The Stolen Child

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My first portrait commission is of Rocky, a Cairn Terrier and the beloved pet dog of Pat, one of my bookish friends on LibraryThing. I’d spent maybe 4 hours on prep work and initial drawing stages of Rocky on a Strathmore drawing board which had been highly recommended by professionals, but which I hadn’t used before, when I was considering maybe starting over (see gallery image #1). This board has a slightly heavier texture than what I’ve gotten used to with the very smooth high-quality sketch-pad paper I’ve been using for the Metro Series, and I wasn’t sure I liked the way it was taking the pencil. The difficulty with this particular project is it’s all about ever so slight variation in tone and tiny flecks of white here and there, with hardly any real contrast or major variations in between. I’d gotten used to really controlling my strokes and having them creating a kind of subtle pattern with the Metro series, but on this board these strokes become diffuse even when I’m using mechanical pencils. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing after all to convey the furriness of our critter.

If you look closely at the pics, you can see, ever so faintly, a grid I put down, with a pale outline of Rocky (if you don’t, please don’t worry, this is not supposed to show much, and definitely is meant to disappear in the final piece). The full-sized piece, which is 7.75 x 10″ for the drawing area plus a 1.5 inch border, is shown above. Below in the gallery, I’ve shown close-up shots of the details as they are emerging. As the drawing slowly progresses and Rocky emerges, I’m growing more confident I’ve made the right choices after all and I just have to keep at it.
Portrait Commission: Rocky, 1st Stages My first portrait commission is of Rocky, a Cairn Terrier and the beloved pet dog of Pat, one of my bookish friends on LibraryThing.
Five-and-a-Half Stars!

I was completely blown away last night at the National Theatre Live presentation of A Streetcar Named Desire…

Five-and-a-Half Stars!

I was completely blown away last night at the National Theatre Live presentation of A Streetcar Named Desire…

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Fans

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Fans

ebe9ad16d94aa71596877676777444341587343Book #175:  The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann ★★★½
Source: Amazon Daily Deal
Edition: Ecco (2012), Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Original publication date: 2012

A young man called Emil Larsson decides to seek for help when he is told by his boss of a new policy wherein he needs to find a wife in short order to keep his post as a bureaucrat. He puts his hopes in a French-born fortune-teller who…

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From information I’m gathering on rights pertaining to using images of people without their consent, it’s looking like I probably won’t be able to show my work in a gallery setting, which is what I suspected from the start. I just refuse to become an administrator and have to take care of legal issues and try to obtain those permissions—almost a lost cause from the start considering where I’m photographing, i.e., the metro, where people are in a rush and weren’t expecting or necessarily desiring to be photographed unbeknownst to them so they’d appear most ‘natural’ while they were on their way somewhere—because of how ridiculously stringent these laws have become. I’m an artist. Period. People steal images from the internet and do whatever they want with them all the time. Things are out of control. I should be able to draw whoever the heck I want to, as long as I mean them no disrespect and am not trying to make millions of dollars off them. Celebrated photographers from the past, whose work now hangs in museums around the world would never still be recognized as brilliant masters of photography if those laws had been in place then, and if things continue, the great great great grandchildren of those subjects in those photos on the museum walls might petition for those images to be taken down and taken out of circulation, since those subjects weren’t asked for permission back then either. It’s all just totally ridiculous. I happen to be inspired by the dubious poetry of getting “intimate” with total strangers on the metro by spending hundreds of hours drawing them in a photorealistic manner. So sue me.

That’s my little war cry for today.

Metro Series: A War Cry From information I’m gathering on rights pertaining to using images of people without their consent, it’s looking like I probably won’t be able to show my work in a gallery setting, which is what I suspected from the start.
Metro Series #5: (Slightly) Obsessed with Details

Many hours later, and many, many, MANY trials and errors after that, the tones (darks and lights) aren’t quite worked out as I want them yet, but the newspaper, the hand and watch, and some of the embroidery details on the bag are starting to come together.

Metro Series #5: (Slightly) Obsessed with Details

Many hours later, and many, many, MANY trials and errors after that, the tones (darks and lights) aren’t quite worked out as I want them yet, but the newspaper, the hand and watch, and some of the embroidery details on the bag are starting to come together.

Rubens’s Wicked Sense of Humour

Rubens’s Wicked Sense of Humour

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Book #173: ♫ A Five Year Sentence by Bernice Rubens ★★★½
Source: Audible
Narrator: Nicolette McKenzie
Edition: Isis Publishing (2014), Unabridged MP3; 7h23
Awards & Distinctions: Booker Prize Shortlist (1978)
Original publication date: 1978

On the day of her retirement from the sweets factory where she has been working for over 40 years, Miss Jean Hawkins has resolved this to be the last day of her…

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Charmed by the Atmosphere

Book #172: La Nuit du carrefour / Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon ★★★★⅓ Source: Municipal Library…

Charmed by the Atmosphere

Book #172: La Nuit du carrefour / Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon ★★★★⅓ Source: Municipal Library…

We’re Open Labour Day

We’re Open Labour Day

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Happy Labour Day everyone! We celebrate it here in Canada too; mostly it means the end of summer (sniff!) and the turning of a new leaf.

August Reading Stats

Total books: 28 (same as July)

Graphic Novels: 9
Mystery / thriller: 7
Literature: 4
YA: 4
Historical fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 1
Quarterlies: 1
Series works: 17
Male : Female authors: 11 : 6

Audiobooks: 13
Library: 10
Off the shelf: 5
Unfinished: 1

Rat…

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