Monday, 23 December 2013


I recall that the business of art gave a little sigh and became very quiet once the Festive Season was over, and we slid into the long winter. With the quiet there came a time for reflection.

Making art is a difficult business that requires commitment, and dedication beyond belief. There are difficult years, years with few sales, years that cause artists to question the merit of continuing to pursue the dream. But, somehow through the long winters one would renew the challenge and explore new ideas, and hope for growth that would lead to success.

I had this thing for birds way back when. Come winter we’d put out a number of bird feeders attracting a number of different species including woodpeckers, nuthatches, blue jays, and chickadees.  Several feeders were close to the studio, and through the window I’d watch their comings and goings, and was often inspired to make drawings and paintings. Watching and drawing birds would help me to move beyond the funk of the past season, and inspire me to continue on.

As the years came and went, who knows to where, I moved away from drawing and painting birds and now find solace in painting the Canadian landscape. Still, come the long winter I’m reminded of different times and find myself  searching out the old drawings and wondering..........

Hairy Woodpecker clinging to suet ball.
Graphite Drawing

Hairy Woodpecker taking flight from Maple Tree
Graphite Drawing

White-breasted Nuthatch  on winter American Beech
Graphite Drawing

Downy Woodpecker on winter Cattail
Graphite Drawing

Black-capped Chickadee on Birch stump.
Graphite Drawing

American Kestrel  (Graphite Study)
Interesting about this drawing. You'll notice that it's not finished. I recall that at this point I decided that rather than continue on, knowing that I'd probably find no market for the finished piece, I used the study to help to make a large watercolour painting, that did sell.

Heading South    Canada Geese
Graphite Study
This detailed drawing, or study, was used in the making of a aquatint (etching) the edition of which was used to fund raise for the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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