:10 as the paintings are on 10 x 10-inch canvas.

10:10, No.2 & No.1 / each 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / framed

These four are now at the George Billis Gallery in Westport, Connecticut. You can see them closer here: No.1, No.2, No.5, No.6.

10:10, No.5 & No.6 / each 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / framed

10:10, No.3 & No.4

I have completed several new little clock paintings. After having a pretty good reaction to my 10 x 10 inch paintings that I started sharing at the beginning of 2021 and selling a dozen of them, I found time between commissions to send a couple of new ones to the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles.

10:10, No.3 / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on the easel

The plan is to continue with an ongoing series of these pieces. Going forward, the time will be set to 10:10. Here we have No.3 & No.4.

10:10, No.4 / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on the easel

It’s all written down.

Underwood No.5 / 30 x 30 inches / 2021 / on the easel

I have written in a journal for 29 years. Let me tell you if you dig up and read the first entry written by your adolescent self, it’s remarkably revealing. Over the years, the purpose of the writing has changed. It can sometimes be like a daily log, but the business of life means that it is hard to keep up and often pointless. So I have kept it up to write about and document significant events.

There are podcasts and radio programs where people are invited to read their journal entries from their adolescence — in front of audiences, no less. It seems like a mortifying experience, and after recently reading through the earliest entries, I am pondering ripping out a few of the pages.

I am most keenly aware of is how the early teen me conceived the passage of time. At 15-years-old, six months is like a lifetime. And now, in middle age, six months seems just around the corner.

This painting is recently finished. It took me over a month to complete, but I felt no sense of urgency. An urgency that in my 20s was always prevalent.

Five, Six, Seven

Continuing with the 10 x 10 clock paintings that I shared at the beginning of 2021, this time with a teal variation. These clocks were among the first that I started to collect about 15 years ago and remain my favourite.

Five / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on fhe easel
Six / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on the easel
Seven / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / 2021 / on the easel

The Art of Real Happiness

“No age has a monopoly on misery,” and with that quote, the book featured in this painting starts the guidance on how to live an abundant life.

Published in 1950, The Art of Real Happiness is a reconciliation of old-age religious beliefs and modern psychology. I always try to have a book on the go, and I have been reading history books lately, and if there is one theme that is consistent through millennia, it is the collision of “old” and “new” ways of thinking.

It seems as though we are entering a new era where our conflicting ways of thinking, our myriad of philosophies and beliefs are colliding. And as a quiet observer of the world around me, I find myself straddling feelings of excitement and worry.

16 x 16 inches / oil on canvas

What Must I Do To Get Well? And How Can I Keep So?

What Must I Do To Get Well? And How Can I Keep So? is the title of the book featured in this new painting. A question that continues to plague us, and in the 1890s, Elma Stuart published this book in the hopes to help some find the answers.

A little rant: everything happens in cycles, nothing is new, we are having the same experiences our ancestors did, the only thing different is the phone in your hand (and some other nifty tools like indoor plumbing and refrigeration).

As I flip through the book, I’m amused at how the ideas and philosophies in it can be found in advertisements and influencers that now dominate social media. We have added some more wisdom and inventions along the way, but the gist of it all remains the same as it was 130 years ago.

What Must I Do to Get Well and How Can I Keep So? / 16 x 16 inches / oil on canvas / framed
What Must I Do to Get Well? And How Can I Keep So? / 16 x 16 inches / oi on canvas

A work in progress. On we go.

I’m putting the finishing touches on this painting on what is a very optimistic day.

There have been so many setbacks for everyone, especially in this last year. But it is beginning to feel like we are turning a corner and things will again move forward.

These primary readers from the 40s, 50s, and 60s are sending me the signals. On we go!

On We Go / work in progress

Four, Three, Two, One

I never thought I’d be so anxious to see a new year arrive. I personally know people who suffered enough in 2020 to make wishing a Happy New Year sincere and genuine. I hope 2021 is a turning point toward better days.

Four / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel
Three / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel
Two / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel
One / 10 x 10 inches / oil on canvas / on the easel

This suite of four colourful little paintings was just completed — a project to help me countdown to the end of 2020.

Little Bouquets of Pencils

New work available at the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles.

Red Pencils / 16 x 12 inches / oil on canvas / 2020 / on the easel

One of the best parts of elementary school was always getting a set of new pencil crayons at the beginning of the year despite having perfectly good ones previously.

HB Pencils / 16 x 12 inches / oil on canvas / 2020 / on the easel

Vintage Telephone Receiver

Twenty years ago I decided I wanted to be “an artist”. It was good to have plans, but exactly what was I going to paint and why was I going to paint it? I was in art school and incubating many ideas when a trip to a vintage and antique emporium lead me to this old telephone. It snowballed from there.

I painted this telephone twenty years ago and can remember showing it in class during a critique and managed to prattle on and on about why I painted it the way I did.

I have painted every day since then and decided a few weeks ago to bring out the old phone and paint it again here as a way to reaffirm the decision I made a few decades ago.

Vintage Telephone Receiver / 16 x 12 inches / oil on canvas / 2020 / on the easel

Pop Art

Usually, my work can seem serious, so with these, I’m offering a little bit of bubbly fizz.

Mr. Pop / 16 x 16 inches / oil on canvas / 2020 / framed

I found these at Everything Old Canada — an amazing antique and vintage shop here on Vancouver Island. The truth is almost anything in the entire shop could be composed and framed just right for one of my paintings. I’ll be opening up the options for my subject matter in the coming year. It’ll be fun to explore.

Capital Beverages / 16 x 16 inches / oil on canvas / 2020 / framed