Doodle – J.D.Salinger’s ‘Teddy’

October 2nd, 2014

Teddy Doodle

Here’s a peek at part of a larger “collage” I am in the process of putting together.

I think of these as personal client work:) I set myself up a challenge, and then set about completing it.

Years ago, I would never have attempted to illustrate a Salinger story.
The images I have in my head while reading his books are always realistic – although filmic / instagram-filtery. Not my illustrating style, at all:)

But after the summer, I sat down and read Teddy again.
The next day, I was doodling in my sketchbook and noticed I had drawn a few items that stuck out. I had tried to picture how Teddy would look if I drew him. Then there was the camera, the portholes, orange peels… the steward… the pool. I got hooked. I started mocking up Teddy – liked where it was going, I had time on my hands… so that’s what I have been doing these days – turning doodles into finished works.

Teddy Doodle with sketches


That actually sparked my idea to make the newsletter.

I turned myself into a client! I give myself a lot of work  and I pay with espresso.
Not a bad gig.

Oh! Bossman says I get an espresso now.


First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

October 2nd, 2014

First Aid Kit - Stay Gold


This Swedish sister duo caught my ear a while back when they covered Fleet Foxes song, “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song”. I got all their albums right away. Couldn’t get enough of their sound.

I am a sucker for Swedish singers, but I think they really did something special when they performed Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot”, during the Polar Music Prize, and made her cry. Quite something to see these two girls perform, and provoke emotion like that. They’re that good.

My daughters are getting a bit sick of me playing “Stay Gold”.
I played it all along our drive up to Norrland (700 kilometres) – and back again… and then every morning while we had breakfast.

I say “got sick” but that came suddenly. Like they hit a wall. The day before, we were all humming and singing along:)

Fair enough. I’ll still sit through a concert, and re-listen to all their work – like you can now on iTunes Festival.

Passion, energy, well crafted words and a good beat.
All good stuff. They’re cute, too!

“Shattered and Hollow”  is a great hopeful, ambitious, rebellious, adventurous and optimistic yarn.
Ever lived in a small town and wanted, like hell, to get out and do something great? This one’s for you.

Check out First Aid Kit

“Winter of Madness” by David Harry Walker

October 2nd, 2014

David Harry Walker's "Winter of Madness"

I rediscovered my Great-Uncle David Harry Walker‘s novel,
‘Winter of Madness’ this past summer.
It was in a box of books I had in the cellar. I dusted it off and packed it with us as we left for the summerhouse for a few weeks. There, I could sit on the veranda, Gin & Tonic in hand, and read a chapter or two as the sun set.

It quickly took a spot as bedtime reading, too. Could not put the thing down!

Years ago, I read his novel for children, “Dragon Hill” and was struck by how visual and imaginative that book was; Winter of Madness is no less so.

This being an adult novel there is no shortage of mystery, drink, seductive ladies, rotten kids, vehicles, conspiracy theories, invigorating descriptions of the Scottish Highlands and, being 1964 at the time of writing: a dash of 007 – a nice popular link to Sean Connery (Uncle David was also Scottish) since it was written during the time of “Goldfinger”, and references to Howard Hughes- in the characteristics of the American Visitor to the estate.

Oh! And the Laird drives a Mini. Gotta love a Mini -or “minie” as Uncle David writes.

Then there is “Campari” – my summer drink, 2014 (one of them) which is also featured at the start of the book, as we meet the main characters on retreat in the Swiss Alps – and then again, back in the Highlands, where Campari has taken on an altogether different form.

A good read!

I’m off to find another by him.

I can just picture Uncle David sitting in his writing room, smoking, wearing a kilt, drink in hand, in that big house in St.Andrew’s, New Brunswick* where my sister and I spent our summers. We used to cycle out for a visit and swim in their natural rock pool, or go down to their beach and crawl through the sandstone cliffs, hop on stones and wander out on the wet sands at low tide.
Uncle David and Aunt Willa were never far away, accompanied by their dogs, a story, a smile and a hearty laugh.

Good times.

* I’m pretty sure he never did all of these things at the same time, but it paints a pretty picture in my head.

Masters of Sex

October 2nd, 2014

Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex is a show I came across after the summer. After binge viewing Mad Men before the summer – I had an empty hole in my head craving for more 50’s-60’s paraphernalia, historical weirdness and social norms that are all but forgotten now.

I tell myself series like these are entertaining history lessons. I know that isn’t accurate, but I like to think it gives some insight into what is was like for the grown ups around me when I was growing up, or even when my parents were growing up.

Pretty interesting seeing the contrasts compared to today.
And it isn’t just the clothing and drinking and smoking – it’s also the homes, cars, restaurants, hotels, offices and the simple quality of everything. Design-wise, I mean. The phones, even! These folks lives are nothing if not simple.

Lizzy Caplan is fantastic as Virginia Johnson, the strong, liberated, female lead.
Michael Sheen is a bit like a stoic volcano. Prim and proper on the outside – boiling on the inside.

Is it just me, or has television taken over from movies?
I still go to cinemas to see something like “Avengers” with my sons – for the sheer spectacle and event of it; but a series that captures your imagination for continuous stretches of time, and still looks and acts like a film… that’s a pretty good achievement.


Picasso doesn’t know what he will draw.

October 2nd, 2014

Picasso drawing


“I don’t know what I will draw – until I start drawing.”
- Pablo Picasso
 This is an interesting insight for 2 reasons:
1. Picasso, as you probably know, was an artist who did a LOT of work. He was so willing to experiment that he would draw on anything and even paint without sketching first. No fear of the white page, just do something, see what happens. He trusted his well trained hand and brain to get him started.
2. He had a pretty nice, homey kinda studio, eh?
Photo: Roy Saper