Number Three (Process Post)

I’ve called this piece Number Three (for obvious reasons).

I wanted to play on the whole third child thing by using my wife’s preggo silhouette as the 3. That led to adding in the other kids, and then I felt left out so I added myself to it.

These three process shots, and the final image, show you some of my process. Redrawing, value studies and colour palette have become my standard for working, and usually come out successfully (it’s all relative).

Also – OMG!!!! NUMBER THREE!!!!!! I am so freaking excited and in love and happy-happy-happy. Life is amazing. 🙂 (Coming September 2018 – what is it about us and September? I’m the only one who wasn’t born in September!)

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After some drawing and redrawing, this was the first image. It just didn’t work for me.
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So, I moved the kids, redrew Kingsley and added myself. I also adjusted Steph’s head to connect with the kids.
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The value study pushed me around the feet and the busy where we all connect.
The final image in my favourite colour palette, which I gave to my wife for Valentine’s Day.

New Painting Reveal: Love! (An Explosive Sound)

To say that I’m excited about this one is an understatement. I’m so freaking excited about it!

I’ve been toiling away at this one with a rare approach to my work: only work when inspired to. This means that the timing, the external pressures, the weather, the paint supply, every single little thing had to line up for me to feel that surge of raw excitement to work on this. Even the moon had to line up with Venus AND Mars! (Kidding. I’m a little weird, but not that weird. Yet.)


This large piece started out as something else altogether. I tried a few different paintings on the canvas, but they never went anywhere. I kept painting over top, and on the eve of Magnus’s first birthday, I was reminiscing about the last year with him. He joined the family as #2, but is a force to be reckoned with. Wild, hilarious, creative, independent, and musically driven. We spent the first two months sleepless as he screamed and it seemed that only loud renditions of Sia’s Chandelier did the trick to soothe him for short bits of time. He’s grown into this unique, incredible person, all his own.


In an attempt to capture his vibrant, bursting personality, I had the vision for this piece. I immediately named it Love! (An Explosive Sound) to honour his energy, his vocal skills, his smile that bursts a room into laughter, and his amazing musicality. He hears any rhythm, stops what he’s doing, and breaks into dance. This piece is an Ode to Magnus. It’s a visual representation of the bursts of love that explode every time I think of him, look at him, kiss him, talk to him, see a picture of him … everything about his being, I tried to throw into this piece.

I think it’s sometimes overlooked, to put a piece of art in a child’s room that isn’t filled with cozy animals and soft tones or primary colours. Yet, I wanted to give him something special. Something he would love now, and as he grows.

And so, here are some photos of my process, and of the beautiful, wild Magnus with his original piece, created on canvas with acrylic paint (neon and metallic tones included), crayon, paper (dictionary pages and the sheet music to Mockingbird), and white charcoal pencil.

This video is from when I first started the process, after a couple of base coats.

And then, some progress shots of the instruments:

Finally, Love! (An Explosive Sound):


Thanks for looking and reading. Your support really means a lot to me. If you love this, or know someone who might, would you share this with them? In the meantime, you can find me all over the internet:

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Let It Snow!

The weather outside is getting a tad frightful, but art can be so delightful! This sweet guy is stuffed in tight and ready for some Canadian winter fun!

I created the bones for this piece 2 years ago, and brought it to life for this Thursday’s shop opening. At 8×10, this print will remind you all winter why the snow isn’t so bad.

Here’s a peek at my process, while we’re on the topic of Let It Snow:

Check back tomorrow, because I am posting more sneak-peeks!



For the past few weeks, I’ve been writing heavily about creativity, the process and scheduling/stealing time. And while the tone of this has all been about making progress and getting stuff done, today I want to balance that out. This is for all of my Creative friends.


Forgive yourself for missing the deadline. It happens.

Forgive yourself for taking much longer to complete a piece than your ideal timeline. It might mean you are about to break through.

Forgive yourself for making ugly, crappy art. It’s a part of the process. (Remember the Ugly Duckling?)

Psst! I’m reopening my Etsy shop on December 1st! 

Forgive yourself for missing the alarm and not getting a sketch into your sketchbook this morning. Maybe you needed to sleep a bit longer, because your kids would need you more later.

Forgive yourself for feeling like you suck, like you’re not good enough, like you should throw in the towel. You’re allowed to feel all the feelings. You just can’t marry them. They’re gremlins.

Forgive yourself for the growing to-do list and the never-changing “finished!” list. Is anything ever really finished anyway?

Forgive yourself all of this guilt, because in Guilt we cannot create or feel good or productive. Just remember to keep going – keep chugging along, making stuff (up) and getting stuff done.

(One of my favourite quotes from Mr. Gaiman. When I feel guilty and down and like I just can’t forgive myself for not making enough, I remember this quote and I go on, making the things as only I can.)

When forgiveness becomes an excuse, then it is a problem. But sometimes, we need to be kind and forgive ourselves for a tough week, or a rough project, or an unfinished manuscript that just wasn’t meant to be.

As long as it’s not every time.

Forgive, and carry on, Creatives.