Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Apartment Hunting in Brooklyn

I am heading to Brooklyn shortly to begin the search for an apartment. It's a daunting process based off what I've read online. It seems every website describes the task of searching for an apartment in New York as "no walk in the park," "not a task I wish on anyone," and many more encouraging phrases.

I will be back the first week of August, and until then I will be unavailable to accept short-term assignments. I will be periodically checking e-mail and phone messages so please contact me with any inquiries.
If you have any tips on finding a place, I'd be happy to hear from you!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kanye West

I saw Kanye West in concert here in Ottawa on Saturday night. He put on a really good performance and showcased a couple new songs from his upcoming album, Graduation.

Here is the portrait of Kanye I painted, looking forward over a sea of mortarboards. Kanye is wearing the same tie I wore to my high school graduation!

You can see this piece larger on the portfolio page.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Sticking with the Wild West theme I thought I would post this drawing I did of an old toy I have lying around. When I was younger I had a cowboy and Indian themed bedroom with stencilled walls, Calgary Stampede posters and a fake tomahawk (among other things).
Growing up in Calgary I loved dressing up as either a cowboy or an Indian to go to the Stampede and Bravestarr was one of my favorite cartoons. I guess it just took Deadwood to remind me how much I like stories of the Wild West.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Al Swearengen

Last year I was inspired by HBO's Deadwood to paint a series of Wild West illustrations. I'm in the middle of Season 3 right now and figured it was about time to sketch a portrait of Al Swearengen, owner of the Gem Saloon, played by English actor, Ian McShane.

Al is one tough dude and drinks a lot of whiskey. One of the most powerful men in the camp (if not the most powerful), Al is a manipulative and ruthless businessman.

Swearengen is often fighting to keep the town stable and uses the Gem as the base of operations for meetings with the other prominent figures of Deadwood.

He never forgets to offer canned peaches.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I was in Bowmanville, Ontario last week for a few days and I've now made my way up to Sudbury. I sketched this view from the deck at Chantal's Dad's place. It's a relaxing getaway with a couple of hammocks, a swimming pool and a lake at the end of the property.

It's like coming to a resort whenever we spend time up here. A kayak ride on the lake, followed up by a dip in the pool and some reading in the hammock just about sums up the day so far.
There is an ingenious bug catcher on the deck that is filled with beer to attract the bugs. It is absolutely disgusting but I think I may have to sketch it before I leave.

I brought a lot of art supplies with me so I am planning to work on some paintings I have on the go. I am also available for illustration work while I am here, so please don't hesitate to wake me from my mid-afternoon naps and bug-watching.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I've been watching the first season of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. It's a lot better than I thought it would be (although it gets more and more cheesy as the season goes on), and the character Sully has become my favorite on the show.

His hatchet-throwing is precise and has saved many precious lives. Just last night his determination and leadership led half the town to build a schoolhouse in two days.

In addition to his spiritual wisdom (learned from the Cheyenne), Sully always has a straightforward way of settling the town's feuds: "Blamin' doesn't fix things. It just makes them go on and on tearin' at folks."

He is also a romantic at heart, despite his rough and primitive appearance: "Whether or not we make a baby, we sure can have fun trying. "

Sully also determined where I'd get my old-fashioned shave today. I've only had it done it once while I was in Cuba two years ago, and it was so nice I thought I'd do it again. So today while walking the main street of Historic Bowmanville there were two choices of barbershops, one was called Sully's, and it didn't even matter what the other one was called. Nice clean shave! Thanks Sully!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

World's Greatest Toaster

I got this toaster for my birthday a few months ago. Obviously, it's no ordinary toaster. It has the ability to poach an egg and heat pre-cooked meat like bacon and sausages. It times everything perfectly so when you're creating your home version of an egg McMuffin, the English muffin, egg and meat all finish cooking at the same time. It makes one delicious breakfast and it even has a recipe for making eggs benedict.

This was a present from Chantal, who just uploaded the newest version of her website. Take a look!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Ukrainian Catholic Shrine

It was about a 25 minute bike ride to find this place, hidden down a dead-end residential street and across the road from a fertility clinic. It had rained earlier in the day so I headed out when I thought it wouldn't rain again. After about 10 minutes of sketching in my camping chair, which I had on a spot at the end of someone's driveway, it started to rain.

Luckily it didn't last long and I was back in the chair sketching until the dark clouds overhead suggested I find some cover. For about half an hour I stood under a heavy covering of branches and leaves at the end of the driveway, standing between two recycling boxes and watching as the dry ground around me got smaller and smaller.

Finally the sun came out and the rain stopped and the wet asphalt steamed from the rain.
It didn't rain again all afternoon and I was able to finish this piece.

This church was completed in 1987 and designated as a Shrine and national monument to to commemorate the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine .

You can view this piece larger on the sketchbook page.