Text Size



March 2015

Good Morning America

March 2014


“Gold” is the 15th musically-based pen and ink illustration I have completed since starting this particular project in December 2002. Each piece takes me upwards of 300 hours to draw. For this one, I have picked as my subject one of the best known and talented singer/songwriters that Canada has produced: the one and only, Neil Young.
In each of the illustrations so far I have included a diamond, a butterfly and an animal (or animals). The diamond represents the “brilliance” of the musician. The butterfly represents the metamorphosis of creativity which is common to all people that create but considering how MANY different styles and genres of music that Neil Young has explored this particular meaning is apt indeed. There is always a metamorphic reason for drawing the animal. In this case, I have chosen an eagle to represent Neil’s far reaching vision musically. The eagle is wearing the “peace” symbol around its neck while singing Mr. Young’s great song “Rockin’ In the Free World”.
The planet earth is drawn right beside to represent the idea of a “free world” we can all enjoy! The sun and the moon are simply there to accompany the earth and hopefully add to the overall impact of the work.
The title “Gold” has a couple of meanings. His music to my ears is simply “Gold.” I have drawn a heart in between the portrait on the left and the drawing of him playing his guitar on the right. This is in combination with the small word “of” at the bottom of the heart along with the title all partner up to say “HEART OF GOLD”. Those are the first notes and lyrics of that brilliant mega-hit at the top right.
I have drawn the ten stars on the left to indicate that I think Neil Young as a musician is a “10”. The Canadian flag is drawn for obvious reasons. The worlds “OLD BLACK” in parenthesis indicate the name of the electric guitar he is playing. The symbol for the astrological sign “Scorpio” is also over the top of the heart and this combined with the numbers 12 and 1945 cryptically illustrate his birthdate: 12th of November, 1945.
I always have a bass clef and a treble clef somewhere in each of my 15 drawings and finally the initials “N”. “P” and “Y” are drawn to represent his full name: Neil Percival Young. I hope you enjoy this drawing. I know
I VERY MUCH enjoyed creating it!


February 2012

Craigdarroch Castle

This is available to purchase in their gift shop.


July 2013

Black And White

In each of the 14 pen and ink illustrations I’ve drawn, I have a quasi-theme. “Black and White” is my tribute to British vocalist, Amy Winehouse. The first time I heard her sing, I was blown away with her talent. To me, she had the singular most impressive voice I’ve ever heard. Amy Winehouse could evoke emotions like no other.
The “Black and White” reference means a couple of things here. Her musical style was heavily influenced by both black and white singers and songwriters. In the liner notes of her first album “Frank”, she thanks the legends Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles and Mahalia Jackson as well as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Carole King just to name a few.
In my drawing, I decided to illustrate the “Chairman of the Board”, Frank Sinatra. The other reason for the name “Black and White” is an obvious one: the ink drawings ARE black and white.
In all the drawings I include a butterfly, a diamond and an animal as metaphors. The butterfly always represents metamorphosis of creativity which applies to all artists, musical or otherwise. The diamond always means that they are or were brilliant. The meaning of the animal varies from piece to piece. In this case, I picked a female mountain lion. Again, there are a couple of reasons for this choice. The first is because the grace, power and beauty of the big cat matched those qualities in Amy’s music. The second reason is because her posthumous album release was called “Lioness.”
In each drawing I include a bass clef, a treble clef and musical notes. The ten stars above Frank Sinatra is there because I believe, quantitatively, both Amy Winehouse and Sinatra are “Tens.”! I drew the word “SOUL” for one of the musical genres that Amy so brilliantly represented but also it is a reference to the souls of both the departed icons. The earth is drawn because Amy is outside it now. She’s gone. The Union Jack is there because of her British homeland. I’ve drawn her initials in decorative fashion.
Lately, in each drawing I’ve included cryptical ly the artist’s birthdate. In Amy Winehouse’s case, the symbol to the left of the diamond is the sign of Virgo. The addition to the numbers 14 and 1983 mean that her birthday can only be September 14, 1983. The sun and the clouds are drawn for composition purposes and to represent nature.
Amy Winehouse sung like an angel. Now she sings with them.


Arrived March 2011


This is the thirteenth pen and ink illustration in my on-going musically based series. I've chosen as my subject the man most people believe to be the greatest guitar player ever: Jimi Hendrix. In a previous piece in the series I'd done a combination of Hendrix and the prolific singer/songwriter Bob Dylan with the song "All Along The Watchtower" being the common thread between the two. This time I decided to devote a piece of artwork solely dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. (Later in the series I will do the same for Bob Dylan.) Each drawing takes me about 350 hours and the original works all measure 11" x 14". They are all done with technical art pens on illustration board. The word "genius" in this day and age is overused in my opinion but applies without a semblance of a doubt to Hendrix. Some of the imagery in this piece is to make allusion to the man's great gift. Some of the images follow ideas that are in each of the previous twelve pieces. These are a Diamond, which I draw to indicate the "Brilliance" of the musician. Secondly, A Butterfly to represent metamorphosis of creativity. A giant talent like Jimi Hendrix was constantly evolving. The third image that I always include is an animal (or animals). The year of Jimi's birth is 1942 and the animal in the Chinese calendar for that year is the "Horse". The horse also is about power, speed, style, stamina and beauty which also describe Hendrix's guitar playing. I have also semi- hidden a cheetah next to Jimi and behind the horse to signify the sometimes ferocity of his playing. (I explored this theme in the previous Dylan/Hendrix homage). The Eagle has two meanings: the first is to represent Hendrix's far-reaching vision musically and also is an allusion to the incredible version of the American National Anthem he played at Woodstock in August, 1969. That is the " Hand of God " next to the Butterfly as in ... he was touched by the Hand of God. The J and the H under the Eagle are obviously his initials but I picked a style of letter that felt historical to me. The large eye and the smaller ones at the very top of the artwork are to mean " all eyes were upon him when he played." The Trumpet is to signify "Fame". 500 years ago artists such as myself would put a Trumpet in their portraits of noblemen and royalty to bring attention to their illustriousness. Hendrix's uncanny knack for improvisation was to me "otherworldly" therefore I wanted a "spacey" feel to this montage. I've included the Sun, Earth, Moon, Stars and the planet Saturn to help this effort. The Earth is there because Jimi is "outside" the Earth now- he is gone. Saturn is so large as to be able to hold 1000 Earths. The connection here is that Jimi Hendrix's prowess at creating any sound that came into his brain is that much "Larger" or "Greater" than any other guitarist I've ever heard and there are many significantly talented guitarists out there- both past and present!!! The ten stars under the musical notes at the top are to reflect that as a musician he was to me quantitatively a " 10 “! The sign of Sagittarius, the number 27 and the number 1942 combine cryptically to indicate Jimi's birthday, November 27, 1942. And finally the Bass Clef I have made up of far away stars and the Treble Clef I have woven into his scarf in the portrait on the left. Any other design features are there for composition purposes only as composition trumps everything in the creation of each of these pieces. Enjoy!


March 2010

The twelth in the ongoing pen and ink illustrations - featuring Paul McCartney - " LET IT BE "

This is the 12th in my ongoing musically-based series that I started back in December of 2002 with " MOZART ". They are drawn in pen and ink and this one took me at least 350 hours. It is my homage to Sir Paul McCartney with the overall theme being that of Hope and Wisdom - two very important human qualities to possess given the world in it's present condition. I believe the 3 gentlemen I've drawn on the left represent astounding strength of character which was required in order to impart to a waiting public Words Of Wisdom. Undoubtably there could be many other men and women from the past and present represented here but these three are a few of my very favorites. They are, obviously, from top to bottom, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sir Winston Churchill. The lit torches I've drawn beside all the protagonists represent the eternal light of Hope. The bell next to Lincoln is the Liberty Bell. The Stars and Stripes is represented with the two Americans in mind while the Union Jack is there for the two Brits, Churchill and McCartney.I always put three particular images in each piece to give them all a connection to each other. These are a Diamond, A Butterfly and an Animal (or Animals).The Diamond represents Brilliance and I doubt if any music-lover would not agree that Paul McCartney has been proven to be one of the most enduring and gifted popular songwriters living today. The Butterfly represents Metamorphosis of Creativity which applies to all artists musical, visual or otherwise. The Animal in this case is the magnificent Tiger who's power was and is amply personified in the lives of all four men in different ways. It is also fitting that I completed this particular illustration in 2010- "The Year Of The Tiger" in the Chinese calender. The Tiger is "thinking" the symbol for time running out which it is for many of the earth's animal species and if we don't start usinig our collective wisdom, hope, power and inner strength WE as a species may find ourselves looking at our OWN timeline. The open book next to Dr. King is a book of wisdom. You pick the one that suits you. There are 2 references to other McCarney songs that I love- "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Blackbird". McCartney's birthdate is shown cryptically with the sign of Gemini under the sun, the Roman Numerals for the number "18" is at the bottom of the piece and the Roman Numerals for the year 1942 area above Paul's head. This can only combine to represent the date, June18th, 1942. Finally, the design features, wavelines and so forth are there for composition purposes only as composition trumps everything in the creation of every one of these pieces. Enjoy!



May 1, 2009

Johnny Cash and Elvis "Pioneers"

This is the eleventh in an ongoing pen and ink illustration series. It was completed on February 26, 2009, which is Johnny Cash's birthday. I decided to title the work "Pioneers" given the groundbreaking nature of both Elvis' and Johnny Cash's work. The individual images in this piece follow a similar pattern as the previous ten. It includes a butterfly that is intended to represent the metamorphosis of creativity. The diamond represents brilliance of which these two artists have in abundance. An animal is included in all pieces. The bison is a rare breed like these two artists. The World Trade Center is included metaphorically. Cash and Presley were “twin towers” in their craft. The lone horseman and the wilderness scene to the left of the bison are intended to y represent visually the “pioneers era” in history. A treble clef, bass clef and other musical notations are included in each piece. Both artists recorded with Sun Records – the sun with a stylized LP album was included in the piece in reference to this fact. The stylized “J” under “1932”, the sign of Sagittarius and the “C” above the guitar refer to Johnny Cash and his birth date.The same applies to Elvis with “E”, “P”, the sign of Capricorn, the number 8 and “1935”. Enjoy!!

Available in t-shirt form as well as art form