Sunday, November 27, 2011

the princess and the witch

A friend gave us a DVD of "Kiki's Delivery Service" (『魔女の宅急便』).

By the end of the film, our daughter, who had long expressed a desire to become a princess when she grew up, had changed her mind and now wanted to be a witch, as illustrated in these two sketches.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

early winter

It's been an unseasonably frigid week even for this part of Alberta, with early morning temperatures down to minus 26, and mid-day highs at a cool minus 17 degrees Celsius. Crisp, beautiful, tranquil... and at the same time conditions that make one aware of one's mortality... and I suppose there's a deep beauty in that too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


 Miscellaneous sketches of a persimmon (柿), drawn by its rich and lustrous colour... and some late seasonal gourds and squashes for good measure... symbols of autumn from different parts of the world.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

painting gratitude...

Our daughter paints some thank you cards for the many people in our lives who have allowed her (and us) to come this far. "It takes a whole village to raise a child" seems like a cliché that is ignored these days, but we are immensely grateful for the wonderful "village" that we've been provided. Thanks everyone!

Remembrance Day LRT

A rather empty car on the morning LRT ride during a 5 minute delay (due to a system failure somewhere down the line...)

Although a statutory holiday, many companies work on Remembrance Day... I left my sketchbook at home as I had plans at lunch as well as after work. I didn't plan for this little opportunity, and luckily I had the back of a DVD envelope.

Always, always, carry a sketchbook, no matter how small ... or busy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

heating and hoarding, take 2

A continuation of some thermal tarp sketches... the lunch hour is becoming colder and colder. Surprisingly, still no snow this year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

more carnival squash

I am still at a loss as to how to cook these, but they are fun to look at and are lasting quite long on our kitchen table. They remind me of my interest in cartography way back in high school.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

the kids at home

My daughter has been sick the past few days, which means more time in front of the TV watching her favourite DVDs. It's a rare opportunity these days to get her still enough for a quick sketch. Her insistence on drawing the flower pattern on her pajama pants was a great piece of daughterly advice.

Meanwhile, my son tinkers around at the kiddy table... he's now beginning to draw, which is nice to see.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From the Archives #013: Chucho Valdés at the piano, November 21, 1998

While at school, our department was located next to the Department of Music which had regular recitals and events throughout the school year. One of the most memorable of these was a workshop with Chucho Valdés who was in town for a concert. At the time, I knew nothing about this legendary Cuban pianist, but was soon electrified by his dazzling hands, complex rhythms, and gently charismatic presence on the stage. That encounter opened up a whole new world of sound... definitely one of the musicians I would feature if I were in a position to host "This Is My Music" on CBC Radio today.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

heating and hoarding...

There's bright tarp at the base of a large construction site while the masons work on cladding the building -- a sure sign of the arrival of winter. Along with the relatively intricate web of steel and wood that forms the temporary scaffolding covering the building facade, the puffed up fabric adds some vibrancy in the wintry downtown...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Carnival Squash

A carnival squash, mini pumpkin, and gourd... all recently bought on a whim at the local grocery. I'm appreciating the great variety of fun shapes, sizes and colours this fall season...