Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sketch of Keesha at nearly 15

Keesha, born August 25, 1999, on July 20, 2014. A Springer Spaniel (yes, with papers). She's not doing too well and I wished for some sketches of her as memories along with photos and videos. (Taken RAW -I did rub out the grub marks but am not photographing again. lol.) Keesha at nearly 15, ©Brenda Clews, 15" x 11", Noodler's and permanent transparent acyrlic inks and Inktense blocks, 130lb Pentalic archival paper.


Keesha and Aria (b. 1May2012) with the drawing on 20 July 2014. On the left, photo taken with EOS 60D w/a used 28-135USM zoom; on the right, a zazzy iPhone 5s photo. The one on the left would have been better if I had used the correct lighting settings but even so, noise and all, I prefer it.

Not sure what transparent permanent acrylic ink was in the water brush I used for her 'liver' fur areas- the ink was a bit too red and the next one hopefully will have the right 'chocolatey brown with red tones' colour.


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School Burlesque Life-Drawing was very risqué tonight

Here is the poster and description for the July 7, 2014 life-drawing session from the Toronto Branch website:

Poster illustration by Jeremy Cardarelli. Two Toronto trouble makers go out of the comic pages and into the dungeon at the upcoming Dr.Sketchy's Toronto session. Naughty tattooed hottie Kensie Vicioüs and beefcake batboy Toronto Batman will be posing together in their skimpiest costumes.

Watch out - Kensie heard Toronto Batman has been a very bad bat. She just may have to punish him.

Special Emcee: Gracie Klutz!!

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is the little New York art event that became a movement. Started in 2005 by artist Molly Crabapple, the concept is simple. Artist’s draw glamorous burlesque dancers, compete in contests, and win wacky prizes. From it’s humble Brooklyn beginnings, Dr. Sketchy’s now has over 100 branches around the globe, including Los Angeles, London, Rome, Tokyo, and Melbourne. Learn more about Dr. Sketchy's here: http://www.drsketchy.com/

Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School Burlesque life-drawing last night was based on comic book figures but truly seemed more BDSM. They were a kinky Batman and Catwoman, let's say. Batman and his masked Madame of Meows posed with fun and hilarity for us. They are actually married and were a great couple to draw! Despite the short poses, mostly 5 min, some 10min, one 15min, and the complexity of two figures interlacing, there were some beautiful drawings in the room. Such talented artists all over!

Here are mine. They're all done on 18" x 24" 80lb Strathmore archival drawing paper with graphite, the regular kind and the water-soluble kind. I am a little uncomfortable posting these, they are so risqué, but I do keep a record of my drawings and paintings on this blog, so chalk it up and on with the show.

The two below are the full drawing that was cropped in #4, and #6 with a solarizing filter (I like this effect on that drawing).



Wednesday, July 02, 2014


Something truly shocking - the EMBED CODE at YOUTUBE has been broken for over a year!

Take a look:

[iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="422" src="//www.
youtube.com/embed/VVbeyT-Oh7A?rel=0" width="750"]

See where I underlined. The SCR="//WWW.

Do you see what's missing?

The videos APPEAR where you've embedded them (in Blogger, for instance) but THEY DON'T PLAY!

TO CORRECT THE BROKEN CODE: add "https:" manually. Like this:


SPREAD THE WORD! Something like this is as unforgivable as it is unbelievable.

Ellen El alerted me to this article, YouTube Is About To Delete Independent Artists From Its Site in Forbes Magazine, as a possible reason for YouTube's faulty embed codes. However, if true, an intentional act by YouTube without telling subscribers, one surmizes whether there could be some law suits in the offing over it.

Since I always include a direct link - for people who follow me by email - anyone who has been interested in seeing my videos has been able to go to YouTube and watch them there. Meaning I haven't had any complaints - people just figured it was their Internet connection or that YouTube was experiencing technical difficulties at that moment.

I wondered why my video view counts were down and thought I had lost my audience after not posting videos for awhile. It was YouTube itself un-enabling watching videos embedded on other sites.

YouTube is far too large and powerful not to fix this issue. There's a reason they are not permitting us to post watchable videos on our sites. What it is, frankly, despite the Forbes article, I couldn't guess.

I just know that YouTube has been giving out BROKEN CODE for over a year - I found videos without the proper link as far back as May 2013.

I've spent hours correcting everything I've uploaded.

Here's a video I posted fairly recently. I'm not even going to add the direct link. See if it is finally watchable from here. And don't ask me what that dumb little link to my YouTube site is that appears at the beginning - it's not something I added or authorized - just click the x to close it. I subtitled this video, so click on CC if you would like to read or get the words translated as they are being spoken (poem fragment starts 25sec in).



Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Keesha on Canada Day

My baby is looking rather good for her age. Keesha will be 15 at the end of August.



Yes, it was delicious.


Happy Canada Day

How can rain clouds be so dark? Black little thunderclaps roaming the sky.

A Canada Day of intermittent storms, gutter-filling downpours, a misty moody sky, and the air so thick with humidity we know we are living inside one.

One of my favourite kinds of days - torrential rains for 10 minutes, stormy little clouds roving like black pirate ships, and a sun that shines through a wide cloud cover making the sky so white it is visionary.

And then, the clearings of blue. The hot, direct sun on your skin.

Enjoy your day!



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Self-Portrait

Somehow I managed to get one done this week - looking into an image in the tablet looking at me while watching Season 4 of Game of Thrones (finally). I clipped the drawing onto a bar of an upright laundry drier thing and clamped the lamps on and took some photos but like the one shot with 'creative lighting' best. Now... back to the show!

I also used dots to map the proportions before I began drawing with the ink and this method seemed to help with the likeness, on which I can never comment since, really, our eyes aren't constructed to look at ourselves are they - and what we see in a mirror isn't what people see when they look at us.

Sunday Self-Portrait, June 30, 2014 - taken late at night with a daylight bulb shining from one side in a clamp lamp that was covered by a sheet of white mylar. I totally like the mood the lighting creates here. ©Brenda Clews, 11" x 8.5", Noodler's #41 Brown ink, white conté crayon (later I erased the conté), Pentallic 130lb paper.

The drawing photographed in direct sun the next day. It's not too bad though the eyes are a bit too dark again - ink is so unforgiving, a few extra dots and that's it. I think this drawing would be better scanned but I can't seem to connect my scanner to my newer computer. ©Brenda Clews, 11" x 8.5", Noodler's #41 Brown ink, Pentallic 130lb paper.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sunday Self-Portrait

Sunday Self-portrait - June 22nd, finished on the 24th. ©Brenda Clews, 2014. 15" x 11", mixed media on Pentalic 130lb paper.

Is there a decent resemblance? I have no idea. I struggled with the drawing, and used lots of different media, including, finally, a ball point pen. Also, I am, once again, without a computer and so it is difficult to see if the photograph is accurate against the original - I think so, but will have to await a better screen to know for sure.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery - photos and videos

It was a terrific and inspiring afternoon of poetry! Many thanks to our features, Clara Blackwood, Michael Fraser, and Kate Marshall Flaherty, and to all the open mics, Norman, Christian, Ellen, Catherine, Areta, Ghada, and Andrew, and to everyone who came out! And to Urban Gallery for the space, mineral water and warmth - thanks especially to Calvin Hambrook, who made it all possible.

The photographs were part of 'I See,' an exhibition at Urban Gallery by Anna Keenan and Lucy Snyder.

The Spring Poetry Salon was hosted by Brenda Clews at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St E, Toronto and held on Saturday afternoon, May 31, 2014.


Clara Blackwood featured at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. I really enjoyed her poetry, which ranges from mystical poems about strange happenings in an apartment building to psychic mediums to on-line dating to the Icelandic ash cloud when she visited Scotland and stayed in a haunted mansion. In her book, Forecast, the poet is a seer, a medium, and reads the hidden forces of the world like a Tarot reader. Her poetry is lyrical with many layers. Many thanks for coming out and sharing your poetry, Clara!

CLARA BLACKWOOD is a poet, visual artist and tarot reader. Her first poetry collection, Subway Medusa (2007), was the inaugural book in Guernica Editions' First Poets Series, which features first books by poets thirty-five and under. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian and International journals. Forecast, her second book of poetry, was published by Guernica Editions in March 2014. She lives in Toronto.

The photographs were part of 'I See,' an exhibition at Urban Gallery by Anna Keenan and Lucy Snyder.

The Spring Poetry Salon was hosted by Brenda Clews at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto. Clara's reading was videoed and edited by Brenda Clews.


Kate Marshall Flaherty featured at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. I really enjoyed her poetry, especially the way she approaches difficult subjects with honesty and a transcendent grace. Her poetry is full of feeling, rich with living and loving, lyrical. Many thanks for coming out and sharing your poetry, Kate!

KATE MARSHALL FLAHERTY is published in journals such as Descant, CV2, Freefall, and Windsor Review. She was short-listed for Nimrod's Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, the Malahat Review Long Poem and Descant's Best Canadian Poem. "Reaching V," a book of poems, was published by Guernica Editions in 2014. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three spirited children, where she guides yoga/retreats/writing workshops. Poetry is her lifeline.


Michael Fraser featured at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. I really enjoyed his poetry, from the more lyrical pieces on childhood and middle age and family, and lovers, to the series he is writing on Black historical figures - he read some poems on Black experience during the American Civil War. Many thanks for coming out and sharing, Michael!

MICHAEL FRASER is a high school teacher, poet, and writer who has been published in anthologies and journals including Literary Review of Canada, The Paris Atlantic, and Caribbean Writer. His first poetry collection, "The Serenity of Stone," won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award manuscript contest and was published in 2008 by Bookland Press. He also won Arc's 2012 Readers' Choice Poem of the Year, and his poem, "Going to Cape," is included in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2013. Michael is the creator and director of the Plasticine Poetry Series.


Brenda Clews reads on open mic at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014.


Areta M. reads on open mic at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. Another beautiful talent in this vibrant city. Many thanks, Areta!


Christian Christian opens his reading with some thoughts on the use of the term, 'beautiful,' and then reads his biking poem, 'The Race,' on open mic at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. I enjoyed his poetry and reading. Many thanks, Christian!


Ghada Khoraych reads (for the first time ever) on open mic at the Spring Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery May 31, 2014. Another beautiful talent in this vibrant city. Many thanks, Gada!