At Wordfest, Sheila Heti and Leeann Shapton talked about their book WOMEN IN CLOTHES, a survey, catalogue and visual essay on stories our clothes tell us. Here’s my contribution to the evening's clothing swap, along with my illustrated label.

Happy New Year!

White-tailed Ptarmigans live in the Rockies. They turn colour for seasonal camouflage: white in winter, and mottled dusty brown in summer. Their feet are feathered all the way to their toes - warm down boots for life in a harsh alpine environment.

Arctic Walk II


British Navy Captain Franklin was one of scores of explorers who sought the as-yet unmapped Northwest Passage, a water route that would link the Atlantic to the Pacific. His two ships, the Erebus and Terror were the most well-provisioned and up-to-date of the time. But while threading a way through the maze of polar ice, the boats became trapped over several Arctic winters. Franklin died in 1847. The remaining crew, beset by scurvy, tuberculosis and lead poisoning, abandoned the doomed ships in a desperate bid to walk to safety. Death and cannibalism followed. None survived.

Global warming has thinned the ice that trapped Franklin's boats, but the ice pack is still unpredictable and subject to extreme weather. While the Northwest Passage may be more accessible to ships in the near future, animals who depend on the ice - like polar bears - are suffering from the early ice break-up that hinders the spring seal feed.

SWAP-a-DOODLE

Illustrator friends Mike Kerr and Renata Liwska invited me to be part of their Christmas illustration swap. Each artist made a postcard-sized tree ornament to trade with another artist.

Here's some collage-in-progress on my owl:

And here's what the final piece looks like:

 

 

I traded my owl for Sandy Nichols' vision of the night before Christmas:

And a little illustration elf sent me a Mike Kerr picture, too!

See all forty artist ornaments here. Thanks, Mike and Renata!

Driftline Ranch

I spent the weekend at a friend's place in the foothills of the Rockies.

Geology 101 will tell you that the whale-shaped hill is called a drumlin, left behind after the glaciers receded an ice age ago. Pods of drumlins dot this area.

First Contact

Calgary's recent Comic Expo reminded me of an illustration that I did for The Shatner Show, a book published by UPPERCASE. Curator and designer extraordinaire Janine Vangool asked me to contribute a portrait of William Shatner: I drew Trekkies lined up for the great man's autograph.