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The Imaginary Journey

April 20, 2020

[ Cold Mountains Colder Rivers, 5×5″ Watercolor – SOLD! ]


It’s been grey and cold the last few days in Montreal. Spring seems to be coming sooooo slowly. But of course, that is the cabin fever from Covid quarantine speaking.

We’ve been in isolation since some time in February – because – I don’t actually go out that much :) I’d been happily staying home painting most days, until suddenly, I had no choice!

The irony.


[ Walk the Alpine Meadows, 5×5″ Watercolor – SOLD! ]


So – as a kind of isolation-therapy, I been making a series of small watercolors.

These are only 5×5 inches. Some of the others are 4×8″ I was purposefully aiming for a gem-like quality. Perfect little semi-imaginary landscapes.

I do start with a found photo, then pretty much ignore it and paint what I want.

I’m finding, after a few years of my oil painted landscapes, I’ve developed a taste for a certain kind of view. A sweeping vista if you will. Even at this small scale, I want to feel the immensity of the landscape. To be able to look deep into the distance. To feel like the mind is voyaging, even when the body cannot.


[ Lush Valleys Laid Out Before You, 5×5″ Watercolor – SOLD! ]


I have recently taken a new interest in selling original art. You may have noticed :) I’m talking about my online Etsy shop all the time.

Partially this is practical – I’m not travelling and teaching any longer, and I’m not doing game design at the moment. (I’m so far out of the world of digital art now, I can’t see going back). So I’m exploring new ways I might make a living as an artist.

I’ve always painted for myself. Using art as a reason to get out into the world and fully experience it through painting. Not to mention, treating all art-making as a kind of sport. A kind of constant challenge to myself to get better, to improve my skills. It’s an incredibly rewarding past time, seeing yourself get better. I don’t play an instrument, but I expect it’s something like that for people who go from clumsy scales, to being able to actually enjoy listening to themselves play.

I’ve been spending more and more time in the art studio these last two years, living with my walls filled with my own landscapes. I’ve realized they really do change my mood for the better. I really do feel something when I can look into one of these magic windows and send my mind on a little flight of fancy.

I don’t think this is only because I painted them myself. I think anyone could have this experience of living with art, and finding it liberating – freeing us a bit from our daily worries.

So I’ve started to think about art in different terms. Almost like a kind of service. What I can do with brush and paint, that might bring real value into people’s lives.


[ Follow the Land up to the Sky, 4×8″ Watercolor – *Still Available :) Along with few others on the shop. ]


I don’t know if you feel the same about looking at art, or making paintings. Maybe you do?

Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience having a painting in your home.

And – I’ll leave you with saying – I’ve listed this series of work up on my shop. I hope you’ll stop by, and see if you’d like us to send one of these Imaginary Journeys your way!



[ The Quiet Land Before the Dawn, 4×8″ Watercolor – SOLD!


6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2020 1:21 AM

    These are great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. April 21, 2020 7:45 AM

    Always love your watercolours. But why did you get out of digital art? I find it’s such a versatile and interesting, obviously dry, medium. Although I notice it is pushing me towards a more realistic style which is the opposite direction from the looser, more impressionistic approach that I always think I should be doing. Oh well.

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    • April 21, 2020 10:53 AM

      Hey Gary – you pretty much said it. It’s a matter of how the art is made. Watercolor, and to some extent oils, even ink drawing – these are spontaneous things, with a lot of risk/reward. The paintings either turn out or they don’t! (Especially watercolor). (At least, the way I paint. I’m not a cautious, slowly-slowly painter :) I’m kind of addicted to that risk. Making these paintings is adrenalizing. It’s a little silly – but I get quite a buzz out of the process, knowing failure is only a wrong note away. And – I get frustrated and annoyed when I do mess up – which makes me push on till I get a zinger.

      I don’t get any of this thrill out of making digital art. Digital is a calm, gradual process of moving towards perfection, always knowing it’s possible with enough tweaking. :) Don’t get me wrong. Digital is a tremendous art form. It’s just not as fun for me. Then there’s the world of 3D. If I was doing digital art seriously I’d be going back to school for 3D. It’s just more powerful than hand-painting everything. But then, you become a mouse-clicker and a set-builder. Even further away from that thrill of spontaneous painting :)

  3. April 21, 2020 6:05 PM

    So happy the originals are available. The first one is mine! :) So excited to own one of your watercolors. Oh, I once commented that I would love to buy the FLATIRON BUILDING in NYC because I used to work in there. Or the reverse view of the Empire State Building from your BROKEN SILHOUETTE exercise. Thanks, Marc!

  4. April 21, 2020 7:38 PM

    Fellow Montrealer here, I think the cabin fever is catching on. Can’t wait to return and walk downtown or on Mont Royal.


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