Sunday, March 30, 2014


I painted over the piece from a couple of days ago [Finding my way in the dark] and in a mood to run away [warm and green was sounding good]  I realized it really reminded me of a blackboard, so I found some chalk and started to draw. Well the chalk started to smudge so I got out the acrylics to draw some lines. Then some of the lines wanted to be filled in and so I had fun playing with shapes. I think I have cabin fever.

The land, 24 x 38 in, ink and acrylic on terra skin,  2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trial Prints

Got my sample pack of digital Japanese paper in the mail a few days ago and have been doing some trial proofs before I order. It's been trickier than I thought as the sample sizes are small 8.5 x 11 and won't work in my big printer, and I can't seem to find the right profiles for the paper so am being a bit more "creative" than I like. First of all I printed my drawing from March 6 [link here] on my big sheet of paper [the untreated paper that I have been using for all these drawings], which did not want to feed into the 9800 at all, and finally I taped it to a support. A few glitches; the paper wasn't taped on to the support well enough and the paper is very absorbent, so the print feels a bit softer than I would like.

ready to weave, printed on Japanese Kozuke, 40 72 in, 2014

And here are a couple printed on Japanese paper that has been coated for ink jet printing. They are so small compared to the big one that it hard to know if they really have more detail. There is more color  but I can get rid of that. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. Any advice would be more than welcome!

tiny trial 3, 11 x 8.5 in, Hiromi paper, 2014

tiny trial 1, 11 x 8.5 in, Hiromi paper, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Finding My Way In The Dark

Trying out this new paper Terra Skin I went to dark, I had laid down a few layers of ink and was drawing into it and when it dried I had to stand at an angle to the piece to see the marks. The camera wasn't to happy either but I was hoping that by playing with the darks and shadows in photoshop I might find what I knew was there.

Really, there is something there,  38, x 24 in, ink on paper, 2014

After playing in photoshop

and after even more playing in photoshop

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Dream, Part 2

The dream image is reoccurring, [link here], not every night but most, and I am still working with it, trying to untangle it or its meaning. Trying to sense what it means for me, or how it wants to inform me. When I did the first few drawings I used a pad of lined paper made of Terra Stone. Loved the idea of stone paper but it has a cool, smooth texture and is more like Mylar than paper. That being said it loves ink, actually it seems to love any thing put on it, so I found some larger sheets and set to. Doing some research on line/lines I found a sweet fact, that in geometry, lines are a primitive concept. For some reason that pleases me.

working the dream, 38 x 24 in, mixed media on paper, 2014

working the dream 2, 38 x 24 in, mixed media on paper, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Scroll Books

There were all these long pieces of paper hanging on the studio wall, covered with ink marks, and they weren't talking to each other at all. It seemed each had his own story and wanted the space to tell it. So they are in the process of becoming the scroll books. This is the first. The paper is 10 in x 72 in, with my favourite accordion fold structure. I want to see how they work hung from the wall to the floor.
scroll book 1, opening, 8.5 in x 10 in, 2014
scroll book 1, unfolding the pages, 8.5 in x 10 in, 2014
middle of scroll book 1, 2014

Cover with elastic band , scroll book 1, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014


According to what I've been reading spring starts today at 12:57 p.m. EST. Well this is the view out the studio door;  it will be a while before I get into the garden. It's an act of faith to believe that under that mound of snow, there is waiting, green, and growth and scent. 

studio looking south, March 19, 2014

pile of snow outside the studio, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The past few days have been a struggle in the studio, too much, to little, to blah. Can't seem to find what I sense is waiting, so it's push, back off, try again. And when the whole thing becomes too frustrating I make marks on a roll of very thin Chinese paper I found in the studio. It's so thin I have to have a very light touch with the ink otherwise I make holes. Hmm, maybe work with that.

detail, 18in x 18 in, ink on Chinese paper, 2014

detail, 10in x 18 in, ink on Chinese paper, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Frost Lines

A new pattern appeared on the kitchen windows this morning, lines of frost, in the middle of the windows. Hmmm temperature dropped overnight, and the wind is blowing. Hello Spring…hello Spring…can you hear me….

frost line grid, 2014

frost lines, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dream Lines

For the last while, just as I go to sleep, I have seen the same image. Sometimes during the day I'll see it in my minds eye and when I found some steel wool today, I scanned it. It's not what I see, but shares a sensibility. Then I looked at some sketches I had done a few days ago, and the ink piece I was working on yesterday; spirals, nests, vortexes, the expanding universe, spaghetti. Actually my dream image was just lines, million of lines, overlapping, winding about, and very beautiful.

steel wool, 2014

dream sketch, 2014

working the circle on the studio floor, 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I now have a roll of Kozuke Ivory, a Japanese paper [thanks Stan and Lorraine] and have had the best time playing. I wonder why artists never seen to talk much about the sheer pleasure of making things, of putting ink on paper. Ink meets paper is a sight to behold. It's like "Hello Big Boy"; there is such attraction and energy between them. The paper buckles in pleasure and I am in love with the marks; some looked scratched or etched, some strong and deep. I find myself making lines, that's all I want to do, line after line after line; stacks of lines, flourishes of line, fat lines, skinny lines, galaxies of lines.

detail, brush strokes

detail of more brush strokes

detail of more even brush strokes

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Question Answered

I have always wondered where Piero Della Francesa got his inspiration for the hats he painted. No one else in Italy seemed to use these styles in their painting and this was just one of the things that so charms me about his work. Reading Piero's Light by Larry Witham gave me the answer. In 1439, the Roman Pope, the Byzantine Emperor and the Greek Church Patriarch, met in Florence; the Pope working hard to consolidate his power.  "'It was a visual feast by all accounts, Florentines already dressed brightly...  and to the Italians, the secular Byzantine officials and higher Greek clergy were an equally marvelous sight."  Records have placed Piero in Florence at this time. "That visit would have an impact on his future paintings, where he would feature oriental-style costumes." Puzzle solved.

Legend of the Cross, Dream of Constantine, by Piero della Francesca, 1452-62. Arezzo. Detail

Legend of the Cross, by Piero della Francesca, 1452-62. Arezzo. Detail
Legend of the Cross, by Piero della Francesca, 1452-62. Arezzo. Detail

Legend of the True Cross, detail (c. 1452-66, Fresco, San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dawn Sky

I can smell spring. Rivulets run down the sides of the road. The dog brings in dirty feet. The paper arrived. And I bought 3 more brushes. Life is good.

Dawn sky, March 7, 2014

And for any of you in Montreal, a friend, Walt Pascoe's exhibition Lines of Inquiry,  opens tonight at Centre d'art E.K. Voland Art Gallery [Link here], 4710 rue St Ambroise, Montreal.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

While Waiting

Got a call from Stan at Au Papier Japonais [Link here] that my paper is in, so off to Montreal tomorrow; meanwhile I have been seeing what happens as I play with the images. Sometimes it really helps me to see where I want to go next, but this time I want to print them . And as I have been unhappy with the results on my regular paper, [Epson Somerset Velvet] of these works, I have been doing some research and Awagami makes a Kozo thin for ink jet printers and apparently Epson have also just brought out a Kozo Paper Thin. Has anyone any experience with these papers?

ready to weave, 2014

diagonal, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Out of Paper

This is the last of my paper until my order arrives and I am in withdrawal. But the studio is clean, well cleaner. I'm not liking this enforced withdrawal and have huge amounts of fear that I will not have anything to say when the paper arrives. Well maybe, hello….

Studio wall, March 3, 204

Wavy lines, 72 in x 80 in, ink on Japanese paper, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Watching the Light

There hasn't been a lot of sunshine lately so the other morning as I walked down the hall I was thrilled to see the sun reaching along the wall almost to the door. Ahh, it's almost equinox, almost spring.