Wednesday, 4 February 2015


After spending all last week with blue painter's tape experimenting with various compositions before starting my final Fever Afterimages painting on the composite textured canvas, I woke up on Sunday morning with a lightning bolt inspiration. The textured canvas would be ideal for a cityscape painting that has been hibernating for more than 30 years!

In my minds eye I saw the starting point for this painting as a tiny doodle in a tiny sketchbook. The doodle was from a period of time where I was temping at an office in Toronto. I worked "staggered" hours so that I started before 7 am and finished by 3.30 pm. In the winter it was very dark in the morning when I came to work, the office was empty and I got a view from the windows of buildings gradually appearing as daylight took its time dawning. I was searching through my box of old sketchbooks and couldn't find the doodle of my mind's eye, but found this tiny doodle (about 2.5 inches high) taped into the tiniest imaginable sketchbook. The doodle is from 1981, view from one of the office windows, so it is most likely the doodle I had in mind even if my memory had changed it's appearance!

From that same period, I found a number of tiny doodles taped into a half-size sketchbook (imperial equivalent to A5). I know I was looking out a different window in the same office; the vertical lines represented the lines made by open vertical blinds.

In a larger 8.5"  x 11" sketchbook from 1981 I found some ink sketches of sunrise through this second window which I obviously thought was more interesting!

Was I thinking of a shaped canvas?

The whites scratches were drawn in chalk, sometimes on wet ink.

 In another full-size sketchbook (8.5" x 11") I was working on the same cityscape theme with pastel.

By 1982  I seemed to have more plans to make paintings. These two ink & wash sketches are from a full size sketchbook that year.

This painted and scratched sketch is also from a 1982 full size sketchbook.

This sketch, from the same 1982 sketchbook, only covers about half the page. I used some silver paper and gold tape that I had found in a factory dumpster; the black is burnished crayon. It is this sketch that I am probably most thinking of as suitable for a starting point on the textured composite canvas. Time to get to work1

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