He stood in the middle of the sidewalk and gazed at me as intently as I must have been gazing at him. I was trying to get a read on who he was or what he might be celebrating. When I got home, I googled an interfaith calendar to see if the day was a religious holiday or commemorated anything special. Nothing – just a regular day in Parkdale.
I just took a week to do some painting (acrylic and pastel). I wanted to focus on technique, but there was so much to figure out and so many things that could, and did, go wrong that I was overwhelmed. I pushed on and painted one lifeless piece after another.
Somewhere mid-week, I realized that learning to paint – learning to get down what’s in my head – is going to be a long road and I should probably try to approach it with some softness and lightness (the thought helped). My daughter said I should make a quilt of all the small corners of the paintings that I liked. I thought that was a grand idea so here’s a mock up of what my quilt would look like after this week. One day maybe I’ll print it on fabric and sew it up.
I was almost beside her when she threw a handful of soggy paper at the pole. I wasn’t sure if she was making art or protesting the little 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:
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.)