Saturday, June 30, 2012

Toronto Jazz Festival

One of the wonderful things about living near Toronto is the abundance of live music about town. Especially in the summer. The past few weeks have been the high point of the season... Luminato, then NXNE, then last weekend the Toronto Jazz Festival started. Had to get myself downtown, and soak up some summer atmosphere.

Before I even got to my destination, I came across these guys. They were having some serious fun. I'm glad I have a camera on my phone, because I forgot to take mine. Not the best photos, but they will do for what I need them for. Didn't think I'd run across a guy with a tuba... I love the lines and intricate shapes. I took a bunch of pics of him, and the trombone player too. 

I met a friend down in the Distillery District,  where we could pop in and out of the galleries, check out the studios upstairs and maybe talk to a few of the artists that work there. There was a couple tents set up outside, and music in both locations all afternoon. I already have a bunch of photos of a standup bass from my son's school concert, but I could get really close to this guy and get a much better angle, so I took a bunch of shots of him too (and he was an amazing musician... that set was fantastic). I think these are going to make some really interesting paintings.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Working Away...

 When I started on my most recent series of musician paintings, I did a few small pieces to start, which i posted a few weeks ago. I also made myself a sketchbook of sorts... not a traditional kind of sketchbook, since I don't really do that, but a small book where I could try out a few different approaches without having to commit a lot of time. I've done this a few times, and it seems to clarify a direction for me, and helps keep things moving when I get stuck. This one I've made from an old kid's board book... in it's past life it was "Winnie the Pooh's Big Book of Opposites". I pick these books up at Goodwill for next to nothing. They are compact and sturdy, and can take a lot of abuse.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It would seem I've forgotten how to sleep. For the last two weeks I think I've slept less than 5 hours a night, some nights less than 3. Last night it was close to 4 a.m. when my brain finally stopped spinning and I could relax enough to sleep, then I was wide awake again at 7:30, knowing there would be no point lying there so I might as well get up. I've tried to make use of the time, but that seems to make the situation worse... if I get up and paint there is the possibility I won't be able to sleep at all. Not to mention that what I produce in my sleep deprived state is absolute crap. So I wander around the house, read, watch a movie, doodle, maybe look online to see if there's a friend in another time zone that is still awake and wants to chat.

The interesting thing about insomnia is that when I'm exhausted, my mind makes these bizarre connections that I just can't see when I'm well rested. I suddenly understand why that person at work is insisting on making my life miserable. Or how the theme in this movie I'm watching is exactly the same as the book I'm reading and my current favourite song, and how that relates to my life.

I found an exercise in a book about art journaling by LK Ludwig that I thought might help me. Maybe working on something where the final product was unimportant might help my brain to wind down a bit. She calls this "found poetry"... you cut up a bunch of words out of magazines, throw them in a bowl, pull out a certain number and compose a poem with them. Honestly, this would be the only way I'd compose a poem... words are most definitely not my strong suit.

Not brilliant, but for a first attempt, not so bad. And it was fun. I think I'll do this one again.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Music as Inspiration: Part 2

Acrylic on Paper... I'm thinking of doing another
similar one, maybe larger and on canvas.

Acrylic on Canvas. I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out.