Pencil sketch of the recently-moved Cape Jourimain lighthouse

Pencil sketch of the newly-moved lighthouse at Cape Jourimain Nature Centre

Work-in-progress: pencil sketch of the newly-moved lighthouse at Cape Jourimain Nature Centre

  • Light 2H pencil under-drawing of the newly-moved lighthouse at Cape Jourimain, N.B.
  • 9 ¼ × 6 ¼″ Stillman & Birn Alpha (white/150 gsm) sketchbook.
  • From a photo I took in September, 2016.

Not sure if I want to do this as a pen-and-ink sketch or do light watercolour washes. We’ll see how I’m feeling about it once I’ve finished with the pencil.

Houses in Waterside

Watercolour sketch of houses in Waterside, New Brunswick

Watercolour sketch of houses in Waterside, New Brunswick, from a photo I took in August.

On 9 ¼ × 6 ¼″ Stillman & Birn Alpha (white/150 gsm) hard-bound sketchbook.

I did an earlier watercolour sketch of a detail of the same reference photo:

Watercolour sketch of houses in Waterside, New Brunswick

September watercolour sketch of a detail from the same photo.

The Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook paper is meant for light washes, but it’s just a bit too light for what I’m doing here and tends to buckle. I’m still sorting out how watercolour works, though, and while I should move on to proper blocks (I have loads), I want to get more confident with my handling of watercolour media first.

The Politics and Passions of Roger Waters [NPR interview]

I’ve been a fan of Roger Waters’ music since Pink Floyd released The Final Cut. His bleeding heart politics have always central to his music, much to the dismay of casual fans who accidentally stumble across his comments and positions in interviews.

His 2010 return of The Wall as a global concert phenomenon seemed almost self-indulgent at the time, but the shows themselves had been updated, with new visuals that underscored messages that were there in the songs all along. Looking back from late 2016, this music from 1979 seems more relevant than ever.

Eliot Porter on knowledge

Our knowledge, which we set so much store by, helps us mostly to further our exploitations, to extract from the environment what we value, and to destroy that which, in our present state of ignorance, seems to have no utility.

—Eliot Porter in Maine

Painting on walls

Cave of Forgotten Dreams poster

Tonight, as part of The Sackville Film Society’s fall series, I watched Werner Herzog’s wonderful, quirky documentary The Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

The film was an exploration of what it means to be human, to share experiences through story-telling, through what people in the art community call mark-making.

Reaching back as far as 35,000 years, these oldest known cave paintings show that their makers had an intimate knowledge of horses, bison, rhinos, lions, bears, and more, that mocks the facile notion of the artists as primitives. Their lines are as practiced, as stylistic and as skilled as any human can make.

As someone whose personal drawing style tends towards contour drawings, I felt an immediate connection with whoever rendered these magnificent images on rock. It’s impossible to know if they were teaching aids (be successful; be safe), storytelling devices, spiritual touchstones, pure decoration, or the only thing an artist could do to express something inside them that they needed to share in order to feel human. To be human.

I also couldn’t help but wonder what these people would have thought of the technologies we have at our fingertips today; cameras, smartphones, video, communications satellites. We’re not really doing anything fundamentally different with them than they did with these paintings. We congratulate ourselves that our great-great-grandparents would be mystified by iPhones and instant, global communication, but we use them to tell the same stories. Be successful. Be safe. Learn. Share. Marvel. Wonder.

These long-dead artists can’t see us, but we can see them. They’re a little out-of-focus, but they look familiar. They’re not so different, are they?

Dan Mangan, Live at the Vogue Cinema

Friday night my friends Kelly and John and I took in Dan Mangan’s live show at the Vogue Cinema in Sackville, NB.

The show was, in a word, amazing.

As it happens, I was first in line, so I was able to get front-row seats. Having had good luck recording video at Garnet Rogers and U2, I thought I’d give my new iPhone 4S a whirl. Sadly, I missed the first song (stupid, stupid, stupid), but I got the rest of the show in 1080p.

After the show, Kelly and John met Dan, got autographs, and had a chat. I asked Dan if he was okay with me posting these clips to YouTube, and he said you can’t stop it these days. I pointed out that if he didn’t want me to, then I wouldn’t post them. He said he appreciated that, but to go ahead.

So I have. I shot 18 GB of video, and it took almost 48 hours to upload. Hope you enjoy it. If you get the chance to see him live, do not hesitate.

Dan Managan: Sold

Dan Mangan: Oh Fortune

Dan Mangan: Post-war Blues

Dan Mangan: Basket

Dan Mangan: You Silly Git/Road Regrets

Dan Mangan: If I Am Dead/Daffodil/Starts With Them, Ends With Us

Dan Mangan: How Darwinian

Dan Mangan: Some People

Dan Mangan: Rows of Houses/Regarding Death and Dying

Dan Mangan: The Indie Queens Are Waiting
The Crackling: Keep Me Drunk

Dan Mangan: Robots/So Much for Everyone