Saatchi Showdown.

Mermaid and Comet.

Mermaid and Comet.

I have entered the next Saatchi Showdown. I did very badly in the last one. I didn’t do much self promotion, and it will be interesting to see what happens in this showdown.

As an attempt to eliminate all the spamming that was going on artists can no longer link to their URL. Some artists were  contacting everyone asking for votes. In some ways that was the most interesting part of the showdown. I was able to see what people were doing to advance their work in the competition. At the same time this did eliminated a lot of interesting work, and became a popularity contest. Maybe it will be a fairer competition now.


A Wednesday list of ten things I like.

This is not a top ten list, but rather a totally random list of things I like. listed in alphabetical order of course, and complete with links where possible.

1. Better Off Ted. We started watching this show on Netfix and really enjoy it, and of course we found out it was cancelled after only 26 episodes.

It really should have had a better run, it has a great cast, and many laugh out loud jokes in each episode. If it has anything working against it you could say it is a bit like the Office, a bit like Parks and Recreation, and a bit like Madmen, and they  break the fourth wall a bit too much.

2. Cinnamon Sugar Crinkles. My wife made these cookies on the weekend, and they are fantastic. The recipe is from the most recent issue of Canadian Living. Jane adapted the recipe, and made them gluten free. The kids didn’t like them because there are no chocolate chips in them so We had to eat them all. I like that the kids didn’t like them!

3.  Goat’s milk Soap. I really like this soap, it doesn’t dry my skin. I also like goats. They’re funny.

4. Lee Valley Tools catalog. I love getting catalogs and one of my favorite is the Lee Valley Tools catalog. I keep it in the bathroom. I wish I had lots of money, and I would give it all to Lee Valley Tools. I have ordered several things from this company and the quality of their products is excellent.

5.  Liberte Mediterranee yogurt. I really love this stuff. High fat content, and it doesn’t have that bad aftertaste of aspartame that many brands of yogurt seem to have. Favourite flavors in our household are, blackberry, orange and mango, and lemon.

6. Melissa and Doug Toys. Our kids have several toys from toy company Melissa and Doug. The kids really love to play with them, and they give them a real beating. Our daughter has a toy barn that has held up very well considering how much it is used for other things than a barn. They make a great line of puzzles too.

7. PPA Perfect Paper adhesive, Matte. I use this stuff when working with collage. I’ve tried many different adhesives and I find this has a strong bond with many different types of paper, and I can paint over it. It is acid free, and UV protective. I prefer the matte version.

8. The Standard of Ur. My wife and I were in a gallery of the British Museum when we came across a huge crowd gathered around a display case. There were so many people it was impossible to see what they were looking at, and it must have been impossible for most of them to see also.

When we turned away we realized we were standing next to a display case that had no one near it, and in the display case was the Standard of Ur. One of the most beautiful objects ever made, and something I always wanted to see. We had it to ourselves.Never did find out what everyone else was looking at.

9. Staples Sonix Gel Pen. I like gel pens. I like these.

10. Tengucho white by Awagami. I use this paper with collage. I like to lay it on the top layer of a collage and then paint, and draw over it. It creates a great luminous surface.

Yesterday in the studio.

Raw material.

I place sheets as of paper as drop sheets under the paintings I’m working on. The paper catches all the paint that splatters, And eventually gets marked up with pencil and ink. Often I find the drop sheets on their own can be quite beautiful.

Raw materials.

These sheets will eventually get used in different ways. They get transformed into paintings or collages. I tend to keep all scraps of paper if they seem interesting, and this does cause a general air of chaos in my studio.

Wavy rainbow.

Eventually the drop sheets get turned into something like this detail. This painting has a layer of thin transparent rice paper laminated to the surface. You can still see what is underneath.  I work the top layer with watercolour and gouache.

Studio time.

My daughter loves to work in the studio, and here she is painting a picture of us driving in our old car to the beach.

Easter painting.

Even though I have several piles of things I’m working on, I decided to start a new painting. Something for Easter.

Easter cat.

Then I thought I might as well start two.  Cats with bunny ears. Screams Easter.

In the studio.



My studio is a complete mess, and I’m really looking forward to a time this spring when I can open the windows wide and start chucking things out.

I can be described as a bit of a pack rat, and I love to think I will someday find a use for the stuff I keep. Maybe someday I will get around to finishing one of those half-completed paintings that are hidden in corners, and maybe someday I will be able to sell those 6-foot-high robot paintings. Maybe, but not likely.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.

I figure I have about 300 things in various stages of completion in my studio. Most of these belong to a large group of 12×12 inch mixed media paintings that are called my Long Series that I have been working on for 2 years. So if I consider the 12×12’s as one piece of art I probably only have 20 pieces in various stages of completion. So it’s not that bad really.

Signing off.

Signing off.

The surprising thing is that I actually do manage to get a lot done. I find that having something always on the go is the best trick to keep working. I will often finish a painting, and then set up the next one on my work space to begin work on the next day.



I don’t always paint when I go into my studio. I often like to go in and see what I’ve been working on. I look through things. Move piles around. Think a bit. Then the next time I go in the studio I have an idea of what I want to do.

Work table.

Work table.

Another of Anna’s photo essays.



One of the things my daughter enjoys taking photographs of is the hem of her dress. I couldn’t at first figure out what it was I was looking at. Then I realized it was a close up of whatever dress she was wearing. I asked her why she was taking these photos and she said, “Oh, Dad, my dress is so beautiful.” I think they do make interesting abstract compositions.

Many of our conversations begin with “Oh. Daddy.”