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Showing posts from 2018

Quick Sketches

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Some newsprint drawings played with. 18"x22", this week.
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Progressing, bit by bit...

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This is drawn, I think, with a 2B in a .9mm technical pencil. It's on it's way to becoming, I hope, a watercolour. Quite large - 14" x 20" or 36cm x 51cm, Aquarelle Arches, 100% cotton, 300g/m or 140lb. I've done the shadows and the beautiful wrinkles in the skin lightly in the drawing - knowing that soft graphite will bleed into the water and paint.

Not sure whether to make it a very detailed, more realistic watercolour, or allow the paint to run freely for a more suggestive rendering.
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Couple of Ink Sketches

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Some test ink drawings with Franklin-Christoph flex (top image that I half rubbed out) and fude nibs (bottom two figures) with a F-C chocolate ink on Strathmore cold press Watercolour paper, 9”x12”.



A poet, drawn today.



I dare not name him in case he doesn't like the beginnings of this ink sketch.



A beautiful black woman on the subway - I didn't feel like trying to darken the skin tone with ink lines, too finicky and easy to overdo (and, anyway, I'd have to do it from memory). She didn't see me drawing her, and I hope she forgives me.
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Could be a preparatory sketch, who knows

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A preliminary sketch or maybe this is all I'll do, who knows. It's in the small pocket sketchbook, 5.5"x3.5". I finally got a Franklin-Christoph flex nib and Marietta #20 pen and had to try it out right away. On a more absorbent paper, I can get very fine lines, as well as thicker, but not on this paper. It's a Franklin-Christoph chocolate ink, too. So there's a 6H pencil - this paper cannot do anything lightly and that graphite hardness offers the lightest lines so far. And a Pilot gold gel pen. I haven't put in the shadows yet. I don't think the paper will allow the extra fine nib on the F-C pen to draw delicately enough, and more gel pens is very hard to do. I could pencil it in, but that seems boring. Oh, yeah, the eyes - well I am deeply into podcasts on Greek literature (Homer's Illiad currently) and so their sculptural aesthetic must have influenced. I'm almost afraid to ink in the eyes since there is no option for delicacy or mistake.…

Finally have a few paintings sketched in, ready to go. This one is floral, 30”x36”. Hope to break through the block plaguing me for the last 2 years soon. #sketch #painting #art #charcoal #artistoninstagram #flowers #sketchforpainting

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Woman Bathing, 7x10” #gelpen on #strathmorepaper

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Bloor Subway Sketch April 28th with gel pens - he was very alert and when I began sketching him, he closed his eyes... for a little transit nap. I do a quick sketch & then work on the drawing later from memory. #Toronto #TTC #urbansketchers #ballpointpen #gelpen #gelink #colorink #figurativedrawing #art #art_dailydose #instaart #artist #sketchbook #sketchoftheday #sketching #sketch #sketch_daily #draw #drawing #artistoninstagram #moleskine #moleskinesketchbook

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Bloor Subway sketch

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Bloor Subway sketch, April 28th - he was very alert and when I began sketching him, he closed his eyes... for a little transit nap (oh don't we know those naps!). I do a quick sketch and then work on the drawing later from memory. 3½" x 5½".
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Video: Bren Clews @ the Art Bar 2018

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Direct link: Bren @ the Art Bar

It is always a privilege to read at the Art Bar, Toronto's longest running poetry series, begun in 1990. My novella, Fugue in Green (Quattro Books, Dec 2017), while it has a narrative, is written in a prose poetry. A hybrid style. I begin this reading with a section on how poetry is the vector between the concrete world and the world of the imagination, and end with lovemaking, and what could be more poetic than that? Carl Jung would say to his mistress, 'Let's go and make poetry.'

In the editorial process, the copy editor turned all the sentence fragments in the original manuscript into proper sentences, and combined the one sentence paragraphs into larger paragraphs, removing much of the obvious poetry, but the flow and imagery remained, and I liked the decisive grammar, and so I okayed her suggestions.

But Fugue in Green remains, to me, a book grounded in poetry.

The Art Bar Poetry Series at the Free Times Café in Toronto on April 1…

Got the Coroner’s Report today. #belovedbrother #grief

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Reading from Fugue in Green at the Art Bar tonight. Quiet but fabulous evening! Many thanks to those who came out. ❤️ #quattrobooks #bookstagram #canlit #novella #prosepoetry

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Praise for 'Fugue in Green'

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Amazon is now selling Fugue in Green for its real price, and not over-charging. Indigo is a great place to get it. Also, you can get a signed one tonight at the Art Bar, where I'm featuring. (Free Times Café on College, 8:30pm start) xoxo (see my website for links)

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone's who's read Fugue and written a review or a few sentences - SO appreciate. Love you all!!!

Praise for 'Fugue in Green'

-❊ Erotic and sensual, extraordinarily vivid and imaginative, Fugue in Green is a magical treat indeed. -@Lisa de Nikolits, author of No Fury Like That and 6 earlier novels

-❊ Fugue in Green…is a tale of monsters, imperfect sunsets and waifs who were born of cats and “speak the language of birds”. Its haunting prose, as sharp and perfect as a diamond and as delicate as a spider’s web, is a prayer cried out loud: a prayer for freedom. -@Heather Babcock, author of Being Underground and Moving Backwards

-❊ This deceptively small book is a blockbuster. You star…

Sixteen Recent Sketches

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After my brother died, I developed a block and could not draw or paint. Almost half a year later, I began tentatively doing "subway" sketches - simple, fast, and doesn't matter if it 'looks like' or not -  no pressure - just do it - as a way to break through the block. First, I used a pen with a fude nib, which I liked, and am waiting for a new pen barrel to come into stock. Then, with a gift certificate to a local art store that a lovely friend gave me for my birthday, I bought a set of Bic coloured ballpoint pens. Love them! Only, they are not lightfast*[see note below], and already folks want to buy some of these. So I bought a set of 36 Pilot Juice Gel Ink Ballpoint Pens and have been using them solely (I found very little on these pens researching, but think they are gel ink with a rolling ballpoint tip, and are pigment-based rather than dye-based as ballpoint pens are). The Pilot pens were used in the first three drawings you see here - the colourful lady c…