For five years, as a side project, I collaborated with a physician (Dr. Clifford Chan-Yan) to design and illustrate a book about the clinical physical exam. I wanted to combine a bold contemporary style with quirky illustrations that were like everyday people with just a little characterization. These are just a few of the many illustrations included in this publication…
In 2018, I converted a garage into an art studio. It was finished just in time to take part in the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. I was surprised to have more than 100 visitors come by to see my art in my garage studio on Eureka Place at Halfmoon Bay.
Axe & Stack; acrylic on canvas; 40x30in, 2018
Breathe; acrylic on canvas; 40x30in; 2018
Provisional Eye; acrylic & paint marker on canvas; 2018
Screens / Web; paints & collage materials on panel; 25x18in; 2019
Red Fugue State; paints & collage materials on panel; 24x18in; 2019; (Private Collection)
No Wind; paints & collage materials on panel; 24x18in; 2019
Accidental Jetty; paints & collage materials on panel; 24x18in; 2019
Further Mistakes; paints & collage materials on panel; 24x18in; 2019
Here is a selection of larger paintings that show some of the directions taken over the last 25 years.
Totem Woods; acrylic on canvas; 40x58in; c.1982
Archeology of Paint; acrylic on canvas; 40x58in; c.1982
Horizon Dance; acrylic on canvas; 56x40in; c.1985; (Private Collection)
Ice Field Forming; acrylic on canvas; 78x54in; c.1986 (BCIT Library Collection)
Rwanda Red; acrylic on canvas; 81x36in; c.1994
Snake / Birth; acrylic on canvas; 72x36in; c.1997
Equine Madonna; acrylic on canvas; 36x48in; c.2012; (Private Collection)
Grey Room; acrylic on canvas; 60x30in; c.2015; (Private Collection)
My recent drawing activities are primarily using a touch tablet and drawing into photographic images. The engaging thing about this act is that there are a few options of how to proceed and they include drawing into, with, against and through the image. Sometimes there are lines in the photo image that function as drawing. The image with the coil of white xmas tree lights is a good example of this. My drawing contribution to the image was more of a background support.
There is something satisfying about going through the processes of creating logos and or icon graphics, although it can be a difficult challenge if one is working to get the approval of a client’s committee of varying opinions. Often, I have to verbally explain my process to get the client on board to understand why the shapes, colours and arrangements might bring some meaning to their corporate insignia.
For a business consulting firm in Vancouver – 2021
A UBC/ St. Paul’s Hospital collaboration – 2018
For an SFU initiative, Community Health Solutions Research Institute – 2013
Icon and wordtype for UBC’s Digital Tattoo Project – 2010
For an SFU based project – 2007
For a pilates studio from the 90s.
For an Internet cafe that was part of a language school in Vancouver – late 90s.
These mixed media pieces are on paper and were made around 1990. A suite of 18 developed as a visual response to my Vancouver environment. At the time I was living in Kitsilano about 5 blocks from the ocean. It was an almost daily routine for me to walk, run or cycle somewhere along the beach area. Assembled from sign shop scraps of vinyl, industrial paints and acrylic paint. I used place them in some inexpensive plexi box frames in a grouping of 6 (2 x 3). Now and then, I would rotate them for variety.
Digital collage is very different than the actual physical glueing of pieces ‘analogue-ically’. One actually has to make a conscious intent to slap the pieces together in such a way that the shock of incongruous juxtaposition will still be there. Its very easy to be seduced by the power of the tools to design. Not that there is anything wrong with a designed collage; its just that the surprise element can be lost.
An ongoing fascination with the multi-varied qualities of glass resulted in some photographs exploring these qualities. The reflective nature encompassing both inside and outside; surface texture such as scratches, wear, grime, cracks, condensation or rain drops; fogging and translucence create a wide palette of elements for play. Focus and depth of field contribute to a game of nuance and emphasis. Most of these photos have little post production but a few have a second exposure dubbed into the scene.
During some of the 80s and 90s, I worked in a shop producing retail signs for sales and general information. I became quite skillful and was one of the most productive employees. After a while, I got really bored with the repetitive work and decided to have a little creative fun on the side.
Using scraps and leftover materials, I started to discreetly make collage paintings on the side. There were lots of interesting, industrial materials to be used that were just waste from already made signs, such as adhesive-backed, vinyl lettering waste, different paints, stickers, papers and miscellaneous samples.
Now, this was not a sanctioned activity by the company so I had to be quite strategic on how I operated. I sometimes worked in this sign room all by myself but even when that was the case, someone could pop in at any moment to pick up finished signs, request new signs or just pick up other materials that they needed.
My strategy was to make every attack session on the art piece limited to under a minute. I didn’t really time myself but the risk of getting caught made me plan out my moves so that they could be done with a surgical-strike-force speed. This included getting out brushes, paint and putting them away in hiding places in the room. The art attacks were broad, brush strokes over adhesive vinyl scraps on paper. I sometimes had several paintings drying on the floor hidden under shelves. When they were dry, I might do a second or third attack. Some, I took home and worked into with acrylics or other materials.
Sometimes, other employees would come in to the room and wonder why they could smell different paints that weren’t part of the regular sign activity. I would just agree that I thought it was strange to smell that kind of paint and I would then get a deliciously dangerous feeling from my transgression.
(for more in this series)
Since the fall of 2010, the iPad & camera have been my primary art making tools. Without the time and space to paint in a focussed and serious way, I found that with the iPad and the rich apps that are available that I was able to engage in the kind of creative image making that I enjoyed with painting. Here are some of the pieces that I was satisfied with. They all started from photographs, but, in some cases, not much of the original photo was left.