Public art

As she straightened up, I noticed the wet paper in her hand.  I was almost beside her when she threw it at the pole. I wasn’t sure if she was making art or protesting the little art installation. I looked back over my shoulder and saw her looking around for other things to throw.

I like these public art installations. This is the first time I’ve seen this series on Queen West, but a few months ago, I found some up at Dundas and Bathurst and took pictures:

Overheard #2

The rumble of the streetcar and the noise of the heating fans made it hard to hear. A few words drifted my way –   “… easier to get around here … find places … work … yeah …. streets . . people…”  They came from opposite ends of the country, one from Vancouver, the other from the Maritimes. The younger man was dressed in a stylish wool coat, the older man wore an old jacket and a knitted hat with a single dangling pompom. The younger man had money in his pocket, the older man didn’t. By the look of it, the younger man probably had stable housing; the older man probavly didn’t. That didn’t stop them from spending the twenty minute streetcar ride engaged in low-key, comfortable conversation about their common experiences of living in Toronto.


First posted January 26, 2018.  Update, January 28, 2018: I thought this drawing could use some context. It started as an idea for an editorial illustration – about humanity and the oceans.  I was having a hard time communicating what I wanted to say so I moved on to a fresh page in my sketchbook and started something else. 

I filled the last pages of my old sketchbook at the end of the year. Before putting it away, I flipped through it and was surprised to see how many pages had the beginnings of drawings that weren’t finished (including this one).  I decided to take another stab at the things that I’d abandoned and see what comes out.  (This is just to say that every now and then I may be posting seemingly random things as I tackle sketches that stumped me.)


I was waiting for the elevator when he walked by. His cologne was thick and sweet – an unexpected intimacy that conjured up morning rituals. I pushed it out of my nose, letting out an accidental snort that echoed in the hallway behind him.

On the way to work

I noticed them walking ahead of me just as I was at the steps of the office. They were both tall with broad shoulders and a slightly lumbering gait. They seemed perfect together.  I wanted to capture them in a less literal way than usual so this was a first stab at that – more colour, less form (still came out more literal than I wanted).

Afterwards, I decided to see what it would look like if I forgot about trying to depict them in anatomical form altogether and just thought about their energy – a surprisingly abstract result – would like to figure out how to work somewhere in between.