December 2, 2016 0

Doot Doot

By in color, digital, heads


Feeling uninspired, which might be clear from this image. But at least my digital technique is getting better. Things seem to go up and down. I should really be doing watercolours, but I need better self-motivation.

November 21, 2016 0

First Snow

By in montreal, ruttan's place


My nice neighbour Sylvie is trying to coax a little declawed cat out from under a front porch around the corner. Unfortunately, she’s doing this by rapping with spoon on a closed can of cat food.

I think she’d do better with opening the can, leaving it a little distance away from the gap under the porch, and waiting quietly for the creature to come out. Mr. Boggedy was stuck under a back yard terrace when he was a young and stupider cat, and he only came out after dark.

I shovelled my own and the neighbour’s steps. There’s a nasty layer of ice under the snow, which was hard to get off.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of bikes chained to posts. Some of them falling over. I’m afraid they’re going to be turned into twisted scrap metal when the little snowplow tanks come whizzing by.

November 16, 2016 0

Dangerous Predator

By in cats, color, digital, paintings


November 16, 2016 0

Nora ye Catte

By in cats, color, digital, Nora the cat, Portraits, sketches


November 16, 2016 0

BOO by Neil Smith

By in Book Reviews

Boo Cover Image

Finished the book BOO by Neil Smith. It’s a bittersweet fantasy story about childhood, getting over pain, and forgiveness.

A little boy wakes up in the afterlife, a mysterious place where everyone is the same age as he is. The tone is gentle; for me it’s an improvement over Smith’s book of short stories BANG CRUNCH, which seemed show-offy and brassy.

The thing about BOO is that it really captures the feeling of what it must be like to be a shy, outsiderish, brainy boy with hidden aches. The book explores the rules of this “heaven,” Boo’s relationships with those around him, and his quest to be at peace.

November 16, 2016 0

Large-eyed Girl

By in digital, sketches, women


November 14, 2016 1

A Montreal Moment

By in montreal, ruttan's place

I have a middle-aged neighbor named Michel, who lives across the way here on rue de Rouen. Yesterday afternoon, when I was lugging my bike down my front stairs, he beckoned to me, and crossed the street, wanting to talk.

I was headed off to Expozine, the November book, comics and alternative art fair. But he had a question for me.

Since I spoke English, I must know something about Leonard Cohen, the poet and songwriter who had recently died, right? Then what did these lyrics mean? With a little fiddling, he brought them up for me on his smart phone.

“But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya”

(You have to imagine this conversation in his French, with a little English, and my very bad French.)

So, what was happening here, he asked. Love is positive, right? So why was someone in love shooting his lover? And what did “outdrew ya” mean?

With expressive hand gestures, I conjured duels to the death, and scenes from cowboy movies. “Draw” meant pull your gun. “Outdrew” meant you pulled your gun and shot faster than the other person.

He looked puzzled. How did love involve shooting? I came up with the image of Cupid’s arrow. The biggest hurdle was to explain how love wasn’t always a totally positive situation. A relationship can involve conflict.

I think he understood. He slapped me on the back, and thanked me for making things clear. I was glad I was able to do that. Talking together, we were waving hands around, and practically shouting. I wondered what the neighbours thought.

November 13, 2016 0

Shrine to Leonard Cohen

By in montreal, ruttan's place


Coming back from Expozine, the November book and alternative art fair, I thought I’d take a detour and visit Leonard Cohen’s house at the corner of Boulevard Saint Laurent and rue Marie Anne in Montreal. My friend used to have an apartment around the corner, so I knew this place well. Never saw Mr. Cohen, however.

This was 5:30 pm. November 13. From my point of view, the place smelt strongly of strawberry licorice. Probably an offering.


I had played an album of his earlier work when my Dad was sick, and now it reminds me of that time. Hard to play it any more, but I like his later tune, Tower of Song.


This is a quilt of Cohen memorabilia and testimonials hung up at the site.

November 12, 2016 0

Old Fashioned Stuff

By in color, Coloured Pencils, pencil, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


The lighting is nicer here, and gives a better image. These are some drawings I did while watching (or thinking of) old things. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the movie Barry Lyndon. Watercolour pencils.

November 10, 2016 0

Two Faces

By in Coloured Pencils, heads, pencil, Portraits, sketches


I guess using the flash on the little camera makes these things look too light.

November 10, 2016 0

de Rouen and Dufresne

By in paintings, ruttan's place, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


A quick study of the corner across from my house in Montreal, Canada.

November 6, 2016 0

Watercolour Cat Card

By in cats, color, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


This is a belated scan of a birthday card I made for a friend, featuring various cats.

November 4, 2016 0


By in color, digital


I’m probably being very boring banging on about digital painting. The drawing just isn’t quite there when I draw things right on the computer rather than scanning-in drawings done in pencil and then coloured here. But I’ve been working hard on these sorts of things, so I may as well share them.


Any opinions or comments are welcome. I’m obviously not trying to do the super-realistic airbrushed thing, and I should be doing more backgrounds.

The nice thing is that I’ve been learning so much. It’s still a new medium for me, and so versatile. My watercolours sucked for a long time, and now I feel I can knock off a pretty picture in that medium when I feel like it. Looking forward to when I can feel the same way about digital.

October 28, 2016 0

Hoodie Guy

By in digital, paintings, sketches


This is actually all digital, drawn with this set of brushes here. I’ve been doing a lot of digital drawing, but have been nervous about putting it up.

Much harder to draw digitally, I think, because of all the planning you need to do. I can draw on paper with pencils and watercolours, and some things work. Some things don’t. But it feels the media are doing a lot of the work for me.

I’m still trying to find a pleasant “look” with digital. I might put up a few of the less embarrassing things I’ve done lately, in another post.