Saturday, November 16, 2013

Geat Uncle Moustache Nov 16

I remember the fascination I felt as a tot, of a family member with a moustache. Other kids we drawn to glasses, but the whiskers were the big question imy mind. This was new. And unlike glasses, didn't get taken off. What was it, and WHY was it ?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Moustache envy Nov 15

Where would a kid get a moustache?  That was the thought leading to this week's series of moustaches - among which this was the first.  The big black friendly companion lent his aid to many childish capers and if this was not one of them in deed, it was definitely considered by more than one kid in the family.  The dog has moved on to play with star-bones, but is part of the everyday warp and weft of family life and memory still.

And images.  He seems to creep in to so many...

(original post)
Today I begin a week of moustaches and kids... Drawing is done, can't post it on this mobile.  You'll have to take my word for it or go dig up today's post on facebook.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ben, Nov 14

I asked my husband for an iconic sports moustache and Ben Davidson's name came up immediately. (Me, I was thinking of Lanny McDonald) A defensive end for the Oakland Raiders from '64 through '72, he was a defensive end who made things happen for the team; memorable for his off the cuff plays.  Describing him, former teammates come up with terms like 'larger than life' 'powerhouse' and 'you never knew what he would do'.  His handlebar moustache, it seems, was part of the mean image he cultivated as a player, but off the field he is remembered for being gentle and likeable.

It was only as I researched this iconic football player that I found that he had died of prostate cancer last July, 2012.  He was 72.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gandhi Nov 13

Here's another moustache, and this one was out in front of a movement to change the way things were.

What IS Movember, anyway?

For the past few years at my son's school and in the neighbourhood, usually-clean-shaven gents began to look - well, some of them began to look pretty 70's, to tell the truth. After a while, you just have to ask.


And the answer was: for Movember.

The whole point is to get folks to ask.  When it's on your face, it's easy to talk about it.  Prostate cancer, however, is not so easy to bring up in conversation.  Movember is the movement to help change that.

Here are some links to information, and, should you feel so inclined, to donate (and thanks, Brett, for the links, for donating the space on your face this month).

This Movember, the month formerly known as November many men choose to dedicate their faces to raising awareness about prostate cancer.  The commitment is to grow a moustache for the entire month of Movember, which  will generate conversation, controversy and laughter.
4,400 men die of prostate cancer in Canada each year and one in six men will be diagnosed during his lifetime.

To help, you can :

*  Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account

All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit:

Thank you in advance for helping support men’s health.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Marcel, Nov 12

Encyclopedia Britannica credits this gentleman with "one of the greatest achievements of the modern novel," his A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.  Although he died quite young, Marcel Proust left a legacy of words that changed the literary landscape as we know it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chris, Nov.11

Of all the moustaches I will be portraying this week, this is far and away the most well-traveled.  I appreciate how this man has shared experiences and engendered awareness with as broad a reach as possible recently.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Charlie Nov 9

Here's a face we can't imagine without the moustache, and whenever he was present on film, the shenanigans perpetrated involved the wackiest expressions any moustache could imagine being part of.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Moustache Portrait - Nov 8

Now and again a moustache is so much a part of someone's identity that we would probably not recognize them without it.  Might even recognize them by the moustache alone...

Here is the first of this week's immediately recognizable moustachioed gentlemen.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Perplexed mustachio - Nov 7

When perplexed, this gent would advise one and all to don their most comfortable clothes, their oldest shoes and then mull things over.  Come to think of it, that would be my advice too.

Might as well be comfortable while cogitating.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Disguise-stache Nov 6

The classic disguise - a false moustache.

This bottle of ink is hiding out and after the way it bled and ran the other day, disguised is the only way it might hang around.  Also, the bottle is a pleasing shape.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ready to draw -moustache Nov 5

Sim Sam Sooner - this fellow knows what's down but not what's up...

Still waiting for his world to step into the modern age with colour, Sim Sam is getting stiff fingers in his sepia word.  Soon, friends.  Soon.

 (original post)
Focused and ready to draw, Sim Sam Sooner is ready to defend his claim. You'll have to take my word for it though, or find me on Facebook, since I can't seem to post the image from my tablet.   The image will get posted tomorrow. Maybe once I've found time to ink and watercolour him.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Waxing moustache - Nov. 4

A waxing moon grows until it is gibbous, then full before waning again to the nail clipping crescent past fourth quarter and then disappearing altogether for a night.

This moustache seems to be waxed and waxing at the same time.  Perhaps before the end of November it will reappear in gibbous, or even full form.

We can but wait and see.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Close Attention Nov 3

Reading over the closely-printed page, this editor has a keen eye for detail and is willing to reset the press if necessary. 

A keen eye for detail and willingness to deal with the nitty gritty is the basis for improvements in almost any area. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trim Moustache - Nov 2

I've always enjoyed looking over the postcards from seaside resorts in England in the 1800s to the early 20s.  The strange idea of what would be appealing for vacationers to send home sends the mind on interesting curlicue pathways.  I always think I've seen the one that caps it all, and then I turn over another one and wonder:  what were they honestly like, these folks? 

Odd to think that somewhere in a distant future, someone will be thinking that of us as they turn over the ephemera we leave behind in dusty boxes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Moustache a day

Challenged by an illustrator friend to ink and watercolour one moustache drawing a day this month.

Chris Jones, you're on!  (See Chris's posts here: )

Never done a month-long one-a-day challenge before, we'll see how long I last.

Comments appreciated, as always.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Inspired by this week's Illustration Friday word: "Together"

Considering the word, a gathering of friends seemed the most natural place to begin.  Friends holding hands... reminded me of circle games played in various gatherings in childhood.  With all our different personalities, loyalties and inner thoughts, although we could see one-another clearly, who held whose hand was not so clear.

Putting that idea on paper was an enjoyable exercise, and mulling over memories of childhood friendships another.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Inspired by the Illustration Friday challenge word: "totem"

Thinking of the majestic totem poles of the Haida Gwaii, how they serve as markers of community, anchors of identity.

When in their presence, you know where you are - and very definitely who you are among.

Which totems do we identify with, I pause to think?  Here in this community, wandering among us is it any less clear who we are by what we plant around ourselves? 

Here.  Look here.  These are symbols of my family, my ancestry, my connections, loyalties and character.  This is what feeds my bones, shapes my thoughts and inspires my actions.

Thoughts developed, caught in the sieve of drawing as I sat and traced lines on paper.  Imagery I return to again and again developed, here in a new form. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


Inspired by this week's Illustration Friday challenge word:  Hidden.

Among the many wonderful hidden things to be found on a slow childhood amble were shiny berries hiding under shady leaves...  mushrooms in a tangle of dew-wet long grass at the foot of twisted, forgotten apple trees... glistening frogs quietly waiting among ripples by the riverbank... a freshwater pearl in among the stack of clam shells rinsed, pried open and eaten clean by last night's wandering raccoons... and a rambunctious family of kittens watched by their proud mama in the sweet green grass unexpectedly nest-like between cedars by the side of the road.

One of the things I like best, recalling days where things were found, was the freedom to amble, let thoughts follow along and feet take you wherever they might.

I was sure, one day, I would find something no-one had ever seen before.  And today I did.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Illustration Friday July 19, 2013 Robot Summer Reading

Light summer reading inspired by this week's Illustration Friday challenge word: Robot

This young bot seems to have gone on holiday with self-improvement in mind - to the point of bringing a wrench along. 

For a while, it felt as though everyone were bent on reading about self-improvement... to the extent that I wondered if being seen without such a book might imply I felt myself to be beyond improvement?  Surely not, I hoped.

I remember as children, my mom would somehow direct all four of us us to get teeth brushed, pyjamas on, squabbling put aside for another day - as the summer evening cooled and light dimmed, everything in the room growing soft-edged as the day came to an end in song.  I wonder now if this might have been the one thing my mom could think of that would get us all focused on something other than the adventures (or grievances?) of the day, our thoughts harmonizing with voices, slowly feeling more and more ready for sleep.

One of the songs invited Night herself to come cover the singer with her hands, so that with rest, one would be better tomorrow than today, confident that today one had been better than yesterday.  A simple melodious declaration of intent which seems to fit well with liquid summer evenings deepening now like ripening wine into flavourful memory to be sipped, and enjoyed.  The simple intent felt clear enough, years after, that complicated books didn't seem to offer much that would be more substantial.

I hope to get to a colour version later in the week.  But if not, it's because I took the time instead to sit on the back porch and marvel at the slide of day into evening, intent into memory, and song into starlight.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Surveillance - I.F. June 21, 2013

Inspired by the Illustration Friday challenge word: Surveillance

I had made a note of this weeks I.F. prompt as usual and then forgot all about it in the flurry of end-of-the-week and all that brings with it.

Yesterday I moved my paints from the middle of the house (working on the dining room table while life happens around me is one of my favourite ways to layer the day in to whatever is happening in my drawings) to the studio - where things were brighter.

Foremost in my mind was the idea - to paint how it feels to not quite belong.  Often, feeling an outsider, one ends up observing from a distance.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gather and share

This image grew out of remembering the feel of meadow grass against bare legs and feet, sun on head and shoulders, birdsong in shadowy thickets, while helping to prepare for summer birthdays up in the country.

Small as I was, I could not bring a cake, or make a sandwich.  I was not helping haul out benches to the hilltop under the spreading maple, not gingerly carrying chiming cups and saucers by the pile nor supporting urns slopping over with hot coffee or tea for the gathered friends and family there to celebrate another year of shared work, laughter and community.

But oh, how I wanted a slice of cake, some home-made squares, and lemonade by the gulp.  So I asked if I could help somehow.  And was sent out to the meadow.  Come back with all the flowers you can carry.  An empty bucket was set in the middle of the round mill stone girt in an iron band that we were going to use as a table outside.  It was mine to fill.

Down the rocky road in bare feet, over two bridges and out of sight, through the creaky gate (close the gate, close the gate!) and into the hot summer strawberry field dappled with quietly chewing cows.

The cows didn't mind me, just flapped an ear, turned an eye to follow where I went, following colour anywhere it appeared.  I have no idea still what they were called, the blooms I gathered, but an armful wasn't enough. I tucked the bundles into my shirt I and only stopped gathering when I could barely grasp its hem over the stems.  White lace in abundance, and yellow bobs of flowers so heavy they bent double in the grass; Prickly tickly fuzzy gray stalks with purple-blue bells catching sunlight, facing up,  bright pink in the bottom of the cup, yellow suns turned up, some turned down, orange wispies on whisper thin stems, the bright boldness of a froth of yellow, and when I dared, with my hand wrapped in my shirt, a bold thistle or two to stand above the crowd.

I knew, as I walked back, peering at the path through the cloud of colour in my arms, that this bundle of colour, this joyful riot I brought would make the whole gathering better.  Happier.  More of a celebration.

And I was pretty sure it was worth at least two pieces of cake.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Illustration Friday May 17, 2013 " Liquid"

Inspired by the Illustration Friday word : "liquid"

I spent some time looking at quotes and drawing as many liquid things as I could bring to mind.  And then when I stopped thinking about it this relaxed feline just appeared. 

Of course.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Illustration Friday May 10 "future"

Inspired by this week's challenge word: Future

I thought immediately back to primary school and the inevitable tradition of planting a bean, watching it hopefully for evidence of change.

These days the sprouts come home in coffee cups, but what I remember is a bean in a glass jar, held in place against the glass by damp paper towel.  It was our job to wet the paper every day, and impatiently check for any change.

The future is not some grand, distant scenario into which we step; it is the seed, the wet paper towel, and it inches toward us with every small action we take to make it grow.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Farewell - Illustration Friday April 26 2013

Farewell, fly far, find sunshine, dance with flowers.

Farewell, empty jar, empty hands, throat tight.

Farewell, changed my mind, too late, too late.

Farewell, bright speck, sun-bright joy.


Friday, February 1, 2013


Winter weather making its way into this image, which suits my mood and the tone of the image.  Time to rest the image for a bit. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Story Line.

As we send the pen across our paper, we make stories visible, even if at times they are unintelligible. 

We walk our own story line.  The inner selves with which we meet outer events becomes etched on our own faces, in our bodies, via the posture with which we carry our selves through the day to meet circumstances, and our habitual expressions.

My grandmother had a wonderful collection of lines, and I loved watching them, mobile as her face played and replayed the emotions that belonged to the story she was telling me at the time.  She used to shrug at all the creams and lotions advertised to minimize wrinkles.  Yes, but then how do folks know what kind of person you are?  It's not having a line-free face that is desirable, after all.  Just the right kinds of lines.

We read the characters here by their postures, what their faces tell us, and as they are depicted in the same space, we join them with invisible, imagined lines of story.