I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading

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Day 87. Preliminary Sketches

I’ve decided to have a little fun.  On top of the fun I’m already having, of course.  Starting with the letter ‘A’, every day I will pick a subject that starts with the next letter of the alphabet; and that’s what I’ll write about.  Until I run out of letters.  After ‘Z’, in other words (as if you hadn’t already figured that out).  Anyway.  When I reach that point I’ll be challenged to come up with another idea.  In the meantime, let’s see how it works out.  Let’s get started …

Do you have any idea what an ‘abbozzo’ is?  I didn’t.  At least not until I decided to use the alphabet as inspiration, and looked up interesting words that start with the letter ‘A’.  Well you heard it here first, folks.  An abbozzo is a preliminary sketch.  A rough drawing, or model.  What a writer would consider a ‘draft’.

I may not have known what they are called, but it turns out I’m familiar with them.  I’ve seen many, many exhibits, where the artist’s working drawings are included.

In a lot of cases, I actually prefer them, to the finished pieces.  I like their roughness.  The fact that  they’re incomplete, almost primitive.  Raw.  Imperfect.  When I look at them, I feel like I’m really getting a glimpse into the artist’s mind.  And emotions.  It’s more intimate, somehow.

Like we’re sharing a secret.  It’s like I’m being brought in at the very beginning of something, just for a peek.  I’m getting to see something that’s been transferred directly from the imagination, to the sketch pad, with no refinement.  No thinking.  No over thinking.  No reality, yet.

It’s still in an experimental phase.  An exploration.  I love that the details are missing.  Details are not always necessary, at least as far as I’m concerned.  Take this sketch of Picasso’s, of a woman, for Continue reading

Day 83. Frustrated Artist

In yesterday’s post (addendum) I mentioned that I had originally wanted to be an art director, not a writer.  My mother used to tell me I never stopped drawing.  She always said that all my school notebooks were covered with doodles, from first grade through to the day I graduated from high school.

My grandmother had two drawers in a chest in her den, that were reserved for endless pieces of paper; and all my coloured pencils.  My father’s younger brother was in the stationery business; and once a week, like clockwork, he dropped by to bring me a fresh supply of paper.  I went through reams and reams of it.

As a child I went to art classes at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; and my favourite subjects in school were art and English.  Always.  At the summer camp I went to, we put on a major production each year.  A play, usually one that had been on Broadway, and we Continue reading