Broken Rock Face

cormorant islandFriday afternoons are sketching class – the best day of the week.
Each week we go to a different location, a park somewhere close by, in the ‘hood, and set up to draw whatever presents itself.
This week was the Scarborough Bluffs.tree leaning down cliff sideSuch an amazing place – I’d never been this far east and south before, and wow, what a fascinating, strange place, almost like being at the ocean with the strong winds, the sound of waves on the beach, the gulls and kingfishers diving for fish – kingfisherA place to come back to when the sun is low on the horizon and the skies glow orange and magenta.
But it was interesting too how harsh and desolate the cliff faces looked in the bright afternoon light, the ravages of time and water on the shapes of the rocks –overhang full size
edge, gull, treetopMy drawing companions tease me that no matter what I draw – a rock, a tree, an animal – it ends up looking vaguely like the human figure.
A drawing of a cliff face also seems to hold a variety of human faces, snouts and orifices – hoodoos drawingAnother rock drawing suggest reclining figures, hairy crevices and the folds of flesh – rock fountain drawingA drawing of tree hints at perhaps a headless torso, arms, a belly-button – tree torso drawingAnother tree could be an underarm, or a knee – tree branch drawingThat is my hand, my mark, apparently.
Out in the sun and wind, facing these cliffs, blown away by the sheer force of the place, it’s hard to even put pencil to paper, the desire to simply soak in the splendour of the day is so overpowering.
Yes, this too is Toronto…cliff lake vistaWeekly Photo Challenge – Broken

Enveloped in dandelions, enveloped in trees

curve of stairs, dandelionsThere’s a path up to a kind of open-air theatre I don’t often take. Somewhere over the months it has transformed into a dandelion sanctuary, a place for the entertaining of masses of dandelions.dandelion foregrounddandelion staricaseUp and around the corner, looking deep into the ravine, everything is lush, every last tree and bush has become green – wide of ravineAnd amongst the branches the drama of living, of survival, of hunting and feeding and resting rages on – hawk on branchraccoon in tree holeAt the pond, a small mysterious standoff unfolds –
goose on one legA lover’s quarrel, perhaps…
goose on top of treeWeekly Photo Challenge – Enveloped

Enveloped in Mess

wide w smearA couple of weeks ago I moved out of the studio.
In the last stretch even the studio itself was barely manoeuvrable, it was so filled with paints and art blocks, papers and tape and stencils and varnishes and mediums and brushes and blow torches and photos and just stuff – stuff everywhere.studio final daysIt was getting so that if I wanted to just sit down and draw, it was easier to get out of the studio to somewhere I could spread out without clutter and make big bold messes on paper –
strawberries charcoal drawing
3 shells charcoal drawingBut those few months spent there in that tiny little studio were super-productive and many new friendships were forged, so it was wonderful while it lasted, until it was time to move.
So now all that stuff that was in the studio is spread all over the house, much of it the living room –
shelves w smearMixed in with tender young plants waiting for the guarantee of no more early mornings of frost – plants on tray, smearMy son’s room, empty while he is away working for the summer, has also become a small assembly line of production (shhhhh! don’t tell him!) –b's desk w smearAll of the messy activity everywhere, of plastic over much of the furniture, is very much to the dismay of the cat who finds almost nowhere to sit –disapproving cat smearNow is a time of finishing, finessing, polishing, “branding” – of
envelopes and packaging and labels and inventories, of getting ready to take something out into the world…cards, portfolios, smearWeekly Photo Challenge – Enveloped