My Sexy Teapot

I've officially stopped drinking coffee. Never thought I'd live to see the day! But it does my blood-sugar levels no favours to keep on with it. I feel a lot better now, and am really sleeping deeper at nights--I can tell by how much I am dreaming and how much I remember when I wake up, too. So this may also improve my creativity, since my brain gets properly rested. It hasn't been easy, but I'm really enjoying my tea.

So many of my friends don't drink coffee either, so this has been an added incentive. I know that anything I do in the kitchen is easier with the proper infrastructure, so I bought a really good little teapot, and a new electric kettle. The old kettle was a hand-me-down, small and not very efficient. The new one is 2L and so fast at heating the water up, that I actually use it to heat water for pasta etc, since my old stove is so slow. Between the two of them, that is nearly 100 bux in stuff, but I can say it was more than worth the money.

But this new teapot is the thing that delights me most. It is the perfect size, shape and colour and has a stainless steel infuser inside which also fits perfectly into my favourite mug. At 1.33L I can make enough tea for several people at once, or supply myself with 2 mugs of hot tea in the morning and cold tea for the rest of the day.

And a couple of trips to Silk Road for some good organic black tea! Yeee-ooow. That stuff is THE stuff! Fave so far is the Vanilla Plantation, with vanilla essence and bits of bean in it. It makes kicking the coffee habit just a little easier to bear.

"Teapot and Tangerines" 8.5" X 11" Water colour.

"Teapot and Knife" 8.5 X 11" Water colour.
A cubist water colour. The knife turned out particularly well, I think. the faceting is very exact--it really is like seeing it from several different angles at once. Very, very happy with this one, in spite of a few minor mistakes.

Speaking of cubism, I do have another cubist nude on the easel right now, but will not have time to finish it before I leave Sept 2 for a kayaking trip through the Bowron Lakes with Dan and Erin and some of their friends.

I have decided to take the water colours along after all, since they are so meditative for me, and it looks like I will have plenty of time, since we will be spending only 4-6 hours a day on the water.

It'll be great to get the heck outta Dodge for a good spell and away from the pollution (both air and noise) here on Hillside. I'm totally stoked and 98.62% packed. If course I am taking a couple of grams of Vanilla Plantation with me--that part was easy!

It'll be a good material-gathering expedition, too. So expect some strong All-Canadian type outdoor image from me this fall and winter.

I'll be inviting some of the gang over for a dinner at my place when I get back. So stay tune, you of my inner circle.



Ship out on the Sea.

There's rockets in the meadow, and ships out on the sea,
The answer's in the forest, it's carved upon a tree:
"John loves Mary--does anyone love me?"
--Gordon Lightfoot

"Freighter 2" 14 X 18" Oil on canvas, as always.

If you recall the freighter I did last year... . Well this is meant to be a kind of continuation of that theme. The other one was a "Handymax bulker" but I have no clue what this is. Some sort of floating brick, I guess. It may be loaded with something lighter, since when they sit lower in the water, they are even more brick-like. Hard to tell stem from stern... .

I slathered on the mountains, and scuffed on the sky. A good little piece, and painted in 1 1/2 sittings. I'm very happy with the simplicity of the image, the paint quality, and the tones. It seems that working this size really helps me nail it on the first shot, for whatever reason. Maybe all those years, being broke, I learned to paint small to save materials, and now the habit is formed... .

(Further online investigation reveals that this is an "Ace" class vehicle carrier, and is high in the water after having delivered its cargo to Vancouver.)

A Matisse Tribute

"Girl in Brown" 18 X 24"

Most of you know know that I love Uncle Henri, but rarely paint like him. He's not really an influence, it's true, but I admire his preoccupation with design, structure and pictorial harmony, sharing as I do a quite Gallic concern for formal pictorial problems.

I took this from the drawing below, which my friend M.H. was kind enough to sit for. I may not be able to capture all her earthy Persian beauty on canvas (yet), but it's fun to try. I made her look kinda Japanese here, and, as she has a deep affinity for Japanese culture and art, it's appropriate. (M.H. is a pretty incredible and versatile artist in her own right, and if she ever gets her own website up, I'll be posting a link to it here... .)

The colours are not as daring as Matisse, and the textures are all me as well, but I tried to get at his line a bit. I almost wish I had to correct a little more--to make it more like his style during the '20s. but I was happy with the under drawing from the get-go. I did have to re-harmonize the background yellow and a few other bits, and I admit the colour is not one of the strengths of this piece--but I like it a lot.

I'd like to continue to explore the theme of tribute paintings to artists I admire. Seems to be a productive thing for me.

Have been doing a few good figure drawings lately. Life drawing certainly helps. I want to be one of those painters who actually can draw.