The Bard is Barred

Preparing panels for oil painting gave me some time to leave the studio while they dried. The local park was offering a chance to see some large raptors (birds not dinosaurs!) up close. I came home with a renewed appreciation for their attributes and their design.
Owls are associated with wisdom so even this barred owl appears profound when he calls out, “Who cooks for you?” in the still of the night. Hardly equal to the Bard Shakespeare but  being this adorable you can also call out “Too cute to care!”
Just had to spend a couple of hours capturing the memory. (Charcoal pencil on sketch paper)

Birds The Human Form

Last Days of Summer

watch gull
Life Gull
Soaking up rays.

Taking a break from the studio to enjoy this beautiful weather and just be outdoors. Went to the beach and, between swims, managed to capture one of the many people who flocked to the water for this gorgeous gift of a day. Included is one non-human model who also migrated here with ‘friends’. What do they say about ‘birds of a feather’?

Luckily both these ‘birds’ enjoyed just sitting and catching some rays long enough for me to catch quick sketches from my bird blind under the sun umbrella.

Purple is a nice color to use as under drawing. It maps out the lights and darks so colour can be added on top later or left as is. Either way, I can summon all the sensations of this rare and beautiful sunny day just by looking back through the sketchbook. Love it!




Still Learning to be Astonished..


Let me keep my mind

on what matters

which is mostly standing still

and learning to be


Mary Oliver

This is a great time of year to be spending some time indoors and although many of the native bird species have migrated to their winter habitats, it’s actually given me a  chance to study them and learn more. I’ve been inspired by John Muir Laws (and his guide to drawing birds), who is a wonderful naturalist, teacher, and artist. The pictures included in this post are taken from my sketchbook and contain those studies.  Already I know that I’ll be in better shape to observe and capture the real thing, ideally on the Bruce Peninsula (in warmer weather)…and be astonished.

IMG_3894 copyIMG_3891_1


Gone Sketching

IMG_3821 copy

2015 is drawing to a close and with the advent of a new year there will be a few changes in your lives I’m guessing and most definitely in mine. This post will be the last one for this year 2015 but it also indicates an artistic change of direction for the upcoming year. Over the next couple of months, the links from the images to the online site Daily Paintworks will disappear. I may be starting a new account elsewhere but for now I am taking a hiatus from online sales.

I will be making art, of course, but am more interested in returning to my roots as a biologist and reviving my passion for field sketching in particular. It’s a passion from a time when I worked as park naturalist and my roommate for the summer was an artist who helped me see the joy in capturing and illustrating the observations I was making through sketching. Painting and sketching have been a constant in my life and so this is not a departure but rather just a re-emphasis.

I recommend it highly to anyone who would like to connect with ‘the creation’ through the ‘creation’ of sketches and illustrations of your own part of the planet. Maybe I’ll see you in the field with binoculars, camera, and sketch pad.