Illustration for Robbie Vergara

Posted in: Illustration | 3

Robbie came up with a great new concept for his latest shirt design. I helped to make it happen by creating the graphic image he needed to realize it.

The design celebrates and pays tribute to the genius of the late David Bowie by merging the iconic lightning bolt from the cover of Aladdin Sane with this graphic representation of Michelangelo’s David.

The name of the screen printed shirt design is “David”.

 

 

Repainted “Sisters”

Posted in: Painting | 4

If a painting hangs around my studio any length of time, it tends to get more paint put on it.

I had a grade 9 art teacher who told me I was “a hound for punishment”. She was referring to my tendency to not leave well enough alone and to obsess over my work.

The painting on the left titled “Sisters” didn’t sell when I showed it at The Parker Art Salon in April. I over-painted it and sold it at The Culture Crawl last weekend. It is now out in the world looking much like the image on the right.

Which one do you prefer?

dcowan_sisters-1and2-approx-4x6-copy

Big Draw Vancouver

Posted in: The Big Draw Vancouver | 0

The 2016 Big Draw Festival, world’s biggest drawing event, happens annually on October 1.

I am participating in this celebration of drawing, by facilitating a free drop-in drawing activity at The Britannia Drawing Jam.

The activity I’m offering is based on one of The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, developed in the 60’s by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance. The Incomplete Figure test challenges a person to make a drawing from a given linear shape.

Using my partner and my son as guinea pigs, I gave them the Torrance Incomplete Figure test, with the help of some sticky notes, and while sipping smoothies at our local sidewalk cafe (Best smoothies!).

torrance-incomplete-figure-test-2

Of course, artists knew about this process long before Torrance.

This activity is doodle and game-oriented and draws out the inner-magination.
In my version, we give each other the challenge by making up our own marks.

And for anyone who wants to come to my table and do their own thing, on this day of celebrating the joy of drawing, I say,  “More power to you!”

Creativity is our birthright.

Check out the city-wide Vancouver Big Draw events.

 

 

Drawing on Hornby Island

Posted in: Plein Air | 4

Little Tribune Bay

If not for my new beach umbrella, I would have been burnt to a crisp.

I was happy to have the drink holders on the arms of my chair. They worked beautifully for holding my pencils.

It’s so satisfying to immerse myself in visual perception, just looking and collaborating with the limitations of the chosen medium to create a document of that experience.

Wow! A successful Salon

Posted in: Parker Art Salon 2016 | 4

I’m almost back to normal after the amazing Parker Art Salon weekend where I exhibited my Wings Series. I’m so happy that most of them flew away to new homes.
These pieces are acrylic paintings on birch cradled panels and are 6 x 8 inches in size. Titles marked with an asterisk are sold.

Before the show opened, I did a tour of the halls and took some photos of the artwork. Some of my personal favourites were: our assembled mural, of course;
Parker Art Salon assembled mural projectDavid Robinson‘s sculpture — a larger-than-life-size figure made of cardboard (yes. cardboard!) and installed over a stairwell —  is another fine addition to David’s signature oeuvre of finely balanced muscular tension;
over life-size male figure made of cardboard, anatomically realistic, and balancing himself on a chair tipped on it's hind legs
Val Nelson‘s masterly ‘loose’ brushwork describing, with oil on canvas, the plastic colour combinations and perspective of an urban construction-site as landscape;

installation shot approx. 6' square oil painting of construction site looking down into deep space made for underground
The cones, that connect conceptually to Val’s subject matter, had a real function — “Wet Paint!”

and Eve Leader‘s waxy, earth-toned, delicate meditations, in oil on mylar, that are at once sensuous and thought provoking.
Eve-Leader-at-Parker-Art-Salon
Check out more of my photo tour (I was not able to capture it all), and the Georgia Straight online newspaper where, along with a photo tour of the halls at Parker Street, my partner and I are shown setting up my paintings for display.

 

 

Parker Art Salon Mural

Posted in: Parker Art Salon mural | 0

The Parker Art Salon artists are creating a mural for our upcoming show.
I was happy to see that the image chosen for the mural is a Manet painting, because Manet had a genius that I admire.
I got to choose my piece of the puzzle and knew right away that I wanted the square with the two faces.

Each ten inch birch panel will be painted by a different artist, in their own style and colour palette.
I am so excited to see it all assembled.

I’m documenting my progress so I can make another animated gif.

Process

Posted in: animated gifs. | 0
Portal: 1939 (detail) acrylic on canvas

My first attempt at an animated gif, to give you an idea of my painting process.
Each layer in the sequence represents about four hours painting time.
This painting is part of an in progress series, inspired by the life of my father.

Painting on Granville Island

Posted in: Plein Air | 0
painting an older blue and yellow boat
Photo: Terry Sawatzky

The perfect day for the Opus Outdoor Painting Challenge. Five hours went by in the blink of an eye. I got a sunburn, even though I was painting in dappled shade. I forgot my sunscreen.

I am not a seasoned plein air painter. I usually paint in the studio. For me it’s not about creating a plein air masterpiece, though that would be entirely welcome. It’s about the whole package: the experience of painting outdoors, the unexpected, the equipment, the looking and working to somehow wrestle the world onto a 9×12 inch panel, the concentration, the people who may come and go, and the way the life of that day is somehow embedded in the results, no matter what state the piece may be in when you take it away.