How we see

woman with ice cream

My daughter was looking at daily sketches I’d done over the past few months and said, “You see the world in a dark way.”

“Really?” I asked. Her observation came as a surprise.

I saw the worn clothes and bundled possessions of the woman in this sketch. But what I was most struck by was her pleasure.  She was lost in the moment with her ice cream, her eyes half closed. It seemed she was letting the world disappear for a while,  allowing her surroundings – a deserted strip of storefronts by the transit terminal – to soften and fade. What I saw was her pleasure, what I imagined was her as a child, what I felt was a little hope. Because she was having a moment of grace in what was obviously a difficult time in her life.

 

 

Moving

I’m moving the day after tomorrow. Boxes and papers are everywhere and everything feels half-finished, pending the dismantling, shredding, fixing, folding or packing of something else. There’s no end to the mess – which is why I’m sitting here at my computer – taking a break and doing my best not to look away from the screen.

This sketch is of a regular on the streets of Parkdale. I don’t know where he lives, but he’s often crouched on the sidewalk at King and Dufferin, quietly doing his thing.

Sandra Pratt

I’ve been looking at Sandra Pratt’s paintings ever since I stumbled on one of her landscapes on Pinterest. I like the simplicity and spaciousness of her work.

The swaths of mostly monochromatic colour that she lays down with her palette knife really capture a sense of place and time.

And evoke a mood about what she’s painting. This isn’t easy to do – it certainly doesn’t happen often in my work. I’m still too focused on recording what I see rather than capturing the essence or feeling of what I’m looking at. Pratt’s work is inspiring!