Friday, March 29, 2013

The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland

So this is what I’ve been feverishly working on for the last few weeks. It’s my largest painting to date (excluding theatre flats).

It probably requires a little explanation.

The very successful advertising campaign for Newfoundland Tourism inspired it. The ads made me wonder (playfully) about how we got to this point in time where tourism on our North Atlantic rock is a booming business.

I imagined the early days of the campaign... way back to the 1890s where a group of well-dressed gents (Victorian Mad Men?), in a building somewhere off the Thames in London, sat around a large table covered in tumblers and snifters of scotch mulling over the possibilities (but mostly mulling over the scotch) of creating an allure for this cold and foggy rock.

“It’s nothing but fish and fog,” says one.

“Right, right,” others say in agreement.

The snifters get passed around again, glasses clink, cigars are lit and a luncheon order is placed.

Little progress is made.

Amid a feverish conversation of yesterday’s cricket match, a loud crack silences the room.

At the end of the long table, an exasperated Scotsman leans in.


After an awkward silence, a staffer is called to the room.

“Jenkins, telegraph the muralist. We’ve got a job for him.”

And thus was the origin of the “The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland” campaign.

So that’s where my brain’s been for the last few weeks.

The Grand Puffins will be one of the pieces showing at Hava Java throughout the month of April in a group show with Nick Kokis and Bill Ryan. If you’re in downtown St. John’s, drop by and check it out!

The Grand Puffins of Newfoundland
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yin Yang Fish linocut

Had a great late-night printing session last night! Finally had a chance to use the variety of printmaking papers I received for Christmas. Yum! Now inspired to cut some new plates. I’m happy with my little Yin Yang Fish but I’d like to see a larger version of it with more fish detail.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Painted Bruin

So our friend, who has a yen for sneakers, had a birthday recently. I painted this Nike Bruin for him. I was about half-way through when I realized I better get the subject exactly right... this guy is not only a huge sneaker fan but a designer as well... any deviation from the original would stand up and shout at him every time he looked at it. So I obsessed over the sneaker’s form as much as possible but couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with the background.

Oil on canvas

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Cartoon: Pope takes a swing at retirement

No punchline needed for this one. I had some in mind plus a more complex drawing but, in the end, just went with this simple image.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tending a pewter forest

I had a request for a larger version of the earlier tree and this is it! 11”x12" I’m gradually making a small pewter forest and I have the calluses to prove it.

My freelance projects have been taking up a lot of my time these past few weeks so there’s been no painting happening. But I do have some big news on the painting front... I’m very excited, but I don’t want to blab about it until it’s firmed up... stay tuned!

I’m sticking my toes in the craft fair pool later this month at the Crystal Market in Holyrood, Newfoundland (March 23). I’ve no idea what to expect but I thought it might be a good place to start. I’m hoping to take part in the St. John’s Farmers market this year as well as the various craft fairs later in the year. So far I’ve got about 10-12 prints of my paintings at various sizes matted and packaged, a selection of embossed items and a few of my smaller paintings.


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